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Old 19.03.2012, 13:30
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

as an ex BBC employee, I can write an article about it and submit it but it takes a lot more work than that and I have to wait for official answers from ZVV first before I can compile it. It's a lot of work and the photos will certainly help but I don't want to go down that path yet because I don't have a personal feud against Switzerland but with the transport system only who treated me unfairly and expected me to suck it.
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Old 19.03.2012, 13:39
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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Many of them only accept coins or coins and bank cards in the new ones.
Yeah, it's a real pain that they only accept coins and/or bank cards. I mean, what if I want to barter for a ticket against a KitKat or something? These machines have no flexibility whatsoever!
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Old 19.03.2012, 13:41
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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I am an ex BBC employee
Why do you mention this twice?
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Old 19.03.2012, 13:42
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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Yeah, it's a real pain that they only accept coins and/or bank cards. I mean, what if I want to barter for a ticket against a KitKat or something? These machines have no flexibility whatsoever!
Phil, have you reported that to the BBC ?

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Old 19.03.2012, 13:46
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

Lemme get this straight:

someone from the UK complaining about 1) football hooligans and 2) a public transportation system that is non transparent to outsiders.

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Old 19.03.2012, 13:53
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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Lemme get this straight:

someone from the UK complaining about 1) football hooligans and 2) a public transportation system that is non transparent to outsiders.
When you arrive at the airport in Heathrow aren't you just overwhelmed at the possibilities that were previously alien concepts to you? Oh look, a ticket booth with a real person in it that I can talk to!No way, he smiled! What's that? A machine that I can use that takes credit cards! this is so corking, I don't have to find an ATM And then buy 3,5 kinder eggs to use the tram! Now you've gotta be pulling my leg, I can get a 24 hour ticket! I am so amazed, I can actually go to the hotel and worry about getting UK pounds another day!

Has anyone seen the tram ticket machine at the airport? You can make it yourself at home with some toilet and good will
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Old 19.03.2012, 13:54
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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Yeah, it's a real pain that they only accept coins and/or bank cards. I mean, what if I want to barter for a ticket against a KitKat or something? These machines have no flexibility whatsoever!
Well, if like my nearest tramstop the one machine that takes cards has had a buggered card slot for almost 2 weeks now and all the other machines in the area are coin only old school & the local Kiosk owners are actually now fed up & refusing change, then yeah it is a bit of a pain at the moment tbh.

But hey, thanks for the sarcasm anyway - I'm sure you feel better for that now.
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Old 19.03.2012, 13:56
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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Lemme get this straight:

someone from the UK complaining about 1) football hooligans and 2) a public transportation system that is non transparent to outsiders.

I think the point is that no-one in their right mind would suggest the UK as a benchmark for efficient, friendly public transportation. However Switzerland does have a reputation for a world-class public transport system - however all the wonderful benefits (such as one ticket covering buses, trains and trams, decent schedule-keeping etc.) can be destroyed by a poor customer relations experience such as that experienced by the OP. I get very frustrated by the rules-culture here since whenever things go a little off-plan (such as in the case of the OP during a time of public disorder) there is no culture of common-sense or initiative only blind adherence to the rules which is, quite frankly, unintelligent and disappointing.
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Old 19.03.2012, 13:58
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

But it didn't accept credit cards, there is only a slot of coins?!

You know those white machines, where you enter a 5 digit code after finding your destination on the matrix table and then it displays what coins to feed it. Very easy to use indeed
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Old 19.03.2012, 13:59
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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Lemme get this straight:

someone from the UK complaining about 1) football hooligans and 2) a public transportation system that is non transparent to outsiders.


Unless the OP is in not an ex-bbc employee but in fact responsible for the entire UK transport network, you can hardly deny him the right to complain or accuse him of hypocrisy - he may complain just as much about the problems of buying a tube ticket in London.

I don't know about in Zurich,but here in Basel the ticket machines are annoying as they only take coins or maestro or postfinance cards, a form of debit card that no one outside of Switzerland issues. If they took standard Visa or mastercard so that newly arrived foreigners could just use their credit card it would make thing easier for everyone. Or maybe Kiosk owners could actually advertise the fact that you can buy tickets from them.
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Old 19.03.2012, 14:05
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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But it didn't accept credit cards, there is only a slot of coins?!

You know those white machines, where you enter a 5 digit code after finding your destination on the matrix table and then it displays what coins to feed it. Very easy to use indeed
yup. pretty inscrutable. london bridge used to have similar machines - the thing was that they were amazingly efficient once you learned how to use them. unfortunately, they were replaced with new graphical machines which took a couple of seconds between each screen transition.
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Old 19.03.2012, 14:05
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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This would require a major cultural shift whereby inspectors might be retrained to recognise the difference between confused tourists rather and chancing fare-dodgers and provide some lessons on being charming and helpful..
Any sugestions about those differences..


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as an ex BBC employee, I can write an article about it and submit it but it takes a lot more work than that and I have to wait for official answers from ZVV first before I can compile it. It's a lot of work and the photos will certainly help but I don't want to go down that path yet because I don't have a personal feud against Switzerland but with the transport system only who treated me unfairly and expected me to suck it.
You had no ticket when the train inspector checked, so the unfairness is...where exactly?
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Old 19.03.2012, 14:06
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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The other would be 'tickets must be purchased BEFORE boarding'. How hard would that be? Or is the short-sighted inclination to fine as a method of revenue generation and communication going to lead to further damage to Switzerland's tourism.
Many methods of transport do have a sign to that effect here. In German.

In Zurich trams, if memory serves, there are bright yellow signs saying Selbstkontrolle, and I think there's also an English translation.
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Old 19.03.2012, 14:06
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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a buggered card slot for almost 2 weeks now
probably because nobody has reported. no reports, no complaining.
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Old 19.03.2012, 14:07
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

One major reason why the "But I am a stupid tourist and I don't understand" trick is not accepted is that quite a few foreigners (just look here on this forum) live and work for years already in this city and they can easily come up with the same excuse.

As such, it is hard for the ticket checkers to know/smell/etc that you are really a tourist.

That said though, there are these huge signs stating that using the public transport without a ticket will cause you to be fined. There really is no excuse there, it is like that all around the world that you generally have to pay for the service.

As you claim to got on at Altstetten, that is not a small station and they definitely have multiple ticketing machines. Also, if you would have calmly approached one of the police force and asked for how to get out of there they would have shown you how.

Lastly, in the unlikely case that you are unable to buy a ticket, try to find the ticket, go to them and tell them your story, that is much more convincing than you sitting already and them coming to you to fine you.
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  #36  
Old 19.03.2012, 14:08
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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Any sugestions about those differences..
Well for a start, the OP who was escaping from a public disorder situation and who carried other tickets for travel that day.
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Old 19.03.2012, 14:10
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

Dear OP and ex BBC employee,

Please forward your complaint to the ZVV main office. They may reduce or annul your fine due to extenuating circumstances.

http://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/content/.../kontakte.html

Thank you.
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Old 19.03.2012, 14:10
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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But it didn't accept credit cards, there is only a slot of coins?!
Which is why you could also use the other machine (with the touch-screen display) which accepts cards. This would also explain why the Tourist Info looked a bit strangely at you, when you asked an alternate way of buying tickets... Presumably you'd just walked back from the machine that accepts cards and asked her if you can buy a ticket with a credit card...

Or you can go to the ticket office in the Airport, stand in line, and buy a ticket there:
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As for Altstetten... it has both old (coin) and new machines (coins and cards)...
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Old 19.03.2012, 14:11
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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But it didn't accept credit cards, there is only a slot of coins?!

You know those white machines, where you enter a 5 digit code after finding your destination on the matrix table and then it displays what coins to feed it. Very easy to use indeed
Look, I showed some sympathy to you, & I agree that the no notes thing is frustrating, but do you want to get your story straight actually?

I live in Altstetten & know for a fact that the Bahnhof has 2 modern touchscreen machines that takes coins & cards (including most UK credit & debit) as does the bus stop opposite the station. There are no longer any old style machines at Bahnhof Altstetten.
So does the airport - in fact there are about 6 of the buggers there.

Also, all the old style machines offer 24 hour passes - there a big green button on the front that says Zone 10 Tageskarte
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Old 19.03.2012, 14:13
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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When you arrive at the airport in Heathrow aren't you just overwhelmed at the possibilities that were previously alien concepts to you? Oh look, a ticket booth with a real person in it that I can talk to!No way, he smiled! What's that? A machine that I can use that takes credit cards! this is so corking, I don't have to find an ATM And then buy 3,5 kinder eggs to use the tram! Now you've gotta be pulling my leg, I can get a 24 hour ticket! I am so amazed, I can actually go to the hotel and worry about getting UK pounds another day!

Has anyone seen the tram ticket machine at the airport? You can make it yourself at home with some toilet and good will

the Zrh airport has a booth with people and easy to use machines, too. And you can get 24hr tix there. And pay with a credit card. The machines youre referring to with the numbers only are old and arent around at too many stations.

im sorry you had a bad experience. Travelling in places youre not used to is indeed frustrating, one doesnt realize how many assumptions one makes based on one's own experience in the home country. The german-speaking world, if youre expecting warmth and a "i'll let you go this time" kind of mentality, you will be disappointed more often than not. But, well, erroneous assumptions go in mulitiple directions.

For example, as someone who lives in Switzerland, i expect the trains to run on sunday and expect things to work correctly and be on time to +/-3mins the vast majority of the time.

Here's my exact equivlent of your story, from an experience of mine in the UK last year

This is why we travel, ex BBC Employee: things to gripe about when we get home about how awful things are elsewhere!
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