Mar 7, 2011 - 6:06 AM
We are a couple from Australia and had been to visit Switzerland in Feb11. We were staying with our friends in Basel for a few days and had asked them to inquire about travel facilities in Switzerland, before we came there.
Our friends specially went to the city SBB office to get the proper information for us. The best option they found there for us was to use Swiss Pass. Then he asked if there were any special offers for places we could go to which would be interesting for us. He was shown the Jungfrau offer which is valid till April 11 and was told Swiss pass is = GA, so the offer was valid for them and pointed out that with that they would get 10% on Fondue at the Jungfrau Restaurant.
So we decided to take that offer.
When we arrived in Switzerland on the 17th February, the same evening our friends took us to Basel SBB Railway station information office to get us an 8 days Swiss Pass with the tickets for Jungfrau which was having the special offer. We purchased the 8 day Swiss Pass and also the additional tickets to go upto Jungfraujoch the next day -to go from Lauterbrunen (CHF48 p.p) and return via Grindelwald (CHF 49.50 p.e)(ticket copies attached). The price we were charged for this additional Jungfrau sector seemed to match with the special offer that our friends had mentioned to us, so we were happy. We were really looking forward for to our Switzerland holidays and were all excited to start our trip to Jungfrau the next day.
The next day we started early in the morning (about 5am) from home.
The trip till Interlaken was OK. After getting into the train from Lauterbrunen to Jungfrau (via Kleine Scheidigg), it was just a big shock when the ticket conductor told us that the Jungfrau ticket was not valid. We just could not believe what he was saying as we had rightly bought the tickets from the SBB information counter at Basel station together with their Swiss Pass. At Wengen one of us had to get down to see the Wengen station office, but as they were unaware of this special offer we were told that we will get the proper information at Kleine Scheidegg,
At Kleine Scheidegg we were both asked to get down and not allowed to go further unless we paid the extra sum of about CHF 28/- each. We could not believe this was happening to us in Switzerland. Out of mere disbelief & shock we called our friends at Basel on their Mobile. For them it was also unbelievable so they asked us to give the phone to the officer concerned at the station so that they could convey in German about the special offer. When our friends tried to explain to the lady officer that it’s not right for them to say that our tickets were invalid, when we have purchased the additional jungfraujoch mountain tickets alongwith our Swiss Pass from a valid SBB counter at Basel station, she said she would do what she can. The lady officer then spoke to the Kleine Scheidegg station officer, about our problem and he refused to accept our explaination nor to speak to our local Basel friends (who were trying their best to explain in German) and said we would have to pay additional CHF 28.50 per person or forget going up to Jungfraujoch. This was really very very rude and we (as swiss tourists) definitely did not expect that kind of behaviour.
Now this was getting a bit too much on our first day of using our 8 days Swiss Pass. We were angry and very disappointed. All our tickets were issued by SBB ticket office and not by any Tom, Dick or Harry and in spite of that, we were given a hard time and made to pay the additional difference, even though our local friends from Basel tried to explain to them the situation. Even if there was no specials, the fact that the tickets were issued by SBB for a certain price, meant that SBB was responsible for wrong charging and it is no fault of ours, if SBB charged incorrectly.
Besides, in all this hassel, we missed our connection from Kliene Schiedegg to Jungfraujoch and had to wait for one hour. This was certainly not a good way to start our holidays.
The joy and excitement we had in the morning had faded and our trip was spoilt.
Later at the Jungfrau restaurant when we asked if we could avail of their 10% discount offer on Fondue, as was told to us by our local Basel friends, the answer given was if they were to give discounts then they will have to close down the restaurant.
You can imagine the frustration and disappointment we were with Swiss Tourism, whom we thought till then, were a friendly and very efficient organisation. We feel that though the mistake for issuing an under priced ticket (by SBB) was SBB’s, we were not only penalised for the difference in amount, but inconvenienced as to time and emotional drain.
In view of the above, we request you to kindly give us some compensation for all the trouble we have had to go through.
Thanks SBB for ruining our swiss holidays!
PS: Our local friends contact details can be provided if required, for more information.