Unfortunately I have no choice but to go ahead with my two trips by Greyhound this summer, since the tickets are already booked, non-refundable, and weren't even paid for by me. However, I called their customer service line yesterday just to get answers to some general questions I have about bus travel (as I've never traveled by Greyhound before), and the representative on the line was....atrocious at her job. Yes, atrocious. I'll admit it might have been my fault for asking questions to which answers were already posted on their website, but I just wanted to make sure. I'm having major anxiety about traveling by bus and I just want to be prepared for the trip by having all my questions answered. I got off the call with more questions than I had when I dialed the phone.
****Warning - This is a bit long!****
I had typed out a list of questions because I have terrible, terrible phone anxiety and I am bound to panic on the phone and forget half the questions I want to ask, so when making a call like this, I write them out to make sure I don't forget anything. Here's an example of a couple of my questions and her "answers" to them.
Me: I have two trips scheduled this summer. In both cases, the cardholder who paid for the ticket is not travelling with me. Am I still subject to the fee for not having the card present, or is it waived since the cardholder is not travelling?
Her: That fee is paid when you book your ticket.
Me: I understand the gift ticket fee. We've already booked the tickets and paid for them. The website though isn't clear on this particular topic though. It says that when I get my tickets, as they're on will-call, if I don't have the credit card used to pay for them present, I'll have to pay a $15.00 fee. It doesn't tell me whether that is the gift ticket fee or if it's a separate charge all together. However, the cardholder isn't the one traveling, I am, so I was wondering if you all still charge that fee. The way the website explained it, it's not charged if the cardholder isn't travelling, but I just want to make sure. Like I said, we've booked and paid for the tickets, I just want to make sure an extra fee isn't going to crop up when I get to the station.
Her: Yes, you will be subject to a gift ticket fee.
Me: Even though the gift ticket fee was already paid when we booked the tickets? There's a gift ticket fee and then an extra one for not having the credit card with me even though I'm not the one travelling?
Her: Yes, the card needs to be present, even if the cardholder is not traveling.
Me: Oh. Well that's going to be a problem for my second trip. I'm going to visit a friend in Denver. She paid for my bus ticket. I will be departing from the Pittsburgh station, and she's in Denver. I won't have her card, because you know, it's not my card....
Her: Oh, no no. You will not be subject to the fee. The gift ticket fee had already been paid since the cardholder is not riding and you've bought your ticket in advance.
OK....took long enough to get that question answered. Whatever, right? At that point I thought it might have been a language barrier. As it turns out, I don't think she was even listening to me, based on her answers to other questions.
Me: I read that the majority of your fleet is now equipped with power outlets at each seat and wifi hotspots. Is this true? I understand that not all your buses will have them, but apparently, some do. Can you give me an approximation of the percentage of your buses that offer this service? Both of my trips are rather long ones and it would be nice to be able to keep in touch with people while I'm on the bus.
Her: (Garbled, couldn't understand it)
Her: Can you repeat the question?
Me: (I repeat the question).
Her: You do not have to pay for that service.
Me: I understand I don't have to pay for it. I'm just wanting to confirm that there is that service on some of your buses and get an approximation of how likely it is to ride a bus with it.
Her: That service is only for express buses.
Me: Oh, OK. Well, the website didn't make that clear. I was just wondering how many of your buses have that service, so I can work out the probability that I could end up on a bus with it at some point. I'm sorry if this is confusing, I just have a lot of questions as I've never traveled by bus before and I'm nervous.
Her: Please make sure you arrive at the terminal at least an hour before boarding.
Me: Yes ma'am, I know. But I'm asking about wifi and power outlets.
Her: We do not provide that service on any of our buses.
(At this point she was totally contradicting herself, and then, without asking if there were any more questions, which there were, and with no warning....)
Her: OK. Thank you for calling Greyhound. Have a good day.
Maybe my response to that wasn't Ehell approved, but I was already frustrated as she seemed to have no idea what neither she nor I was talking about. So after that, I said (and I'll admit, my voice got a pretty snarky tone
), "Well, I wasn't finished, but thank you." Then I hung up.
Luckily I had opted to take a survey about my call, so I got an automated call-back a few minutes later in which I proceeded to give that girl the lowest survey score I have ever given a customer service representative. I used to be a CSR, I know it's a hard job, but at least most of them try to answer your questions. I wasn't even calling with a problem or complaint, just general questions. I mean, she wasn't even trying. In the voice message I left in the survey, I said I really hope they redeem themselves when I actually do travel with them, because based on that one phone call, I was not impressed - not in the slightest.
I told Mr. Bottlecaps about it and he said it sounds like maybe she was new, didn't have a good grasp of the English language, and was just connecting certain words and phrases I was using to pre-programmed answers. Either way, I was very disappointed in that call. I guess I won't know what to expect when traveling by Greyhound until I do it here in a couple weeks.
(Unless maybe any of you lovely Ehellions can give me some advice! :-P)