Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thank Goodness for German Efficiency

There has, unfortunately, been no time for modelling over the past few days as I've been away at a project meeting in Kaiserslautern in Germany. To get there I flew to Frankfurt and then took the train to Kaiserslautern changing in Mannheim. Given my inability to usefully converse in German I'd bought my ticket in advance over the Internet, so all I had to do was get on the train.

Unfortunately having arrived in Frankfurt I went to get the print out of the ticket from my bag only to find that the page contained an error message from the printer and not my ticket. I'd printed it in amongst a whole pile of other paper work (boarding pass, hotel reservation etc.) and clearly hadn't checked it. Fortunately the staff in the Deutsche Bahn travel centre were really helpful. I just showed them the electronic copy on my laptop and they printed me off a replacement, all without any extra cost or inconvenience. I hate to imagine how much hassle the same problem would have been in the UK. I'd probably have ended up having to buy a new ticket, so thank goodness for German efficiency.


  1. Mark no you wouldn't. You would have ended up on a bus. The trains aren't running here.

    1. Yes, it's worrying how often the announcements in Sheffield train station start "the train now leaving from the bus station is the...."

  2. In any dealings I have had in mainland Europe, the customer/client is the important part of the equation where "efficiency" means making things go properly for the end-user. In this country, "efficiency" is a word which can mean anything from streamlining the staff (pruning) to streamlining the operation (making one person do the work of three people). It's really all about the "efficiency" with which they can make a quick buck. Recent dealings with my insurance company and my electricity provider only serve to underline that impression, sadly. I'm glad a potentially difficult situation was handled well for you in this instance! Did I mention I can't wait to see the next installment of the Hunslet saga?

  3. Imagine if that had been Ryanair. Oh no even my nightmares are not that bad.