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  #161  
Old 20.03.2012, 13:11
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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I never attacked Swiss food and for the sake of clarity I am a (halb-tax) card carrying fan of the public transport system
Sorry, should have limited that to brown sugar

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Where I do think there is room for improvement is in the blind adherence to the rules to the detriment of civility, good manners, and the provision of a service. Does "Rules are made for the guidance of wise men and the strict observance of fools" translate into Swiss-German?
Ah, as in Laws for Thee, but not for Me - seriously, rules are there for bending when they do not make sense, e.g. leniency that may be shown by the ticket controller at her/his own judgement, sound familiar?

Why not charge a tourist fee (USD 100 - 300) which buys every visitor a GA for their stay or exempt them from the cost of public transport straight away - this kind of approach would be more to the point, no?

Of course this would require the tourist to carry their visitors card or the like for easy identification - oops, should they be fined if they don't have one on them?

Just for the sake of clarity - I do not see you attack any values at all, but neither do you put forward any constructive criticism.
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  #162  
Old 20.03.2012, 13:20
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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Sorry, should have limited that to brown sugar

Just for the sake of clarity - I do not see you attack any values at all, but neither do you put forward any constructive criticism.
No I never had a problem finding brown sugar either

You have not done your research - if you had you could have found in several of my too numerous posts in this thread plenty of constructive criticism. Stating way back on page 1 with this:

"It is called 'live and let live' and applying common sense and WELCOMING tourists. Something Switzerland might well want to indulge in if they wish to boost the poor hotel occupancy figures and given that the banking industry here is a slowly dying beast. This would require a major cultural shift whereby inspectors might be retrained to recognise the difference between confused tourists rather than chancing fare-dodgers and provide some lessons on being charming and helpful - somthing a percentage of them already are but the emphasis on punishment of the incorrectly ticketed needs to be balanced with recognition that the system is not perfect.

Given that the amount in our Anaheim case and that of the poor OP who got caught in Altstetten was in both cases probably c. $5 or CHF5 it is a very wise investment to let such a sum go, or charge them the ticket price rather than fine them CHF100 because of the inflexibility of the system and the failure of football fanatics to behave. One way you create goodwill and a happy tourist who'll return home with positive stories, the other you feed an unappealing stereotype and greatly lessen the chances of the tourist returning."

I then go on to suggest in other posts how to deal with those who falsely claim to be tourists and so on. Its all in this thread so please don't accuse me of failing to provide solutions.
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  #163  
Old 20.03.2012, 13:28
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

Stop the straw man building.

It's been mentioned a few times that the fines are given pretty automatically by the inspectors/conductors. You then take this and explain the circumstances to the relevant ransport company who often reduce or cancel the fines, depending on the story you tell them.

For example, if you travel in Basel and leave your monthly ticket at home, and are caught, you get an 80Fr fine. You then go to the transport office with the fine and your monthly ticket and it's reduced to a 5Fr admin fee only.
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  #164  
Old 20.03.2012, 13:32
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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Stop the straw man building.

It's been mentioned a few times that the fines are given pretty automatically by the inspectors/conductors. You then take this and explain the circumstances to the relevant ransport company who often reduce or cancel the fines, depending on the story you tell them.

For example, if you travel in Basel and leave your monthly ticket at home, and are caught, you get an 80Fr fine. You then go to the transport office with the fine and your monthly ticket and it's reduced to a 5Fr admin fee only.
Finally some sense.

Furthermore, the receipt you are given specifically tells you where to go if you want to challenge the fine. So it's not as if somebody is hiding information from you.
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  #165  
Old 20.03.2012, 14:18
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

And again people are completely failing to grasp the difference between treating the OP like a criminal and blinding them with rules, fines and procedures for dispute handling rather than exercising some common sense and welcoming them as a valuable tourist who has had the misfortune to be caught up in a scene of public disorder.

The difference is night and day. And the reason why I choose to holiday elsewhere where my experience and impressions of a place are as valued as the money I bring there - which in turn is rewarded with good service rather than an effing rule book and traffic warden mentality.
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  #166  
Old 20.03.2012, 15:04
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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And again people are completely failing to grasp the difference between treating the OP like a criminal

He was not treated like a criminal, he was solely given a fine. Now, if they would have publicly embarrassed him by pushing him on the floor, or heads above the head, or heck, putting cuffs on him, then yes, in that case he would have been treated like a criminal. Instead, though he was, like everybody else who does not get a ticket simply fined, like they do with every offender.

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and blinding them with rules, fines and procedures for dispute handling
The rules are simple and the same in almost every country around the world: no ticket means you get fined if you get caught.

The fine is clearly indicated in most trains and tram with this big yellow sticker where it is written in four languages that this will happen when you get caught.

That there are ways to actually dispute this, which are clearly indicated and which is information the ticketers generally provide when asked about too is a good thing.

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rather than exercising some common sense and welcoming them as a valuable tourist who has had the misfortune to be caught up in a scene of public disorder.
I am still wondering how he got to Altstetten in the first place, I mean it is not like it is next to HB or the Airport or something, thus he must have gotten a way of transport there. Walking is an option of course, but then you also have the nice option of walking on, which is the tactic I employ when I see a scene like that.


But as you keep on pressing the point of 'stupid tourist who did not know better', how exactly do you differentiate somebody who is living in Switzerland as a foreigner for several years (thus most of the people here on this very forum) from somebody who came over for the week and staying at a friends and claims to be a tourist? (because otherwise you could show your hotel card, which actually could just mean you work there though but gives some credibility to the "tourist" story )

I mean, if I visit the Netherlands nowadays, I am and feel like a tourist too there as they completely changed the payment of the public transport system so that it is such a mess even though I grew up there and my Dutch is close to perfect (except for grammar ) I do not even grasp how to get a ticket there(*) I do know that going to the manned ticket desk they charge all the tourists (as they do not know about it) 50 cents extra if you have the card that you need to load it up.

Thus, to put it there, in that situation I am a tourist, still if I do not have a ticket I really cannot get away with it stating "yeah Amsterdam is scary because I see police all over the place, thus I jumped in the train to get out of there".... and on an average day you will see nicely suited up special police running around there.

For that matter, as another example of an awesome country with lots of military (yes, not even police) present, try going to Paris once, the cops there walk around with automatic weapons in groups of two. Might not be too scary, but where you see those kind of people one tends to want to get out of there too, right?

(* For people who live in .nl there is a card that people generally have, foreigners thus have to get a temporary one, but, you can only get these at the larger stations and you need to then charge them, thus if you are in the sticks, you are out of luck; they are going apparently going to abandon this model soonish again though as it was too easy to hack those cards )
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  #167  
Old 20.03.2012, 15:19
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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The rules are simple and the same in almost every country around the world: no ticket means you get fined if you get caught.


But as you keep on pressing the point of 'stupid tourist who did not know better', how exactly do you differentiate somebody who is living in Switzerland as a foreigner for several years (thus most of the people here on this very forum) from somebody who came over for the week and staying at a friends and claims to be a tourist? (because otherwise you could show your hotel card, which actually could just mean you work there though but gives some credibility to the "tourist" story )
Regarding the first point quoted above - I am not questioning the rules only the decision of when and how to implement them. One last time "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men" whilst not my quote, sums up my philosophy completely.

As far as differentiating between tourists - again I covered this earlier in the thread and am very disappointed in the quality of the debate here. I know several people on this forum share my viewpoint as they have been kind enough to inform me privately. I wonder why they don't voice their support publicly but after seeing the quality of replies on here I now understand why - waste of time when those disputing your points don't even bother to at least look at what has already been said before jumping in.

Over and out.
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  #168  
Old 20.03.2012, 15:20
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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And again people are completely failing to grasp the difference between treating the OP like a criminal and blinding them with rules, fines and procedures for dispute handling rather than exercising some common sense and welcoming them as a valuable tourist who has had the misfortune to be caught up in a scene of public disorder.
Sorry, the OP did not prove there was any public disorder. He said the police were there in force to maintain crowd control. He felt threatened by the police and couldn't find the means to buy a ticket.

From this you have inferred that there was disorder, when it was not the case. Also, how is the ticket inspector to know whether he is telling the truth?

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The difference is night and day.
Something you fail to see

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And the reason why I choose to holiday elsewhere where my experience and impressions of a place are as valued as the money I bring there - which in turn is rewarded with good service rather than an effing rule book and traffic warden mentality.
Great - we take two holidays a year - usually at least one in somewhere in CH. What was your point again?

Sorry, one thread by an ex-BBC employee and London city type doesn't constitute proof that the SBB's fines are the reason why the Swiss tourist trade is suffering, as opposed to say, the high overheads, strong CHF and general downwards trend in the global economy.

You've failed to grasp that people with a gripe will voice their displeasure much more loudly than it deserves, while those without simply never mention it. Yet when people stand up and say "Hang on, don't you think a bit of perspective is needed" or simply "I disagree" we're told we're fools...
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  #169  
Old 20.03.2012, 15:55
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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Regarding the first point quoted above - I am not questioning the rules only the decision of when and how to implement them. One last time "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men" whilst not my quote, sums up my philosophy completely.
And most people will agree with that portion. Ticketers make their decision, sometimes they let you go, sometimes, especially when your story sounds flaky, they will not. And if you disagree with the ticketer, you can always still appeal the decision.

The person who got fined was in the wrong, simple. If the person disagrees with that, he should appeal it. But do not go and claim that everybody is treated like that and that tourists should just be able to get away with it.

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As far as differentiating between tourists - again I covered this earlier in the thread and am very disappointed in the quality of the debate here.
While you mentioned things around it, you did not answer it, see below.
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I know several people on this forum share my viewpoint as they have been kind enough to inform me privately.
Well, the flying spaghetti monster, the easter bunny, santa claus (yes, sorry he is not real ) etc all say the opposite. More importantly, the person who ticketed him also obviously state the opposite.

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I wonder why they don't voice their support publicly
Because they do not really exist?

Or that, like me, I agree on you on basis, but not on the full thing you are stating.

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but after seeing the quality of replies on here I now understand why - waste of time when those disputing your points don't even bother to at least look at what has already been said before jumping in.

Over and out.
Oh, I unfortunately did waste my time by looking that up, you made three separate statements about this:
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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..
You can't train somebody to make a difference between the average resident of Switzerland or some tourist. As I gave in my above in my above example, sometimes people who live abroad and return are tourists in their home country, as such it is impossible to claim "Oh but I am a tourist". And even then, claiming to be a tourist does not allow you to just do what you want.

I've had several good interactions when I did not have a ticket, and as I described in this tread also a stupid one, which, after I appealed, got dropped as it should have.

Never was I unpleasantly treated. And actually, all of the ticketers I have encountered have been more than polite and helpful even in answering stupid questions, hinting that you need to get a new montly ticket etc etc etc.

Somethings things go afoul, shite happens.

[QUOTE=Swissmountainair;1518471]
Well for a start, the OP who was escaping from a public disorder situation and who carried other tickets for travel that day.
[quote]

I still would love to see the pix he claims to have. Oh, and what the heck he was doing in that area without having any coins to pay for a train fare. He got there somehow, thus must have also realized that he should need to get away from there at one point.

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As for the differentiating between lying expats and genuine tourists - they already have a system for that - whereby fines escalate and the crime increases in severity - i.e. they take down people's ID. If they are unable to train people to differentiate or insist on one rule for all then I'd make the first strike less severe (dare I say let someone off!) and hand out a copy of the terms & conditions, and then hammer folk mercilessly on the second strike onwards.
You do realize that the ticketer did exactly what you write here? He fined the guy, took his details and the next time he does it again it will be a repeat offense. If they would have let him go ("awww poor tourist"), the ID would not have been taken and the "tourist" could have done it all over again.

Note that there was no need to differentiate (or discriminate as some people would call it) between a resident or a tourist.
  #170  
Old 20.03.2012, 15:56
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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Sorry, one thread by an ex-BBC employee and London city type doesn't constitute proof that the SBB's fines are the reason why the Swiss tourist trade is suffering, as opposed to say, the high overheads, strong CHF and general downwards trend in the global economy.
OK - I'm back for one last stab at this - as I find this misinterpretation of my earlier comments rather disingenuous.

I simply meant that such officiousness is symptomatic of a culture that is not conducive to encouraging repeat visits. Especially in light of the other factors outlined in your quote above.

I know I am not alone as I found the below article online:

GASTFREUNDSCHAFT [HOSPITALITY]

which contains such quotes as 'they assumed my friends were from England, when leaving the officers told them to "F*** off back to England'

and

'My bank manager told me he was going to the Austrian Alp for his holidays. I asked why he did not stay in the Swiss mountains. He replied that he liked Austria because the people were so friendly. Another Swiss friend went to Alaska this summer. What did he like most? The way he was welcomed wherever he went and made to feel special. He told me he was made to feel like a genuine guest in every hotel when he went out for a meal.'

This is what I am talking about. As the world's one-percenters relocate their assets to more secretive jurisdictions and no longer visit the Bahnhofstrasse to stroke their gold the local tourist game will need to step up its product offering a notch or to if it is to compete with other destinations.

Further reading found - A foreigners impression of london paris and switzerland
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  #171  
Old 20.03.2012, 16:08
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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I know I am not alone as I found the below article online:
Thank you for googling the Internet for problems and complaints, I am sure if you would google for people with good experiences that you will find an equal amount of those too (though people who complain tend to be more vocal).

There will always be people who had a bad thing happening to them.

In the examples you are trying to use though, the people where in the wrong (did not buy a ticket, did cross with a red light).

And really... crossing at that intersection is literally asking for problems as it is a dangerous intersection that can cause a lot of people to have issues, especially when they have they have to mask off that section because two people ran a red light.

As we are always using other countries as an example, jaywalking is something that everybody does all around the world, but in some states in the US this is forbidden and you will get fined for it.


Thus, to maybe put a better swing to this thread, there is something that I would still love to see when entering a country: the ability to get an overview of the rules/laws that are specific for that country/state/county that differ from common sense.

Then again, I think that list will be long in some countries..... Some lemonade and popcorn anyone?
  #172  
Old 20.03.2012, 16:14
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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You've failed to grasp that people with a gripe will voice their displeasure much more loudly than it deserves, while those without simply never mention it. Yet when people stand up and say "Hang on, don't you think a bit of perspective is needed" or simply "I disagree" we're told we're fools...
So right. Plus, I was wondering why so much fuss about 100 fr..if they mean so much to you, well, maybe, but just maybe, you're not a valuable tourist for Switzerland..
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Old 20.03.2012, 16:17
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

As you want a more representative sample:

'According to the readers of Trip Advisor, Zurich, Switzerland, comes second (after Brussels) in the race for the dullest city on the European continent. The financial hub of the country and the whole Europe, Zurich is home to corporations, banking giants as well as one of the world's biggest stock exchange, and it is often called the Singapore of Europe. Despite the fact that this Swiss metropolis has been cited as the city with the best quality of life and the wealthiest city in Europe, it is hardly a fascinating place to visit. Put into apple-pie order, Zurich is simply too sterile and predictable.'

http://opentravel.com/blogs/worlds-m...ties-to-visit/

But that's all fine stay complacent, bury your head in the sand, blame johnny foreigner on a week's holiday for not being integrated enough - all fine until the GDP turns negative.
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Old 20.03.2012, 16:19
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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As you want a more representative sample: .... (example of Zurich being 'dull' for a random set of people)
What does "being dull" have to do with not paying your fines when you get caught? Or any of the other arguments brought up?
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Old 20.03.2012, 16:22
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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What does "being dull" have to do with not paying your fines when you get caught? Or any of the other arguments brought up?
Where is the 'Obtuse' button on this forum
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Old 20.03.2012, 16:25
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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Where is the 'Obtuse' button on this forum
For people who are actually dull it must be quite hard to find indeed...
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Old 20.03.2012, 17:03
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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The old ZVV machines the OP was writing about accept coins only.

That's the ticket machine I kept encountering starting with the tram station at the airport, to 3 different tram stations around the university and finally Altstetten and Dubendorf-Giessen stations.


I was there around 9pm so the ticket office might have been long closed and the train ticket machine, which I'm sure was there somewhere, I failed to spot.

The station looked almost exactly like this photo, taken at Alstetten station:





Someone said that the fine clearly states where to go to appeal it, but I doubt that office would be open at 10pm on Saturday evening and I did have a flight out of the country on Sunday early in the morning, so it's not like these options are available unless you have the energy and time to argue your case.


Anyway, I have resigned the fact that I was there the wrong weekend at the wrong station, at the wrong time rather than the wrong city altogether and I have been extremely unlucky with all of this.
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Old 20.03.2012, 17:06
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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That's the ticket machine I kept encountering starting with the tram station at the airport, to 3 different tram stations around the university and finally Altstetten and Dubendorf-Giessen stations.


I was there around 9pm so the ticket office might have been long closed and the train ticket machine, which I'm sure was there somewhere, I failed to spot.

The station looked almost exactly like this photo, taken at Alstetten station:





Someone said that the fine clearly states where to go to appeal it, but I doubt that office would be open at 10pm on Saturday evening and I did have a flight out of the country on Sunday early in the morning, so it's not like these options are available unless you have the energy and time to argue your case.


Anyway, I have resigned the fact that I was there the wrong weekend at the wrong station, at the wrong time rather than the wrong city altogether and I have been extremely unlucky with all of this.
if you bother to read it you'll see a number you can call up and they will probably remove or reduce the fine without a problem. they also speak english.
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Old 20.03.2012, 17:08
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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Someone said that the fine clearly states where to go to appeal it, but I doubt that office would be open at 10pm on Saturday evening and I did have a flight out of the country on Sunday early in the morning, so it's not like these options are available unless you have the energy and time to argue your case.
.
You can appeal by post, from the UK, if you wish.
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Old 20.03.2012, 17:10
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Re: Transport system annoyed me big time!

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That's the ticket machine I kept encountering starting with the tram station at the airport, to 3 different tram stations around the university and finally Altstetten and Dubendorf-Giessen stations.


I was there around 9pm so the ticket office might have been long closed and the train ticket machine, which I'm sure was there somewhere, I failed to spot.

The station looked almost exactly like this photo, taken at Alstetten station:





Someone said that the fine clearly states where to go to appeal it, but I doubt that office would be open at 10pm on Saturday evening and I did have a flight out of the country on Sunday early in the morning, so it's not like these options are available unless you have the energy and time to argue your case.


Anyway, I have resigned the fact that I was there the wrong weekend at the wrong station, at the wrong time rather than the wrong city altogether and I have been extremely unlucky with all of this.
By all means appeal but maybe you would have had a much friendlier and helpful response if you hadn't have just attacked the whole system. There are ticket machines at the airport that do take paper money and there are also plenty of establishments at the airport that would have given you change. Did you actually bother to askat any shop?
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