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-   -   SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass (https://www.englishforum.ch/complaints-corner/158650-sbb-complaint-fined-handwriting-date-day-pass.html)

oddoneout 07.10.2012 08:28

SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
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. :msnmad:

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.

Nil 07.10.2012 08:36

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
I feel sorry for you and what you had to deal with. My opinion? It is only 20 CHF, definitely not worth the stress. Don't bother.

zurcherbaby 07.10.2012 09:08

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
I would fight for it, even CHF1. Of course it's not the amount that matters but the fact that they assume you're being dishonest ad not looking at the details of your story.
Several years ago I flew to Geneva and needed to go to Lausanne for the week end. My flight landed on Friday at 22.00 in Geneva and I took the train from Geneva to Lausanne.
At the machine, I saw a return ticket and since I needed to return from Lausanne on Sunday I thought it was the easiest, no need for a new ticket on Sunday. Well wrong of course since return tickets are only valid the same day (not stated on the machine when you take the ticket..)
So I got caught on Sunday for not having a valid ticket, got fined just as if I didn't bought anything even if the agent could see I had a return the was bought on Friday at 22.00 and validated by his colleague at 22.30 anf not return was used...
Conclusion: if they find the smallest reason to charge you they will, even if you're obviously being honest.

Wallabies 07.10.2012 09:15

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zurcherbaby (Post 1682187)
At the machine, I saw a return ticket and since I needed to return from Lausanne on Sunday I thought it was the easiest, no need for a new ticket on Sunday. Well wrong of course since return tickets are only valid the same day (not stated on the machine when you take the ticket..)

Maybeits different in Geneva kanton since in Zurich return tickets are valid for 24hours so they are valid the next day provide it is under 24 hours

Wallabies 07.10.2012 09:18

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
To the OP I would fight your case since you will otherwise have a record and next penalty that will go against you.

msolis 07.10.2012 09:39

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
I would send a letter to them complaining about the case instead of call, normally in the letters you have more space to explain and even add some images if possible. I'm sure they will reply to you.

10pixels 07.10.2012 09:47

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
If I were you, I'd write a letter stating the facts of what happened and send it together with a copy of your ticket via registered post to Andreas Meyer, CEO of SBB. If you have the name of the conductor, mention her name. Also mention that you have tried resolving this at the Customer Services without success.

http://www.sbb.ch/en/corporation/the...eas-meyer.html

Address to send it to:

SBB The Swiss Railway
Hochschulstr. 6
3000 Bern 65
Switzerland

The registered letter will cost you a few francs but it is the principle of the matter that counts. It might stop such conductors being so arrogant and high handed.

Please let us know what happens if you decide to write to Andreas Meyer.

rob1 07.10.2012 10:00

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nil (Post 1682180)
I feel sorry for you and what you had to deal with. My opinion? It is only 20 CHF, definitely not worth the stress. Don't bother.

thats not the point, its the principle, but some people are happy and accept being walked over.

I had a similar experience where the inspector said my ticket was not valid, it was an open airline ticket that allowed travel on trains via basel/zurich.

He took great pleasure in loudly ranting it was an illegal ticket and i will be fined and this is a warning to others that try to travel with fake tickets and he is calling the police etc etc, the whole carriage was looking by now... I refused to pay his "fine" and calmy denied to engage in further conversation until he became civil.

police arrived at next station where they looked at ticket and by now the online regulations for this ticket - he slinked off into the shadows never to be seen again for the duration of the trip.

i could have said yes boss here is the money, but why should I because someone else doesnt know the regulations.

I do find in general when confronted with the facts they have made a mistake they ignore the result or then make up further false regulations to justify the original

lost_inbroad 07.10.2012 10:35

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
I wouldn't have paid a dime on that train! You should have called the rail police to meet you at the tracks when you arrived in Zurich to handle the situation. You've told them your side of the story and it is their responsibilty to verify the statement.

Leafy 07.10.2012 10:48

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nil (Post 1682180)
I feel sorry for you and what you had to deal with. My opinion? It is only 20 CHF, definitely not worth the stress. Don't bother.

The money is not the point. The OP has been accused of lying and fined by an authority figure who doesn't know their own rules.

Not cool.

oddoneout 07.10.2012 10:58

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nil (Post 1682180)
I feel sorry for you and what you had to deal with. My opinion? It is only 20 CHF, definitely not worth the stress. Don't bother.

Thank you - I know I have already spent more time thinking about this than I probably should given that it's only CHF 20, but if I say nothing this lady will feel justified in her actions and I will not have made my point about being right and having been punished unfairly.

Quote:

Originally Posted by zurcherbaby (Post 1682187)
I would fight for it, even CHF1. Of course it's not the amount that matters but the fact that they assume you're being dishonest ad not looking at the details of your story.
Several years ago I flew to Geneva and needed to go to Lausanne for the week end. My flight landed on Friday at 22.00 in Geneva and I took the train from Geneva to Lausanne.
At the machine, I saw a return ticket and since I needed to return from Lausanne on Sunday I thought it was the easiest, no need for a new ticket on Sunday. Well wrong of course since return tickets are only valid the same day (not stated on the machine when you take the ticket..)
So I got caught on Sunday for not having a valid ticket, got fined just as if I didn't bought anything even if the agent could see I had a return the was bought on Friday at 22.00 and validated by his colleague at 22.30 anf not return was used...
Conclusion: if they find the smallest reason to charge you they will, even if you're obviously being honest.

Thanks for sharing your story and encouraging me to keep fighting. Indeed, the most painful thing was being told by everyone that I was not telling the truth.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wallabies (Post 1682192)
To the OP I would fight your case since you will otherwise have a record and next penalty that will go against you.

In fact, the SBB lady also threatened me with this, but I was careful not to give her my name or demi-tarif card (the special offer ticket did not require one) so I am sure my record is clean. Still, I will fight my case since I know I am right and I would like them to acknowledge their mistake.

Quote:

Originally Posted by msolis (Post 1682197)
I would send a letter to them complaining about the case instead of call, normally in the letters you have more space to explain and even add some images if possible. I'm sure they will reply to you.

Thanks for the advice. You are right about the letter, I can also compose my thoughts better this way. I have taken pictures of the Geneva bus ticket machines today and I will print them out to accompany the letter.

Quote:

Originally Posted by 10pixels (Post 1682199)
If I were you, I'd write a letter stating the facts of what happened and send it together with a copy of your ticket via registered post to Andreas Meyer, CEO of SBB. If you have the name of the conductor, mention her name. Also mention that you have tried resolving this at the Customer Services without success.

http://www.sbb.ch/en/corporation/the...eas-meyer.html

Address to send it to:

SBB The Swiss Railway
Hochschulstr. 6
3000 Bern 65
Switzerland

The registered letter will cost you a few francs but it is the principle of the matter that counts. It might stop such conductors being so arrogant and high handed.

Please let us know what happens if you decide to write to Andreas Meyer.

That is a wonderful suggestion, and I will write to Meyer and let you know what happens. Normally I would hesitate to send good money after bad (i.e. cost of registered mail) but I am curious to see how this would turn out. I need to run an errand in the post office on Tuesday, anyway, so I'll do this at the same time.

Unfortunately I was too rattled at the time to write down the name of the conductor, but I am sure they can trace it if I specify which train I was on.

Quote:

Originally Posted by rob1 (Post 1682212)
thats not the point, its the principle, but some people are happy and accept being walked over.

I had a similar experience where the inspector said my ticket was not valid, it was an open airline ticket that allowed travel on trains via basel/zurich.

He took great pleasure in loudly ranting it was an illegal ticket and i will be fined and this is a warning to others that try to travel with fake tickets and he is calling the police etc etc, the whole carriage was looking by now... I refused to pay his "fine" and calmy denied to engage in further conversation until he became civil.

police arrived at next station where they looked at ticket and by now the online regulations for this ticket - he slinked off into the shadows never to be seen again for the duration of the trip.

i could have said yes boss here is the money, but why should I because someone else doesnt know the regulations.

I do find in general when confronted with the facts they have made a mistake they ignore the result or then make up further false regulations to justify the original

Agree with everything in your post; I really like that you stood up for yourself and refused to pay. I would have liked to do the same but without the Geneva ticket machines in front of me I could not prove to her that there is no ability to print SBB tickets. In fact, since she went on and on about how I must be lying, I started to doubt my story myself - I don't take the buses in Geneva often and I knew they had started introducing new ticket machines that I hadn't looked at too closely. Now that I have solid proof (pictures of these machines) - I am more prepared to stand my ground.

Nil 07.10.2012 11:22

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
I see all your points.

The reason why bringing it higher is clear and well, you are right. I guess it is just the tired me talking.

Anjela 07.10.2012 11:47

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Dear oddoneout,

I've bought one of those ticket and I'm intending to use it to visit an EF member near Neuchâtel in a few weeks. As I'm in Geneva I'll need to use the tram to get to the train station and had intended to do exactly as you've described, writing the date on the ticket by hand, (after 32 years here I think my french is up to understanding the instructions too!).

Husband has suggested you contact;

a) the TPG (either the Rive or Bachet offices, to confirm the fact that their machines don't accept that type of ticket),

b) the Migros, after all, they issued the tickets and should be aware of the ticket machine situation in Geneva! In person where you bought the ticket is probably best, following up with a letter if they can't help..

You're quite right, no machine here will validate those tickets, the original machines did, as the multi-trip tickets were strips of cardboard that removed a sliver of card and date stamped the card at the same time; but they disappeared about twenty years ago.

Corbets 07.10.2012 11:52

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by oddoneout (Post 1682241)
Thank you - I know I have already spent more time thinking about this than I probably should given that it's only CHF 20, but if I say nothing this lady will feel justified in her actions and I will not have made my point about being right and having been punished unfairly.



Thanks for sharing your story and encouraging me to keep fighting. Indeed, the most painful thing was being told by everyone that I was not telling the truth.



In fact, the SBB lady also threatened me with this, but I was careful not to give her my name or demi-tarif card (the special offer ticket did not require one) so I am sure my record is clean. Still, I will fight my case since I know I am right and I would like them to acknowledge their mistake.



Thanks for the advice. You are right about the letter, I can also compose my thoughts better this way. I have taken pictures of the Geneva bus ticket machines today and I will print them out to accompany the letter.



That is a wonderful suggestion, and I will write to Meyer and let you know what happens. Normally I would hesitate to send good money after bad (i.e. cost of registered mail) but I am curious to see how this would turn out. I need to run an errand in the post office on Tuesday, anyway, so I'll do this at the same time.

Unfortunately I was too rattled at the time to write down the name of the conductor, but I am sure they can trace it if I specify which train I was on.



Agree with everything in your post; I really like that you stood up for yourself and refused to pay. I would have liked to do the same but without the Geneva ticket machines in front of me I could not prove to her that there is no ability to print SBB tickets. In fact, since she went on and on about how I must be lying, I started to doubt my story myself - I don't take the buses in Geneva often and I knew they had started introducing new ticket machines that I hadn't looked at too closely. Now that I have solid proof (pictures of these machines) - I am more prepared to stand my ground.

Be sure to save the receipt for the registered letter and ask them to pay for that as well.

oddoneout 07.10.2012 12:05

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anjela (Post 1682266)
Dear oddoneout,

I've bought one of those ticket and I'm intending to use it to visit an EF member near Neuchâtel in a few weeks. As I'm in Geneva I'll need to use the tram to get to the train station and had intended to do exactly as you've described, writing the date on the ticket by hand, (after 32 years here I think my french is up to understanding the instructions too!).

Husband has suggested you contact;

a) the TPG (either the Rive or Bachet offices, to confirm the fact that their machines don't accept that type of ticket),

b) the Migros, after all, they issued the tickets and should be aware of the ticket machine situation in Geneva! In person where you bought the ticket is probably best, following up with a letter if they can't help..

You're quite right, no machine here will validate those tickets, the original machines did, as the multi-trip tickets were strips of cardboard that removed a sliver of card and date stamped the card at the same time; but they disappeared about twenty years ago.

Hi Anjela,

Thanks so much for your message and your suggestions. The funny thing is that the lady who fined us was exceptionally aggressive: on the way to and from Zurich, at least three other conductors looked at our tickets and none of them commented on the handwritten date (i.e. they didn't ask if we had already been fined for that grave offense!). Every one of them was fine with it.

Anyway, whether you should take your chances with writing the date by hand is up to you... you might meet a nice conductor who will not bat an eyelash, or you might meet ours...:msncrazy:

That episode ruined our whole day and while we bravely tried not to let it get to us by remaining on the train to Zurich, once we got there we found we were no longer in the mood to explore and turned around after less than an hour. Six hours on the train, wasted, not to mention feeling robbed and humiliated the whole time. Ugh.

I shall follow up with your suggestions of speaking with the staff at the TPG (I live close to the Rive office) and the Migros (can't remember exactly which one we got the tickets from, but they all sold them and the tickets are clearly branded Migros so I think it should be fine just to go to the nearest one).

Anjela 07.10.2012 12:10

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Rather worried about simply writing on it to be honest, given what happened to you!

Hopefully you'll get an answer before I need to use it...

Syedz 07.10.2012 12:26

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
I actaully got lucky once. I was new in Switzerland and bought a daily pass. By mistake I sat in the 1st class on SBB train. When the ticket checker came, he checked my ticket and told me that I am in the wrong class. He told me that he won't fine me but I need to be more cautious next time.

Later on I was informed by co-workers that I got lucky. He could have fined me 100 CHF. Most of the time SBB ticket checkers are ruthless.

miniMia 07.10.2012 12:28

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
I agree with those that say write a letter. Don't waste your money calling them.
I wouldn't bother to send it registered just yet though. Send it regular mail for the first letter.

Be firm, formal and polite. Also tell them exactly what you expect from them. Give them your account number if it's a refund you what. It could take a while, but don't give up. If you don't get a response send the letter again.

Sorry you had to fight with them.

jslee 07.10.2012 13:18

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Thanks for sharing your experience. I can only understand a bit of french and noticed that on the back of the ticket it mentions we can validate by hand if the machine is not working. I've purchased the multi-pass and have run into several situations where the machine won't punch the ticket. I'm worried now that we'll get fined anyways.

I guess it's better to just buy the monthly passes so there's no worries.

In your case, lucky it's only 20 chf. Wouldn't too much about it.

Still can understand your frustrations.

Cheers

partha2005 07.10.2012 13:23

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
I have noticed a similar incident happening to one of my friends. This guy had just landed in Zurich airport and we took him to the SBB counter to buy a "monthly" Zurich Zone 10 ticket. Before him, another friend of mine renewed his monthly and then we bought his.
But we did not notice that he was issue the ticket on the customer ID of my friend (the counter guy forgot to change the ID).
After couple of weeks we were checked in the S-Bahn and this guy was caught because "he was travelling on someone else's ticket" and was fined (No fault on part of the ticket inspector though)
He was issued an invoice to pay.
Next day we took that invoice to the Airport counter and explained the matter to the same guy who issued the ticket.
He understood his mistake and cancelled the fine then and there.
We were lucky that he was brave enough to admit that it was his fault and we didn't have to go through the process of calling/writing to the SBB.

But, this things happens and you have to accept uit. But at the same time do all the calling and writing to resolve the issue. Its not about some CHFs, but its about the principal.

I wish you all the best and yes, you should also claim for all the cost you have incurred to resolve this.

partha2005 07.10.2012 13:27

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Just to add that in Lausanne also, the TL ticket machines can not validate tickets.

Sbrinz 07.10.2012 13:41

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
You have tried with the train inspector, you have tried with Zurich station.

I would contact 20 Minuten, it makes a nice story, Geneva resident called a liar by Swiss German ticket inspector.

Write to Bern and ask for an apology, and a clean record.

nickatbasel 07.10.2012 13:43

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
There was recently an article in the Blick am Abend about over-aggressive inspectors on the night trains, trams etc in Zürich. The ZVV representative quoted said customers should take down the details of such individuals and report the matter in writing if they feel wrongly treated.

Cheers,
Nick

ARC_VD 07.10.2012 15:40

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nil (Post 1682180)
I feel sorry for you and what you had to deal with. My opinion? It is only 20 CHF, definitely not worth the stress. Don't bother.

Of course it is worth to fight for it! it's not the sum, it's the fact they're charging for something unfairly and bad treating customers as if they are liars and taking little care to verify it

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

ARC_VD 07.10.2012 15:45

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zurcherbaby (Post 1682187)
At the machine, I saw a return ticket and since I needed to return from Lausanne on Sunday I thought it was the easiest, no need for a new ticket on Sunday. Well wrong of course since return tickets are only valid the same day (not stated on the machine when you take the ticket..)
So I got caught on Sunday for not having a valid ticket, got fined just as if I didn't bought anything even if the agent could see I had a return the was bought on Friday at 22.00 and validated by his colleague at 22.30 anf not return was used...
Conclusion: if they find the smallest reason to charge you they will, even if you're obviously being honest.

Well, yours is actually a very different story. I am sorry for you but in that case they do have the right to fine you... the reason is, there's not always a ticket collector on board, so you could have very well used that ticket to go to Lausanne, back to Geneva, then bought a single ticket to Lausanne again and tried to use the old one which didn't get checked before again.

That is why return tickets you buy which are over a certain amount of kilometres (I would say 100 but I can't really recall the exact figure) are allowed to be used several days after, as they consider it is very hard not get it validated by a ticket collector since you stay in the train for a long time.

Guest 07.10.2012 16:16

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Syedz (Post 1682295)
I actaully got lucky once. I was new in Switzerland and bought a daily pass. By mistake I sat in the 1st class on SBB train. When the ticket checker came, he checked my ticket and told me that I am in the wrong class. He told me that he won't fine me but I need to be more cautious next time.

Later on I was informed by co-workers that I got lucky. He could have fined me 100 CHF. Most of the time SBB ticket checkers are ruthless.

You must have very high standards of public transport where you come from to mistake 1st clas with 2nd class here.

Where is this wonderful country ?

Sbrinz 07.10.2012 22:51

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jslee (Post 1682327)
Thanks for sharing your experience. I can only understand a bit of french and noticed that on the back of the ticket it mentions we can validate by hand if the machine is not working. I've purchased the multi-pass and have run into several situations where the machine won't punch the ticket. I'm worried now that we'll get fined anyways.

I guess it's better to just buy the monthly passes so there's no worries.

In your case, lucky it's only 20 chf. Wouldn't worry too much about it.

Still can understand your frustrations.

Cheers

It was 10 chf for each ticket. 2 tickets, fined 20 chf in total.

In future, I would continue to complete the ticket dating by hand, and DEMAND to see someone in authority. You could show them proof of your address, and then appeal the fine when it is delivered to you.

oddoneout 08.10.2012 07:26

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sbrinz (Post 1682757)
It was 10 chf for each ticket. 2 tickets, fined 20 chf in total.

In future, I would continue to complete the ticket dating by hand, and DEMAND to see someone in authority. You could show them proof of your address, and then appeal the fine when it is delivered to you.

Note that she did not catch us in the process of writing the date by hand, which is a punishable offense as she insisted. (The logic here being that we would have had lots of opportunities to validate the ticket on the train tracks, where there are machines, before taking our seats.)

I had already written the dates much earlier in the morning, to take the bus to the station. The sequence is as follows:

- Tickets are for use on all buses, trams, and trains in Switzerland.
- This includes Geneva buses and trams.
- We needed to take a Geneva bus to get to the train station.
- Geneva bus ticket machines DO NOT validate SBB tickets.
- It is only allowed to validate the tickets by hand when there are no machines available to do so.
- Ergo... we followed all the instructions.

For her to go on and on about how there were so many machines on the Geneva train tracks was pointless, because we do not live at the train station and we had to get there somehow, i.e. taking a bus (see above).

It was a very painful and frustrating back-and-forth, talking to this person who seemed to have all the flexibility and comprehension of a granite rock, and frankly I was close to tears at the end of it and threw the money at her (using all the change I could find in my purse) so she would get out of my face.

But now I am calm and yes, I will write to their CEO and see if I can make a few calls.

carcharhinus 08.10.2012 08:17

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by oddoneout (Post 1682853)
For her to go on and on about how there were so many machines on the Geneva train tracks was pointless, because we do not live at the train station and we had to get there somehow, i.e. taking a bus (see above).

You have to plan time for validating your ticket or buy a ticket that doesn't need validation I'm afraid. I faced a similar problem in the past, i.e., before I had an annual pass:

In the morning in the crowded bus, the driver often refused to sell tickets and you had to buy your ticket at the train station. With the bus being usually a few minutes late during the rush-hour, I missed my train on many days.

oddoneout 08.10.2012 08:32

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by carcharhinus (Post 1682868)
You have to plan time for validating your ticket or buy a ticket that doesn't need validation I'm afraid. I faced a similar problem in the past, i.e., before I had an annual pass:

In the morning in the crowded bus, the driver often refused to sell tickets and you had to buy your ticket at the train station. With the bus being usually a few minutes late during the rush-hour, I missed my train on many days.

If I did not have a ticket, certainly I would have made time to purchase one at the train station. However, I had a ticket that was valid to use on the buses, and it is written on the ticket that you can validate by hand if there are no machines available. If it is absolutely forbidden to use anything OTHER than a machine to validate it, then they should say so.

Here is what it says on the back of open-ended day passes like ours (my rough translation):

"If there are no machines available for validation, the date of validity should be written with a ballpoint pen on the first available space starting from the bottom (for example 01 January 2012).

It is not permitted to validate it on the machine once you have written the date by hand.

When there are machines available for validation, it is not permitted to write the date of validity by hand.

When there is no validation by machine or when the date of validity is not mentioned, a supplemental fee must be paid."

I think what happened is that the SBB lady believed she had caught us in the act of scribbling on the tickets while on the train - when we had done no such thing - and so printed the fine accordingly and refused to let us explain.

catandmouse 08.10.2012 08:34

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
I'm pretty sure that no Swiss town has bus-ticket machines that can be used to validate day cards. The Zürich ones certainly can't either. It's actually one of the problems with any CFF day-card and not just the Migros ones. It's far from clear how and where you are supposed to validate the ticket. Until a couple of years ago, you were indeed allowed to validate them by handwriting the date, but I believe you are no longer allowed to do so.

oddoneout 08.10.2012 08:37

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by catandmouse (Post 1682877)
Until a couple of years ago, you were indeed allowed to validate them by handwriting the date, but I believe you are no longer allowed to do so.

Then they should say so.

As I quoted above, the back of the ticket still says that you can validate by handwriting if there are no machines available.

catandmouse 08.10.2012 09:19

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by oddoneout (Post 1682879)
Then they should say so.

As I quoted above, the back of the ticket still says that you can validate by handwriting if there are no machines available.

If it does indeed say so, then the conductor was wrong. Make sure you keep the ticket and when you send your letter to the CFF, send a photocopy of that text.

Mica 08.10.2012 10:53

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
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.

VCLone 08.10.2012 11:06

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mica (Post 1683012)
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.

Interesting to know this. But I wonder what is the difference between the handwriting of a station personnel and yours? Or station personnes must have a handy validating device or so, otherwise how controllers can distinguish whose handwriting it is?

st2lemans 08.10.2012 11:13

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by VCLone (Post 1683027)
Interesting to know this. But I wonder what is the difference between the handwriting of a station personnel and yours? Or station personnes must have a handy validating device or so, otherwise how controllers can distinguish whose handwriting it is?

They have a special punch to validate it.

Tom

Wakey 08.10.2012 11:15

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by catandmouse (Post 1682877)
I'm pretty sure that no Swiss town has bus-ticket machines that can be used to validate day cards. The Zürich ones certainly can't either. It's actually one of the problems with any CFF day-card and not just the Migros ones. It's far from clear how and where you are supposed to validate the ticket. Until a couple of years ago, you were indeed allowed to validate them by handwriting the date, but I believe you are no longer allowed to do so.

In my town (canton ZH) the local buses have orange validating machines on the bus! In Zurich city, you need to stamp them at the bus- or tramstop in the ticket machine (if there is one), they have a special slot to validate pre-bought tickets. Maybe it is the same in Geneva?

PaddyG 08.10.2012 12:01

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Maybe she couldn't read your handwriting?

Anjela 08.10.2012 12:12

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wakey (Post 1683041)
In my town (canton ZH) the local buses have orange validating machines on the bus! In Zurich city, you need to stamp them at the bus- or tramstop in the ticket machine (if there is one), they have a special slot to validate pre-bought tickets. Maybe it is the same in Geneva?

Buses that service the more rural routes do have ticket machines on board, but they don't have a slot for validating pre-bought passes. Twenty-odd years ago all ticket machines in Geneva canton had such a slot but the cardboard multi-pass card tickets were replaced by credit card-type pre-payment cards at that point and the machines were changed to reflect this. So, no, Geneva ticket machines don't have a validation facility, either at a bus stop or on a vehicle. Until two years ago it was possible to buy a pack of tickets to use on routes starting in France but serviced by the TPG, and which needed to be date-stamped or written on by the driver (which method seemed to depend on the driver) but those are no longer avaliable and you now have to buy your ticket from the machine on the vehicle itself.

Ardneham 08.10.2012 13:40

Re: SBB Complaint: Fined for handwriting date on day pass
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miniMia (Post 1682298)
I agree with those that say write a letter. Don't waste your money calling them. ......to fight with them.

add: CC to Transport ombudsman !!


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