Needs help for my stupid mistake "unintended ticket fare evasion"

19 posts in this topic

Dear all, 

I know this sounds very stupid, but this is a true story from last Friday.

I bought the 6er ticket when I was aboard on the bus Nr. 450 at Wuerzburg train station before the bus started to drive. It was the first time I purchased such a ticket, the bus driver can not speak English (my bad, I can not speak German), and we had already some misunderstanding about the type of ticket I intended to buy (I need the ticket for traveling in the city center, not any further, from the price of the city it looks like he printed a more expensive ticket covers further travel distance, but I did not complain because I saw that he did not understand English), so he did not explain to me how to use this ticket. Apparently, the bus driver saw I missed the stamp machine without any awareness, but he did not remind me of this obligation. So I was not informed and unaware that this ticket needed to be stamped by the user, not processed by any onboard staff. Then, when the onboard staff (they dressed just like ordinary passengers, so I did not go to them to check the ticket, in my mind, the ticket should be already processed by the driver like normal) checked my ticket 2min after the bus started to drive, I did not realize that he was writing a fine ticket to me, I thought he was the onboard staff who was responsible for the stamping of tickets. I was friendly and cooperating as everyone on the bus can see. Until I saw the fine, I realized that it was thought to be fare evasion. So I explained to the staff that, it was the first time I bought such a ticket, I was not aware of the stamping procedure and I never evaded any ticket fares. But he insisted on his conclusion although he also kindly asked if I bought a city ticket with the train ticket, which was not for this case. So in the end, he told me that the fine was already concluded and I had to report and complete the transaction by Monday to pay this 60 euro fine, and I did not have to stamp the ticket any more for the trip. Then it happened during this talk, I missed the bus stop where I should get off, so I sit for another 35min for the back trip as suggested by the same staff. It was a dark and rainy day, I was exhausted and frustrated by this unfortunate misunderstanding event, so I did not make any argument.

Guys, here are my questions:

1) In this case, what should I do now?

2) Can I appeal to the bus company to explain this case? I am an honest person who never evaded any ticket fares. In this case I just bought the ticket 10min before the ticket check, why should I evade a ticket fare? It simply does not make sense. 

3) If to pay the fine is the only solution, what should I do to prevent other loss like social credit or legal issues?

Thanks for your discussion and help!   

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First sorry to hear about your bad luck

1 ) Pay the fine 

2) You can appeal, but normally it will not help

 

I live in Munich, Normally if I did what you did then for a first offence you pay 5 Euro, its only a repeat offense you get the 60 euro fine

Goto the central station, there will be an office there where you can ask for a first time offence reduction.

 

Sorry but in Germany, you need to cancel the ticket, by putting it in a machine that stamps it. This means you cannot use it again for another trip.

 

So the system is buy your ticket, put the ticket in the cancel machine just before you travel, next trip you need another ticket, sorry you went wrong by not cancelling or validating your ticket, You can have many tickets in your pocket, but until you validate it, its not active.

 

3 ) German is safe country, they will not steal your card details.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, thanks a lot for your suggestion! I will ask my colleague to make the call for me, I went to Wuerzburg to visit my wife, I am living in Goettingen, I came back yesterday. 

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is unfortunate. A frosty welcome to a new country. The guy with the power to issue a fine did not exercise any personal discretion when applying the rules. This rigidity with regards to rules is a typical Germanic trait, which you may also expect to encounter in other situations. Rules in Germany are not flexible. They are applied blindly. At traffic lights, for example, when the man is on red, do not cross the road, even if there is no traffic.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had something similar happen to me many years ago when I was a student. I had the semesterticket which I forgot at home. The bus company spies caught me and wrote a ticket for something like 40 euros as a schwarzfahrer. When I explained that I am a student with a 6 month semesterticket which I don't happen to have on me at the moment, the somewhat stern but polite ticket checker explained an easy way out of it which might be of relevance in your case: Take the ticket you bought (hopefully it has a date and timestamp on it) to the bus company's main customer service area, explain (or try to) the situation as best as you can, and in the best of circumstances, they will cancel the schwarzfahrer fine (should be between 40 to 60 euros) and instead charge you an administrative fee between 5 and 10 euros.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, optimista said:

That is unfortunate. A frosty welcome to a new country. 

Though to be fair OP said on TT in 2018 that he had been living in Germany for several years.  But of course it could still be possible that he was still not familiar with how public transport works even after being here for years.

 

Edit;If you have forgotten a named ticket at home, the fine can be reduced to a much smaller admin fee.  But this does not work with a simple ticket that you forget to validate.  Sometimes you get lucky, the bus driver reminds you, or the inspector lets you off, if they believe you have made a genuine mistake.  In some places if you buy the ticket on the bus, it is different from the ones from the Automat, they are dated and do not need stamping, indeed they are too big.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What happens if you drive 100 mil/hrs on an empty road in the States and a policemen has a radar gun?

I heard, they are also very rigid.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, snowingagain said:

Though to be fair OP said on TT in 2018 that he had been living in Germany for several years.  But of course it could still be possible that he was still not familiar with how public transport works even after being here for years.

 

I can sympathise : 

 

It was on my third business trip to Munich when I commented to a colleague how cheap public transport was.

His eyebrows almost hit the roof...

Then he explained to me that I should cancel TWO bits of the 10 ticket strip for each zone....

Don't ask me how it works these days :ph34r:

 

Munich was nothing like the Hamburg U-Bahn ticket system.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

xD, I kind of like the German system because the social order seems quite good in my opinion. But in this case, the problem is, there is no instruction about the regulation, so I did not learn it, usually, I buy a single ticket which does not need to be validated, my wife asked me to buy this multi-ticket, but it looks very different from the tickets bought by her from the ticket-selling machine, and it was printed also on the bus, so I thought it should be already processed. xD   

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not just Germany. My mum and I had flown to Kraakow, Poland and bought a ticket on the airport bus to the city centre. Didn't realise we had to stamp it, (couldn't the bus driver have shown us at the airport where the bus stood for at least 10 mins before departing?) A few stops later ticket control, driver could easily have confirmed the ticket was newly issued. Just sat there stumm. My mum ranted to them that they were a disgrace to all the angels and saints in the firmament and that the Polish pope would be ashamed of them. They looked very uncomfortable and actually reduced the fine. I suspect a system working between drivers and inspectors there.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AnswerToLife42 said:

What happens if you drive 100 mil/hrs on an empty road in the States and a policemen has a radar gun?

I heard, they are also very rigid.

 

most of the time, the radar is set to go off if you exceed the speed limit by a certain amount...let's say 10mph over the limit.  in other words, the "discretion" is already included.  compared to the OP's situation, the US cop would set his radar to speed limit + one mile/hour...that's rare.  the bus-cop was just being a dick.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it happened to my daughter in Paris too, last minute rush to board the bus from the airport and bang, 60 euros fine for not stamping. It could be an EU thing

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, AnswerToLife42 said:

What happens if you drive 100 mil/hrs on an empty road in the States and a policemen has a radar gun?

It depends on the limit on that road as well as on the mood of the policeman. :)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, catjones said:

 

  the bus-cop was just being a dick.

 

To be fair the bus-cop was just doing his job. How is he supposed to know the OP was just riding the bus every day and did not want to pay, then telling everybody I did not know the rules - when they get caught.

 

I tend to believe the OP, so its just bad luck - but to be honest I do not really know.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately this is how it works.
The guy checking is a poor nobody that likes exercising his small power to feel better.

The system is shit and nobody cares. The company is doing nothing to improve it.

Welcome.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, yesterday said:

To be fair the bus-cop was just doing his job.

when you buy a ticket on board a bus it could automatically stamp the ticket and eliminate the cop.  no judgement required.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 26/10/2020, 13:27:00, Xin Zhang said:

Dear all, ...

 

 

 

My 2 cents for you - Install WVV-App on your mobile phone and set it up.

You can buy your ticket on the app, without any problems, like this you'll never need another printed ticket or stamp.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, catjones said:

when you buy a ticket on board a bus it could automatically stamp the ticket and eliminate the cop.  no judgement required.

 

Yes, but you have to know what is required, eg if you go somewhere and want to come back, you could buy an out ticket and a return ticket, if the machine just stamps both tickets then you have just lost your return ticket

 

Its unfortunate, but you have to know what you are doing when you buy anything, as not knowing you are going to make a mistake at some point.

 

3 hours ago, Mr.Bear said:

 

 

My 2 cents for you - Install WVV-App on your mobile phone and set it up.

You can buy your ticket on the app, without any problems, like this you'll never need another printed ticket or stamp.

 

You still have to know how to use the app, lots of older people do not have a smartphone and some would find it difficult, rather than stamping your ticket.

 

The OP had problems understand the system, and got caught out, thats all that happened, expected a different country system to be the same as your own home country, will always lead to mistakes, unless you understand how things are done in the new country.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now