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Old 06.11.2012, 19:54
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Train ticket inspector behaviour

This isn't a rant on my behalf per se, just something I've observed. I will state ahead of time that I have only once ever had a run in with the inspectors (feet on seat, fair enough, and was let off with a warning) and have no problem with them doing their job - it is necessary.

This is something I observed happening to another passenger, a Swiss woman. The inspector came around asking for tickets, and when she pulled hers out she realised she had forgotten to endorse it at the little orange machine (No one can know if this was intentional or not, so I'm giving her benefit of the doubt).

She apologised for this, and simply asked to be given her fine, quite politely. For some reason the inspector deemed this reason enough to explode in her face in front of all the other passengers, enough that she was left holding the wrong receipt without realising it with him yelling at her. He physically grabbed her hand, tore the receipt from her, threw the customer copy at her and stormed off, leaving everyone else there thinking "WTF?".

Can't really say much more, this is only one incident, and in fact only the second time I've seen someone on the train caught without the appropriate ticket or a stamped ticket. The other time it was all quite polite and formal and nothing to write home about.

Still, physically grabbing a passenger, whether they are in the wrong or not, is assault (unless the ticket inspectors have powers of detention, but he wasn't doing that) and should not be permissible behaviour. She said she had his name and was going to follow it up, and I hope she does.
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Old 06.11.2012, 20:00
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

Inappropriate behavior by the ticket controller. Simple. I wish that this entitled her to not having to pay the fine as a recompense for his horrible behavior. Hopefully, this guy is held accountable for his behavior.
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Old 06.11.2012, 20:04
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

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Inappropriate behavior by the ticket controller. Simple. I wish that this entitled her to not having to pay the fine as a recompense for his horrible behavior. Hopefully, this guy is held accountable for his behavior.
One thing I forgot to mention - another passenger in the carriage told us she had seen him do something like this before. Pinch of salt on that one, I can't say I've ever noticed the same inspector unless it was twice during a relatively long trip like some of my work ones between Bern and Winterthur. But if true, then there is a history.
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Old 06.11.2012, 20:09
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

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One thing I forgot to mention - another passenger in the carriage told us she had seen him do something like this before. Pinch of salt on that one, I can't say I've ever noticed the same inspector unless it was twice during a relatively long trip like some of my work ones between Bern and Winterthur. But if true, then there is a history.
Then "accountability" should be MUCH higher. Perhaps suspension/final warning?

On a side note, I don't understand the controller rotation. On my local route (zone 50, ZVV) there is literally the same 3 controllers EVERY TIME. If I see them on the route, I just walk up to them and present my 9-Uhr Karte (usually before they ask). If its earlier, and I see them through the window (from the platform/stop), I buy a fare or don't ride. I see this as the fault of SBB/ZVV for not being creative enough in their policing mode.
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Old 07.11.2012, 12:33
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

I'd report him yourself - the SBB will know which inspectors were on which trains, so they should be able to follow the complaint through.

In my time here I've had only one negative experience with the SBB inspectors, and many, many positive ones.

I had guests who bought day tickets but forgot to stamp them, and the inspector just laughed, explained where to stamp it in future, and then gave them some walking trip advice for the Corvatsch

I've had weather warnings, money-saving tips and general friendliness 99.9% of the time from the SBB personnel. It would be shame to let this guy to bring down the deserved good reputation of the rest!
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Old 07.11.2012, 12:52
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

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I'd report him yourself - the SBB will know which inspectors were on which trains, so they should be able to follow the complaint through.
I completly agree. Plus I think the more people who complain from the tram ride the more chance the inspector faces consequences for his actions.

I would bet money on it if it was a man in her position the inspector would never have laid a finger on him.

Last edited by 22 yards; 07.11.2012 at 13:53. Reason: Fixed quote formatting
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Old 07.11.2012, 12:52
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

Get your phone out and video it next time, then post it Youtube...
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Old 07.11.2012, 12:53
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

It's quite interesting you come up with this. MG's SIL once sat down in the first class compartment when the second was full and he wanted to pay for the upgrade. The conductor approached him in the same manner that I was approached by the check out lady the other day, "Can't you read?" and in general being very rude, but he also said the guy had a black eye....
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Old 07.11.2012, 13:07
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

I wonder how many times she'd "forgotten to validate the ticket" and gotten away with it, and hence could use it again.

Immediately volunteering, politely, to pay the fine could also be seen as "haha, you got me this time!" after a calculation has been made that paying the occasional cash fine is cheaper than always buying the ticket.
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Old 07.11.2012, 13:19
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

We were on a train from Baden to Zurich a couple of weeks ago and the ticket inspector was so upbeat, positive and smiley (you could hear him coming before he got to our carriage) that by the time he left the carriage, everyone was grinning!

Just to say some inspectors are lovely, pity that the lady in the OP didn't get him, he'd have probably paid the fine for her!
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Old 07.11.2012, 13:52
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

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I wonder how many times she'd "forgotten to validate the ticket" and gotten away with it, and hence could use it again.

Immediately volunteering, politely, to pay the fine could also be seen as "haha, you got me this time!" after a calculation has been made that paying the occasional cash fine is cheaper than always buying the ticket.
Certainly in the UK, there were lines where inspections were so rare that it would be worthwhile financially to do that - but here I get checked so often (~75-80% of trips I'd guess) that it doubt it would be worth it.
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Old 07.11.2012, 14:04
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

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Get your phone out and video it next time, then post it Youtube EF...
Fixed that for you
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Old 07.11.2012, 14:09
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

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I wonder how many times she'd "forgotten to validate the ticket" and gotten away with it, and hence could use it again.

Immediately volunteering, politely, to pay the fine could also be seen as "haha, you got me this time!" after a calculation has been made that paying the occasional cash fine is cheaper than always buying the ticket.
It doesn't matter in this case if she is doing it for the first time or the 1000 times. What matters is the inspector being physically aggressive toward her.
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Old 07.11.2012, 18:40
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

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I wonder how many times she'd "forgotten to validate the ticket" and gotten away with it, and hence could use it again.

Immediately volunteering, politely, to pay the fine could also be seen as "haha, you got me this time!" after a calculation has been made that paying the occasional cash fine is cheaper than always buying the ticket.
This is a valid point and it did occur to me too. The stretch was a non-stop trip between Zürich and Bern though, and that is almost always checked. Would be gutsy indeed to deliberately chance it.

As for the comments to report him, unfortunately it happened sometime last week, and I cannot remember exactly which day. I was tired and heading home and since she said she was going to report him I didn't think further. Next time I'll have my phone ready though!
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Old 08.11.2012, 22:59
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

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I'd report him yourself - the SBB will know which inspectors were on which trains, so they should be able to follow the complaint through.

In my time here I've had only one negative experience with the SBB inspectors, and many, many positive ones.

I had guests who bought day tickets but forgot to stamp them, and the inspector just laughed, explained where to stamp it in future, and then gave them some walking trip advice for the Corvatsch

I've had weather warnings, money-saving tips and general friendliness 99.9% of the time from the SBB personnel. It would be shame to let this guy to bring down the deserved good reputation of the rest!
I have the very strong feeling that you are not a person of color.
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Old 08.11.2012, 23:21
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

Veronica,
A few months ago,
i told the inspector I did not have a ticket, (in English)
And pulled out my post finance card.
I was expecting the fine..
He said "kein problem"!!!
He turned away and let me stay on the tram!!
--
My jaw dropped..
It's true!!!
(Zurich tram 8)
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Old 08.11.2012, 23:30
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

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I have the very strong feeling that you are not a person of color.
Are you? And have you had negative or hostile reactions from the train staff?

If it is bad then it needs to be reported.
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Old 09.11.2012, 04:25
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

I don't understand the point of this post. Are you generalizing all train conductors based on this one incident? You witnessed one nutjob train inspector and did nothing about it. So really, who is the "bad" one here?

I have commuted for many years for work before buying a car and have never seen anything but politeness and efficiency from the train conductors, saying thank you to each person for showing their ticket, or wishing you a good morning, etc. In fact, I've seen them react stoically when being verbally abused by drunks or rowdy teen passengers.
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Old 09.11.2012, 06:07
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

Its like many posts hear someone sees some random thing they then decide they want to whinge about it fornot real reasons. Reaspn why, no real explanation other then to look like a whining person with nothing better to do
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Old 09.11.2012, 10:29
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Re: Train ticket inspector behaviour

I think you need to read the OP again.

He did point out he regarded the incident as a one-off.

You often get situations where you're so taken aback you don't do something about it right away. But sometimes...

I was on a Basel tram many years ago with my then 2 y.o. son when a busker got on and started playing accordion. At that moment a skinhead got up and started threatening the busker and making remarks about folk from the Balkans - an scaring the bejeezus out of my son. So I got up and told the skinhead to button it as he's frightening my son. The skinhead actually apologised to me.

Cheers,
Nick

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I don't understand the point of this post. Are you generalizing all train conductors based on this one incident? You witnessed one nutjob train inspector and did nothing about it. So really, who is the "bad" one here?

I have commuted for many years for work before buying a car and have never seen anything but politeness and efficiency from the train conductors, saying thank you to each person for showing their ticket, or wishing you a good morning, etc. In fact, I've seen them react stoically when being verbally abused by drunks or rowdy teen passengers.
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