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Old 03.08.2011, 17:36
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Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

So we all know that Switzerland has many laws many of which we can't comprehend or understand why or agree with.
We also know that when you move to another country you should abide by its laws.

But have you sneakily found ways to work around the Swiss systems? eg how to get something for nothing, get a discount, get good service, a nice road you can speed on without getting caught, found an apartment where you can make as much noise as you like, sunbathe naked and not get reported, a way to wash your car without going to the carwash etc.....

It might be fun to start a database of workarounds.

Here's what I've found.....

Health Insurance
Starting off with one of the things you can't avoid.
When you arrive in Switzerland you cannot avoid signing up for Health Insurance by having your own insurance from outside CH.
You also can't postpone organising it because it'll be backdated anyway.
When you do get Health Insurance documents sent out to you from a quote on the phone make sure you read through it carefully to make sure it's what you agreed to on the call. My excess was lowered which meant my monthly payments were higher than originally agredd
But......sometimes what you think is a health related can be claimed on your employment accident insurance.

Noise
if you want to make noise but not be bothered by other people's, try to find a top floor apartment.

Recycling
If you don't put anything in your official refuse sack with your name (and/or address) you can put almost anything you like in it as it can't be traced.

Billag
If you don't start paying your Billag when you get your TV set up eventually you will get a knock on the door by an inspector. When this happens you don't have any obligation to öet them into your apartment. If you fess up you'll often just be asked to pay for the Billag from the start of the current year with no fine.

Travel
If you have visitors over and they get a 72 hour pass from the airport that needs to be validated, you can wait until an inspector asks and they will tut but not fine you if you act innocent and simply validate it in front of you. You can usually get extra days for free this way. If your guests do get stopped don't intervene in anything but English, just act as if you're a tourist.

Getting Good Service

If a piece of hardware is faulty when you buy it, for heaven's sake don't say it is faulty or the item will very often be sent off for weeks on end for repair. Instead say you got he item as a gift ask for an exchange of the item for another model or colour.
When buying expensive electronics companies such as Digitec can offer you an EU warranty or goods that is often longer than a standard 1 year Swiss one.

Asking For Discounts
DON'T BOTHER TRYING!

I hope the above don't irk you too much. They are obviously not for the sensible people out there but I'd be interested to hear of what others have learned on how to 'get away with it' here.

Cheers.
HiggyBaby
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Old 03.08.2011, 19:34
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

Getting Cheap Food In Coop
If there is something you want but it's expensive, such as a steak, simply put it into your bag when people aren't looking. It's unlikely they will search you on the way out, especially if you don't look eastern European.
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Old 03.08.2011, 20:15
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

The best weapon for an ex-pat is knowledge. It really is fun to quote the rules and watch these busy bodies buckle under! Anyone living here really must read up on the local rules and customs. The EF is a very useful tool, but I think it is better to avoid the fines in the first place. Please read the following two books as soon as practicable and pass them on to fresher ex-pats,

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Living-Worki...2395246&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Swiss-Watchi...2395178&sr=1-1
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Old 03.08.2011, 20:18
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

Rules, what rules?

I find the rules much easier to figure out here compared to the US where they seem to make them up as they go!

Tom
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Old 03.08.2011, 20:25
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

Ok instead of resorting to theft for my steaks, I usually go on a Saturday to the supermarket just before they close, there are usually several fresh food items (meat, fish, salads) which will be on at 50% or 25% off the regular price, they are on sale as they are usually on their last sell date. If it is a really good deal then I buy more and freeze the excess.
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Old 03.08.2011, 20:44
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

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Ok instead of resorting to theft for my steaks, I usually go on a Saturday to the supermarket just before they close, there are usually several fresh food items (meat, fish, salads) which will be on at 50% or 25% off the regular price, they are on sale as they are usually on their last sell date. If it is a really good deal then I buy more and freeze the excess.
I have a Denner near home (200m or so), so always stop by and check out what they have on sale on my walk home from work. Last month they had a bunch of lamb no-one wanted, so I bought several kg and froze it, been enjoying lamburgers once every week or two since! (I have a meat grinder)

Tom
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Old 03.08.2011, 20:46
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

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Ok instead of resorting to theft for my steaks, I usually go on a Saturday to the supermarket just before they close, there are usually several fresh food items (meat, fish, salads) which will be on at 50% or 25% off the regular price, they are on sale as they are usually on their last sell date. If it is a really good deal then I buy more and freeze the excess.
OK, a proper tip this time. Migros reduce the price by 50% from the ORIGINAL price. Coop from the current price. Confused? Aren't they the same? No. Many things are on "aktion" which sometimes is almost half price. So you buy some out of date crap from Migros, on aktion, and save virtually nothing. Coop, you buy the same out of date crap but it's very cheap
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Old 03.08.2011, 20:50
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

Marvelous. You get paid in the world's strongest currency, live in one of the most beautiful landscapes and enjoy a bunch of amenities that few others could afford or benefit from, yet you still feel the need to "cheat the system"?

There's a reason why the SVP get a third of the vote in Switzerland and it's not just the farmers supporting them for agricultural subsidies. Something to do with foreigners "taking the piss"', maybe?

That was your alternative response on behalf of the honest taxpayers.
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Old 03.08.2011, 20:54
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

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Marvelous. You get paid in the world's strongest currency, live in one of the most beautiful landscapes and enjoy a bunch of amenities that few others could afford or benefit from, yet you still feel the need to "cheat the system"?

There's a reason why the SVP get a third of the vote in Switzerland and it's not just the farmers supporting them for agricultural subsidies. Something to do with foreigners "taking the piss"', maybe?

That was your alternative response on behalf of the honest taxpayers.
Let he who casts the first stone ...

Last edited by NSchulzi; 03.08.2011 at 21:07.
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Old 03.08.2011, 20:56
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

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OK, a proper tip this time. Migros reduce the price by 50% from the ORIGINAL price. Coop from the current price. Confused? Aren't they the same? No. Many things are on "aktion" which sometimes is almost half price. So you buy some out of date crap from Migros, on aktion, and save virtually nothing. Coop, you buy the same out of date crap but it's very cheap
Denner also reduces from the "current" price.

Tom
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Old 03.08.2011, 21:02
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

Social Events/Gatecrashing/Bravado/Balls Of Steel

As Adrian said you won't get confronted much as the Swiss nation is a neutral one and so tries to stay out of trouble.
I once walked into a bar with my girlfriend and another friend. There was no sign at the door saying Private Party. We went to the bar and were confused when the barman said the drinks were free.
After a few minutes it became obvious that everyone knew each other (apart from us).
After a few more minutes the girl whose party it was walked up to us smiling and asking politely in German if we knew anyone at the party. It was very obvious that it was a Swiss party and we were not invited.
But quick as a flash after asking if the girl spoke English, I smiled a friendly smile back and said confidently, "Yes we know Dave", for a laugh. I thought it was obvious that it was a joke and that there would never likely be someone called Dave at the party. But the lovely girl just smiled back and shyly said, "Okay".
My girlfriend and I left after the free beer. But my friend stayed on and said that after being quizzed a second time he was told it was a private party. Being a friendly chap after a bit of a chat she invited him to stay.
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Old 03.08.2011, 21:06
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

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OK, a proper tip this time. Migros reduce the price by 50% from the ORIGINAL price. Coop from the current price. Confused? Aren't they the same? No. Many things are on "aktion" which sometimes is almost half price. So you buy some out of date crap from Migros, on aktion, and save virtually nothing. Coop, you buy the same out of date crap but it's very cheap
Go to Bell factory shop in Basel, cut meats, salami, salmon etc upto 80% off & it's fresh just over produced. I think it's in Elsasserstrasse half way between the Border to Walter Platz. There was an Esso garage next door but the knocked it down about a year ago.
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Old 03.08.2011, 21:08
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

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Getting Cheap Food In Coop
If there is something you want but it's expensive, such as a steak, simply put it into your bag when people aren't looking. It's unlikely they will search you on the way out, especially if you don't look eastern European.
And your next tip is......walking roung the wine tasting area with a change of clothes, wigs and a joke moustache going round in circles to get repeated free samples?
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Old 03.08.2011, 21:12
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

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Marvelous. You get paid in the world's strongest currency, live in one of the most beautiful landscapes and enjoy a bunch of amenities that few others could afford or benefit from, yet you still feel the need to "cheat the system"?

There's a reason why the SVP get a third of the vote in Switzerland and it's not just the farmers supporting them for agricultural subsidies. Something to do with foreigners "taking the p**s"', maybe?

That was your alternative response on behalf of the honest taxpayers.
Please don't take this thread that seriously Assassin.
That said, some of my tips were sensible though like returning faulty goods.
...and please consider that I've now changed my ways. I'm a deformed charater now.

Last edited by higgybaby; 03.08.2011 at 21:52. Reason: deformed charater
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Old 03.08.2011, 21:17
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

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I hope the above don't irk you too much. They are obviously not for the sensible people out there but I'd be interested to hear of what others have learned on how to 'get away with it' here.
Sorry it does irk me. What would our little country be if everybody tried things like that ?
I really strongly disagree.

Because some fooled around with delicate insurance like Invalidity insurance and unemployment insurance, now the law is much harder.
Where did it get us all ? The majority has to now carry the burden of the "get away with it" minority ?

play by the rules please, they are not that hard.

Last edited by Sky; 03.08.2011 at 21:28. Reason: ....
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Old 03.08.2011, 21:30
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

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Please don't take this thread that seriously Assassin.
That said, some of my tips were sensible though like returning faulty goods.
Tbh, with your posting history in mind, I thought you are dead serious, too.

Even if it is meant as a joke, you may bring people on some ideias?
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Old 03.08.2011, 21:39
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

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Sorry it does irk me. What would our little country be if everybody tried things like that ?
I really strongly disagree.

Because some fooled around with delicate insurance like Invalidity insurance and unemployment insurance, now the law is much harder.
Where did it get us all ? The majority has to now carry the burden of the "get away with it" minority ?

play by the rules please, they are not that hard.
When I was about 14, my Dad stopped me watching Only Fools and Horses because "it glamourised a life of crime and living outside the law".

Something about this thread brought that back a little bit
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Old 03.08.2011, 21:40
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

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And your next tip is......walking roung the wine tasting area with a change of clothes, wigs and a joke moustache going round in circles to get repeated free samples?
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Old 03.08.2011, 21:43
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

lol 5 finger discount?
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Old 03.08.2011, 21:46
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Re: Getting Away With It Swiss Stylee (tips and tricks for expat life in CH)

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Marvelous. You get paid in the world's strongest currency, live in one of the most beautiful landscapes and enjoy a bunch of amenities that few others could afford or benefit from, yet you still feel the need to "cheat the system"?

There's a reason why the SVP get a third of the vote in Switzerland and it's not just the farmers supporting them for agricultural subsidies. Something to do with foreigners "taking the piss"', maybe?

That was your alternative response on behalf of the honest taxpayers.
I see you appear to have adopted a Swiss sense of humour too.
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