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Old 10.01.2013, 11:51
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Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

I had the great displeasure today of being fined for taking the train without a ticket.

I attempted to buy a ticket on the platform but the machine would not accept my 5 Franc coin. It looks totally normal, no massive dents and was minted in 1968.

I wanted to by a ticket for one stop, return and the silly thing would not cooperate. Wetzikon to Uster.

I could have used another machine on another platform but then would have missed the train.

I tried to explain this to the controller, who listened politely but it did not change anything. (In german)


I am planning to contact SBB. Do you think i should include my 5 franc coin? Has anyone here have had a similar experience?

Thanks guys!
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Old 10.01.2013, 11:57
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

Doubt you will get much sympathy. Did you not have any other coins? Debit/credit cards?
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Old 10.01.2013, 11:59
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

Not quite, but the machine in the baggage claim at Zurich airport wouldn't accept my 1969 CHF2 coin, I only had CHF3.50 in change including that so I couldn't pay in cash.
Maybe there is a weight difference in older coins? Metal change?
I used a note instead.
I believe that more machines take cards than notes, I've had to do that before when returning to Switzerland with no cash I've been able to use my card since they got rid of the blue machines.
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Old 10.01.2013, 12:02
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

the rules are quite clear you must purchase your ticket before you travel. in the eyes of SBB you should arrive at the stop with enough time to get the ticket.
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Old 10.01.2013, 12:04
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

I don't think you'll get very far. If the machine was faulty and there was no alternative, then possibly. You could have paid by card, used other coins, notes, or another machine. OK, you would have missed your train, but that's not really their concern is it? All that interests them is that you have a valid ticket for your journey.
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Old 10.01.2013, 12:04
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

No chance of getting out of that one!
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Old 10.01.2013, 12:07
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

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I am planning to contact SBB. Do you think i should include my 5 franc coin?
There's nothing to lose by contacting them. Chances are nothing will happen, but they have been know to reduce fines in the past.

I wouldn't include the coin. They might decide to take that too
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Old 10.01.2013, 12:10
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

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Not quite, but the machine in the baggage claim at Zurich airport wouldn't accept my 1969 CHF2 coin, I only had CHF3.50 in change including that so I couldn't pay in cash.
Maybe there is a weight difference in older coins? Metal change?
I used a note instead.
I believe that more machines take cards than notes, I've had to do that before when returning to Switzerland with no cash I've been able to use my card since they got rid of the blue machines.
That machine at the airport is ssssoooooooo sssssllllllllloooooooooooowwwwwwwwww! Takes about 5 minutes to buy a ticket.
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Old 10.01.2013, 12:27
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

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Maybe there is a weight difference in older coins? Metal change?
Yes, although according to Wiki the last change was in 1967. A 5 fr one from before then would be quite valuable, I suspect . Some of the smaller coins have changed several times in the past, and can normally be recognised by their weight and the sound they make. I have a few I put in my desk drawer some years back to avoid getting caught out, the earliest being a 1911 2fr coin, and the latest a 1953 20Rp one.
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Old 10.01.2013, 13:24
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

Some older machines won't take 5Fr pieces as there was a spate of similarly sized low value foreign coins being used for ticket purchase, with the thieves making ~3 francs per "purchase".
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Old 10.01.2013, 13:31
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

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That machine at the airport is ssssoooooooo sssssllllllllloooooooooooowwwwwwwwww! Takes about 5 minutes to buy a ticket.
Gives you something to do when waiting for luggage though.
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Old 10.01.2013, 13:39
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

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Not quite, but the machine in the baggage claim at Zurich airport wouldn't accept my 1969 CHF2 coin,
There is a chance it was silver. Alloy 5chf coins came out in 1968, but they did do one more run of silver 5chf in 1969. Most vending machines reject silver coins.
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Old 10.01.2013, 13:47
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

I had a similar experience yesterday, even though I managed to buy a ticket.

The first machine refused my credit card.
I was very short on time but ran to another machine (pretty far from the location I was) and managed to buy a ticket.

In the train, I related the story to the controller, who told me first that I can't buy a ticket in the train.
But then, he said that if I hadn't been able to buy one, I would have to report the exact location of the machine and that the SBB would look into it.

So it sound like there would be a chance one wouldn't be fined, if one can prove that there were a technical problem.
But I guess it depends on the controller. This one was very emphatic guy.
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Old 10.01.2013, 14:55
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

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I don't think you'll get very far. If the machine was faulty and there was no alternative, then possibly. You could have paid by card, used other coins, notes, or another machine. OK, you would have missed your train, but that's not really their concern is it? All that interests them is that you have a valid ticket for your journey.
As a teacher being late to class is not such a good thing!

This machine also does not like my card (another story) and that is the reason i took change with me!
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Old 10.01.2013, 14:57
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

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the rules are quite clear you must purchase your ticket before you travel. in the eyes of SBB you should arrive at the stop with enough time to get the ticket.

Sure in the eyes of the SBB.

In the eyes of any rational human being (often the test in legal matters) it is not an unrealistic expectation that a ticket machine accepts legal tender.

And I had enough time to buy a ticket...if the machine worked! but not enough time to walk from my platfrom to the other, wait at the machine and come back again.
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Old 10.01.2013, 14:58
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

why didn't you buy the ticket 2 months in advance like the swiss? you could have avoided this whole sorry episode. selber schuld.
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Old 10.01.2013, 15:05
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

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As a teacher being late to class is not such a good thing!
To which the obvious response - as a friend of mine who was late for an interview was told (and didn't get the job) - is well, you could have got an earlier train / got up earlier. I'm no hypocrite, like everyone else I'm occasionally late, but unless there's an accident or something, the responsibility for that lies with me. Now you know there's a possibility of coins being rejected, you can leave enough time in future to allow you to change platform to the other machine. Boarding without a ticket is simply your choice to take the chance you won't get caught.
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Old 10.01.2013, 15:10
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

Apparently, some newer coins are too thick for the machines.

http://www.20min.ch/finance/news/sto...maten-15254120
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Old 10.01.2013, 15:18
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

I suggest to get the SBB App if you have a smart phone of any kind, easiest way to buy your train ticket (it even works for local public transport).

I don't think the excuse of not being able to buy a ticket before getting on would be accepted, as anyone might try this approach when checked.

That's not to say there is some flexibility:
I proudly presented my halbtax and ticket last time I was checked, only for the controller to point out my halbtax had just recently expired

He let me off after I apologised and said I would renew asap, I was very suprised not to get fined
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Old 10.01.2013, 15:35
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Re: Fined, but the SBB machine did not accept my money!

For trips I do frequently (airport --> home for example) I buy a strip of six 1h tickets for the appropriate zones. Always got one in my wallet then & I save a little on the overall cost.

Simples!
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