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Old 15.11.2012, 21:45
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Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

I had a very unpleasant experience earlier this week as I was making my transfer in Zurich (from Germany) back to New York. I travel quite frequently for work so my passport pages are filled with immigration stamps from various countries. It usually serves me well as I never had any hassle from immigration officers across the board. Apparently this time, it became a big source of confusion for this female immigration officer in Zurich as I presented my passport to her. It took her more than 15 minutes flipping through my passport and apparently still couldn't find the immigration stamp from Germany when I arrived there a few days before. Instead, she found the stamp when I was in Austria earlier in August and started her questioning about how long I had been in the EU and what my itinerary was. I told her I was in Germany for a few days and now flying back to New York. She wasn't convinced and asked me for my itinerary. I provided it to her, showing the date of departure from New York (previous week) to my current flight back home. She then took another 10 minutes looking through my passport. Apparently she didn't have the cognitive capability to deduce that I was in Austria and could have left, then came back to the EU again. She somehow got stuck on the idea that because I had a stamp from Austria in August, that must mean I was still living in Europe all this time, therefore needed a visa for being in the EU more than 90 days. She disregarded my itinerary even thought it clearly showed my departure from the States the week before. At this point, I was dangerously close to be missing my flight. I was upset and asked if she knew what she was doing as she had all the information she needed/requested. She became hostile and defensive, then told me to wait and called her immediate supervisor. After some angry German words later explaining her side to the supervisor, I was then subjected to the lecture from this supervisor about how I would need a visa if I stayed more than 90 days. I presented my itinerary and re-explained to the supervisor, he seemed to realize this female officer made a mistake, told her to stamp my passport. Yet it was still not over. I then had to wait for the Chief Immigration Officer, who then proceeded to give me the same drill. After I explained the situation to him for the third time and mentioned that I believe the female officer seemed to have a personal issue with me, he made copies of my passport and promised to talk to this female immigration officer. (I had to ask the Chief for her name as she refused to give it to me)

Of all my travels, I could not believe how such an idiotic, incompetent, logically inept person could be qualified to be an immigration officer. Her behaviors and attitudes reflected poorly on the Swiss Immigration Office as a whole. And sadly to say, I'm more inclined to avoid Zurich from now on.

It's been 2 days and I'm still upset over the situation. I'd like to file a complaint against this officer so perhaps she could get additional training on both technical and social skills and hopefully be a better representative to her country. Is there an email/contact number where I can do this?

Any help would be much appreciated.

E.
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:07
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

And what about your TSA guys then, file complaints, we'd need to cut down a forest just for the paper
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:08
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

Now you know what it feels like for a non-American to go through US customs.

Edit:

I bet you don't even have a biometric passport.
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:13
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

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Now you know what it feels like for a non-American to go through American customs.
it is not fun for Americans to go through American customs, either.



to the OP - in all seriousness, the airport in Zurich is the cleanest, best-run and most incredibly user-friendly airport I have seen, and I have seen my share. Jesus, compared to JFK it is an absolute stroll in the park.
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:16
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

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Now you know what it feels like for a non-American to go through US customs.
Well, there is a process for complaints in the US if you have similar issue like I did. I'm asking if there is such a similar process for the Swiss.
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:17
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

OMG this is APPALLING
She made you wait 20 minutes...do you know how much the rest of the world has to wait to cross the US border-and I mean legally? and how rude and plain dumb some TSA people can be?
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:17
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

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it is not fun for Americans to go through American customs, either.



to the OP - in all seriousness, the airport in Zurich is the cleanest, best-run and most incredibly user-friendly airport I have seen, and I have seen my share. Jesus, compared to JFK it is an absolute stroll in the park.
I don't have a problem with the Zurich airport, just with this immigration officer specifically.
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:20
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

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Well, there is a process for complaints in the US if you have similar issue like I did.
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:20
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

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OMG this is APPALLING
She made you wait 20 minutes...do you know how much the rest of the world has to wait to cross the US border-and I mean legally? and how rude and plain dumb some TSA people can be?
Read my post more carefully, it wasn't 20 minutes of waiting. It took her more than 40 minutes to figure out what to do. Then another 20-30 minutes to deal with her supervisor, then Chief Immigration Officer. The complaint is about the lack of logical reasoning and apparent incompetency of this immigration officer.
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:22
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

Don't get hung up on it, a**holes everywhere, every nationality every airport. Move on and enjoy your trip!
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:23
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

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Read my post more carefully, it wasn't 20 minutes of waiting. It took her more than 40 minutes to figure out what to do. Then another 20-30 minutes to deal with her supervisor, then Chief Immigration Officer. The complaint is about the lack of logical reasoning and apparent incompetency of this immigration officer.
ehem, it would seem to me that you are 1) bored and have nothing to do and/or b) full of hatred or upset at something other than this incident/person.

It does not matter how long you waited, tough sh1t! everyone has to go through it at least once... relax really
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:24
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

What do you want? Compensation? A letter of apology? A confirmation that the immigration officer was fired?

You made a verbal complaint. Now let it go.
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:26
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

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What do you want? Compensation? A letter of apology? A confirmation that the immigration officer was fired?

You made a verbal complaint. Now let it go.
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:29
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

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So that's where our cat gets t from...
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:34
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

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I was upset and asked if she knew what she was doing as she had all the information she needed/requested. She became hostile and defensive
Instead of telling her she was incompetent, perhaps asking her politely if she had seen the recent entry stamp to Germany would have been a smoother way forward.

Officials (and non-officials) everywhere react poorly to being implicitly called idiots....even if it's true, they don't like it!

While she does seem to have struggled to find the right path, I think you have a contributory role to her attitude.
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:35
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

A ten pages letter of apology would help .

Much better if she gets some more training so she wouldn't screw over more people....(and if I ever have to go to Zurich again and God forbids, have another run in with her.)
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Old 15.11.2012, 22:49
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

I do not expect anybody to take any notice, but you can write your letter to this address,

Zollverwaltung Schweiz

Grenzwachkorps
Mobiler Grenzwachtposten
8302 Kloten
P.O. Box
8058 Zürich
Phone: *043 816 20 80

Phone from USA 011 41 43 816 20 80

.

Last edited by Sbrinz; 16.11.2012 at 06:20. Reason: prefix from US
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Old 15.11.2012, 23:09
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

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Instead of telling her she was incompetent, perhaps asking her politely if she had seen the recent entry stamp to Germany would have been a smoother way forward.

Officials (and non-officials) everywhere react poorly to being implicitly called idiots....even if it's true, they don't like it!

While she does seem to have struggled to find the right path, I think you have a contributory role to her attitude.

This is what I was going to say. Did you find the appropriate stamp and show it to her? Give her a break 10 pages full of stamps isn't easy to go through in 1 minute. Not to mention that sometimes they aren't exactly clearly printed.

Be glad this is the first time you've ever had a problem.
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Old 16.11.2012, 00:24
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

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I do not expect anybody to take any notice, but you can write your letter to this address,

Zollverwaltung Schweiz

Grenzwachkorps
Mobiler Grenzwachtposten
8302 Kloten
P.O. Box
8058 Zürich
Phone: *043 816 20 80

Phone from USA 010 41 43 816 20 80

Someone once told me it was Polizeiassistent(Assistant Police Officers) from Kantonspolizei Zurich who did immigration control at Zurich's International Airport.

Anyways, OP...Suck it up, the officer's were just doing their job.
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Old 16.11.2012, 00:37
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Re: Where to file complaints against a Swiss immigration officer

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I had a very unpleasant experience earlier this week as I was making my transfer in Zurich (from Germany) back to New York. I travel quite frequently for work so my passport pages are filled with immigration stamps from various countries. It usually serves me well as I never had any hassle from immigration officers across the board. Apparently this time, it became a big source of confusion for this female immigration officer in Zurich as I presented my passport to her. It took her more than 15 minutes flipping through my passport and apparently still couldn't find the immigration stamp from Germany when I arrived there a few days before. Instead, she found the stamp when I was in Austria earlier in August and started her questioning about how long I had been in the EU and what my itinerary was. I told her I was in Germany for a few days and now flying back to New York. She wasn't convinced and asked me for my itinerary. I provided it to her, showing the date of departure from New York (previous week) to my current flight back home. She then took another 10 minutes looking through my passport. Apparently she didn't have the cognitive capability to deduce that I was in Austria and could have left, then came back to the EU again. She somehow got stuck on the idea that because I had a stamp from Austria in August, that must mean I was still living in Europe all this time, therefore needed a visa for being in the EU more than 90 days. She disregarded my itinerary even thought it clearly showed my departure from the States the week before. At this point, I was dangerously close to be missing my flight. I was upset and asked if she knew what she was doing as she had all the information she needed/requested. She became hostile and defensive, then told me to wait and called her immediate supervisor. After some angry German words later explaining her side to the supervisor, I was then subjected to the lecture from this supervisor about how I would need a visa if I stayed more than 90 days. I presented my itinerary and re-explained to the supervisor, he seemed to realize this female officer made a mistake, told her to stamp my passport. Yet it was still not over. I then had to wait for the Chief Immigration Officer, who then proceeded to give me the same drill. After I explained the situation to him for the third time and mentioned that I believe the female officer seemed to have a personal issue with me, he made copies of my passport and promised to talk to this female immigration officer. (I had to ask the Chief for her name as she refused to give it to me)

Of all my travels, I could not believe how such an idiotic, incompetent, logically inept person could be qualified to be an immigration officer. Her behaviors and attitudes reflected poorly on the Swiss Immigration Office as a whole. And sadly to say, I'm more inclined to avoid Zurich from now on.

It's been 2 days and I'm still upset over the situation. I'd like to file a complaint against this officer so perhaps she could get additional training on both technical and social skills and hopefully be a better representative to her country. Is there an email/contact number where I can do this?

Any help would be much appreciated.

E.
Now can I tell you all my Run ins with US custom officers
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