Andrey Shilov at WordPress

The notes of a journalist working in Europe for Russian TV

Posts Tagged ‘railways

Will the crisis correct them?

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Buying railway ticket online? Of course!

 

I tried it twice in Germany – both times with a problem, with a scandal, loosing money. Unbelievable!

 

Last time I chose the train and time, wrote my bank card number, got a confirmation by email. Is it the end? It’s the beginning!

 

Then one has to click a link in the email, write login and password, see the word “e-ticket” – and print it? Wrong answer!

 

-It is not a ticket, – I was told in the train on my way from Berlin to Munich.

-Why not a ticket? It is written here – “e-ticket”. Here is my name, destination, my seat number…

-It is not a ticket. You had to print out the ticket.

 

I had to pay second time, with cash, right in the train.

 

Later I learnt that one more step should have been made. You get the email, click the link, write your login and passwod, get the page with “e-ticket” and all other info – and click one more time. Then print it out.

 

Triple protection!

 

Today’s story.

My friends came to Berlin from Russia. Well I am experienced guy! I found the site, wrote passenger’s name, paid with my bank card, got confirmation by email, clicked the link, wrote login and password, and clicked, and clicked one more time. And printed out.

 

I just got a call from my friends from the train: “It’s not working!”

According to the rules of “Deutsche Bahn”, passenger must pay for his ticket himself.

-Why? – I was shouting on the phone. – It is unconvenient! It is inhuman! What’s the difference for you?

-It is the rule and I have to follow it. Your friends refused to pay and will be taken out from the train.

 

So that’s how I heard about rules in Germany for the first time.

But this story is not about Germans. Russians see unconvenience and dullness in their country often enough, too.

 

I have been flying with German “Air Berlin” for about three years and I never had any problems with paying, registering, showing documents etc. You write your bank card number – that’s all. No clicking, no passwords, no printing. You paid it. All the rest is the company’s business.

 

Sometimes it is so plain simple:

there is private business caring about customers,

and there are state behemoths who don’t give a spit about clients. They follow their own rules. The other day the head of “Deutsche Bahn” resigned with a scandal but it won’t change anything: there are no other companies one can use when travelling from Berlin to Hannover.

 

The rules of market and monopolies are the same everywhere.

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Written by andreyshilov

April 4, 2009 at 11:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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