Munich ticket inspectors “intimidate” family into paying fine
A family from the US say they feel confused and angry by the “intimidating” way ticket collectors forced them into paying a €120 fine.
Stephanie and Robert Marcello were returning to the airport on the S-Bahn after a break in Munich with their children, according to a report in The Local.
A ticket inspector not in uniform approached them and said the tickets they bought were not for the correct zone and they needed to pay a €120 fine on the spot.
The couple were not sure if the plainclothes inspector was a real Deutsche Bahn employee and asked if they could pay for the correct tickets.
The inspector refused, demanding they withdraw the money from an ATM at the airport. Another inspector joined them and they remained next to the family for the rest of the journey.
Robert, who is a federal law enforcement officer, asked to speak to the inspector’s supervisor. The reply was: “He is home sleeping”.
“We won’t recommend Germany”
At the airport, four more inspectors arrived, in what Stephanie says was “an obvious intimidation tactic”. The family withdrew the cash to pay the fine.
“It felt like we were being robbed and then treated like criminals, all in the presence of our children,” she recalls.
Robert asked for the police to be involved, but when they arrived they discussed the issue in German with the inspectors before talking with the family.
The police officers confirmed the six inspectors were Deutsche Bahn employees and that the fine was correct. But once the Marcellos had paid, the employees filed a police complaint against the family.
“Needless to say, we will not be coming back. We will not recommend [Germany] to family and friends either,” Stephanie tells The Local, which has reported in the past on similar aggressive tactics used against foreigners in the Munich area.