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Old 12.11.2011, 01:29
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So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

I can't believe what's just happened and I'm so angry. Since I got here more than 2 months ago I've been used Flex Tax, for 2 zones which covers me buses and trains in the 2 zones around Schaffhausen. My daughter has come over for the weekend and I diligently bought her train tickets to and from Schaffhausen this evening.

On our way home tonight we were checked on the train, the first time I've been checked since I've been here. I was subjected to a ticket lady shouting at me, I couldn't understand anything, in my limited German and some English I tried to explain and show her my season ticket but she just took my details and it looks like I'm getting a hefty fine. I tried to explain I didn't understand and some fellow passengers tried to help explain but she just was not interested. She just inputted the details of my ticket into her machine and was so horrible I didn't know what was going on.

A nice passenger who got off my stop took me to the machine to show me what the problem is and it turns out the season tickets are not valid after mid-night but I was never told that when I purchased it and I can't see anything on my flextax ticket that explains it.

I had my ticket in good faith and if I'd known I had to pay a supplement after mid-night I truly would have but I wasn't even given the chance to pay the exta. If i didn't have a ticket at all then fair enough but the fact I had a ticket I'd purchased for my daughter surely proves I'm honest and it was an honest mistake of not knowing the rules.

God I'm about to decombust I'm so mad about this.
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Old 12.11.2011, 02:00
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

I can understand the frustration.

In a few days, compose a nice letter explaining what happened (leave the emotions out of it), have it translated and send it to SBB. You should be able to get their address when you get notified of the fine in the mail.

Good luck.
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Old 12.11.2011, 05:38
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Probably you were on a train/bus called SNX or NX, the N bit meaning the night train which is subject to a supplement costing 5chfs.

On your ticket/letter is a number you can call to appeal. For the first offence you can negotiate the fine down.
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Old 12.11.2011, 07:00
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

Yes a bummer, but you made a mistake so owe the fine. Usual claptrap about ignorance of the law etc.

That said, the inspector's behaviour was out of line.

Write to the SBB (in English is fine) and tell them about the situation and the inspector's behaviour, as well as the fact that other passengers tried to help mediate - if you will.

As said above, given the cirumstances you should be able to get the fine reduced. Just stick to the facts and get someone who is less emotional than you to read the letter - you could even post it here - everyone's got an opinion on EF
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Old 12.11.2011, 07:37
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

Odd. When I got caught without a valid ticket - forgot to punch my mehrfahrtkarte - I was given an Einzahlungschein (paying in slip) when I offered to pay the reduced fine, there and then of 80CHF. Or does the reduction for offering to pay immediately only apply to TNW?
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Old 12.11.2011, 12:35
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

You were fined because the ticket was invalid for the trip you were on (location and timeframe)

You need to ensure you have a valid ticket. Not all tickets are valid for 24hrs, find out the limits of the ticket you have, and plan your journeys accordingly.

eg: even a 24hr ticket in Zurich is not valid on the night buses and night trains (like 1am to 5am or so).

But in some cantons, the 24hr tickets are valid on the night buses and night trains.

It is up to the ticket holder to ensure he has a valid ticket for the entire journey.
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Old 12.11.2011, 13:23
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

Consider it as cost of learning more about the Train ticketing system. Actually it is very common to have a supplementary tickets for special services like change of class, extra zones or traveling in Night. I think surcharge of CHF 5 is very low and I am sure you would have gladly paid it, had you known that beforehand.

Bottom line is like others said, you had an invalid ticket and you were charged fine. Also whenever one is charged with fine, the experience is fairly stressful and one tends to think that the Ticket checker was such a rude or bad person. Think about the ticket collector who might think that even after having an invalid ticket, the person was resisting to accept the fault and might think same for you.

Actually I got misled by the title of the thread. It should have been: So angry, fined on SBB with an Invalid Ticket. Then look at the popularity of thread and interest of people n the subject . Sorry for the dig, but you know weekend mood. So you also don't spoil it..

Last edited by timpy; 12.11.2011 at 13:24. Reason: typo
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Old 12.11.2011, 13:50
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

http://www.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-and...upplement.html

This might help
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Old 12.11.2011, 19:32
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

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Probably you were on a train/bus called SNX or NX, the N bit meaning the night train which is subject to a supplement costing 5chfs.

On your ticket/letter is a number you can call to appeal. For the first offence you can negotiate the fine down.

I thought I was on the S33 but just looked online and it was actually the SN33. If she'd made me pay the 5CHF I would gladly have done so and the fact I had in my hand a ticket I'd bought my daughter who's visiting in my mind it's obvious Im not a fair shirker. One of my colleagues has offered to help me sort it out when the fine comes to see if an explanation will reduce the fine. The annoying thing is that a one way ticket is about 3.50CHF so I wouldn't bother with the 5CHF surcharge for the journey home and buy a one way ticket instead. I guess this is what they call "learning the hard way".

I've had a great day out in Schaffhausen today and much calmer now, it was just really upsetting last night as it was an honest genuine mistake based on ignorance. Oh well, you live and learn.
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Old 12.11.2011, 19:42
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

But the problem is that is like that everyway.

In Zurich you have many zones, and the tram (for example) does not warn you when the zone changes.

Surprisingly in Glattpark (when zone 10 ends and starts 21) is always there the inspectors.

At least, in night bus you can not be fined. You can not enter without a valid night supplement.
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Old 12.11.2011, 20:00
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

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I thought I was on the S33 but just looked online and it was actually the SN33. If she'd made me pay the 5CHF I would gladly have done so and the fact I had in my hand a ticket I'd bought my daughter who's visiting in my mind it's obvious Im not a fair shirker. One of my colleagues has offered to help me sort it out when the fine comes to see if an explanation will reduce the fine. The annoying thing is that a one way ticket is about 3.50CHF so I wouldn't bother with the 5CHF surcharge for the journey home and buy a one way ticket instead. I guess this is what they call "learning the hard way".

I've had a great day out in Schaffhausen today and much calmer now, it was just really upsetting last night as it was an honest genuine mistake based on ignorance. Oh well, you live and learn.
the night supplement (NZ) has to be paid on all tickets, even on a one-way ticket. so you would pay 3.50 for the one-way and then you have to buy a separate supplement.

luckily, the first time i needed to get a NZ, i was with somebody who understood the system and bought one for me, otherwise i would have been caught out too.

you can also buy it on your mobile phone. text ZVVNZ to number 988. saves you the hassle of using the machines.
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Old 12.11.2011, 20:00
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

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Odd. When I got caught without a valid ticket - forgot to punch my mehrfahrtkarte - I was given an Einzahlungschein (paying in slip) when I offered to pay the reduced fine, there and then of 80CHF. Or does the reduction for offering to pay immediately only apply to TNW?
On a bus I offered the contents of my purse, in cash. I had < 80 CHF on me and they accepted just that. I didn't want to show them ID and be on some register.
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Old 12.11.2011, 20:49
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

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On a bus I offered the contents of my purse, in cash. I had < 80 CHF on me and they accepted just that. I didn't want to show them ID and be on some register.
In Zurich, they won't take the fine on the spot. I tried it once when I'd gone a couple of stops outside of my travel zone (oops! ) but the guy just took my details and gave me the corresponding paying in slip.

I guess it's because the conductors don't want to be carrying loads of cash on them.
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Old 12.11.2011, 21:08
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

Like the others have said, just put it down to experience. Your colleagues have offered to help with the paperwork - so you might be able to reduce the fine.

I've been in this country a long time but every time I go to a new place, I spend hours trying to figure out the small print of some local transport system - I'm afraid to say many of them do not make it transparent, even for people with a command of the language.

The other week I was in St Gallen on business and bought a one-way ticket at a machine for the bus from the main rail station to the place I had to be. At my destination I realised there was no ticket machine by the stop - so on my way back ended up having to Google the local transport website to find out there are ticket machines on the bus (I even posted on EF about it...). No mention of this is made on the timetable at the bus stop.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 12.11.2011, 21:20
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

I feel for ya - I spent about the first 6 years going on trains oblivious to this until someone told me. There is no way you would know this without someone telling you unless you went to the train station and read about it. And who exactly does that!?
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Old 12.11.2011, 21:24
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

Geez, so sorry to read about your horrible experience! It's one thing to get the ticket with a calm and professional explanation from the ticket checker, but it's another thing altogether to be treated so rudely!

I've been barked at so many times in both Germany and Switzerland even though I speak decent German! I just started barking back at people and felt really rotten about it because I was no longer myself. And my German friends told me not to take it personally because that's how everyone is treated.

Nope, not in my book!! - and I'm SOOOOO glad I'm no longer living in a Germanic speaking country!! If you can handle it, feel free to bark back at jerks like that - because you know, they won't take it personally.
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Old 12.11.2011, 23:50
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

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the night supplement (NZ) has to be paid on all tickets, even on a one-way ticket. so you would pay 3.50 for the one-way and then you have to buy a separate supplement.

luckily, the first time i needed to get a NZ, i was with somebody who understood the system and bought one for me, otherwise i would have been caught out too.

you can also buy it on your mobile phone. text ZVVNZ to number 988. saves you the hassle of using the machines.
What a stupid system. Why don't the machines just increase the price after a certain time. So that means both of us were illegal so maybe I'm going to get a double whammy fine now. That would make it 8.50CHF to get home on the train, next time I'll get a taxi, far less complicated.
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Old 13.11.2011, 00:06
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

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What a stupid system. Why don't the machines just increase the price after a certain time. So that means both of us were illegal so maybe I'm going to get a double whammy fine now. That would make it 8.50CHF to get home on the train, next time I'll get a taxi, far less complicated.
just remember to buy your night taxi supplement before hailing one down
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Old 13.11.2011, 07:13
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

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What a stupid system. Why don't the machines just increase the price after a certain time.
Because that wouldn't help people like you who bought a ticket in advance anyway.

I got caught out for the same once, not long after the night trains started running. Had a valid 1st class ticket, was sitting in 2nd. Price difference was more than the surcharge, but they still fined me (I got it reduced to 40chf later). It's not such a stupid system, though, because it shifts the additional costs of running the transport system at extended hours to those who actually use the new (well, not new anymore) services.

Chalk it up to to the costs of learning to live in a new country. Don't make the same mistake again, because any future transportation gaffes will cost you double the last (ie 80, 160, 320) and that would start to smart.

A note about the "shouting" controller: while it's entirely possible she was being rude, you should think about her situation too. You were riding without a ticket, which very clearly (in Swiss culture) means you should pay the fine. You were arguing with her in a language she quite possibly didn't understand (in my experience, the night controllers don't have such strong English skills) and adding to her stress. On top of that, she may have perceived you as starting the rudeness; you came across as a bit hysterical in your first post and heavily bitter in the rest, and that was long after the fact. How were you reacting to her then? You may have been putting every bit as much stress on to her, taking her out of her comfort zone, as she was doing to you.

Anyway, just something for you to think about.
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Old 13.11.2011, 08:15
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Re: So angry, fined on SBB with a ticket!

Relax http://www.englishforum.ch/members/4...razy-bird.html
I feel your frustration, as do many others.

But now, this story will provide you with years of dinner table conversation. And if you get a car, you will soon be able to pick up fines for driving 2km/h over the limit.

"This is Switzerland" - relax and enjoy the many good bits. Not all ticket inspectors behave like psychos, I promise you that.
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