BVG is entrapping tourists with 40 euro fines

89 posts in this topic

Hello everyone who has had an encounter with Berlin's BVG squeeze money collecting agents - the undercover inspectors.

 

Like many people who visit Berlin I have bought Strassenbahn and bus tickets which reasonably are validated when they are printed. The S-Bahn seems somewhat different and within two minutes of buying a ticket I had a 40 euro fine.

 

Now, I do not read so well if there is fine print of font size 8 on a rainy dark Berlin day, so I had no way to know that the S-Bahn is different to any other ticket automat around the world which prints out date and time. Actually, the date and time IS PRINTED on the S-Bahn ticket.

 

So why the fine?

 

Clear ENTRAPMENT. It is time BVG took off the "validate your ticket" fine print and owned up to their misconduct.

 

I am contacting TV stations around Berlin now (24th Aug 2012) and I would encourage other people who have had this experience OR KNOW OF SOMEONE who has had this experience to either add their support here or else please leave a brief support email with redaktion@tvb.de . This is the local TV Berlin station who run many local public interest stories.

 

Thanks for any and all support here to help change what is otherwise a great city and public transport system. PLEASE HELP EXPOSE THE THUGS who control it.

 

Brendan

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so I had no way to know that the S-Bahn is different to any other ticket automat around the world which prints out date and time.

 

Berlin is not the only city in the world (or in Germany!) where you have to validate your ticket after you purchase it. Cities in Italy, Czech Republic and Portugal all come to mind without even thinking about it very hard.

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The S-Bahn tickets from the newer machines in Munich are pre-validated for the day they are bought - and it is a right royal pain in the bum.

 

I havn't been to Berlin recently but aren't there ticket validation machines as you enter the S-Bahn.

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I don't know that it's as unusual as you think it is. Where I live there are lots of signs up in the stations reminding people to stamp their tickets before travelling. They've only recently started introducing already stamped tickets so now if you're buying a ticket from a machine you have to choose whether you're buying it for now or for use later. If you buy for use now, it's stamped. If it's for use later or a multi-use ticket, you have to stamp it.

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Oh dear. I arrived in Berlin alone and with almost no German and figured the ticket and validation system out pretty easily. I mean, for one thing, the S-bahn ticket in my pocket just now says "Please validate your ticket" In English! and with a big arrow! That doesn't feel like entrapment of tourists to me - seems like they are in fact going out of there way to make it easy for tourists (English speaking ones anyway)? The ticket machines also have various language options, and there is some sort of signage telling you to validate your ticket - i think it comes up on the screen when the tickets are printing.

 

I'm sorry you got fined for a mistake, but I don't think you're going to get far with your complaints on this matter. I also agree that "thugs" and "entrapment" seem to be rather ridiculous word choices. Yes, the system is a bit unforgiving, but if you think about it, it has to be. Where I come from there are barriers etc so you usually can't get on a train without a valid ticket. Here, there's a huge amount of trust. So if the inspectors catch you without a ticket, they need to be strict.

 

I also agree that it's good that tickets aren't pre-validated. I like being able to buy a 4-fahrkarten, saving a little cash, and stamp the tickets when they're needed.

 

Edit: El Jeffo beat me. That's what my ticket looks like too :)

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Mistakes happen. I am glad BBV has a forum to get emotions off his chest and good luck with his story. I have written an email of support based on my experience with BVG controllers. Thanks for the hint on Sanka, El Jeffo.

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When I first moved from the small Island of Föhr where they only have busses and you buy your ticket directly from the driver and is already validated, to the "big city" of Flensburg, I bought my ticket from the driver, thinking it was already validated just like it was on the island so obviously I didn't stamp it and threw it in the bin after getting off. I must have thrown way at least 200 unstamped tickets before realising I had to validate them, luckily I was never asked to produce a ticket during that time ;)

 

If the inspectors had have goten on the bus to check, well it would have been my fault and I would have had to pay up, as they say here "Dummheit schützt vor Strafe nicht" (Ignorance of the law is no excuse)

 

It should be common sense to check how the transport system works in the town or city you are in before getting on a bus or train.

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The S-Bahn Tickets machines here in Munich certainly offer you a travel day when buying for example Day Tickets. Found that very convienient because the MVV Machines (the new type that also accept credit cards) were not accepting my EC Card. This card was quite happliy accepted by the DB Ticket machine, so I would purchase my Tickets in advance and start my journey using U-Bahn before changing to the S-Bahn.

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TGIF - I needed some entertaining outrage to get me through to the weekend. As far as the topic goes, I couldn't agree more with everyone responding thus far: It's quite obvious, unless you're oblivious, that the ticket needs to be validated. And it's much handier to have the option to buy ahead and stamp as needed. In many of the cities I've been to around the world, tickets purchased need to be validated, not just in Berlin.

 

Good luck with your TV plans, I wouldn't get the autographed cards printed just yet. :rolleyes:

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Ticket validation is pretty much standard everywhere outside of the UK (where 'free transport unless caught' is considered a basic human right, and you generally can't get on board anything without showing or buying a ticket).

 

I can't imagine any media station or paper being remotely interested in your outrage at not being allowed to cheat the system. Ordnung muss sein, after all.

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Amazing, Dessa, the contacts you must have to get access to such top-secret negotiations! Thanks for sharing the knowledge! :lol:

 

Btw, not to be pedantic or anything, but this in incorrect:

 

 

BVG is entrapping tourists with 40 euro fines

Entrapment scam with ticket validation

The 40 Euro fine is standard for anyone, resident or tourist, who cannot produce a valid ticket if caught in an inspection.

No evil entrapment scam specially set up for tourists... but maybe they could implement that for hipsters.

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"Dummheit schützt vor Strafe nicht" (Ignorance of the law is no excuse)

 

Super-polite translation, I would say.

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It's kind of more cultural ignorance? He assumed things were done the way he was used to and got burned. The problem is a failure to accept he made a mistake and take his medicine. It's gonna be a rough ride for him in Germany...

 

I'd recommend venting rather than a TV company.

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No evil entrapment scam specially set up for tourists... but maybe they could implement that for hipsters.

 

Excellent idea! Fine anyone wearing plaid pants, ironic eyewear, and carrying an armful of vinyl LPs. Coonskin caps would cost another €60.

 

I'd even cheerfully pay €40 into a fund for someone to drive the hipsters from Berlin similar to how St. Patrick banished all snakes from Ireland.

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