Posted by: Silver | February 11, 2011

Greyhound Gripes

Gosh, is it really ten days since I last posted an entry?! How the time flies when you’re buried under admin…

Yes, I’ve been using my continued winter down-time to try and get a few things organised for the next stage of my trip, one part of which will be completed by bus while the weather finishes wearing itself out. If you remember my previous complaints about Greyhound’s trike-unfriendly policies, you may be slightly confused by this, but I thought I’d managed to circumvent their customer-unfriendliness by planning a looping route: I would leave Ranger in Hope, visit some of the more remote communities in northern BC (which are so far apart I couldn’t have reached them by trike even if the weather had been co-operative), then return to Hope once more to pick up my trusty steed and continue the cycling. But I had reckoned without Greyhound’s utterly committed dedication to being as customer-unfriendly as they can possibly make themselves…

Given my extremely limited personal budget for this trip, I wanted to take advantage of the 21-day advance fare by buying my ticket for March 4th online today. When I tried to do this, however, the web site insisted on offering to post the tickets to me, for which it wished to charge me an extra $7 (more than 40% of the original cost of the ticket). I declined to take up this ‘kind’ offer, and rang the customer (dis)service number instead, in an attempt to buy a ticket that I could just pick up at the bus station, free of charge. After being passed around to three different phone numbers (OK, so nothing unusual there when it comes to customer service centres), I was finally told that yes, I could purchase a ticket for pick up at the station… but I would be charged an extra $6 ‘service’ charge for the privilege of booking my ticket with a human being. When I enquired as to how I was supposed to go about buying a ticket that actually only cost the $17 they were advertising the fare as being (although, of course, even that isn’t strictly truthful, since they then add ‘taxes’ on top… but that’s a more general gripe for another day, methinks…), I was told I could go to the bus station and buy it in person. I have to confess, I have my doubts that the agent at the bus station wouldn’t try and slap on some random surcharge as well, but of course, I won’t be able to find out for sure, because I’m on the other side of BC from the bus station in question

Greyhound will not stop me from spreading the word about SOS Children’s Villages during the remaining inclement weather, but they are certainly doing a very fine job of making it as stressful and frustrating as they possibly can…


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