What ticket to buy when travelling to Germany?

  • 17 september 2014
  • 39 reacties
  • 5767 Bekeken

I am sorry that I post this in English due to my inefficient Dutch. And despite the language, I hope you can still help me. Here is my story.
I have the NS OV chipkaart (NS12002428). This afternoon I travelled from Maastricht to Duisburg, Germany. I also have German Student card, which allows me to travel for free in NRW region, Germany.
So,I did not know what or which ticket to buy so I went to ticket office in Maastricht. I presented all my cards (German student card and NS chipkaart) and asked the ticket.
The gentleman behind the desk told me to travel with OV chip kaart from Maastricht to Venlo and from Venlo the German student card will do the job, because it is German train.
I followed his advice, travelled with OV kaart from Maastricht to Venlo and checked out then went into the Eurobahn train from Venlo to Viersen.
When the German conductor saw my student card, she started to scream and treated me some sort of a criminal or thief who tried to cheat her. She even screamed and blamed my lack of German. One of other guests offered me that she can take three other passengers for free after 7 pm so she can say she is with me but this conductor refused. I tried to understand what happened but she issued 40 euro fine and even threaten me to call police.

I will of course contact the Eurobahn tomorrow but is this the case? Do I suppose to have a ticket from Venlo to the first German station? Because my NS chipkaart does not cover from Venlo to the German boarder? I really need to know whether a separate ticket is required between these stations for next time.

Please help me to understand.
Best

39 reacties

Oh my... what a horrible experience.

I'm curious what the answer will be, I really don't know how that would work with a chipcard. They can't expect you to step out of the train at the last Dutch station and take the next one right? In the case of international trains they only travel every few hours.
Thanks Niek!

Indeed, it was a humiliating experience.

I showed all my tickets from today (It was my day trip in Limburg) and tried to tell her that it was not my intention to not to have the ticket but did not work. She apparently told me that it is 2.50 euro and now I have to pay 40 euro for fine. And I still don't understand why I have to pay this. Because the gentleman at the Maastricht ticket office told me not need it.

Anyway, my concern is that NS should provide some sort of alternative for will the daily border crossing people in the region (e.g. Limburg) and also should not provide a false information.
I am sorry that I post this in English due to my inefficient Dutch. And despite the language, I hope you can still help me. Here is my story.
I have the NS OV chipkaart (NS12002428). This afternoon I travelled from Maastricht to Duisburg, Germany. I also have German Student card, which allows me to travel for free in NRW region, Germany.
So,I did not know what or which ticket to buy so I went to ticket office in Maastricht. I presented all my cards (German student card and NS chipkaart) and asked the ticket.
The gentleman behind the desk told me to travel with OV chip kaart from Maastricht to Venlo and from Venlo the German student card will do the job, because it is German train.
I followed his advice, travelled with OV kaart from Maastricht to Venlo and checked out then went into the Eurobahn train from Venlo to Viersen.
When the German conductor saw my student card, she started to scream and treated me some sort of a criminal or thief who tried to cheat her. She even screamed and blamed my lack of German. One of other guests offered me that she can take three other passengers for free after 7 pm so she can say she is with me but this conductor refused. I tried to understand what happened but she issued 40 euro fine and even threaten me to call police.

I will of course contact the Eurobahn tomorrow but is this the case? Do I suppose to have a ticket from Venlo to the first German station? Because my NS chipkaart does not cover from Venlo to the German boarder? I really need to know whether a separate ticket is required between these stations for next time.

Please help me to understand.
Best


Hi Christian,

That is indeed a nasty experience, and good of you to contact Eurobahn. Henceforth, you can buy a ticket from Maastricht to Duisburg at either te ticketmachine. When buying this ticket you can indicate that you travel freely in the NRW region in Germany, so you only pay for the Dutch trajectory. You can also buy this ticket at www.nsinternational.nl or at the servicedesk, however, a small fee will then be charged over the ticket price. I hope i have made it clear to you now. Regards, Robby
And how do you intent to solve this problem?
Christian was given a wrong advice by an NS employee at the Maastricht ticket & service desk due to which he was fined for €40.

The cause of this problem lies with NS and therefore it's obvious that NS should pay back that fine.
Thanks Robby. So it is the gentleman from the Maastricht ticket office's fault. I was there yesterday around 5.50 pm and there was only one person at the desk so one should know who.
Will NS take this responsiblity? I got 40 euro fine by German conductor because of the wrong information.

Further, I went to the website: www.nsinternational.nl and I could not figure out how to buy the ticket till the boarder. Would you advice me to buy the ticket to the 1st German station? Or is there any specific way to buy the ticket only to the boarder?

Best

PS. and many thanks for your kindess to write me in English. I appriciate your extra effort, which I was not aware of, till I met this horrible German boarder (!) conductor who shut at me not speaking German.
Indeed, HansS. Thanks for saying that.

Even if I leave aside this personal insults from the German conductor, which made me really upset, the 40 euro fine is also really painful!
I also think that NS should take this as 'customer service' point of view and compensate it.

Let me add here that I am an Asian ethinic origin and female. I used Christian to be a neutural here.

But I must say that I have several incidents in Germany where I have been targeted for the extra control e.g.) airport, train ticket check etc. Thus, I always (almost obsessively) buy the ticket to not to have this sort of very unpleasant experiences.

Yesterday, I ran into the ticket office because my train was leaving in 8 minutes if I missed that I had to wait for another hour. So, I asked two other cusomters who were in front of me and rearched to the ticket desk then he gave wrong information and I had to go through this.

So, please remember, your wrong advice could create really heartbreaking bad experience for some innocent passenger - this case was me.
Further, I went to the website: www.nsinternational.nl and I could not figure out how to buy the ticket till the boarder. Would you advice me to buy the ticket to the 1st German station? Or is there any specific way to buy the ticket only to the boarder?
Indeed, there is no information on the website. When I fill in the stations you were traveling between, I get:


"Trains for this tract can not be booked online or by telephone. Tickets are for sale at the ticket vending machines at the station"

It appears that you can tell the vending machine you are allowed to travel for free in the Netherlands, but it appears that there is no option to say you can travel for free in Germany. You cannot buy a ticket until the border, because that is not an international ticket. I still wouldn't know how to buy a ticket in your situation.
Unfortunately we can't do anything about the fine, for it was given in a German train and we have no acces to their client data. You will have to speak about Eurobahn about this. I do want to apologize for the wrong information you were given by our personell. We take this signal very seriously.
I do want to apologize for the wrong information you were given by our personell. We take this signal very seriously.
So what would be the correct information? You say: "You can also buy this ticket at www.nsinternational.nl", but this ironically is also not correct: the ticket cannot be bought at the website.
Unfortunately we can't do anything about the fine, for it was given in a German train and we have no acces to their client data. You will have to speak about Eurobahn about this. I do want to apologize for the wrong information you were given by our personell. We take this signal very seriously.

You are responsible because NS gave the TS the wrong information. Because of that he got a fine.

Eurobahn didn't do anything wrong, why would they refund the fine then ?

NS wouldn't do that.

So you should help TS and pay for the costs she has made because of NS actions.

Can't you see that ? You are responsible.
TS should sue the NS for this.

Your apologies are worth nothing if you don't help TS.
Unfortunately we can't do anything about the fine, for it was given in a German train and we have no acces to their client data. You will have to speak about Eurobahn about this. I do want to apologize for the wrong information you were given by our personell. We take this signal very seriously.

I don't understand, why do you need their client data? I have the fine bill right here in front of me and I can scan and send it to you if you need a prove.
NS should have the budget for the customer service and this is the strong case that you should compensate.

Please remember, it seems there is no way to buy the ticket in the NS bending machine or the website for this special circumstances and the ticket office did not sell the ticket then who fault is this?

Why I had to get fine for 40 euro plus personal insults in Germany?
Well, as expected no correct answer from the NS.

Christian, I went to the vending machine because I was curious as well. At the home screen you can choose to buy international tickets, when you select the tract Maastricht to Viersen the machine says that Venlo is the border station!

That means you only have to pay for Maastricht–Venlo, when you are allowed to travel freely in Germany.

That means Robby NS is wrong about "I do want to apologize for the wrong information you were given by our personell. We take this signal very seriously.", because apparently the servicedesk was right and Robby is providing misleading information here.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

*edit* I see now that Robby NS has edited her first post and the information about needing a ticket until the border is no longer in there. So, if the information about the border is also incorrect I'd like to be informed about that as well. It would be nice if Robby would clarify why that information was removed.
Thanks Niek!

I also hope Robby provides me with some correct answer. She also changed the title of my 'post'. They do not want this story to get more attention from other passangers. 🙂

Anyway, NS should improve the connecting route with other countries and its payment.
It seems Robby is not prepared to give a correct answer and even seems changing previouw answers.

As NS did give your the wrong information due to which the German conductor gaven you a €40 fine, I think as a leniency NS should compensate you.

As is seems unable to reach a convenient solution with her, I think it might be advisable to contact one of her supervisers by sending an e-mail to forum@ns.nl

If they might refuse to reply (which also seems quite normal), I also do have some "personal" e-mail addresses; just in case....
HansH, thank you!

Indeed, Robby still did not give me answer that which ticket to buy from Venlo to boarder (?) and what would be the cost in this case.
I shall reply to her and what for the answer. If I don't get the satisfactory answer, I will ask you for further advice.

Once again, thank you.
Unfortunately we can't do anything about the fine, for it was given in a German train and we have no acces to their client data. You will have to speak about Eurobahn about this. I do want to apologize for the wrong information you were given by our personell. We take this signal very seriously.

Dear Robby

Can you answer the following questions;

1. What ticket should I have in this case? From Venlo to the first German station or Venlo to German Boarder? If one have a German student card, which covers NRW, Germany.
2. What would that cost?
3. Where and how could I buy this ticket?
4. It was obviously your employee's fault that I have this trouble and fine of 40 euro. Why you are not compensate it? If it is not your power to make this decision, please give me the contact detail. I would like to take this for the next step.

Thank you.
Hi Christian, I will answer your questions.

You must buy - just like Robby already mentioned earlier in this topic - a train ticket from A (in the Netherlands) to B (in Germany). You can indicate yourself on which routes you are travelling with discount or freely. You can buy a valid train ticket at the ticket machine. You are able to assign discounts or freely parts on your train ticket. I'm not able to check the specific cost of this journey with your student travel product. You can see the total price of your train ticket at the ticket machine on the train station. To be as clearly as possible: You do not buy a ticket to the border, but from Maastricht to Duisburg, where you indicate that you travel freely in Germany.

In addition, you also received a fine from the German Railway. Unfortunately we are not able to undo this fine, but we are willing to look for an appropriate solution. Could you send us a copy of your fine via a private message? I will look into the possible reimbursement of this fine. I look forward to recieve your message.

Unfortunately we can't do anything about the fine, for it was given in a German train and we have no acces to their client data. You will have to speak about Eurobahn about this. I do want to apologize for the wrong information you were given by our personell. We take this signal very seriously.

Dear Robby

Can you answer the following questions;

1. What ticket should I have in this case? From Venlo to the first German station or Venlo to German Boarder? If one have a German student card, which covers NRW, Germany.
2. What would that cost?
3. Where and how could I buy this ticket?
4. It was obviously your employee's fault that I have this trouble and fine of 40 euro. Why you are not compensate it? If it is not your power to make this decision, please give me the contact detail. I would like to take this for the next step.

Thank you.
[quote=Susan NS]Hi Christian, I will answer your questions.

You must buy - just like Robby already mentioned earlier in this topic - a train ticket from A (in the Netherlands) to B (in Germany). You can indicate yourself on which routes you are travelling with discount or freely. You can buy a valid train ticket at the ticket machine. You are able to assign discounts or freely parts on your train ticket. I'm not able to check the specific cost of this journey with your student travel product. You can see the total price of your train ticket at the ticket machine on the train station. To be as clearly as possible: You do not buy a ticket to the border, but from Maastricht to Duisburg, where you indicate that you travel freely in Germany.

In addition, you also received a fine from the German Railway. Unfortunately we are not able to undo this fine, but we are willing to look for an appropriate solution. Could you send us a copy of your fine via a private message? I will look into the possible reimbursement of this fine. I look forward to recieve your message.

[quote=christian ]Unfortunately we can't do anything about the fine, for it was given in a German train and we have no acces to their client data. You will have to speak about Eurobahn about this. I do want to apologize for the wrong information you were given by our personell. We take this signal very seriously.

Dear Susan

thank you very much for your quick reply. So, it is clear that I should bought the ticket from Maastricht to Duisburg (except the free travel part) instead of using the NS chip card. I have the ticket which has all the information (time, station and my name and etc) and I will take a photo and send it to you by email. Please let me know the email address.

best
You must buy - just like Robby already mentioned earlier in this topic - a train ticket from A (in the Netherlands) to B (in Germany).
Robby changed her post after several people had already responded to it! This is really a misleading practice. First misinform and then quietly change the message.

To be as clearly as possible: You do not buy a ticket to the border, but from Maastricht to Duisburg, where you indicate that you travel freely in Germany.

This is what Robby said in her first post: buy a ticket to the border!

That's why I went to the machine in the evening and checked how one can see the border (it is mentioned: Venlo). Robby should have admitted her misinformation and given us the correct information: every moderator should do this. Based on Robby's information I would've bought the wrong ticket (until the border), other people would've bought the wrong ticket.

Robby says" "I do want to apologize for the wrong information you were given by our personell. We take this signal very seriously." but then she does it herself!

Please, this is a general remark: giving the wrong information can happen, but then take the responsibility to correct it. Loes does this and I respect her a lot for being honest.
I reported Robby's post, a clear signal needs to be sent that quietly editing out wrong information without notifying participants in a discussion should not be done by moderators.

Het is ongepast dat een moderator een verkeerde informatie stilletjes aanpast nadat een aantal mensen al op het bericht gereageerd hadden.

Robby vertelde ons (de verkeerde informatie) dat een kaartje tot de grens gekocht moest worden, maar deze informatie is later stilletjes weggehaald zonder mensen te informeren.

Robby zegt: "I do want to apologize for the wrong information you were given by our personell. We take this signal very seriously."

Vervolgens geeft ze zelf verkeerde informatie en doet er niks aan om mensen op de hoogte te brengen van de fout.

Hopelijk nemen jullie dit signaal serieus.
You can't reach me by email. You can upload your fine in a private message (or in this topic).


Dear Susan thank you very much for your quick reply. So, it is clear that I should bought the ticket from Maastricht to Duisburg (except the free travel part) instead of using the NS chip card. I have the ticket which has all the information (time, station and my name and etc) and I will take a photo and send it to you by email. Please let me know the email address.

best
Haha the only person in the world who has no email.

Maybe its easier to set up a general email address so people can communicate easier.
You can't reach me by email. You can upload your fine in a private message (or in this topic).


Dear Susan thank you very much for your quick reply. So, it is clear that I should bought the ticket from Maastricht to Duisburg (except the free travel part) instead of using the NS chip card. I have the ticket which has all the information (time, station and my name and etc) and I will take a photo and send it to you by email. Please let me know the email address.

best


Dear SusanNS

I wasn't able to send the attachment via personal message thus I sent it to forum@ns.nl email. I hope it reach you smoothly.

The fine has deadline for 14 days (by 1st October) thus please take an action soon.
best
Susan and Robby, both of you say NS cannot undo the fine Christian got from the German conductor. However, what NS can do is pay this fine if it was indeed issued due to incorrect information given by an NS employee.

However, after reading this monstrous topic, I cannot help but notice that one key question remains unanswered:

Can you or can you not travel with a German student card between Venlo and Germany?

As in: what if Christian would not have travelled from Maastricht, but from Venlo instead? Would he still have had to buy a ticket as suggested earlier in this topic? After all, I was left to believe that Dutch stations served by German trains have a German ticket machine, I have seen them on several stations along the border. This would suggest that German subscriptions are valid in German trains crossing the border.

In other words, what I'm suggesting is that no NS employee was initially wrong here, the fault is actually on the German conductors side.

The train in question was operated by Keolis (which is the company that operates the Eurobahn trains). I will send them a message, referring to this forum topic, and will post the answer as soon as I get it.
Dear PPP

This is amazing! Many thanks for your time to do this.
Indeed, I was not clear whether I should have a ticket from Venlo to German boarder or Venlo to first station in Germany.
I was planning to contact the student association in Germany to find out whether my student card is valid to the boarder or the first station in the region (VVRNRW in this case) tomorrow.

After all this, I noticed that I did not have a valid ticket during the journey (Venlo to Germany boarder, I assume). More important question is whether the German conductor can punish me not having valid ticket in the Netherlands by German regulation and giving me German fine.

I am so dying to find out the German side of answer. many thanks and let me know.
Best

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