Vos Papiers, s’il vous Plait

This blog doesn’t trade in cheap stereotypes* – it would be ridiculous, for example, to characterise the entire German railway as being mindlessly efficient, or to dismiss the British ones as being purely greedy and incompetent. Therefore there must be some reason other than some putative gallic love of needlessly complex bureaucracy to explain why, when I paid the SNCF ticket machine 4 Euros and 10 cents for a 4 Euro 5 cent ticket, it didn’t merely pocket the difference as some British machines do, nor did it efficiently pay out the change as a German machine might, but instead printed out a slip explaining to me that I had overpaid by 5 cents and inviting me to apply for a refund at any SNCF office.

I’d do it, but I’m worried I might have to fill out a form.

* ahem

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7 responses to “Vos Papiers, s’il vous Plait

  1. The french never fail to amaze me – and not in a good way!

    merry Christmas!

  2. …..to characterise the entire German railway as being mindlessly efficient….

    and it would be a lie if you’d do so, lol

    efficiency is a foreign word to the German Railway BELIEVE ME

    i guess that’s what they’re playin at with the little refund slip, especially when it’s amounts like 5 cent, i wonder how much profit they make with stuff like that. People who just wont bother.

  3. and oh yeah, MERRY CHRISTMAS

  4. Hannah, you disappoint me. Germans not efficient?

    But Happy Christmas to both of you anyway

  5. very merry christmas to you, disgruntled. we’re going to be sampling the delights of sncf, gare de lyon to clermont ferrand, before too long. i was agreeably pleased by their website when i booked the tickets! i’ll report back … (or is that boring?)

  6. not too boring at all, as long as there’s disgruntlement…

  7. German railway efficient? That truly is one stereotype which unfortunately is some urban myth. Trust me, I’ve dealt with it for 6months, and whilst WHEN it runs normally, it’s great, unfortunately, generally it doesn’t run normally. Not that the Dutch railway is any better, it’s just as much chaos as everywhere. Suppose only the Japanese know how to do it, but then, that’s a bit far to go for research…

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