Open Letter to Greyhound

20 Jul

Dear Greyhound staff,
I’m writing in order to obtain a refund for a purchase I made on May 29th, for a trip that was to take place on June 3rd, from Dallas to Tulsa, with a stop in Oklahoma City.

The bus leaving Dallas was supposed to leave at 6:40 pm and get me into Tulsa at 2:50 AM the next morning.

Things would change for the worst however when I arrived at the terminal to find that every bus scheduled to depart from that station was oversold, and that no back-up plan was in place to accommodate patrons who’d bought their tickets ahead of time.

There weren’t extra buses to put these people on and everyone on my bus to Tulsa was told that they’d have to wait until the next day to catch their bus.

I asked a staff member if there was anything else we could do and he suggested a late night bus out of Dallas that would take me to Amarillo for the night, and get me into Tulsa at 5:40 PM the next day.

I explained to him why this wouldn’t work for me and suggested to him that he change my ticket to the 6:35 AM bus that would take me to Tulsa via I-75. He agreed that this would be a better plan and changed my ticket.

After a mad scramble, the Dallas Greyhound management gave free food vouchers to patrons who were inconvenienced and told me that another bus was on its way to collect the remaining patrons who needed to get to Oklahoma City in less than an hour.

The supervisor told me that I could get on this bus and possibly still make my connection in Oklahoma City. I asked if I needed to change my ticket back to the original itinerary and she said it wasn’t necessary. For further clarification, I asked two more employees if I would need to have my ticket changed to correspond with the bus I was taking and they said no.

2 hours later, the bus finally arrived and I again showed my ticket to the bus driver, he said that things should be okay and that we should probably make our connection in Oklahoma City.

When we pulled into the bus station in Oklahoma City, I had found that not only had I missed my bus, but that no one from the Dallas station had called and alerted the OKC station about the bus delays.

At this point it was 1:30 AM and the next bus out of Oklahoma City wouldn’t leave until 11:00 AM. The employee at the counter asked me why I was even on this particular bus to Oklahoma City– and why I wasn’t on the bus going straight to Tulsa.

He then told me to talk to his supervisor in the morning and that his supervisor could straighten things out, since it appeared I was going to have to purchase another ticket to get me to Tulsa.

Because it was 1:30 in the morning and I had to be at work at noon, sleeping on the bus station linoleum didn’t appear to be a good idea. So I had to reach into my wallet and purchase a room for the night at the Quality Inn for $56.93.

The next morning I walked into the station and talked to the supervisor and he told me he’d do what he could, and possibly talk to the driver going to Tulsa.

At 11:00 a bus going to Tulsa arrived but because it was Jefferson Lines, I would have to pay for it myself. Otherwise I’d have to wait until 11:35 before the Greyhound bus going to Tulsa arrived (as it happened that particular bus was delayed by at least an hour). I did not want to wait another hour and a half so I reached into my wallet again and just bought the ticket.

There were many things during this experience that bothered me:

1)The fact that Greyhound can overbook buses without any sort of backup plan.
2) Not once during this day did anyone apologize for the inconveniences created.
3) No communication between the stations to inform each other that buses are running late.
4) That I had to book a hotel room as a result of worker dishonesty/incompetence. Sleeping in the lobby was not an option I was willing to explore. No one shot me straight about when my bus was arriving which would have allowed me to plan accordingly. If I’d have known I was going to miss my connecting bus I would’ve just spent the night in Dallas (FOR FREE).
5) I talked to 3 different Dallas employees about my ticket (time/location change) and they all said it wouldn’t be a problem. When I got to the OKC station, the manager looked puzzled. How is it that no one seems to be on the same page within the company?

This is not an isolated event only the latest. So with all these other options, why would I bother traveling through Greyhound ever again?

I’m a frequent traveler and I have spent 1,000’s of dollars with the company in the past 8 years. With all the options available to consumers these days what is stopping me from flying (Southwest airlines is a glowing example of professionalism and incredible customer service), renting a car, or taking the Mega bus? I’m tired of the apathy from Greyhound employees, and tired of feeling shit on as a customer.

When I purchase a ticket, I understand I am entering an agreement. I’m agreeing not to bring booze or smoke on the bus. I’m agreeing not to assault the bus driver or other passengers. I’m agreeing not to disrupt the harmony of the ride for anyone else.

When I can’t make my destination on time or even on the same day, then Greyhound isn’t keeping up their end of the bargain. This results in an uneven exchange of services for money and this is what makes me angry. No one likes to feel as if they have been swindled.

I’m paying to arrive at my destination on time or reasonably close to it. I’m not paying my hard earned cash to be inconvenienced and mistreated. If things can’t somehow be made right not only will I never ride Greyhound again, I will tell everyone I know about my negative experiences with the company.

Perhaps I will pay more to exercise these other traveling options but it will be worth it. Greyhound may be slightly less expensive to use for travel, but my time is just as valuable as my money (if not more). If I experience ridiculous delays in places like Springfield, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, there is no realistic way for me to get that time back.

I am requesting a refund for my ticket from Dallas to Tulsa that was purchased on June 3rd, 2012 (my receipt is enclosed within). I am also enclosing a copy of the receipt from that date for the hotel that I had to purchase because of these delays.

I appreciate your time and I thank you for what I expect will be a swift response.
Sincerely,
Robert McFail Jr.

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