Greyhound - Worse Experience Of My Life. I actually believe I have PTSD from episode.
First of all. I am a 44 year old software engineer who has never written a bad review, never yelped or otherwise felt the need to complain. This is the worse company I have ever encountered. Company purchased an eticket for me. At counter told it had to be pre-printed. Bus was leaving in 1/2 hour and no place does it say it must be printed nor was the purchaser instructed of this rule. (BTW for the convenience of buying a ticket for me, company was billed an additional $15 since ticket/purchaser not the same???) Was told in the most obnoxious way I had better sprint to library. I suggested that I simply email the ticket as an attachment to the attendants personal email and he could print it for me. Its called customer service, going above and beyond. Nobody gets hurt. Told me that was not his job, without ever making eye contact with me, and that I had better hurry to the library because it was half a mile away.
Well. I did sprint to the Hampton Hotel some 4 blocks away to have them print it for me. The woman at the desk knew exactly what I needed, because she gets that very request multiple times a week from CUSTOMERS running from the Greyhound ticket office to get etickets printed...I mean come on. I buy my starbucks with my cell phone...Hello?
It gets better. Now, I grew up as a child in Detroit and thought I had seen everything, but was not prepared for the abysmal state of the homeless/drug addiction problem in downtown SLC....thousands of addicts roaming the streets aimlessly like zombies. And sure enough...I was robbed on my return to station of cell phone, wallet, and backpack. Wonderful.
Upon my return to the terminal after an hour of waiting for cops to take a report and an honest response that there was no chance in *** of recouping my items...simply to many homeless drug addicts and crime to stay on top of. I actually thought they were filming a movie. It was unreal.
I return to terminal. Completely dehydrated, dejected, scared, and penniless and without a phone/laptop. I walk in and first go to use the drinking fountain where a Greyound security guard asks to see my ticket. I inform him of what just happened and without a glimmer of human emotion or compassion, he escorts me out of the terminal for loitering.
I was so shocked I went for a walk (and for the first time in 11 years broke down and bummed a cigarette my stress level was so high) I decided to walk back to Hampton and plead my case to the kind woman there and perhaps use their computers, which she did allow me to do and brought me a cup of coffee. So I emailed the office and she let me use the phone to leave a message asking them to Western Union me money to get another ticket, and I returned to station to speak with a manager hopefully. I was promptly kicked out again and now it was getting dark and the homeless/addict element was getting worse and worse.
I flagged down a bike cop, and God Bless her she was so kind, and she walked me into the station, wrote me a note saying that I had permission to be on the premises until my travel problems were solved and even spoke to the security guard who did nothing but glare at me with daggers.
I walked back to the Hampton to use computer at around 430 am as I was told the ticket office would open at 5am and there were Western Union signs all over the terminal advertising how easy it was to receive and send money...great I thought.
Sure enough. Office confirmed that $500 had been sent with a secret code since I had no ID anymore (stolen wallet) and was ready for pick up. At this point I didnt even want to argue about the ticket cost or anything. I wanted to get home and see my 9 year old daughter...I was exhausted. Emotionally and physically.
Return to Greyhound and approach the counter to collect my western union money and was told...sorry. We dont actually have Western Union here anymore. We just havent taken all the signs down yet. Are you kidding me.???? (BTW you can verify this by googling Western Union near Greyhound and it shows them as an outlet....but they are not)
They refused to look up the closest store with Western Union for me and again I flagged down a bike cop who assisted me. I was told that CVS some 2 miles away would be open at 9am...another 4 hours, which meant I would miss yet another bus. I returned to the bus station, where there was a new Greyhound security guard on duty who again demanded to see my ticket and kicked me out into the dark for loitering. By this time I just said to *** with it. And waited at the Hampton for CVS to open in a few hours.
So I walk to the CVS and upon arrival I am told that they cant do Western Union for any amount over $300. I need to find another one. They locate another one..which is an additional 3 miles away at a check cashing place. Finally cash in hand. I get some food, buy a pack of cigarettes (YUCK) and return to Greyhound to purchase ticket.
They are all booked until the next morning. Furthermore. I need an ID...now at this point everyone in the *** station knows my situation. Its been 2 going on 3 days. I flag down yet another bike cop. Explain the situation and he is not happy with Greyhound, in fact he explains that they (police) are tired of their BS. Apparently a regular fiasco. He escorts me, cuts in line directly to the front, explains that I have a police report, wallet was stolen, he access my original Eticket on his phone from my gmail account and demands, does not ask, that they sell me the *** ticket.
The jack *** ticket guy tells the cop that he can not guarantee that I wont be thrown off the bus somewhere along the way for not having an ID.
So the cop...again God Bless these SLC cops, takes me to a substation, prints my eticket, prints a copy of my michigan DL that i had uploaded to the cloud for emergency, and types out a note along with police report.
I return to terminal. I go to use the restroom and fountain and again...I swear as God is my witness I am harassed for not having an ID. Threatens to have me escorted off property. I tell him to please call the police. After a few minutes pass, which were long minutes as I had to urinate so *** bad I was dancing, he begrudgingly got approval for me to take a drink and urinate in the bathroom.
18 hours later. I finally boarded the bus for home. With PTSD I am convinced.
And I would love to tell you that all was swell from that moment forward....but it actually got even weirder. As a driver (I was in second seat behind the front door) was trying to impress a young woman behind him...he says...yeah usually around this time I have to throw somebody off the bus for being a ***....its 3am. most are sleeping and we are in the middle of NOWHERE Wyoming. He announces a stop coming up. 15 minutes. people awake and a man behind me was conversing quietly with another and they both laughed about something. He immediately pulled the bus over to the side of a busy highway and tried to throw the guy off.
Guy refused and only because of the other passengers coming to his aide was he allowed to stay...driver was hellbent on kicking him off.
At the stop at Flying J truck stop....I talked with the gentleman and we was visibly shaken. Turns out the guy is out on parole after an 8 year sentence and going to see his daughter for the first time. He shared with me that had he been kicked off the bus, it would have been an immediate parole violation and a return trip to prison.....never to see his kiddo for who knows how many more years.
This company is about the closest thing to pure Evil that I have ever seen. I dont say that lightly. I have never complained in all my life about a company and there practices but I am so scared and stressed about my experience I felt I had no choice.
Every one of my letters, emails and phone calls to the company have been ignored. I suggest that the entire management team as well as the board, surreptitiously book a coast to coast trip on their product and get a feel for just how horrendous their product really is.
marcus.watt.1 at gmail
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