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  #21  
Old 17.11.2015, 15:35
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

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Have you ever thought of the fortune you might have washed away?
A twenty, a ten Euro note - always handy. Anyway, I know, if they ever get into the washing machine ........ money can be washed! I always claim any cash found in washing machine. All nice and clean again - can even iron it if in the mood!
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Old 17.11.2015, 15:36
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

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Being based in Switzerland and travelling throughout Europe I certainly miss the level of service one gets in the USA.
The museum may well be closed and the restaurant not able to take cards, but look on the bright side, you're unlikely to get shot as an innocent bystander in a drive by or have to deal with your kids being hooked on crystal meth.
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  #23  
Old 17.11.2015, 15:39
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

While I feel your title could have been justified with good examples, the ones you provided are pretty meh IMHO.


Travelling anywhere in the world--including many places in North America, can lead to payment issues.


And the closed museum indeed is unfortunate and irritating. Personally, I always make a phone call ahead to confirm when I have to entertain bratty kids.
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Old 17.11.2015, 15:43
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

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The museum may well be closed and the restaurant not able to take cards, but look on the bright side, you're unlikely to get shot as an innocent bystander in a drive by or have to deal with your kids being hooked on crystal meth.

Has that happened to your family? Are you talking from experience?
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  #25  
Old 17.11.2015, 15:44
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

I didn't think that anyone used plastic for anything other than online ordering, anymore?

Only a septic would think of paying for two glasses of tap water with a credit card.

I only ever hike, with my glass jar of 5rp coins.
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Old 17.11.2015, 15:47
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

On the other side of the coin : I could not find a restaurant in Gwinner ND serving Bratwurscht mit Roeschti
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Old 17.11.2015, 15:52
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

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We are so used to plastic that it is hard to change. In addition to convenience, plastic has another benefit - it doesn't get wet from sweat or rain.

It's a well know FACT that many mountain restaurants do not take cards as they are not equipped or not on line
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  #28  
Old 17.11.2015, 15:57
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

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money can be washed
Isn't most money in Switzerland laundered?
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Old 17.11.2015, 16:02
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

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The museum may well be closed and the restaurant not able to take cards, but look on the bright side, you're unlikely to get shot as an innocent bystander in a drive by or have to deal with your kids being hooked on crystal meth.
Hmmmm Crystal meth

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  #30  
Old 17.11.2015, 16:04
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

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Isn't most money in Switzerland laundered?
Of course! It`s a very clean and hygiene conscious society.

But not more so than the Germans!

In fact, I remember travelling to Europe at the time of the introduction of Euros - the money distribution was delayed because the Germans needed to know at which temperature it could be washed.
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  #31  
Old 17.11.2015, 16:05
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

Cash is king and is accepted everywhere.

Speaking from a service point of view, paying by card for one or two items is frustrating and holds things up. This explains why many busy, efficient bars have a minimum payment rule.
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  #32  
Old 17.11.2015, 16:06
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

Well yes- but that's the way it is- very much so in my part of Romandie too in 95% of the mountains cafés/restaurants. You get caught once, as we did- and live and learn.

But thanks for the advert about the Museum- it looks very interesting so will check re-opening dates. Here in Neuchâtel we have another Museum about the lake dwelling Celts- called Le Lateinium- it's great- so would be interesting to check that one out.

Most Museums are run by a Foundation of volunteers- directing the renovations and fundraising takes a huge amount of time and energy. The Museum I am involved with at the moment (the second since we moved here) should have re-opened this autumn, but it will take at least 10 more months to put all the museography in place- exciting.
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  #33  
Old 17.11.2015, 16:21
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

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Hmm.. I find service levels in Switzerland are excellent.
Well, the OPs examples are crap but: Do you really find the service level in Switzerland excellent? I fully agree that the US model where people just annoy you in order to get more tips not my definition of service... but well: In Zurich especially do I hardly get more than the absolute minimum. Simple example: I waited for over 50 minutes in a Swisscom shop. Not because I had some complicated question, I only had to pick up a phone that was delivered there for me.

The long time was not because the shop was full of people but because half the counters were not staffed. The ones that were took forever for the most basic tasks. I know cause I watched them unfortunately long enough. There were eight customers before me in the line... and all the staff could handle in an entire hour. On a weekday at 6 pm close to Bahnhofstrasse in a massive shop... and when it was finally my turn did they act as if I need to be thankful for getting their attention. In other countries would this be unthinkable. When the guy in front of me asked the shopkeeper to inform their management that they are understaffed did she look at him annoyed and replied "why don't you write an email?". Not exactly my definition of excellent service but a great example of Zurich's take on customer service.
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  #34  
Old 17.11.2015, 16:42
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

I don't want to defend Swiss service here, but the Op's examples are really lame.

Especially when it comes to smaller museums run by volunteers, it often happans that they don't manage to keep their website up to date. If there isn't an obvious date on the website or indicator that its been updated recently, it is a good precaution to grab a phone and call, especially if you're planning to travel 500km in "vein".

I have been to plenty of small local museums in the USA by the way where the information on the website was clearly not up to date. So don't pretend it doesn't happen there. In once case it turned out the museum had closed down as the city lacked the funds to keep it staffed, but when we phoned the curator, who had retired in the meantime, he offered to take us on a private tour - which we gratefully accepted (and tipped him appropriately). So great things are possible for those who ask.

Yes I agree that the US system of accepting credit cards even for very small amounts is great. But I don't think its a big minus to have to have cash in your pocket instead.
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  #35  
Old 17.11.2015, 16:48
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

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Yes I agree that the US system of accepting credit cards even for very small amounts is great.
For the credit card companies.

But for small businesses the costs can be high and not justified when most people in Switzerland expect to carry some cash.

In many ways having Swiss companies who hold out against the cost of cards and still take cash is a good thing, it prevents a monopoly (and if you really think there's competition on the merchant fees side - wow ).
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  #36  
Old 17.11.2015, 16:55
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

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In many ways having Swiss companies who hold out against the cost of cards and still take cash is a good thing, it prevents a monopoly (and if you really think there's competition on the merchant fees side - wow ).
I know of small businesses in Switzerland that don't have card readers and if people don't have cash they give them payment slips. They reckon the amount they lose from people not paying is easily countered by not having card fees to pay.
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Old 17.11.2015, 16:58
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

Maybe I experience service to be high level in Switzerland, because I'm comparing it to my experiences in France and certain countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and some countries in Asia..

One example: On one occasion in China, I tried to order but the wait staff kept looking at my male companion. I insisted getting their attention and got yelled at. In the end we figured he did not take orders from women, so my male companion ordered for me. (Perhaps this is a case of me being ignorant at their patriarchal (sub)-culture? Not sure but it did not feel nice to be treated that way)

So I suppose my perception of Swiss excellence refers to being treated equally and with respect. Overall I find that the Swiss can rightfully pride themselves in providing great service. There are also regulations and checks in place to ensure maintenance of good quality providers.

Naturally we all make different experiences. I bet all EF members have experienced both horrible and great service here. Also, these experience will likely vary depending on status ( local/ foreigner), gender, culture etc of both the service provider and the customer.

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Well, the OPs examples are crap but: Do you really find the service level in Switzerland excellent? I fully agree that the US model where people just annoy you in order to get more tips not my definition of service... but well: In Zurich especially do I hardly get more than the absolute minimum. Simple example: I waited for over 50 minutes in a Swisscom shop. Not because I had some complicated question, I only had to pick up a phone that was delivered there for me.

The long time was not because the shop was full of people but because half the counters were not staffed. The ones that were took forever for the most basic tasks. I know cause I watched them unfortunately long enough. There were eight customers before me in the line... and all the staff could handle in an entire hour. On a weekday at 6 pm close to Bahnhofstrasse in a massive shop... and when it was finally my turn did they act as if I need to be thankful for getting their attention. In other countries would this be unthinkable. When the guy in front of me asked the shopkeeper to inform their management that they are understaffed did she look at him annoyed and replied "why don't you write an email?". Not exactly my definition of excellent service but a great example of Zurich's take on customer service.
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  #38  
Old 17.11.2015, 17:07
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

I rather like the fact that in Switzerland many companies will deliver goods or undertake work without payment up front or a credit card number, but later send an invoice and payment slip. That degree of trust simply does not exist in most other parts of the world. And the fact that this system is still widely used suggests that most customers are honest and pay.


I have also noticed that no one in Switzerland gets grumpy if you try to pay for a coffee with 100franc note.
Payment habits in Switzerland may be different from the US, but certainly not worse.
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  #39  
Old 17.11.2015, 17:11
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

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In the end we figured he did not take orders from women, so my male companion ordered for me. (Perhaps this is a case of me being ignorant at their patriarchal (sub)-culture? Not sure but it did not feel nice to be treated that way)

So I suppose my perception of Swiss excellence refers to being treated equally and with respect. Overall I find that the Swiss can rightfully pride themselves in providing great service. There are also regulations and checks in place to ensure maintenance of good quality providers.
Which regulations are you talking about?

On the other hand, if you get shitty service in Switzerland, it is not because you are black, a woman, foreign, poor, whatever. Everyone is treaded the same disrespectful way regardles who you are or pretend to be.
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Old 17.11.2015, 17:12
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Re: Miss the level of service in the USA

I was referring to food regulations (food safety, hygiene), duties of care, strict liabilities for manufacturers and service providers..

Similar in Paris.. if you don't know how to talk to servers you get no or lousy service.
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