Complaint: Shipping slower than walking

  • 2 September 2021
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I have had to postpone the trip I had planned for this month because I was unable to buy an Interrail pass that would be delivered in time. I was ordering it to a relative’s residence in Frankfurt am Main. It said that it would be delivered by PostNL (the Dutch postal service) & take 17 days to arrive.

I could walk from any major city in the Netherlands to Frankfurt am Main in under 17 days.

I genuinely mean this. Frankfurt is approximately 225 miles away from both Rotterdam and Amsterdam. To walk this in 17 days would mean managing a leisurely 13¼ miles per day. At a typical walking speed of 3mph, this would mean walking for only 5 hours a day. And for this snail mail, they charge €19.

One may say that the covid-19 pandemic has reduced the availability of staff to process the orders, but I seriously doubt that it takes that much employee time to manufacture an Interrail pass.

I do myself great woe to resort to such cynicism, but I am genuinely concerned that Eurail may be deliberately making their product worse to push people onto mobile passes. I do not use mobile ticketing because I do not want the unnecessary responsibility of making sure my phone has charge, it is not necessary & not customer-friendly. It is an example of how just because something uses modern technology doesn’t automatically make it better.

I could go into detail about the philosophical forces behind this sort of thing, how postmodernism has destroyed the idea of searching for objective Truth, leading to the idea that morality has no place in business, but I feel I ought to wrap this up lest I be taken as encouraging some sort of mutiny against Interrail, which has served me well in the past & which I have every hope & faith will serve me well in the future.

It’s just that my planned route goes through the Netherlands, & it would honestly have been about 2 weeks quicker for me to go to Interrail headquarters & collect my pass myself, or even to have used polyjuice potion (the Interrail website references Harry Potter somewhere) to transform into one of their employees while they’re out having lunch, gone into the office to print my own pass, & left a €500 note on the keyboard. When one’s use of the means of production appears to be less efficient than a random member of the public’s would be, it really undermines one’s purpose. I feel for the Interrail employees; it must be a depressing office in which to work at the current time.


1 reply

Userlevel 6
Badge +8

The pass will be shipped in my experience from Ireland :) and the 17days is just to be sure :) Often when we bought the passes they said delivery times 10-14days but usually the pass arrived within 3 days :)

There is an easy option to get the Interrailpass directly without any waitingtime. Visit the next International Ticket office in Germany these are the “DB Reisezentren” at major stations :)

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