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Old 04.08.2022, 03:16
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an unpleasant experience..

Hi all,

I had the most upsetting experience in Switzerland today which I wanted to share with you all so that I can get some opinion without being judged.
After a nice dip in the lake after work, I've walked to the HB tram station to get back home. I purchased the ticket through the app. My tram turned up and I got on. Unfortunately I didn't realise the tram before mine was slightly delayed and it wasn't actually the one I booked the ticket for.

In the next station, quite a few men with uniforms walked into the tram and started inspecting tickets (this is when I realised mine was the next one which was due to arrive in 3 minutes). I was requested to get off the tram and pay a 100 CHF fine. I tried to argue that I wasn't trying to dodge the system and it was a geniune situation. They were far from sympathetic and didn't listen to me at all. They also didn't speak English well and simply thought I was just objecting as opposed to understanding the situation.

Due to their behaviour, I was desperate for some help and decided to call the police (which might have been a mistake). The police turned up, had a chat with the guy who fined me and started talking to me really agresivelly. I tried to tone him down and but had absolutely zero luck.

Basically I had to be let go not knowing what's going to happen next. They have taken all my details. I had to go home with teary eyes not being able to explain myself. I felt completely helpless. I felt like the lack of sympathy was down to my poor German skills and trying to speak English the whole time.
I know 3 minutes doesn't make a difference and it still makes my ticket invalid but my problem is completely the attitude and they way I was treated.

Has anyone had a similar experience? If yes, do you think complaining somewhere will help?

I feel so upset right now to the point I'm considering leaving Switzerland immediately.

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 04.08.2022, 06:31
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

Being treated nicely in a difficult situation is the exception rather than the norm in Switzerland. I would try writing an email to the transport company, they will surely have an employee who speaks english. Sorry you were treated this way.
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Old 04.08.2022, 06:38
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

You belatedly realised you were in the wrong, next time just accept it if that's the case and don't argue. If you'd done as they requested straight away there'd have been no arguments and no police involved.
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Old 04.08.2022, 06:40
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

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Hi all,

I had the most upsetting experience in Switzerland today which I wanted to share with you all so that I can get some opinion without being judged.
Good luck with that. Really.

Quote:
After a nice dip in the lake after work, I've walked to the HB tram station to get back home. I purchased the ticket through the app. My tram turned up and I got on. Unfortunately I didn't realise the tram before mine was slightly delayed and it wasn't actually the one I booked the ticket for.
I don't understand this - surely you just buy a tram ticket. It's valid for a specific period of time. You don't get one for a particular tram???

Anyway, you'll get a 100 franc fine through the post and that will most likely be the end of it.
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Old 04.08.2022, 07:06
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

Not a nice experience, but these are the types of things that you suck up and walk away from. Calling the police was the worst thing to do, as it likely escalated the situation.


Regarding leaving Switzerland for this? Perhaps you should just take a deep breath before reacting? Again, not a nice experience, but also not the end of the world.
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Old 04.08.2022, 07:19
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

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Hi all,

I had the most upsetting experience in Switzerland today which I wanted to share with you all so that I can get some opinion without being judged.
After a nice dip in the lake after work, I've walked to the HB tram station to get back home. I purchased the ticket through the app. My tram turned up and I got on. Unfortunately I didn't realise the tram before mine was slightly delayed and it wasn't actually the one I booked the ticket for.

In the next station, quite a few men with uniforms walked into the tram and started inspecting tickets (this is when I realised mine was the next one which was due to arrive in 3 minutes). I was requested to get off the tram and pay a 100 CHF fine. I tried to argue that I wasn't trying to dodge the system and it was a geniune situation. They were far from sympathetic and didn't listen to me at all. They also didn't speak English well and simply thought I was just objecting as opposed to understanding the situation.

Due to their behaviour, I was desperate for some help and decided to call the police (which might have been a mistake). The police turned up, had a chat with the guy who fined me and started talking to me really agresivelly. I tried to tone him down and but had absolutely zero luck.

Basically I had to be let go not knowing what's going to happen next. They have taken all my details. I had to go home with teary eyes not being able to explain myself. I felt completely helpless. I felt like the lack of sympathy was down to my poor German skills and trying to speak English the whole time.
I know 3 minutes doesn't make a difference and it still makes my ticket invalid but my problem is completely the attitude and they way I was treated.

Has anyone had a similar experience? If yes, do you think complaining somewhere will help?

I feel so upset right now to the point I'm considering leaving Switzerland immediately.

Thank you!
My breakdown would be:

1) You took a wrong tram and tried to argue when you were fined. Can you imagine how many times the ticket inspectors hear this kind of stuff every week? They do not care about sob stories, they are trained not to care about sob stories, they are there to check the validity of tickets in a no-nonsense way and nothing else. While the ticket inspectors may not have spoken fluent English, they will have spoken enough basic English to deal with this situation, because they all do. It sounds to me like in your distress you verbally escalated the situation and started behaving irrationally, which then probably provoked an annoyed reaction from them.

2) You then called the police and completely wasted police time time with this trivial situation, which is not at all a police matter, just because you were upset about being fined for having the wrong ticket and because you perceived the situation as a confrontation. Upon reflection I think you must understand why this is a pretty bad thing for you to do.

The blame for this situation situation lies primarily with your initial mistake and your overreaction to it because you were upset, it's not the fault of Switzerland. So, instead of being dramatic and threatening to immediately leave the country over something so trivial, learn from your mistakes because similar things have happened to most of us over the years. In future, buy a day pass zone10 city ticket or a monthly/annual zone10 city ticket where you do not have to worry about getting on the wrong tram or buying the correct individual ticket.

Last edited by Chuff; 04.08.2022 at 08:03.
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Old 04.08.2022, 07:36
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

The ticket checkers have probably heard your excuse at least 10 times or more yesterday and you were in the wrong. You are an adult and as such we assume you are able to follow the rules if you donít pay attention that is on you. You broke the rules, argued that you did not, did it in a foreign language to guys at the end of their shift, what did you expect?

As for calling the police on people doing their jobÖ.. hopefully they wonít take it further.
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Old 04.08.2022, 07:39
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

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1) You took a wrong tram and tried to argue when you were fined. Can you imagine how many times the ticket inspectors hear this kind of stuff every week? They do not care about sob stories, they are trained not to care about sob stories, they are there to check the validity of tickets in a no-nonsense way and nothing else. While the ticket inspectors may not have spoken fluent English, they will have spoken enough basic English to deal with this situation, because they all do.
Not actually true - or at least not in all cases.

I had one occasion when a Junior card had expired (so my son was travelling without a ticket) and the ticket inspector just told me not to worry and buy a new card when we got off the train at our destination.

Another time, I didn't show a ticket to Milan from Zurich. I had one but couldn't find it (but I had others for the rest of the family). The ticket inspector told me not to worry and he believed me.

Having said that, I didn't call the Police!
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Old 04.08.2022, 07:59
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

When you say you consider leaving Switzerland over this, which country do you want to head to?
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Old 04.08.2022, 08:05
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

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I don't understand this - surely you just buy a tram ticket. It's valid for a specific period of time. You don't get one for a particular tram???

Your ticket always starts from a specific time and generally a specific tram/bus/train when you use the SBB app to buy the ticket.

If you get on the tram/train before because it's late then you end up in the position the OP found themself in and potentially subject to a fine.

Obviously the inspector could perhaps have realised that it wasn't avoidance as such and let it go, but then this is Switzerland and things are very black and white in terms of rules.
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Old 04.08.2022, 08:05
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

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Not actually true - or at least not in all cases.

I had one occasion when a Junior card had expired (so my son was travelling without a ticket) and the ticket inspector just told me not to worry and buy a new card when we got off the train at our destination.

Another time, I didn't show a ticket to Milan from Zurich. I had one but couldn't find it (but I had others for the rest of the family). The ticket inspector told me not to worry and he believed me.

Having said that, I didn't call the Police!
I did not say they never listen to reason or apply their own discretion, I meant that they are in general, as a whole, trained not to react emotionally to sob stories. Of course occasionally they can exercise their own discretion when they see a valid reason to and it also depends on the individual ticket inspector. Basically just do not expect any leeway and be happy if you get it. The moment you escalate the situation and/or piss an inspector off you can basically forget it.
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Old 04.08.2022, 08:20
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

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Your ticket always starts from a specific time and generally a specific tram/bus/train when you use the SBB app to buy the ticket.

If you get on the tram/train before because it's late then you end up in the position the OP found themself in and potentially subject to a fine.

Obviously the inspector could perhaps have realised that it wasn't avoidance as such and let it go, but then this is Switzerland and things are very black and white in terms of rules.
I donĎt get that with trams. If I buy a ticket and stamp it at 9.30, a tram arrives at say 9.33, even when it is late, how can the ticket not be valid? Serious question!
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Old 04.08.2022, 08:24
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

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I don't understand this - surely you just buy a tram ticket. It's valid for a specific period of time. You don't get one for a particular tram???
That confused me as well.
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Old 04.08.2022, 08:25
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

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I don't understand this - surely you just buy a tram ticket. It's valid for a specific period of time. You don't get one for a particular tram???
Unless things have changed (which could be the case as I haven't bought an individual ticket in years), last time I checked you could buy a ticket for a specific distance (eg: Kurzstrecke) and if a different tram would deviate from your route and you didn't notice until too late then you could easily go too far... https://www.zvv.ch/zvv/de/service/ku...en-ticket.html

Last edited by Chuff; 04.08.2022 at 09:31.
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Old 04.08.2022, 08:59
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

Buy a ticket that is valid for any tram or use Easy Ride (though that can have its own issues) - problem solved.
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Old 04.08.2022, 09:04
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

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That confused me as well.
Me also.

I think you were unlucky, cserdar. The inspectors could see you have a ticket (even if not the correct one) and could have given you a warning, had you leave the tram, and buy another ticket. Members of my family have been through situations similar to this and were not fined (for example, forgotten their yearly public transport ticket in BS, directed to the main office and charged 5 Fr for the infraction, not the full fine).

This is a situation in which addressing officials in the local language absolutely helps. I know, I know; learning German takes time, and I make mistakes at the best of times, and especially when I am stressed. But trying to do as much as you can in German can help.
Calling the police does not help, which you have seen.

It sucks. I'm sorry. I think you'll get a 100 Fr fine and that will be the end of it.
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Old 04.08.2022, 09:04
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

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I don't understand this - surely you just buy a tram ticket. It's valid for a specific period of time. You don't get one for a particular tram???

Anyway, you'll get a 100 franc fine through the post and that will most likely be the end of it.
I donít understand that either, I had no idea that you bought tickets for specific trams. Is it just a Zurich thing maybe?


They may also get a bill from the police for their services. I know itís 300chf if you call them to a road traffic accident here, it may be a similar amount for this.
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Old 04.08.2022, 09:08
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

There are no tickets for specific trams in Zurich... Even when you buy point-to-point ticket in SBB app, it only refers to trains and up unit you board the train, you can take any tram you want. Are you sure you understood them properly?
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Old 04.08.2022, 09:13
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

I agree that buying tickets on the app can cause this issue (SBB, I guess ZVV is the same). When I enter where I want to go, it gives me the next connection and then a ticket start time based on that. If there is a previous delayed train that I could get on, but is minimally earlier than ticket start time - this might be a problem.

That this is enforced strictly is something you can question. The right way to handle this would be to not make a fuzz, not sign anything you don't understand, wait for the paperwork and then complain to ZVV or SBB. Calling the police was utterly idiotic, and I am surprised they even showed up.
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Old 04.08.2022, 09:15
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Re: an unpleasant experience..

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There are no tickets for specific trams in Zurich... Even when you buy point-to-point ticket in SBB app, it only refers to trains and up unit you board the train, you can take any tram you want. Are you sure you understood them properly?



For somebody who appears so lost with no linguistic skills yet you berate the inspectors for the exact same fault, you seem to know very well all about the various penalties for the trams in Zurich !


(Tram tickets are not tram dependent !)
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