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Old 17.04.2012, 21:36
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who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

Friday night we were watching a movie (what we thought was at a perfectly ok volume) and at 23:00 the Polizei show up on behalf of a noise complaint.

I can understand that maybe it got loud at parts because it was a war movie (War Horse..(not very good!)), and also can understand that it was past the bedtimes of our dear Swiss neighbors so we should have seen some sort of complaint coming our way (no noise after 22:00 after all). But what i can't understand is who calls the cops for a TV being too loud without first asking us to turn it down? Honestly, we didn't realize it was too loud and of course we would have turned it down had we been asked to.

So the cops show up, said that we received a warning and if it happens again it'll be a 100CHF fine. That just doesn't seem fair to me...what if someone just calls the cops again to be spiteful without it being deserved? We never got a complaint from our neighbors in the first place, so how do you know if you ever do anything wrong until the Polizei show up?

And of course we don't know who called them, so every time I pass by a neighbor I get in a bad mood
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Old 17.04.2012, 21:39
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

Welcome to CH, thats how it's done here, call to the police, as they have nothing to do they respond!


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Friday night we were watching a movie (what we thought was at a perfectly ok volume) and at 23:00 the Polizei show up on behalf of a noise complaint.

I can understand that maybe it got loud at parts because it was a war movie (War Horse..(not very good!)), and also can understand that it was past the bedtimes of our dear Swiss neighbors so we should have seen some sort of complaint coming our way (no noise after 22:00 after all). But what i can't understand is who calls the cops for a TV being too loud without first asking us to turn it down? Honestly, we didn't realize it was too loud and of course we would have turned it down had we been asked to.

So the cops show up, said that we received a warning and if it happens again it'll be a 100CHF fine. That just doesn't seem fair to me...what if someone just calls the cops again to be spiteful without it being deserved? We never got a complaint from our neighbors in the first place, so how do you know if you ever do anything wrong until the Polizei show up?

And of course we don't know who called them, so every time I pass by a neighbor I get in a bad mood
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Old 17.04.2012, 21:44
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

I believe you can have it loud up to 23:00, but after that you need to tone it down.

My sound system has a "Late Night" mode that pulls back on the base whumps, so I can generally keep a decent sound level without the bass disturbing traveling around rattling windows. .
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Old 17.04.2012, 21:48
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

I thought it was 22.00 actually.
Certainly NOT my way of doing things- and in my experience, not 'THE' Swiss way either - but perhaps where I live is a bit ... different to where you are. A great pity imho - pathetic indeed. Are you sure your neighbours are Swiss btw? Surely you know who your neighbours are below, over and next to you. Why not put a note in their letter-box apologising and asking them to knock on your door another time?

Taking the time and effort to know your neighbours really pays dividends in the long run, and can avoid that sort of thing (hopefully!).

Last edited by Odile; 17.04.2012 at 23:16.
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Old 17.04.2012, 22:14
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

Yes, I think it is a good idea to go to talk to your next door neighbours and tell them what happened and therefore you want to apologize to them personally.

I did the same thing (but with the other way scenario) when I was awaken by loud music at 7 o'clock on Sunday morning by my next door neighbours. They understood my point , said sorry and it has never happened again (up to now).

Last edited by annafelix; 17.04.2012 at 22:54.
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Old 17.04.2012, 22:15
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

The funny thing is, I had never heard the expression "Bünzli" until we moved to Zürich. And that was after 10 years in Basel. I always assumed the posts on EF about neighbours were just exaggerated.

Our downstairs neighbours - the ones who complained about my 4 year old saying "bye bye Daddy" in the corridor when I left for work - frequently run their in-apartment washing machine on Sundays and after 10pm. Should I call the police?

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Old 17.04.2012, 22:42
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

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the ones who complained about my 4 year old saying "bye bye Daddy" in the corridor when I left for work - frequently run their in-apartment washing machine on Sundays and after 10pm. Should I call the police?

Cheers,
Nick
gee seems to be a typical case of haerent in assinum if you ask me (stick in the ...) I am happy to report so far that has not happened to me, but then again my apartment building has great isolation
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Old 17.04.2012, 23:03
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

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The funny thing is, I had never heard the expression "Bünzli" until we moved to Zürich. And that was after 10 years in Basel. I always assumed the posts on EF about neighbours were just exaggerated.

Our downstairs neighbours - the ones who complained about my 4 year old saying "bye bye Daddy" in the corridor when I left for work - frequently run their in-apartment washing machine on Sundays and after 10pm. Should I call the police?

Cheers,
Nick
of course....
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Old 17.04.2012, 23:28
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

well i have never lived in an apartment building until i moved to switzerland. it still surprises me that even in tiny, random alp villages the majority of housing is always apartments! there is so much room here, why aren't there more houses? (then it might be possible to watch a movie after curfew and not get in trouble)
i guess the Swiss just like to live close together and then complain about each other
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Old 17.04.2012, 23:35
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

I think the Swiss and English are not too dissimilar. The Swiss like to complain, the English like to grumble.

Today, I was wondering where I could live which would be within 1 hour of civilization (say, central london or NYC) yet have a detached house that is far away from neighbours - oh and it has to be affordable :P any ideas?
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Old 17.04.2012, 23:39
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

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I think the Swiss and English are not too dissimilar. The Swiss like to complain, the English like to grumble.
Poles apart, in my opinion, with very different approaches.
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Old 17.04.2012, 23:50
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

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I think the Swiss and English are not too dissimilar. The Swiss like to complain, the English like to grumble.

Today, I was wondering where I could live which would be within 1 hour of civilization (say, central london or NYC) yet have a detached house that is far away from neighbours - oh and it has to be affordable :P any ideas?
You will have to specify what you use for transport?
I met a guy who has his own Apache helicopter so 1 hour from civilization could be at least 100 miles.
Or if you live near a TGV line then 1 hour from civilization could be at least 150 miles.
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Old 18.04.2012, 00:47
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

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Friday night we were watching a movie (what we thought was at a perfectly ok volume) and at 23:00 the Polizei show up on behalf of a noise complaint.
Welcome to Switzerland.

I love this country because I hate people making noise late at night (pretty common where I come from).

I could have been your neighbour calling the police.

A suggestion below. Thank you.

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Old 18.04.2012, 02:00
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

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Welcome to Switzerland.

I love this country because I hate people making noise late at night (pretty common where I come from).

I could have been your neighbour calling the police.
But the question that confuses us is --- why would you call the police rather than just asking your neighbour to turn the TV down....?

For many of us, this seems like a very unpleasant over-reaction that is hugely more anti-social than a TV that's too loud.

Surely the police have better things to do than respond to this nonsense?
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Old 18.04.2012, 09:50
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

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Welcome to Switzerland.

I love this country because I hate people making noise late at night (pretty common where I come from).

I could have been your neighbour calling the police.

A suggestion below. Thank you.

Hubby and I always wear headphones to watch TV after 10.pm. We can turn the sound up high, disturb no-one, everybody's happy. As they say, a no brainer!
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Old 18.04.2012, 09:57
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

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So the cops show up, said that we received a warning and if it happens again it'll be a 100CHF fine. That just doesn't seem fair to me...what if someone just calls the cops again to be spiteful without it being deserved?

Can you give a bit more detail to exactly what happened?


Did this conversation with the police happen at your door?

Did you in invite them in and show them how what volume your tv is on?

Did you ask them if they went into the 'victims' flat to check how loud it was?


As already suggested.......turning the bass down on the TV will make a huge difference in terms of noise transfer.

cheers
SC
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Old 18.04.2012, 10:01
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

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But the question that confuses us is --- why would you call the police rather than just asking your neighbour to turn the TV down....?

For many of us, this seems like a very unpleasant over-reaction that is hugely more anti-social than a TV that's too loud.

Surely the police have better things to do than respond to this nonsense?
I don't know but I consider noise as very anti-social.
Perhaps your neighbours don't speak English and therefore can't make their point clear or perhaps they had in the past neighbours like you and simply don't want to deal with problems like this anymore.
But why do you ask us and not them? I am sure they know the answer
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Old 18.04.2012, 10:06
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

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But the question that confuses us is --- why would you call the police rather than just asking your neighbour to turn the TV down....?

For many of us, this seems like a very unpleasant over-reaction that is hugely more anti-social than a TV that's too loud.

Surely the police have better things to do than respond to this nonsense?
I am afraid that, in a lot of people's experience on here, that is the Swiss way (unless, perhaps, you are Swiss).
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Old 18.04.2012, 10:15
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

It is not "the Swiss" way to call the police but maybe they have had bad experiences in the past and were just fed up? Do you know your neighbours at all? Maybe they have a small child sleeping in the room below the room where you're watching TV and the child was woken up or they have to leave very early for work the next day and could not go to sleep - there are many possibilities and all here is speculation.

I would do as suggested by others and post a note / speak to your neighbours in order to find out what you should do/change and ask them to call you / knock on your door the next time they think the TV is too loud.

Unfortunately noises travel and isolation is not always very good. I can hear all my neighbours as well in the evening, even if they are just talking / walking normally. I woke up at least once as my downstairs neighbour rang the bell to his flat. I nearly got out of bed because I thought it must have been the bell in my apartment. It could very well be that the isolation in your apartment is as bad as it is in mine maybe ask your neighbours if you can enter the apartment - you might be surprised at how well you might hear your own TV....
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Old 18.04.2012, 11:47
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Re: who calls the cops for the TV being too loud?

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But the question that confuses us is --- why would you call the police rather than just asking your neighbour to turn the TV down....?

For many of us, this seems like a very unpleasant over-reaction that is hugely more anti-social than a TV that's too loud.
Short answer: it's a cultural thing, pure and simple. Knocking on your neighbor's door to ask him to turn it down is seen as more of a potential escalation, if you don't know him well, than leaving a note in his mailbox or calling the landlord/police.

Seems upside down to most English speakers but it's just how it is. Going through official channels (whether that means the landlord, the police or a letter in the mailbox) is simply good manners, anything more direct smacks of aggression and vigilantism. According to the Swiss way of thinking, this is what landlords and police are put on this earth for - so that the rules can be upheld and fairly applied without the need for personal confrontation.


If you're already on friendly (and I mean friendly, not just amicable) terms with the neighbor, it's a different story. In that case the informality of not making an official complaint is appreciated. You still don't go downstairs and knock on his door immediately though, that would be an intrusion on his privacy. Instead, the Done Thing is to ignore the disturbance if at all possible and then mention it to him the next time you see him. "Last Tuesday evening between 10:30 and 11:15 PM you seemed to be watching TV at a loud volume. Do you think you could turn it down in future as the house rules state that these are supposed to be quiet hours?" (Note that you still have to refer to the rules! This is important, you want to avoid any whiff of "because I said so".)

Again, this is really difficult to grasp because it's still completely backwards for us... local custom is what it is though, and the sooner you can get to grips with it, the less mad these encounters will drive you.

If it's any comfort, once you're friends with your neighbor you can explain it to him over coffee some day and watch him try to bend his mind round the difference.
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