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Old 11.10.2012, 11:09
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Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass

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Dear All -



http://www.20min.ch/ro/news/geneve/s...mende-15476481



Conclusion (taken from the article):

- The TPG has confirmed that their ticket vending machines DO NOT validate SBB tickets.

- The TPG advises passengers who find themselves in a similar situation (taking the bus/ tram to the station with an undated ticket) to write on the tickets, following SBB rules on the back of the tickets, exactly as I did. Note that they did not suggest approaching the bus drivers...

- The SBB admits that it should educate agents better about the non-availability of ticket validation machines on public transport networks in Geneva and Lausanne.

- The SBB also admits that what happened to me should not have happened, and that my fine will be reimbursed.




If someone else (Anjela, once you find your ticket? ) wants to give it a try and report back... please do, by all means. We are all curious...
If I were Anjela(and I found the said ticket) I'd travel with a copy of the article to show an inspector if they questioned the ticket. I would show it to the bus driver and if he were unable to validate it for me I would then write the date by hand as indicated on the reverse of the ticket.

It will be a good test of the system.

Oh and if Anjela uses it to come to Neuchâtel we can always bail her out at the police station once she's been arrested.
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  #62  
Old 11.10.2012, 11:13
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Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass

Well done, I hope you get your money back asap.... and a written apology!
When I use my ticket (once I've found it) I'll write the date in myself just out of devilment, making sure I'm got a copy of this article on me.

(It seems I'm famous as I've had two friends ring this morning thinking that the paper is talking about me! Apparently the online version is using a 'sans hand' photo).
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Old 11.10.2012, 11:15
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Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass

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If I were Anjela(and I found the said ticket) I'd travel with a copy of the article to show an inspector if they questioned the ticket. I would show it to the bus driver and if he were unable to validate it for me I would then write the date by hand as indicated on the reverse of the ticket.

It will be a good test of the system.

Oh and if Anjela uses it to come to Neuchâtel we can always bail her out at the police station once she's been arrested.
I'll probably be necessary, I can get very stroppy! But with my luck I'll simply be chucked off the train in the middle of nowhere!
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Old 11.10.2012, 11:34
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Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass

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Well done, I hope you get your money back asap.... and a written apology!
When I use my ticket (once I've found it) I'll write the date in myself just out of devilment, making sure I'm got a copy of this article on me.

(It seems I'm famous as I've had two friends ring this morning thinking that the paper is talking about me! Apparently the online version is using a 'sans hand' photo).
Sorry about that! It was only after the reporter left that I thought of you and went, "Oops..."; should have thought up a more obscure pseudonym!

Now I'm even more thankful I didn't put my actual name as it's rather distinctive; this way I avoid the notoriety...

Good luck with your trip and let us know how it goes if you end up writing on your ticket. If you get "caught" and berated as well, we can meet up to share war stories
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Old 11.10.2012, 11:38
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Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass

That's ok, I'm 'famous' without even trying!
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Old 11.10.2012, 12:08
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Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass

This was an interesting read. Sorry to hear about the troubles but more glad to hear it worked out for you!
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Old 11.10.2012, 12:29
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Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass

They speak about your story in 20 minutes: http://www.20min.ch/ro/news/geneve/s...mende-15476481
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Old 11.10.2012, 21:34
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Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass

Hehe when I read the newspaper this morning I totally knew it had to be you congrats for having your money back!
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Old 15.10.2012, 08:41
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Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass

Maybe they cannot repay your fines, but the least they could do was give you a free voucher for a train journey, undated of course...
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Old 15.10.2012, 11:34
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Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass

Good for you for following this up. The way in which you were treated is a disgrace. It would have ruined my day too. Sadly my language skills are not yet up to putting up an argument and I would have had to just put up with it.
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Old 17.10.2012, 18:33
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Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass

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Only the train or station personnel are permitted to validate the ticket by handwriting (although it is not written on the ticket...):
http://data.ch-direct.org/Tarife/SBB/T652_d.pdf

Next time ask the bus driver to validate the ticket, if he doesn't or can't, validate it at the next train station.
I think this is a recent change. I noticed that a Mehrfahrtenkarte I bought a week ago does not say on the back that you can fill it in in pen yourself, while the older one I also have for a different journey says you can.

Neil
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  #72  
Old 25.10.2012, 19:06
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Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass

Thanks to everyone who has read and commented on this post. An update:

Last week, I received a letter of apology from the SBB Customer Service in Geneva. An unreserved, unqualified apology, which I appreciated. Presumably, they will be informing their agents so they know better next time.

At their request, I sent them the original receipts for the fines we paid, and today, they responded that they will be reimbursing the CHF 20 plus CHF 10 for "expenses incurred" - I guess the stamps to write to them? Which is fine. I'll receive the refund via bank transfer in a week's time.

I have moved on from this incident - it helped that I took the train over the weekend to Fribourg and back, and despite some trepidation (I have never inspected a ticket so closely!), it went off without a hitch and the ticket inspectors we did meet were lovely. So, no more PTSD... although I would much rather pay for an extra ticket to get to the station in Geneva next time I have a blank day pass (not that I am planning to get one of those anytime soon!)
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  #73  
Old 25.10.2012, 19:50
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Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass

Well, I've finally found my Migros ticket, and having read the back of it very carefully it definitely says in french that 'if no way of date-stamping the ticket is avaliable, you must write, in pen, the full date in the space provided'. As far as I can make out it says the same in german and italian.

If I can summon up the nerve I'll do that when I use it next month and make sure I have a copy of the 20 Minutes article on me as a safe-guard; getting the tram driver to do it isn't an option as the cabs are fully enclosed!
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Old 27.10.2012, 21:51
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Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass

I always update my card by hand!!
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To preface, I have been living in Geneva for 7 years and speak French fluently. I regularly use the trains without complaint - just renewed by 3-year demi-tarif (halbtax) this spring, in fact. So I know my way around, but I was shocked by how poorly I was treated on a trip to Zurich from Geneva yesterday:

My husband and I purchased two day-passes from Migros during a special offer, which could be used on all trams, buses, and trains in Switzerland. However, as they were valid for about 3 months from the date of purchase, there were no dates written on the tickets. On the back of the tickets you are told to validate the tickets in a special machine (available at the train station), however if there is no machine where you board you are allowed to hand write the date on the tickets. Once the date has been handwritten, you should not also insert the tickets in the machine to be printed.

In the morning, we took a bus to the station and then boarded the train to Zurich. As there are no SBB ticket validation machines on Geneva buses or ticket vending machines, we wrote the dates by hand on the tickets in case we were stopped by a ticket checker. Once we got to the station, we did not bother to validate the tickets in the machines because of the warning on the back of the ticket.

However, on the train, we were loudly berated by the SBB lady who told us that writing in the date was an offense punishable by a fine of 10 francs each. I argued that since there were no ticket validation machines on Geneva buses, and since we had wanted to use the ticket on a Geneva bus (which is allowed), we were well within our rights to write the date by hand.

She would have none of it and forced us to give her the 20 francs (she had already printed out our receipts before letting us speak), even though she confessed that she knew nothing about Geneva buses (or the availability of SBB ticket validation machines on them) and allegedly called a colleague (via phone) to back her up and then told us that the colleague had confirmed that we were not being truthful (I could not understand what was being said as they spoke in German and in any case we could only hear her side). A few passengers next to us backed us up that there is no way to validate an SBB ticket on a Geneva bus or tram, but she refused to believe anyone and gave me a number to call to contest the fine if I wished.

In Zurich, I attempted to explain the situation to the Customer Service staff of the SBB, but was met with a man who said he could not believe that in Geneva there are no SBB ticket validation machines at the bus stop, and told me that if I was really telling the truth I should speak with Customer Service in Geneva. I told him to call his Geneva counterparts and ask them about the situation there, but he flatly refused saying they would not pick up the phone.

In Geneva, I was told that they do not have a Customer Service office, so now I have to call a number in Bern. Not only will the call cost me about 10 francs since it is a paying number, I am also fairly sure that they will tell me I am lying about the non-availability of SBB ticket validation machines in Geneva buses and bus stops.

In order to make sure that I have my story straight, I have verified for myself (since everyone called me a liar I thought I must be one) that there really is no way to print dates on SBB tickets at Geneva bus stops, either on the old or new ticket machines.

At this point I have little hope of seeing my CHF 20 - after all, how would a customer service officer in Bern know that I am telling the truth about Geneva bus ticket vending machines? (If any EF-ers who don't live in Geneva are curious, I could put up some pictures of the machines in question so you can see for yourself.)

I'm thinking of sending them an email with pictures of the machines attached - would that work, do you think? At this point it is not so much the money; I am just really indignant that everyone I spoke to accused me of lying when they themselves did not know the reality of the situation in Geneva; and the SBB lady in Geneva I confronted refused to intervene and redirected me to Bern.

My only consolation is that passengers around us were quite sympathetic and one lady who was not even sitting next to us was so moved she came up to apologize for the lady's behavior and encouraged us to ask for a refund.
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