WHAT IF COMMUNICATION DOES NOT HELP?

Last week I reported the latest news of the German train company (“Deutsche Bahn”) and their letter that asked me for some patience.

The latest News

This week I received another letter with the information that they needed my train tickets.

Big problem!

I booked the ticket via the Swiss railways on their mobile app. I remember that they also sent me an e-mail but why keeping it (I am definitely not a collector) if everything is on my mobile and I already returned from my trip?

So I called the German customer support explaining my situation. I understand that they cannot help me unless I can give them their order number.

The next issue.

Online tickets are being deleted 31 days after the trip happened. The only thing I could offer was the receipt that contains certain reference numbers. I proposed to send it by e-mail.

Wrong again!

The customer support of the German train company only accepts letters. I MEAN PHYSICAL MAIL THAT GOES INTO A PHYSICAL LETTERBOX!

But I am glad they already know how to operate a telephone and accepted me to give them the respective numbers verbally. The gentlemen promised to give that number to the respective department which will bestow another letter upon me.

What is communication at all?

According to some system theories (e.g. Niklas Luhmann) communication and understanding are two different things.

Communication happens as soon as people talk about it. No matter if you understand the meaning of my words in this post. As soon as you tell someone that I wrote this article it is considered communication. In other words: Misunderstanding is as good a communication as complete agreement.

Form this aspect I had a great communication with the support centre. If it was also useful and I’ll get my fare or parts of it refunded is yet to be discovered.

And the story continues…

4 Comments

  1. Dear Brigitte, the story continues to be seeming comical, although I know how frustrating it can be. However, what really concerns me is the fact, that most communication is actually misunderstanding. Since I have done research on comprehensibility and (mis)understanding for some years now I even have to say: If there is a misunderstanding or misconception people will reject new and true information because it doesn’t fit in with the “knowledge” they already have… If you want to see it in an optimistic way: Be glad that they at least communicate with you 😉

    • Dear Sascha, thanks for your comment. I did not know about the rejection of correct information. But maybe my digital ticket disturbs the train company’s knowledge? So far the story rather amuses me. It is like a novel you’re anxiously reading towards the (happy) end. 🙂

  2. This reminds me very strongly of a old Swiss comedian, who tried to get billed for his telephone expenses in the holiday flat he used, by getting in contact with the telephone provider. This was even before the inventions of mobile phones and the likes, it is kind of sad but still amusing to see, that this side of life has sort of not improved. 🙂

    • Hi Erika, indeed. No matter what tools one uses it is still about attitude. And in my case it is funny, tragic and slightly old-fashioned. 🙂

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