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Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ).
What does the Customer Council do?
Its members rate projects from the customer's perspective, give ideas for new services and make suggestions for improving existing services, by means of a constructive dialogue on equal terms.
We plan on dividing the Customer Council into groups that represent a typical customer journey, based on members' interests. Possible groups:
Searching for information and planning a journey
Buying a ticket/travelcard, booking the journey
Before and after the train journey (first mile, last mile), on the train
In principle, however, all members of the Customer Council can give their opinion on any of these areas.
What obligations are involved? Do I have to do any work in between meetings? Is this time-consuming?
You will be asked to attend four meetings per year. From time to time, you will be asked to give your opinions on planned and existing measures via an electronic portal. Simple preparatory work may also be necessary for the meetings.
In addition, tasks may be delegated to volunteers, such as the position of spokesperson.
What does SBB expect of members of the Customer Council?
An interest in SBB's services. Members of the Customer Council work together to develop recommendations that are passed on to the relevant managers. The Customer Council does not have decision-making authority. The topics discussed must be kept confidential.
It is not possible to complete the online form. How else can I apply?
This is probably due to a technical fault, which will be rectified shortly. Please try again later.
Will my data be handled confidentially?
All data submitted will be treated in the strictest confidence and will not be passed on. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the selection procedure. We will draw lots to select 80 candidates, whom we will invite to face-to-face meetings. 30 candidates will then be selected as members of the Customer Council. The aim of this selection procedure is to ensure that all of our customers and the language regions of Switzerland are well represented.
I do not want all my data to be made known. Can I still apply?
For an application to be successful, all questions marked with an asterisk must be answered. The questions relating to your demographic data, travel habits and language skills are mandatory. You do not have to answer the questions about your education or occupation.
Why does SBB require so much personal data from me?
Members with different personal profiles should be represented on the Customer Council. Your data helps us to put together a well-rounded committee. Our aim is for a wide cross-section of SBB's customers to be represented.
Who is excluded from participating in the Customer Council?
Employees of public transport companies are not eligible to participate.
Where do the meetings take place?
Meetings are usually held at the SBB Passenger head office in Bern:
Wylerstrasse 123/125, 3000 Bern 65, Switzerland.
Depending on the topics covered, other meeting locations may also be used.
When do the meetings take place?
Each meeting is held on a Friday from 9 a.m. until approximately 4 p.m.
Do I have to attend all the meetings?
When you join the Customer Council, you undertake to attend four meetings per year and to respond to periodic surveys via the electronic portal. A justified reason for absence will be accepted. However, the attendance allowance will not be paid in this event.
When is the first meeting?
The first meeting will be held in Bern on 20 November 2015.
In which language will the meeting be held?
The languages for the meeting are German and French, with each participant speaking in their own native language. Excellent passive understanding of both languages is required.
How long do I have to serve?
A term of office for a member of the Customer Council is three years.
Is it possible to stand down prematurely?
Standing down prematurely is not encouraged but it is possible.
If, as an employee, I take time off, is there remuneration for a half working day taken?
No, as this is a voluntary commitment, there is no recompense for time taken off work.
What is new to this Customer Council in comparison with the two previous terms of office?
The following concepts are being introduced in order to improve the Customer Council this time around:
Once the lots have been drawn, the candidates will be invited to a face-to-face meeting that includes a sample group task.
The members of the Customer Council will be assigned to a specific working group based on their interests and concerns.
In addition to the four all-day meetings held each year, from time to time you will also be asked to complete online surveys and to give your opinions on planned and existing measures via an electronic portal. Representatives of interest groups will no longer be part of the Customer Council and will instead have their own vessel for dialogue.
Previously, Council members were chosen simply by drawing lots and no face-to-face meetings were held. Is SBB trying to prevent dissatisfied customers from being members of the Customer Council?
Not at all. The aim of the Customer Council is to show SBB where its weaknesses are. The face-to-face meeting will involve a sample group task similar to those that will be found in a typical Council meeting. A good group dynamic needs the right mix of different personalities, and people with good language and public speaking skills. We have introduced a face-to-face meeting to enable us to choose the right people and to talk about mutual expectations. This also gives you the chance to decide whether you really want to be a member of the Customer Council before you agree to a three-year term of office.