Confirmation of Assistance by SMS

  • Description
    • What’s an SMS?

      “SMS” means Short Message Service. This service (also known as text messaging) is available on most mobile phones.

    • What’s a “Confirmation of Assistance” SMS?

      The NMBS/SNCB will confirm your assistance booking free of charge via SMS. This SMS provides information and is free of charge. 

    • What will the confirmation of assistance SMS look like?

      The SMS will start with the words “SNCB Assistance”. It will provide the basic details of your assistance booking (NMBS/SNCB Assistance, request number, date, departure time, departure station, destination station, and, if relevant, the return time and station). The SMS is restricted to 160 characters.

      If you have a Belgian mobile phone number, the confirmation SMS will be sent from 8833.

      If you have a foreign mobile phone number, then the confirmation SMS will be sent from a number which will vary depending on your operator.

      Note: Station names are restricted to 15 characters.
      For example: “Louvain-la-Neuve-Université” =  “Louvain-la-Neuv”

      Examples

      • An SMS for a single journey will look like this:

        SNCB ASSISTANCE
        Request 2013-04-03-0001
        05/04/2013
        Outward 14:15
        From Ottignies
        To Bruxelles-Midi
      • An SMS for a return journey will look like this:

        SNCB ASSISTANCE
        Request 2013-04-03-0001
        05/04/2013
        Outward 14:15
        From Namur
        To Bruxelles-Midi
        Return at 18:30

      Please note:  when the journey includes a connection, the station where you change won’t be shown on the confirmation SMS.

      • For example: You have requested assistance to travel from Gent-St-Pieters to Ottignies. Assistance will be arranged for the connection at Bruxelles-Midi, but won’t be shown in your confirmation SMS.

        SNCB ASSISTANCE
        Request 2013-04-03-0001
        05/04/2013
        Outward 10:30
        From Gent-St-Pieters
        To Ottignies
        Return 18:30
    • How does the confirmation of assistance SMS service work?

      Telephone bookings

      When you book by telephone, ask the operator at our Contact Center for a confirmation SMS.

      Online bookings

      When booking, tick the “I would like to receive confirmation of my assistance by SMS” field on the online form.

      This service is separate from the confirmation e-mail you will receive if you book online.   

    • When will the SMS be sent?

      The SMS will be sent as soon as the feasibility (available personnel and equipment, etc.) of the assistance request is confirmed.

      The NMBS/SNCB will process your request quickly and will confirm your assistance as quickly as possible, but has no control of the speed with which SMS messages are handled by your operator. The timing of the confirmation e-mail you will receive if you book online is independent of the timing of the SMS.  

    • Can I book assistance via SMS?

      No, you can’t book assistance via SMS.

      The procedure for booking assistance is still the same:

      Request your assistance at least 24 hours in advance

      • Using the online form
      • Or via the Contact Center on 02 528 28 28 (open every day from 7:00 am to 9:30 pm).
    • Can I cancel or change my booking by sending an SMS to 8833?

      No. The number 8833 is only used for sending assistance confirmations by SMS.  It can’t be used to communicate with the Customer Service Department.

      If you need to change or cancel your assistance booking, you should call the Customer Service Department (02 528 28 28, open every day from 7:00 am to 9:30 pm).


    • Will I receive an SMS for every booking I make?

      Yes, if you opt for confirmation of assistance by SMS, you will receive a confirmation SMS for each request. One request contains all the assistance operations made on the same day.  If assistance is provided on different days, then each day will be treated as a separate request, and an SMS will be sent for each request. 

      E.g.: If you book assistance every day for a month, you will receive one confirmation SMS for each request. 20 bookings = 20 SMS.

  • Cost
  • Subscription
  • Practical information

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