For our 80th birthdays this year, my friend I decided to do Paris for a few days and also take in a day at the Roland-Garros stadium for the French Open tennis. I booked us on to a Eurostar train on 21 May, returning on 24 May. But 24 hours later I realised the tournament opened for qualifying on 20 May, but the real tournament began on 27 May, so had to change the tickets by a week. My original tickets cost £136 for both of us. But the changes cost £156 and both these amounts were taken from my bank account by Eurostar. The website says you can make changes for a fee of £30, plus any additional costs in the fare. The price difference was £40 (for both tickets) and I expected to pay the change fee of £30, making a total of £70, for the alteration.
It turns out that the £30 change fee applies to each ticket and each leg, ie £120. In a “live chat” with Eurostar I was told this was correct. I later phoned and spoke to a real person. She first of all thought I should have a refund, then spoke to her supervisor who said it was correct. Neither of these conversations left me with any understanding why my tickets now cost £292. The other outrageous thing is that the original seats will be resold by Eurostar. How much money is it making? Our little birthday jaunt seems very bleak now. AF, London N5
We spoke to Eurostar, which confirmed that the fee was correct and in line with its ticket terms and conditions. But it has agreed to make an exception given that you contacted it so speedily. Perhaps a little staff training would not go amiss.
It told us in a statement: “Eurostar’s ticket conditions are made clear at the time of booking, and for any non-flexible tickets an exchange fee is payable along with the difference in fare. However, given that AF has contacted us so quickly to notify us of her booking error, we are pleased to make an exception on this occasion and refund the exchange fees she has paid. We do hope that AF and her friend enjoy their birthday trip with Eurostar.”
We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at email@example.com or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to terms and conditions