Thank you for sharing your railway experiences! Now you understand why I travel by car 😉
All communications I read from NS (Dutch railways) are about efficiency and cost cutting. I read a graffiti the other day saying “Efficiency sucks!” I liked that, because if you play tennis with your eye on the score board (focus on efficiency) you won’t hit a ball.
Therefore I was pleasantly surprised by voordeligscheren.nl, a website specialized in shaving gear and razor blades. I mailed them a complaint and their response became nicer throughout the mail conversation: they started off with a -harsh- reply that they only sell good products, but the moment the contact became more personal (I was in contact with the same employee all the time), the better it got.
“Send it back and we will check”, was their second reply, so I did. Then they said that they couldn’t find any malfunction, but would replace the razor blades and add a new package for the inconvenience. In the end they even included a free trimmer for the (2 day) late delivery!
That is exactly what you always say: service is created in personal interactions. So, it will be a challenge for NS to achieve that with (non functioning) ticket machines!