Webster's Online Dictionary

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Archive for July, 2010

Scotsman online, 17 July 2010

Scotsman online, 17 July 2010

Eddie Barnes at the Scotsman must have been in quite a hurry dashing this headline out: “MacAskill could be summoned to Washington to testify on Megrahi ing in here heading in here heading in here”

Want to buy a train ticket in Switzerland? Yeah, that’s possible … but hang on: don’t try to buy it in advance … the Swiss railways (SBB) have decided, that their customers are too likely to change their mind if travel is more than 30 days in the future. So you can’t buy a ticket for a journey more than 30 days away.

This is certainly straight stupid.

Interesting is the reason they give: “Da OnlineTickets nicht erstattet werden können, haben wir die Vorverkaufsfrist auf 30 Tage beschränkt. Denn je näher der Reisetag rückt, desto höher ist die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass Sie die Fahrt auch wirklich antreten können.” — “Since online tickets cannot be refunded, we have reduced the sales period to 30 days before travel. Since the closer your day of travel, the higher the probability that you actually will be able to travel.”

This is a textbook example of bad service design (no refunds). Even worse: the service provider officially declares the customer the stupid party and makes the service even worse. The stupid one in this case is, once more the service provider, in this case the Swiss railways — and probably the Swiss in general who seem to be happy with this nanny treatment.

Public transport on Google Maps (Google Transit) … is available in Poland, Romania, Tunisia, even Italy, Spain, Portugal, the UK and Belgium — no surprise that Germany, Switzerland, France are covered.

But the Netherlands? A blank spot …

Google Transit Coverage

from Google Transit at