Go Greyhound again? Not in this lifetime!

        

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On 10 Dec 2003, I reserved a ticket (via Greyhound’s Internet website) for a friend to travel round-trip from Palm Springs to Benson, AZ. Specific departure times were selected from a menu, and were shown on the confirmation and tickets. No mention was made at the time of booking (or any time prior to ticket purchase) that there were “no reservations”, or that seating was on a "first-come, first serve basis", although the latter was mentioned in the in "ticket purchase confirmation" received after purchase. It was certainly strongly implied, and ambiguously stated, that departure times were unchangeable by either party, and that the seating sold and “booked” was available.

On 17 Dec 2003, when my friend arrived in Indio (a scheduled "transfer point" in her itinerary), she was informed that the bus from Indio to Benson was (overbooked and) full, and that only passengers with military identification would be allowed to (remain on) board, and that all other passengers would be forced to take later departures! This was our first notification that our "reservations" had been misrepresented, and were nothing but undeclared stand-by tickets! This was also a contradiction of Greyhound’s stated "first-come, first serve basis" (of which we were only notified subsequent to ticket purchase in contradiction to pre-purchase representations), priority instead being based on military enlistment! My friend was also informed that there were no more buses to Benson, and that she would have to reroute to Tucson, and have someone pick her up there, which she did. She was NOT informed that her baggage would have to be "re-ticketed to Tucson", nor advised how this procedure was to be magically accomplished in the chaos of trying to board the bus to which she was eventually reassigned, and which was allegedly leaving “immediately”. Furthermore, contrary to what she was told when she was illegally removed from the original bus, the Tucson bus to which she was directed did not leave for another 3 hours, during which time she and the other waiting passengers were locked out of the Indio terminal, and forced to wait in the bitter cold! Had she been told this, she could have (and would have) either called someone to either bring her back home (about an hour’s drive) or bring her to Benson (about a 6 hour drive).

18 Dec 2003 ~ 8:00 a.m - When she arrived in Phoenix, there was a "10 minute stopover" during which my friend telephoned and notified me to pick her up in Tucson at the scheduled 10:25 a.m. arrival time. Subsequently, after she boarded the bus, there was a 72-minute delay before the bus actually departed, of which delay there was no way for my friend to notify me. Thus we were both further inconvenienced by Greyhound’s lack of courtesy and inability to fulfill their statements, promises and obligations.

18 Dec 2003 ~ 10:45 a.m. - When the "Schedule 6146" bus had not arrived at the Tucson bus station on time, I also noted the "arrival" schedules posted on the walls did NOT mention such a bus “schedule”. I lined up for 20 minutes at the ticket counter, and eventually was able to inquire about my friend ’s (latest) bus. I was informed that it was 72 minutes late. I became irate. How could his be?  We had reservations made weeks ago. Then, despite those reservations, my friend was forced to wait 3 hours in the cold, and take a later bus from Indio. Then she was only given a few minutes in Phoenix to notify me, because her bus was allegedly leaving immediately! Where was that bus now?  I asked to speak to a supervisor, and a young man identifying himself as "Jorge, I'm a supervisor, we don't give out our last names" told me he had THREE schedule 6146 buses en route, all of which were late. Requests for clarification of this confusing information were responded to with "I just told you, there are three buses, one xx minutes late, one yy minutes late, and one zz minutes late". Requests for verification of the current location of the bus, and whether or not my friend was on it, were met with sneering lack of co-operation, culminated by "Jorge sans surname" rudely walking away.

18 Dec 2003 ~ 11:40 a.m. - When the "Schedule 6146" bus finally arrived (75 minutes late), my friend was indeed on it. However, her luggage was not! Depot staff was confused, confusing, contradictory, rude, and uncooperative. The bus driver (now) stated that my friend should have "re-ticketed" the baggage to Tucson (something he failed to mention in Indio), and suggested the baggage was probably removed from the bus in Phoenix (which seems to have been the case). This driver was extremely rude, uncooperative, and made a number of non-factual and insulting statements. [E.g. he claimed that there were no passengers on the bus during the 72-minute delay in Phoenix, and that my friend would have had plenty of time to stand in a lengthy line to accomplish the up-to-now unmentioned “re-ticketing”, whereas all the passengers were in fact boarded during the delay. He also claimed, “It’s not my problem”, although he was the very driver who removed my friend from the bus in Indio, failed to mention anything about “re-ticketing” baggage, and inaccurately told her that there was another bus leaving for Tucson in a few minutes.]

Mr. "Jorge, supervisor sans surname" was also quite rude, refusing to reply to my direct questions, acting as though I wasn’t standing there, refusing to clarify his confusing and ambiguous statements, and refusing to provide even a modicum of accurate information or assistance. He finally agreed to call Phoenix baggage department and determine if the bags were there, and to request and insure that they would be on the next Benson bus (scheduled for arrival in Benson @ 8:50 p.m.). This was after wasting our time for over an hour. He also told us that we would have to meet the bus at the bus stop, that "it's a flower shop", and that the driver "wouldn't leave them on the sidewalk" if we weren't there when the bus arrived (failing to mention, or perhaps unaware, that there was a lockbox for just such circumstances). Thus, Mr. "Jorge, supervisor sans surname" cost us many additional hours of inconvenience and distress, on top of the nightmare that this simple “trip to Benson” had become. 

When we arrived home, there was a telephone message from "George, sans surname" stating that the bags were in fact in Phoenix, and would definitely be on the Schedule 1418 bus to Benson, arriving at 8:50 p.m. that evening. He also reiterated that we should call about 8pm to determine if the bus was running late. (This turned out to be yet another inaccurate, unhelpful, and expensive waste of time).

18 Dec 2003 ~ 8 p.m. - I called the Tucson Greyhound station, and requested to speak to a supervisor. "Vidya Also Without a Last Name" identified herself as a supervisor. When I asked whether the Schedule 1418 bus to Benson was on time, she replied that there were three Schedule 1418 buses, 30 minutes, 10 minutes, and 12 minutes behind schedule respectively. When I asked which of the three was scheduled to arrive in Benson at 8:50 p.m., she replied that none of them were, but that one was scheduled for 8:15!  As a result, we rushed to the Benson depot, only to wait until ~9:25 p.m. for the single Schedule 1418 bus that was scheduled to stop in Benson that night at 8:50 p.m.! Obviously, Greyhound depot staff have no idea what these “schedules” mean either. Nor do they know the meaning of common courtesy, helpfulness, or customer service.

The bags were NOT on the bus! The driver, Eddie sans surname, informed us that --- had the (unaccompanied) bags been loaded --- he would have been informed at the time of loading. He also informed us that the two other buses were not scheduled to stop in Benson, and that their drivers would not have allowed luggage tagged for Benson to be loaded on their buses. Regardless, he offered to speak to the other drivers when he saw them later in Lordsburg, New Mexico, and ask them to check their buses for the misrouted baggage.

I called "Vidya sans surname" again, and asked her to attempt to locate the bags. She agreed to call Phoenix, El Paso, etc. and telephone the results later.

Subsequently, Schedule 1418 driver Eddy telephoned (as promised), and said the bags were NOT on the other two buses either. Vidya called and said the bags were not in Phoenix, and that she would fax El Paso. Whether or not she did so is anyone’s guess.

19 Dec 2003 ~ 3:30 a.m. - I called the Tucson depot, and spoke to "Nick, not a supervisor, but still without a surname". He said he was “all alone”, with no supervisor on duty, that he knew nothing of the bags, that “Supervisor Vidya sans surname” had not informed him of the continuing problem, and that he couldn't (or wouldn’t) do anything to assist. He did offer to look in the Tucson baggage room under the remote possibility that they were there. Not surprisingly, they were not. He suggested that I call the Phoenix baggage office, not mentioning that they were closed until 8:30 a.m. (and thus causing me to waste more of my time and money on yet another long-distance call). He also suggested I call back at 8:30 a.m. and speak to "Yvonne", the "lost baggage tracing agent", who curiously had not been mentioned earlier by "supervisors" "Jorge and Vidya Sans Surname" (possibly with good reason, as “Yvonne” eventually did nothing more than the aforementioned dishonest, rude and unhelpful staff).

19 Dec 2003 ~ 8:30 a.m. – I called Tucson, asked for "Yvonne", and was transferred to a phone which rang, but was not answered (which seems to be another pattern for Greyhound “Customer Service”).

19 Dec 2003 ~ 8:50 a.m. – I called "Jorge" in Tucson. He rudely disclaimed any responsibility or interest in the matter, and suggested I call Phoenix myself, “since they had the bag last”, and he had “already spoken to them”.

19 Dec 2003 ~ 8:55 a.m. – I called Phoenix  multiple times. There was either no answer, or (once) the phone was eventually answered, followed by "just a minute", and transfer to a ringing telephone extension which was not answered --- thus forcing us to incur additional long-distance charges for the unanswered call.

19 Dec 2003 ~ 9:00 a.m. – We called the Benson "Flower Shop", and were told there was no bag in the lock box, but there was a 9:05 eastbound and 9:55 westbound expected from El Paso and Phoenix (on which the bags might be).

19 Dec 2003 ~ 9:10 a.m. – I called Tucson , asked for "Yvonne", and was transferred to another ringing phone. "Yvonne" eventually answered, said she was "with a customer" and that she would call back.

19 Dec 2003 ~ 9:30 a.m. – We called Tucson, asked to speak to "Yvonne's" supervisor, and eventually spoke to "Jose sans Surname", who said he would check with Phoenix and El Paso, and suggested we call Phoenix and the "Central Baggage Locator".

19 Dec 2003 ~ 9:45 a.m. – We called the "Central Baggage Locator", and were put on hold.

19 Dec 2003 ~ 10:10 a.m. – We again called the Benson "Flower Shop", and spoke with Madge. Both scheduled buses had arrived, but the bags had not. Madge suggested it might be on the 1:40 p.m. bus, adding “optimistically” that “sometimes [lost bags] go back and forth between Phoenix and El Paso for weeks, but eventually they arrive”.

19 Dec 2003 ~ 10:10 a.m. - "Yvonne" from Tucson finally called back. She said that she would call Benson and Phoenix, speak directly to their "tracer", and would then call us back.

19 Dec 2003 ~ 10:20 a.m. - "Yvonne" from Tucson called back, but only said that Benson and Phoenix claimed the bag was not there (which we already knew), and that she could do nothing more. She said the next step was to go to Benson, and put in a claim! I asked to speak to the station manager. She "transferred" me, but there was no answer (something which has been typical of Greyhound throughout this nightmare).

19 Dec 2003 ~ 2 p.m. – We went to Benson "flower shop" and spoke to the Greyhound agent there (Madge?). She said this happens all the time, and that the bags eventually appear. She took our name and details, and said it was "too early" to file a claim (which, of course, contradicted the information provided by “Yvonne”), and that she would call if bags arrived.

20 Dec 2003 @ 20:34 - We had heard nothing further from Greyhound regarding the baggage, and assumed it to be still "lost".

20 Dec 2003 @ ~21:00 - Driver “Eddy” called! He said he had noticed that our bags were in the Benson lockbox, and that there were 5 more buses going to Benson that night, the first of which was "one hour behind" him. He suggested we could meet the bus and request that the driver open the lockbox for us. We thanked him profusely for his help (which was atypical of all the other Greyhound personnel we have encountered during this nightmare trip). We arrived in Benson ~ 22:00, and waited until 23:30. Unfortunately, no buses arrived, and we can only assume “Eddy” was confused in respect to their itineraries, or that the buses were running extremely late. We decided, rather than wait (potentially) all night, to return in the morning for the scheduled 9:05 a.m. eastbound or 9:50 a.m. westbound bus to arrive (and request their driver open the lockbox and give us our purloined property). We resisted the temptation to force open the lockbox and help ourselves, despite the further inconvenience and expense to ourselves, and despite the fear that the bags might somehow disappear from the lockbox before morning.

21 Dec 2003 @ ~09:00 – We again went to the Benson flower-shop a.k.a. Greyhound depot. After about 45 minutes, the 9:05 a.m. bus arrived, and the driver was kind enough to open the lock box and give us our baggage – a mere 84 hours since our “11-hour trip” began. Unfortunately, all the baggage had been thoroughly rifled, aptly demonstrating the total lack of security in Greyhound’s baggage handling procedures.

This entire situation is ridiculous. Our "reservations" (made 8 days in advance) were completely ignored. Greyhound now claims they do not make reservations, that they only sell tickets. However this is false!  No such information was specified prior to ticket purchase. It was necessary for us to specify (and book) precise departure times in order to purchase the tickets. It is strongly implied in the pre-purchase information that these times are fixed, and cannot be amended by the passenger (nor reciprocally by Greyhound). We have now spent more time and money, and traveled almost as many miles, as if I had driven to Palm Springs, and transported my friend to Benson myself. It would have been far less expensive for her to have traveled by air, or even to have made the trip by chauffeur-driven limousine! Furthermore, my friend was without clothing and other personal items for 3 days, much of which we were forced to replace at considerable cost. Our telephone bill included a substantial number of fruitless and costly long-distance calls to Greyhound (which mostly ended in our being put on hold for hours and ultimately disconnected). Greyhound did NOT provide the advertised, represented, and promised transportation services; and their incompetence and errors have cost us ten times the ticket costs so far. Greyhound refuses to reimburse us for the ticket (which they failed to honour), much less our time and additional expenses. We reserved seats for a less-than-12-hour trip from Palm Springs to Benson. We received instead a 4-day expensive, time-consuming ordeal, further aggravated by some of the rudest, most inconsiderate, and least helpful staff we have ever encountered.

We will never travel Greyhound again. I suggest anyone considering doing so heed our experience. From what I've seen and heard from others (subsequently), our experience with Greyhound is neither unusal nor unique.

For those of you with similar problems, I suggest you complain to Greyhound and government officials, and take your case to court if you can't get satisfaction. Here are a few addresses and other data:

Greyhound Lines, Inc. is incorporated in the State of Delaware.

Executive Offices: 15110 N. Dallas Parkway, Suite 600, Dallas, Texas 75248, (972) 789-7000
Executive Officers: Steven Gorman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Cheryl W. Farmer, Senior Vice President - Finance
IRS EIN: 86-0572343
Registered agent for service of process: CT Corporation System, 350 N. St. Paul St., Dallas, TX 75201

Unpleasant experiences of some other Greyhound customers:

Roy's Tale:

http://bix.org/rcb/greyhound.html


Amiejay's Tale

August 09, 2007

I know how you feel about greyhound. Don't worry... You are not the only one.....

My story....

Around three am on July 14th [2007], my bus was stranded in Blythe, CA due to engine troubles. When the next bus arrived in Blythe, the majority of the passengers boarded. It was too full, so I stayed behind, along with 10-15 other passengers. I was told that the bus would be fixed and ready to leave by ten am. So, at eight am, I walked to Kmart to get a puzzle book and food. When I returned, fifteen minutes later, the bus was still there, but my stuff was missing. The driver said that they couldn't get the bus running, so another bus had come and taken everyone.
THEY TOOK MY CARRY-ONS!!! They were moved onto the other bus, without my knowledge or permission. Another bus took me to LA three hours later. I managed to get the majority of my personal belongings back, with one exception.

My backpack is still missing. Inside of this bag are things of great monetary and personal value, including: my laptop (which was only purchased in summer 2006) my entire CD collection (70-90 total) as well as some computer games and my Discman.

The bus driver from the first bus said that himself and the other driver knew what was in my bag because they opened it!!

It is now August 9, 2007. I still have not heard a word.

My checked baggage was waiting for me in Fresno when I arrived, though.

I will never travel with Greyhound again.

I will also do everything in my power to tell everyone what happened to my stuff.

THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW!!!!

I'm just glad that i'm not alone in this!

Amiejay


Ron's Tale

January 18, 2008

The Greyhound logo suggests streamlined efficiency. How untrue!

I just returned to Mesa, Az from Detroit, MI via Greyhound. The ticket that I bought in Detroit showed me arriving in Mesa at 12:58pm on January 14th. Off I went...

The first problem I encountered was on the leg from Detroit to Dayton where the drivers collaborated in changing destinations and schedules because a driver hadn't shown up for work. Where I should have gone from Dayton to Indianopolis, I was re-routed to Cincinnati then Indianapolis. After that change, I found that all my schedules were off and I spent hours in layovers.

Finally Oklahoma City, a very arrogant black driver announced that he wanted all bags stored overhead were to be stored under the coach instead. He even went down the line pointing out which bags he didn't want to see on "his" coach. No one was given time to fill out baggage tickets!

When I finally arrived in Phoenix, five hours off schedule, my bag was nowhere to be found under the coach. The Greyhound employees just shrugged and turned their backs on me. I immediately went inside to Baggage Claims and explained that my bag was missing.. Willie (no last name) told me there was nothing he could do about it for 24 hours, and suggested that I check with the Mesa station tomorrow and see if it turns up.

Mesa Greyhound is operated by a private bus line called Crucero, and they don't even answer their phone. So I called Willie in Phoenix to see if they had another phone number. He said no, just keep trying.

Finally, on 1/16/08 I got an answer on the phone. The girl was very nonchalant about my missing bag, and repeated several times "it's not here! What do you want me to do?" Pissed, I said I want you to organize a posse and track down my bag. She sais that she could only fill out a form B-4, but I have to come in person to do that. I mention, at this point, that it is a real hassle for me to get to that office, which is why I had my brother pick me up in Phoenix.

I have given everyone I talked with my phone number and address (which is also on a tag on my bag. But, I have heard from no one yet.

I even went on line and filled out a locate baggage request on Greyhound's website three times. Still NOT A PEEP FROM GREYHOUND!!

Maybe they're thinking that if they ignore me, I'll go away. NOT!!

Ron


Jimmy's Campaign

May 20, 2008

Hi, I just read your posting about Greyhound. I'm launching a viral campaign against Greyhound because they have really pissed me off through the way the mishandle their responsibilities and customers. Here is what I'm posting to various Blogs and asking others to post as well:

After a 4 day horrible experience, lost luggage, stolen wallet, and a week of frustrating dealings with Greyhound, I'm putting out a Call to Action against Greyhound. Please read below for more information:

It's time Greyhound was held accountable, so I'm putting this action together to get everyone who has ever had trouble with Greyhound's bus system to call and complain about their operating procedures, lack of customer service, amount of lost baggage, and anything else you can think of that you, or anyone you may know, want to address with Greyhound Lines, Inc.

Action Dates: June 23 through 27, 2008 Action Time: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Standard Time (so adjust the times for your time zone.)

I believe if you can post this information in your Blog, on Message Boards, on Forums, or email it to your friends. If everyone then calls, sends letters, creates picket lines outside your local Greyhound station, faxes Greyhound and Laidlaw on June 23 through the 27th, perhaps they will understand just how unhappy everyone is with their bus service. Also, please consider finding and taking another bus service. If you know of a bus service, please list it so others can learn about them. I've listed one below, after all the other information.

Unpublished location of Greyhound's Corporate Offices:

Greyhound Lines, Inc.
Criag Lentzsch, CEO
15110 Dallas Pkwy
Dallas, TX 75248-4635
U.S.A.

Do NOT call the listed phone numbers for Greyhound (214-849-8218 is given but only reaches a voice system and it's almost impossible to reach a live person on the 800-231-2222 official Greyhound number.), instead reach a live person by calling any of these unpublished numbers:

Operator with Executive Office: 214-849-8219

Bryan: 214-849-8217
Ursala: 214-849-8215
Safety Dept: 214-849-8214
Claudette: 214-849-8213
Jennell: 214-849-8211

These are the numbers that I was able to reach people, however, you can try to reach other live people by dialing 214-849-82XX (put any number in for the XX)

The Parent Company (the company that owns Greyhound) for Greyhound is:

Laidlaw Inc.
55 Shulman Boulevard, Suite 400
Naperville, IL 60563
U.S.A.
Phone: 630-848-3000
Fax: 630-579-6438

Other Bus Services:

Trailways services some areas, so please see this website to see if they service the areas you are traveling: http://www.trailways.com/schedules.asp

Another great website to find bus services:

http://www.apta.com/links/transit_by_mode/bus.cfm

Thank you for your support of this Call to Action,

Jimmy Boney


Eric's response

June 16, 2008

Something to follow up on the guy with the anti-greyhound petition:

I think the person above may needs to update their information...

Greyhound was recently bought out by a British company: First Student. I do not know if the Laidlaw contact information is still valid. Also, with any restructuring, many people have been "laid off" no pun intended. I once worked for this horrendous transportation company, but got out before the buy out. I'd be surprised of half the names listed above are still employed.

Also: Trailways IS Greyhound - they are one in the same. Greyhound bought out different subsidiaries years back, including Vermont Transit (again, also Greyhound) and Voyager (sp?) up in Canada. With the First Student buy out, eventually all subsidiaries (Trailways, VT Transit, etc.) will have only Greyhound logo-ed buses.

I take a bus between Burlington, VT and Montreal almost every weekend. The ride should take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours (tops, this includes a border stop). Lately, for some reason (and traffic is not one of those reasons, there is no traffic after 7 pm in this part of the country, at least not going to Canada) the rides have been going 3 or 3+ hours. This past weekend it took 5 HOURS to get to Montreal and 4 HOURS to get to Burlington from there coming back. Also, Vermont Transit has a new driver I have never seen before, who may quite possibly be the stupidest human to ever walk this earth.

Go Greyhound...and have a brain hemorrhage. I hope the First Student buy out changes things, but I am not optimistic when it comes to the shiny silver dog. But what can you do, I'll be on there next weekend, and the weekend after...up here your only alternative is a car.