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Are the Swiss too structured or did we find some bad ones?

Palm Desert, CA
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Are the Swiss too structured or did we find some bad ones?

We spent a couple of days in Zurich last week after a glorious 12 day cruise to Italy and Greece.

We had a problem at the eCafe there (see my review). We had asked them to log us off on one of the computers. They didn't, then refused to waive the extra $14 in usage fees. They would not even listen to our reasoning.

Then we went to dinner with some friends and one in the group asked if he could get pay extra to get some melted cheese on his potatoes. The waiter shouted out "NO!" When our dinner companion started to say something else, the waiter again said "NO!" Again, no opportunity for further dialog.

I had not been to Switzrland for years. I was just wondering if this is typical behavior of the Swiss, anti-war sentiment over Iraq, or just a couple of bad eggs.

We were not rude, loud or demanding, but in both cases we certainly felt dismissed, and have no desire to go back to Switzerland again.

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
Destination Expert
for Montreux, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
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1. Re: Are the Swiss too structured or did we find some bad ones?

Hi lionslions20,

Hmmm. I don't think we can expect all Swiss to always be in a generous and sweet mood. I think you just had a few unlucky days.

I, too, have had some trouble with having my requests denied (couldn't buy fondue for one person no matter what in Wengen in January), but I didn't think they were conspiring against me --

Like Americans, Swiss can be moody.

s

Bergen County, NJ
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2. Re: Are the Swiss too structured or did we find some bad ones?

That is too bad that a couple of people have left such a bad impression of Switzerland for you. But I did find that people outside of Zurich are a lot more friendlier than Zurichers.

I wouldn't let a couple of moody people stop you from going back to Switzerland- because it is such a gorgeous place and has so much to offer. We just got back from a week in Switzerland - most of the people were very friendly and happy to help us- almost overly friendly! We did encounter one snippy lady in a museum but it was minor.

Hopefully you'll give the country another chance and the swiss hospitality will make it up to you!

Zurich
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3. Re: Are the Swiss too structured or did we find some bad ones?

This can happen in Zurich all the time. Very generally talking Swiss people are often a bit reservedq but quite polite but even having lived here almost all my life, I am regulary surprised how rude service can get in hotels, restaurants, etc. But then to our defense it is not worse than in Paris, Barcelona, Milan or New York ;-)

Cheers,

bowmore

Anchorage, Alaska
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for Anchorage, Zermatt
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4. Re: Are the Swiss too structured or did we find some bad ones?

Hi, did you ask to see the manager of the restaurant where the waiter shouted at you? I would have! I find the Swiss to be very hospitable folks but, like here, there are those who get jobs in the hospitality industry and they shouldn't be doing these jobs as they have the wrong temperament or can't get past their own bad day when they are at work.

I, too, find service in any big, business center type of city anywhere in the world to be less responsive than it is in smaller or more tourist oriented towns. Maybe it's because the visitors (many business folks on tight schedules and short tempers who will return regardless of the service) aren't always very pleasant either. I've heard some of these folks in hotels/restaruants and it is appalling - they don't ask, they demand and they become angry when denied regardless of the reason. I'm sorry to say that the reason I noticed was that they were American all too often.

I hope you have the chance to visit Switzerland again and that you will experience the fantastic welcome and service you will likely receive.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Santa Barbara
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5. Re: Are the Swiss too structured or did we find some bad ones?

After 14 trips to Switzerland it becomes obvious that you can make certain generalized statements about how the Swiss view business affairs compared to Americans. My first thought is that one of the pleasures of travel, to experience is to observe and appreciate these differences without jumping to a judgement. Too often anything that is different than what we are accustomed to is perceived to be bad.

This example seems to more of a big city experience versus a more relaxed rural environment and will happen in any big city. However, there are significant differences between US and Swiss behaviors that I find interesting.

The Swiss have no problem answering your question with "I don't know" whereas in many countries you get "down the street and over two blocks" when they don't have a clue. So you see being correct is more important than saving face. Hummm, what's it like here in the US?

6. Re: Are the Swiss too structured or did we find some bad ones?

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