To Whom It May Concern:
In recent months, I have been planning a trip to Texas for an event that I needed to attend. Even though I started my search very early, plane tickets were still very expensive. In my search for an affordable and safe means of transportation, I began to consider Greyhound. My parents were going to assist me with payment of my ticket, so together we decided to proceed with purchasing my round-trip bus ticket.
We first attempted to buy a ticket online. Due to a few questions we had, we decided to drive to the local Greyhound station to purchase it in person. Before we did so, both my parents and I tried to call the aforementioned station and clarify something over the phone first. The line was busy at least half the time. Every time that we did get through, we were always put on hold. We were left on hold for a very long time, and none of our calls were ever picked back up. Reluctantly, my father and I decided to drive down to the local station anyway.
We arrived at the station around 8-8:10PM PST. According to Greyhound’s website, the ticketing office at the Riverside station does not close until 8:30PM. When we arrived, a young Latino man in his twenties was pulling the sliding door shut. When we inquired as to what was going on, he told us it was closed. My father told him that I needed to buy a bus ticket, to which the young man said “Well, uh, she’ll have to buy it from the bus driver!”. Politely, we told him that I wasn’t leaving that night. We tried to tell him that I was just leaving soon, within the next few days. He would not listen to us, and he started getting really rude, disrespectful, and almost combative with us. He said to my father "Well, maybe if you'd come at me in a nicer way I woulda let you in...". My father was being extremely nice, given the situation, so he asked to speak with the manager. The young man rolled his eyes at us and said “Uh, I am!”. He said that his name was “Danny” and refused to give his surname. Soon after that, he finished locking the door and walked away from us without another word.
We came in again the next afternoon to purchase my ticket. At that time, we also spoke with the manager that was there. It was an older man, probably in his mid- to late 40s. He listened to our concerns, but was not very responsive or understanding.
My trip date came, and it started off fairly smoothly. I did not encounter any major problems until my first stop in Texas, which was at the El Paso Greyhound station. The workers there continued to be very rude and unhelpful. This was (and still is) extremely unsettling for a 21-year-old female traveling alone on her first bus trip with Greyhound. We were left there to meander around for 15 to 20 minutes. When we were finally reboarded, it was done in a very unorganised and haphazard fashion. From our seats inside the bus, my fellow travelers and I could clearly see the twenty something male loading baggage from and to the vehicle. He was not doing this with any care whatsoever. This young man threw, kicked, or otherwise manhandled every single thing. It did not matter if it was a large item, a smaller briefcase, a cardboard box, or even a manila envelope. If it needed to be taken from or to the cargo hold of our bus, he found a way to abuse it. The bus driver had stepped out to do something, and he locked all of us inside the vehicle. We were trapped and helpless, watching our items be beaten about by this irresponsible employee. I was especially concerned because I did not see MY two pieces of checked luggage anywhere. I was told that I did not need to worry, and that they would be transferred for me.
Somewhere in between the stops after El Paso – which were Van Horn, Big Spring, and Abilene – and my second OFFICIAL, SCHEDULED transfer in Fort Worth, something that the succession of bus drivers did caused us to be late to Fort Worth. This caused us to miss our connecting bus by only a few short moments. We were told that the driver of said connecting bus had refused to wait for us. Therefore, the only choice that we were all given was to proceed on to the Dallas bus station and transfer there. This is where most of us, including myself, found out that our checked luggage was NOT there waiting for us at all.
I tried to ask a Latino male employee what I should do. He sneered at me and said “Uh, go check baggage claim!”. I tried to continue my questions, and ask WHERE the Dallas baggage claim. Before I could do this, he rolled his eyes at me and walked away.
Thankfully, I ran into a fellow PASSENGER that was also disembarking in Houston. She had been told that everyone’s baggage would be waiting for us already when we got to Houston. However, the nightmare unfortunately continued.
Nobody’s luggage was waiting for us in Houston. I had to walk to and from the baggage claim room at the Houston Greyhound station more than once, and talk to several different employees (with a different story each time!). After all of this, I was finally told that the best time to come back and check for my things – and have them actually be there – would be sometime THE NEXT DAY.
This created several problems for me. It meant that I could not shower at my final destination in Katy, or change out of the clothes that I’d been wearing for nearly two days. Among the worst was being unable to take care of my “female problems”. Being an intelligent woman, I had brought enough “spares” with me to last the trip. However, I hadn’t expected all of these delays and problems, and at the time didn’t have enough money (or time) to buy more “supplies”. This could have led to a potential health hazard for me.
When I called the baggage claim counter the next day to pre-verify that my things were in fact ACTUALLY THERE finally, a female picked up. She wrote down my two claim numbers and said that she would go check on my things, but hung up on me instead. I waited a moment to call back. When I did, a white-sounding male with a heavy southern accent picked up. He was rude to me and told me something to the effect of “be patient and don’t hang up this time”, even though I hadn’t actually hung up the first time.
When I arrived at the station to pick up my luggage, it seemed like it was an inconvenience for someone to assist me. I had to wait at least five minutes for the baggage claim area to be unlocked – and no, it was not busy at the time I was there.
My return trip was not until 4:45PM on July 15th. Greyhound overbooked that bus, but they were rude to us passengers as if it was our fault. We had a 45-minute stop in San Antonio, so I decided to seize the opportunity to quickly run in and purchase a snack. The cafeteria workers there were very rude and slow about giving me change for a $5. When I had a problem with one of the vending machines, both the cafeteria workers and the employees at the “information” desk were (to put it very lightly!) unhelpful about getting me either the product I had paid for and not received, or my $1 back from the machine. Luckily, I was eventually assisted with getting the product. Our San Antonio bus was serviced and cleaned quickly. However, it still did not leave until nearly an hour after it was scheduled to.
The next morning, I ONCE AGAIN ran into several problems at the El Paso Greyhound station.
- We arrived there slightly late, I believe.
- The employees were (once again) rude, especially the female cafeteria worker that I attempted to purchase breakfast from.
- We were told at least two (but possibly three) times that a bus would be coming for us in “less than 20 minutes”… but they never did.
- We were stopped there for THREE hours total, when we should have only been there for THIRTY minutes. This put us horribly behind schedule.
- We were delayed once again, because the driver took the bus over several blocks to get the tires checked out.
By this point, I totally lost track of my checked luggage. I deeply regret trusting the driver when he assured all of us that our things would be SAFELY transferred FOR US.
When we stopped in Tucson later on that day, the driver almost left several passengers behind. One of them was a 24-year-old woman. The other was a single mother alone with one small baby, a young toddler, and two preschool-age daughters. On our way back to the highway, the driver actually tried to play a trick on us by saying that his bus was going back to El Paso. This made my heart jump into my throat, so I can only imagine how my fellow passengers must have felt! After a moment, he said “Ha ha ha! Got your attention, didn’t I?”.
Once disembarked in Phoenix, we were laid over there for over an hour. We were given absolutely no word/instruction on where to go, until the very last minute. When I gave the driver my reboarding voucher, he said that he could not take me to my SCHEDULED final stop in Riverside, California. He said that I would have to get off at the San Bernardino station, then I would have to speak to customer service there and negotiate a bus back to Riverside. I actually had to fill in most of the blanks myself, because he trailed off after he said to “speak to customer service”.
When we were finally en route to California, the bus driver had to make a stop in nearby Tolleson, Arizona. He picked up some new passengers, and then said that he was going to take everyone all the way back to the Phoenix station because he was getting too hot with the air conditioning acting up. All of us complained about this. A few minutes later, he actually got off of the highway so that he could turn around. We all complained again, and he said “Alright, FINE, I’ll put it to a vote then!”. The result was unanimously for us staying in the bus and dealing with it, since all of us had places to be that Greyhound was making us very late for.
The driver continued to be very rude to all of us, especially those of us that needed to go to the Riverside station but were unable to. When we stopped in Indio, it was very late and THAT station was closed already! One of the aforementioned passengers needing to go to Riverside asked our bus driver about something at this stop. I overheard the driver responding, and he snapped loudly something to the effect of “I told you guys! You didn’t listen to me!”. We did not arrive in San Bernardino until well after midnight, possibly after 1AM. That station was, of course, also closed. How, then, was I supposed to speak with customer service as the driver had told me/us to? To put it simply, I couldn’t. It is very lucky that my mother was able to make the drive to San Bernardino. Otherwise, I would have been stranded alone and scared in a city I do not know, in the middle of the night. When I disembarked, I tried to note the bus number and the bus driver’s name. The bus number was 6200. I could not get a clear look at the driver’s nametag, but I believe that his name is [I'm censoring the driver's name, here.].
I had to pay $5 once (on my way to Texas) for my second piece of checked baggage, which is understandable. However, there are several things that I do not understand. Why did I have to pay TWICE for this extra piece of luggage? (The second time that I paid $5 was on my return trip to California, of course.) Furthermore… my luggage got lost TWICE. Why am I paying Greyhound for the “service” of having my possessions beaten up, and then lost? My ticket was already $361! Why should I have to pay an additional $10, and then still be treated so badly?
Greyhound is supposed to be a helpful service, but in my experience? It was anything and everything that was the OPPOSITE of helpful!:
- My best friend and I had to make a second trip all the way from Katy, Texas, back into Houston. This was just to retrieve my lost luggage. Being that the Houston Greyhound station isn’t in the best neighborhood, this trip was very scary and unsettling for the both of us!
- It was also very out-of-the-way and expensive for my mother to have to drive all the way out to San Bernardino to pick me up, especially since we had PAID for me to go to RIVERSIDE.
- When I attempted to call the Riverside station to confirm that my luggage was in fact there, nobody picked up. Not even once, or to put me on hold yet again. I should never have had to do this in the first place. Greyhound should be a more responsible company, and my luggage should have been safe in the first place.
- It goes without saying that the trip back to the Riverside station to pick up my things was also very inconvenient. I have a busy life, and gas prices are very high.
Finally, Greyhound’s apparent lack of care for customer service is extremely disconcerting. I sent an e-mail regarding the rude young man “Danny” approximately three weeks ago. I still have heard absolutely no response from Greyhound. No e-mail, no letter, no phone call… absolutely nothing! I realise that the corporate/customer service offices in Dallas must be very busy. However, I don’t think that it is too much to expect some degree of concern for my feelings.
This was my very first trip on a Greyhound bus. It seemed very affordable, so I had planned to consider being a repeat customer. Unfortunately, there were several hidden costs, most of which I covered in this letter. One of the highest was my sanity. All of this seems like far too much to risk again. Therefore, I do not think I will ever again be returning to Greyhound for transportation purposes. Airplane tickets may be costly, but at least there is security and safety there.