Austrians off the christmas card list!

Oct 20th, 2011, 01:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 149
Wow.. never expected such a response. As I said at the time, I was letting off steam and was attempting to do so in a somewhat light hearted way. I did accept that we were in the wrong but was feeling a bit put out by the attitude of the toll road worker. Thanks everyone for making it an interesting and exciting post and I shall put you all ON the Christmas card list!!!
CailinDeas is offline  
Oct 20th, 2011, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 344
Sorry this happened to you, but thanks for sharing your experience. This is one of the best ways for travelers to learn of such things. Unlike some of the more clearly law-abiding posters above I don't thoroughly research every law and regulation of a country prior to crossing a border for a quick visit. This generally isn't a problem for me since I don't go hiking near Iran.

I hope your husband doesn't write-off Austria forever, but I agree with not sending a Christmas card THIS year if it makes him feel better! ;-)
Sidny is offline  
Apr 8th, 2012, 01:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Same thing happened to us today, we crossed the borders from Germany and we stayed for less than an hour in the country. I'm really upset with their behavior and the fact there are not signs on the road to make you realize you need to pay tolls. I'm really wondering what the Austrian government is doing on making the law more efficient, because the country is hurting its tourism industry. Obviously, we cancelled our, planned, summer holidays in Austria.
sterk is offline  
Apr 8th, 2012, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 427
It sounds as though the Austrian government is doing just fine by penalising traffic offenders, the same as every country in the world does.

By cancelling your planned summer holiday you seem to be punishing only yourself....
mjdh1957 is online now  
Apr 8th, 2012, 05:09 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 657
As that well known descendant of Graz said, "Auf wiedersein" baby! [I know that is spelled incorrectly but you get the sentiment]. I have spent a fair amount of time in Austria and found it welcoming,comfortable, and unremarkable. Kind of like visiting Kansas in the US. If memory serves, we are coming up on 200 years since Austria had import. If they don't want my money, I will not give it to them!!
weber6560 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2012, 05:24 PM
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It's easy enough to read the rules while your on the car rental website. If you rent a car in Europe, you should tell them where you plan to drive. When we rented in Munich the car company gave us all we needed to drive in Austria, including the reflective vest they require should one break down.

They have to do something to maintain the roads.
LSky is offline  
Apr 8th, 2012, 06:20 PM
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You're "really upset" that in Austria the police enforce their laws? Hard to believe you never heard of an Austrian "Vignette" (toll sticker). You should have done a little research before traveling. Y
pja1 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2012, 07:14 AM
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For replying to those people talking about the "rules and the laws" , I absolutely agree that we need to be inline and to follow the laws. I don't know how many of you read everything about a country you don't plan to visit. When you are in a German highway it's a piece of cake to pass to Austria, and we did so for less than an hour. I had no problem to pay the toll, but how the hell I could know? No I don't plan to read the laws of every country in the world unless I plan a visit. Please put signs on the road to let people know they need to pay, otherwise this is a scam...
sterk is offline  
Apr 9th, 2012, 10:46 AM
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Contrary to the above , the vignette system / highway use sticker is not a "scam" Numerous european countries have similar toll systems. Poster will need to limit his travel in Europe to avoid these countries if this is a problem.
Signs as you enter on most all highways to indicate the need for this sticker. Every travel guide has mention of these tolls.
Frequent discussions on this site and others regarding this subject.
Poster seems able to find this forum to complain, yet does not use it for research.

This is a fair system for building and maintaining the highways.
In Austria for example , a quasi public company was esrtablished to build and maintain major roadways including rest stops etc.

The revenues from the tolls from autos and a similar system for trucks are used by this company.
Thus no need for feseral monies for this.
A fair system as those using the roads pay for them.
molker is offline  
Apr 9th, 2012, 11:51 AM
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"I had no problem to pay the toll, but how the hell I could know?"

How the hell could you know? Seriously? No one has suggested that you read the laws of every country but you were visiting Austria.
LSky is offline  
Apr 9th, 2012, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Hi LSky, as you may understood from my previous posts I was NOT visiting Austria, but I was in a German highway, missing my exit, get into Austria (as there is no way back in a highway until the next exit) and then (less than an our later) we were returning to Germany (I was stopped 100m before the borders where they had controls). As there were not signs for tolls and the way of payments I was totally unaware.

@Molker you are right, but as I was visiting Bavaria I didn't have an Austrian travel guide but a German as I didn't have any intention to get in any neighboring countries. It's maybe hard to believe but I was really unaware of the sticker toll. I do think is a fair and smart system (as travelling is faster without the physical tolls) my problem is the way it is communicated (for people not intending to get into Austria, like me) and not the system itself.
sterk is offline  
Mar 6th, 2013, 07:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Happened to me too. Avis in Hamburg did not mention it when I gave them my itinerary. Crossing into Austria near Salzburg, there were some signs about Vignette's in German so I pulled over to an inconspicuous looking building (there were no lanes provided on the highway to pay that as I'm used to). They confirmed that I needed a Vignette and that I needed to display it in the windshield which I did, placing it in the holder provided in the car. Drove about 2km and took 1st exit to stop for gas. Upon exiting I encountered the Vignette police (did not know that at the time). They were neither polite, nor unfriendly and demanded (no reason given) to see drivers license, passport and registration papers for everybody in the car which I handed over. Next word out of the officers mouth was "now you have to pay 120 Euro". Upon questioning why, the reason given was that the Vignette was not properly displayed (ie stuck to the windshield in a proper location). No amount of reasoning helped so in the end I paid. As soon as I did so they packed up the van and left - presumably happy with their days loot!

Did it make me happy about visiting Austria? Did it make me spend any more time there than absolutely necessary? Does it make me want to return? I plan to write the Austrian Embassy to see what they can do to make amends!
svein99 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2013, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Since this original thread is about a year and a half old, did CailinDeas really follow through with the threat to drop the Austrians from the Christmas card list? This has been my one great worry for all that time. And did all the other posters so upset with the Austrians take any punitive action against them?

Just so you know, I no longer read Slovenian or Austrian movie magazines.
Huggy is offline  
Mar 6th, 2013, 09:46 AM
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The whole thing about packing up the van and leaving sounds like a scam to me.
Dukey1 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2013, 09:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 149
Huggy, I couldn't leave you in that state for too long. I just had to post to put you out of your misery!! Two Christmases have passed since our unfortunate sojourn in Austria. And indeed that's two Christmases without a seasonal card winging its way from our Irish shores to the Austrians. No sign of the Sound of Music chez nous either and there is a blanket ban on the music of Schubert, Liszt and not a vienna roll nor a viennese whirl has passed our lips!!
The Austrians have written on several occasions to beg us to reconsider but I am afraid my husband's heels are firmly dug in!! I, myself, am partial to the odd viennese whirl and would be willing to put the whole sorry affair behind me for a plate of weiner schnitzet and a couple of those yummy biscuits to follow! Holiday destination 2013 is curently being hotly contest by a number of countries and needless to say Austria doesn't feature!
CailinDeas is offline  
Apr 11th, 2013, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 516
Thank you for your update. I too have crossed all, I repeat-all Slovenians from not only my Christmas card list, but also my St. Pats card list. Let us unite to see whom else we might punish.

Have you heard updates from other posters? I plan to attend the Cannes film festival to protest against the Slovenian made films. I promise you my voice will be heard! I might add that sooner or later, time heals all wounds.
Huggy is offline  
Feb 21st, 2015, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 1
Unfortunately this is still going on as it happened to me as well. I was traveling from Switzerland to Germany towards Neuschwanstein Castle and my route took me under Lake Constance and into about 10-15 miles of Austria. I had planned to buy the "Vignette" (which is a motorway toll pass for those like myself who have never heard of that before) at the border... however there was no place to buy it and no signs in English that I could read. Shortly after that instead of Austria having a place to purchase your Vignette, they have a convenient trap to pull everyone over on the motor way to charge you of driving without a Vignette and give you a fee of $120 euros. It's a total sham. According to the police-like people that talked to us, I was supposed to go a Petrol station and buy one. There was no due process or understanding, so they said "You Must Pay, NOW! NOW!" otherwise they would confiscate our documents and passports. It is total BS that this is the process. The signs were not properly marked in English or in any obvious way. Stay away from Austria! Also to be clear, I had no intention to ever be in Austria so for those that will want to respond that I should have known the rules I did not plan to be there. On top of that, I did not foresee a country having such a poor process and still sticking it to you with a fee. Yes, it's not fair and I've contacted the consulate and their Asfinag company to see if they can do anything about it. Ofcorse, no response after a few weeks. Be warned and hope this doesn't happen to anyone else!! It is an unfair way to treat people.
artysports is offline  
Feb 21st, 2015, 08:55 AM
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Why should they have signs in English when the country speaks German?
bilboburgler is offline  
Feb 21st, 2015, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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You know what? The word Vignette is used everywhere.
Like in these photos of the signs used in Austria.
ribeirasacra is offline  
May 10th, 2015, 05:07 AM
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1
Happened to me too.. ASFiNAG, you're doing BS job, too many places people can't see your signs.
sakurad is offline  

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