Saturday, February 23, 2008

Busing Like A Bad Dog, Part II

[This is the second post in a series that details the bad treatment that customers have received from Greyhound Lines, Inc. This particular incident took place on Saturday, December 30, 2006.]

[This incident took place in downtown Chicago, Illinois. The Greyhound employee that sold me the ticket out of Altoona, Pennsylvania set-up the route because Colorado was in the grip of a blizzard. So he wrote me tickets to take an alternate route. He called the Chicago terminal after I contacted him. Then he called me back and told me that the Chicago Greyhound employee didn't listen to a word that he said. I then went to the library and sent the following email to Laura Chmielewski, with the Office Of Tourism in Chicago.]

I am livid. And if you take the time to read this entire email, I'm
quite certain that you will understand why.

What I don't understand is why the Chicago Greyhound staff did what
they did to me.

I bought a ticket to Roseburg, Oregon in Altoona, Pennsylvania last
night. I paid $211.00 cash for it.

The man at the Altoona station put together a series of tickets that
put me through to Oregon by way of Minneapolis, etc. Thereby bypassing
the problems in and around Colorado right now.

I boarded the first bus last night and continued on my way to Chicago
where I was to change buses again.

And head to Minneapolis. And then after a 12-hour layover there I
would continue on my itinerary to Oregon.

Everything went fine. Not one driver, not one person in any of
the bus terminals that I stopped at overnight, ever said a thing about my ticket. My
transfers and re-boards ran like clockwork.

Until I got here to Chicago this morning. And that is when the clock stopped!

I was standing in the line to give the driver my ticket and board the
bus. Just like everybody else.

But I noticed that the staff was counting the people in line. Including me.

And when I got up to the driver, he looked at my ticket and then
handed it over to a person who works at this local station. He frowned
at me.

And the woman told me in a sharp tone of voice: "Step over here,
ma'am, out of the line, you are not going on this bus."

I was stunned.

When I asked her what was wrong, she pointed to the
other side of the line and snapped, "Step out of the
line NOW, ma'am!"

I was humiliated and insulted. And very confused.

The bus driver gave me a disgusted look and said, "If you were supposed to go on this bus you
wouldn't have a ticket that looks like this. You'd have a computer
printed one."

And before I had a chance to respond, the woman told me that I would
not be able to take the bus because when I got to Minneapolis the bus
station would be closed.

"Greyhound has a policy that nobody can be dropped-off at a bus
station that is closed at night with that long of a lay-over."

THEN she said that "Minneapolis is getting tired of people coming
there that have nowhere to go when they get there."

I about dropped my teeth!

For the record, I am fifty-one years old and quite capable of handling
myself overnight in Minneapolis.

I intended to get a motel [like a Motel 6 or something] in the
Minneapolis area and then take metro buses back to the Minneapolis bus terminal
in the morning and continue on my way.

INSTEAD, I WAS INSULTED, DEGRADED, AND REFUSED THE SERVICE THAT I PAID
MY OWN GOOD MONEY FOR!!!

I have been told that I will be unable to board a bus out of Chicago,
heading for Minneapolis, until 9p.m. tonight.

When I get to Minneapolis, I am going to have about a 20 minute
window of time to make my next connection.

AND IF THE BUS THAT I BOARD TONIGHT OUT OF CHICAGO IS LATE GETTING
INTO MINNEAPOLIS, I WILL BE STRANDED PERIOD!!!

Do you get what I'm saying here?

I called back to the bus station in Altoona and the guy told me that
he has no idea what the people here in Chicago are talking about. He
swears up-and-down that he has done the right thing by me. And totally
in accordance with Greyhound company policy.

I tried to talk to the folks at the national number and reached
Dallas, Texas. But when the initial responder said she'd switch me over
to her "supervisor", my call was disconnected.

I repeat: I paid over $200.00 for a service and I am so outraged
right now that I am writing to you.

Tell me, is this how travelers are treated in Chicago?

I paid cab fare to get here to the library to send this to you. I will
pay cab fare back to the bus station.

I want answers here. I want Greyhound to know about this. The REAL
Greyhound!! The ones that supposedly run everything.

And I would appreciate a call or an email back from you. Thanks so much.

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