Incident with cheap hostel in Zurich

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Removed user
Removed user
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Mar 20, 2018 - 1:54 PM

Good Morning,

I would like to expose an extremely bad experience my colleague suffered at a hostel in Zurich.

He slept there for one night, next day he left my luggage there, and he went out. He didnt have any further bed reserved for that night, when he arrived the receptioninst was there 21:50 (if was any problem to stay at the main room, where there was a payment coffe machine, some basic chairs and a kind of sofa ) then he left again, when he come back around 22:30 (his idea was to stay out but it was snowing) the receptionist was not there anymore.

When he arrived the main door was looked, but another person opened the door from the inside and he went there.

So he just sat with other people waiting for the receptionist, she didnt come and he coudnt make any checking for that night or use any bed. He just sat, and rest in the semi sofa reading during the night.

In the morning, he saw the receptionisnt back, and she saw he was there in the video tapes (which are visible and he knew they were recording me when going throught the stairs of the hostel).

Then he went out, in the evening he come for his things and another recepcionist told him that he had to pay 100 CH because he had break the rules of the hostel. It was not allow to stay at the reception room without reservation.

He showed me the pics of the camera and the times he in and he went out (6:30 or so in the morning), and as after 22:00 was nobody he said he should have called the receptionist and make a reservation even to stay at the reception room... (it was an small phone number at the door).

He tried to explain him, but he got scared and nervous because he said it was like breaking in a house, because the main door was closed. It was criminal offense...etc he wanted to call the police when he would not pay him 100 CH (internal rules).

He said that. He understood and even if he didnt use any bed or service, he would pay one night...but they said not, that their internal rules were 100 CH, finnaly he said 50 CH.

As he was confused, he said that it was a lot and he asked him to pay by several times...but he said that then they would not see the money from me...He treated me like a was a terrible personal experience for him...

Could you let me know please, in which position is him? Could they accused him of entry into their property when he put them a formal complain againt the hostel?

What shoud he have done?


944 posts
top member
Mar 20, 2018 - 4:34 PM in reply to Removed user

Hi ITD301, and welcome to MySwissAlps,

I'm sorry to hear about your friend's unpleasant experience. I am however afraid that you haven't come to the right forum. We don't deal with customer complaints like you describe in your post. That's not our expertise. We are here to help people prepare for their holidays to Switzerland.

I think it's better when you bring your complaint to the attention of the Ombudsman of the Swiss Travel Industry ( They are much more knowledgeable about these issues. Good luck.

73 posts
active member
Mar 20, 2018 - 6:01 PM in reply to Removed user

I would like to know the name because my son is going in June and staying in hostels. Thanks

685 posts
top member
Mar 20, 2018 - 6:44 PM

Oh my, my, what a confusing story and I think the best advice for you (or your colleague) is to contact the Ombudsman as Chantal has suggested. What is the name of the hostel you are referring to ? I hope that if you do contact the Ombudsman you are able to clearly establish the facts and answer their questions. I certainly would have quite a few questions, because your account is very confusing. For instance, did your "colleague" pay for the first night he slept there ? Was it 100 CHF ? What did he say to the receptionist before walking out for the day and leaving the luggage there ? Next, why did he leave "your" luggage at the hostel ? What about his luggage ? Thirdly, where had he been planning to sleep for the second night, and if it was at this hostel, why did he not reserve the second night in the morning after the first night ? Next, what do you mean by << his idea was to stay out but it was snowing)>>. ? Then I read that on the second morning, << Then he went out, in the evening he come for his things>>. This sounds like he left on the next morning (after spending the night or most of it in the lobby) and on the next evening he has come back, again, and it sounds therefore like he left his things (what about your things ?) in this hotel for a second full day. So I have to ask a question, why did your colleague leave his things (or were they yours) for two complete days after the night when he slept there ? It just doesn't make any sense to me. I guess I am not coming across as being very sympathetic, and I must say that is indeed how I feel having read your account. I even wonder if you are relating what happened to you or what happened to a "colleague". This thought is reinforced when I read this in your account: <<In the morning, he saw the receptionisnt back, and she saw he was there in the video tapes (which are visible and he knew they were recording me when going throught the stairs of the hostel).>> In this sentence I see the word "he" and also "me". You also say << .He treated me like a was a terrible personal experience for him.>> So is "he" also "me" ? Perhaps it would have been best if he (or you) had called for the police to intervene. As for your final question << What shoud he have done? >> My answer is that he should have, on the morning after his first stay, made a reservation for the next night or two nights if he indeed was planning to stay there for another night or two. Wouldn't that have made things so much simpler ? Anyway, that is all I can say, so good luck with the Ombudsman.

685 posts
top member
Mar 20, 2018 - 7:33 PM in reply to Lisadee

Hi Lisadee,

I suspect that your son is going to be staying in Swiss Youth Hostels, called Jugendherbergen in the Swiss-German part of Switzerland and Auberges de Jeunesse in the French-speaking part. I am pretty sure that the account we have read above is NOT about a youth hostel, if for no other reason that there is NO WAY there would be a 100 CHF charge for one night. When I was a student, I traveled all over Switzerland and when I was not close enough to return to my home base, I stayed in youth hostels and they were all fantastic, often in very scenic locations. It was also a nice way to meet young people from all over the world. Many years later I did the same with a group of 21 of my students and this was indeed the only way we could have afforded a three week tour. In case your son hasn't already seen this, here is a map showing the locations of youth hostels in Switzerland: hostels/

Last modified on Mar 20, 2018 - 7:37 PM by Peterli
73 posts
active member
Mar 21, 2018 - 2:19 AM in reply to Peterli

Thank you. Its his first time . worried parent....

12142 posts
expert &
Mar 21, 2018 - 7:26 AM

Hi everyone,

Apparently the original poster deleted his account, so we won't be able to continue this conversation. I'm going to close this thread.

@Lisadee: we don't know which hostel this was, but I wouldn't be too worried about it. The pros of this hostel are that they have camera surveillance and don't allow strangers (non-guests) to stay in their building. I would be more worried if they didn't care :-) Of course it does matter how they handle mistakes, but I'm afraid we won't be getting more information.

More about hostels in general can be found here: stels

Last modified on Mar 21, 2018 - 7:29 AM by Arno

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