Cody B. (codeman38) wrote in bad_service,
Cody B.

It's some kind of science, anyway...

One of the bus routes that goes near my apartment has two different versions of its schedule that have been printed, and I've seen both versions being given out on the bus itself as well as in locations on campus where one can pick up bus maps. Either version of the schedule shows two buses running the route, but the times vary; one of the buses' times differed by one minute, while the other's differed by four minutes. That can be quite critical in planning when to leave for an appointment. Not to mention the whole issue of following the later schedule when the bus is running on the earlier one...

So, needless to say, I wanted to find out which version of the schedule to follow, to avoid any undue "my bus was late" encounters. I had already e-mailed the bus system about this discrepancy, but received no reply, so I decided to try calling the information line for the bus system.

That was an extremely bad idea.

I explained that there were two versions of the schedule, and none of the times were in common between them.

The bus dispatcher's response? I didn't entirely catch it, because my hearing's not the greatest anyway and she was holding the phone so close to her mouth so the sound was all distorted, but the gist that I got was that there are three buses on the route, so both the old schedule and the new one apply.

Now, granted, I should have realized that the times with a discrepancy of one minute were most likely those that were supposed to be 'common' between the two schedules, but that didn't immediately dawn on me (probably because I was using enough of my processing cycles, so to speak, just to decipher what was said through the aforementioned distortion). And still, it is a one-minute difference, though it's not as if the buses are ever on time anyway.

So I tried to explain that there were two buses running on the 'old' schedule and two on the 'new' schedule, and that *none of the times were an exact match*.

She continued to repeat the reasoning that there were three buses on the route and that both routes could thus be covered.

And I tried to explain my side again. But was quickly interrupted with a comment to the effect that 'look, it's not rocket science, there are three buses on the route!' when I attempted to explain that none of the times exactly matched by giving actual specific examples from the schedule, since they obviously didn't have printed copies of the schedules I was looking at. As I tried to ask how that was exactly possible, the dispatcher just got more and more angry, eventually to the point of yelling at me. (Well, that, or she was holding the phone really close; it sounded like yelling, anyway.)

OK, so it's not rocket science, but Einstein would surely wonder how a bus could be at the same stop a minute apart from itself other than making minute-long stops...

I finally just gave up and said goodbye. Still, this seems like a classic example of bad service, as far as I'm concerned; why not at least let the customer explain why he's confused, rather than reiterating the same information that doesn't seem to fully apply?
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