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Old 17.09.2020, 12:39
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SBB App misery

Let me start by saying generally that this [the SBB App] is great. I can just buy exactly what ticket I need with a smart phone when I want it and get all sorts of information about the time table, train composition etc. etc. All very useful. Well, that is, assuming it all works.

On Tuesday (15.09.2020), I planned a hike for which I used public transport at both ends of the journey. At about 07:00 I attempted to purchase a bus ticket for the first leg of the journey to Eriz using the App. It would let me, but at twice the normal cost. I simply bought a paper ticket at the normal price from a kiosk. During the bus journey, I had some time to investigate and discovered that, in the App, the connection between my "Swisspass" and my "Half Price Travel Card" was broken. Therefore, I was seeing all tickets at the full price. The system allowed me to make a manual link and I thought that was the end of the problem. At the end of the hike at sometime before 17:00, I got on the train at Interlaken Ost and proceeded to buy a ticket with the App. It failed but, this time, with a general failure with the message: "buy a ticket at a machine/counter". Fortunately, I had left myself enough time to run around and do just that.

I am now wondering what I am going to experience the next time I attempt to buy another ticket.

It has also happened a few times in the past as well, but not often. However, the consequences of such a system failure are now higher because there are a reduced number of ticket machines and the counter opening times are also reduced, mainly because, exactly that, people are buying more tickets online. Here it is actually worse because the tariff system has changed and is now such that you cannot just buy your tickets for the whole day in advance because these now have a limited validity. At least, you can't unless you know exactly which train/bus you intend to use.

Having said all that, I wasn't asked to show the two paper tickets I bought to anyone, probably because Covid-19 has caused a reduction in the number of ticket inspections. So if you are unable to buy a ticket because of an App system failure, you may find you don't actually need one.
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Old 17.09.2020, 12:50
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Re: SBB App misery

And on that day when you thought you didnt need one it turns out you did need one
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Old 17.09.2020, 12:53
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Re: SBB App misery

I've never had a problem with the Fairtiq app, which does the same...
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Old 17.09.2020, 13:38
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Re: SBB App misery

Recently I used Faretiq for a short trip on a bus in Nyon. When I stopped my trip I got a message saying my Credit Card details were wrong and would I please correct them.

I did, the next day, and they initiated the billing then. My expiry date had been and gone.

What impressed me was that they didn't deny me a ticket but gave me time I needed to update my details.

Full votes for Fairtiq.

And by the way the SBB uses fairtiq's technology for their app.
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Old 17.09.2020, 14:04
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Re: SBB App misery

Hoping Faretiq extend it to France & Italy too in time, that would be fantastic

Always had a bit of a struggle when travelling to parts of Italy.
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Old 17.09.2020, 14:20
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Re: SBB App misery

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Hoping Faretiq extend it to France & Italy too in time, that would be fantastic

Always had a bit of a struggle when travelling to parts of Italy.
Does Farbetiketts offer reduced fares on specific connections?
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Old 17.09.2020, 14:46
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Re: SBB App misery

The tickets purchased online "as part of a special offer", so I guess all the discounted tickets bought via app/online can only be refunded in they were purchased with some details incorrect and thereafter a correct ticket was purchased.

Otherwise, only if:
- Proven inability to travel (illness, accident), confirmed by a doctor’s note.
- Subsequent purchase of personal travelcards for at least 12 months
- Death

Generous provisions, indeed.

https://www.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-an...onditions.html
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Old 17.09.2020, 15:33
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Re: SBB App misery

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Hoping Faretiq extend it to France & Italy too in time, that would be fantastic

Always had a bit of a struggle when travelling to parts of Italy.
The problem there is the fragmentation, there is no unified system, not technically nor "politically", with only some regional exceptions.
Where there was integration it was sometimes dismantled due to disputes over money.

No App can fix this
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Old 17.09.2020, 15:50
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Re: SBB App misery

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I've never had a problem with the Fairtiq app, which does the same...
Whereas on Tuesday evening there were problems with the SBB servers preventing you from buying tickets or using Fairtiq.

I got on a train a couple minutes before departure and tried to use Fairtiq and it didn’t work, leaving me not enough time to get off and get a ticket and getting a later train would have caused me major issues with my onward connection to an appointment. I took a screenshot to show I’d tried to swipe in on good time in case I got checked. Typically, I did get checked and was told that the SBB app is an additional service and I need to have a ticket before I board. I argued a bit and a more reasonable ticket checker came and said that I should be allowed to pay for a ticket on board, but I could only pay cash. Having just come back from Italy I only had Euros and a few GBP on me. They were happy to Euros at a silly exchange rate thankfully.

I’m sure by the T&Cs they were right, but if they are going to offer a service like Fairtiq and make it harder to buy tickets before you get on the train (or the distance from train to ticket machine is a long way like in Zurich HB), SBB need to have a bit of common sense when their own IT systems aren’t working.
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Old 18.09.2020, 08:05
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Re: SBB App misery

The issue was also mentioned here (German):
https://www.20min.ch/story/stoerung-...h-914716875369
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