Greyhound Tells Passengers With Missing Luggage To 'Get Together And Do Something About It'

Is this Greyhound CSR trying to start a revolution among its customers, or simply telling the wife of a passenger that Greyhound doesn’t care about lost luggage? She claims he told her to “‘get together with everyone else’ who lost luggage ‘and do something about it.'” Like what—start a support group? Meet him behind the bleachers for a fist fight? Open a detective agency in Tupelo?

My brother went on a week long business trip, traveling by Greyhound both ways. When he came home, he made the mistake of putting his bag with his laptop and a borrowed Nintendo DS under the bus. To make matters worse, all of his nice clothes, the sort that he needs to wear to work, were in that bag too. It was apparently misplaced in Tupelo, MS, about 20 miles away from home. From what I understand, there’s no actual bus station there, but people are let on and off. When my brother got off the bus 20 miles later, he discovered that he had no luggage. As we later found out, 3 other passengers on that bus also lost luggage in Tupelo.

My sister-in-law called Greyhound’s customer service quickly, and obviously got a horrible guy on the phone. Not only was he incompetently unhelpful, he suggest that my SIL “get together with everyone else” who lost luggage “and do something about it.” I can’t say how my SIL handled the conversation — there are equal chances that she was pleasant or hostile — but that is obviously not the way you deal with customers unhappy with your screw ups. And when I say he was incompetently unhelpful, I mean he did not even offer to file a claim or lost baggage report.

Thankfully, the people who work for Greyhound in Tupelo were very understanding, and they did fill a report. They also let my SIL know that if my brother’s bags were not found, Greyhound would pay them $250 per bag, and that’s without traveling insurance that he could not afford, as until this business trip, he was unemployed.

So this is what I’m doing about Greyhound’s customer service: If they’re going to be assholes about it, I’m going to write to you in hopes that you’ll help publicly shame them and hopefully deter would-be customers. Maybe if their CSRs start costing the company money, they’ll train them properly.

Thanks,
Mache

You should also have your sister-in-law write a letter to Greyhound’s executives explaining exactly what happened—the more details, the better. Check out our guide on writing Executive Email Carpet Bombs if you don’t know where to start, and here’s a list of some addresses you might need.

(Photo: njt4148)

Comments

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  1. spoco says:

    My hometown made the Consumerist! Yay for Tupelo.

  2. brother9 says:

    Huh. The idea is being part of a co-op detective agency in Tupelo actually sounds fun.

  3. jadenton says:

    My brother raises snakes. Snake breeders use lots of frozen rats. Once, his supplier shipped them on Greyhound. When my brother went to claim the shipment, he was told the shipment was lost. He explained that this shipment had something of an expiration date, but they just shrugged. He called his supplier, who cashed the insurance and shipped him a replacement. When my brother went to pick up the replacement, Greyhound had located the missing original package. My brother just laughed and took his still frozen rats home, leaving Greyhound with 20 pounds of de-thawed rats.

  4. AI says:

    @jadenton: Not to blame the OP, but if it was me, I’d be watching the window to make sure my bag didn’t walk away whenever there was a stop. I don’t know about Tupelo, but where I’m from the passengers are crazy [edition.cnn.com] and the driver will hand you any bad if you say “yup, that’s mine”.

  5. AI says:

    “will hand you any bag” is what I meant.

  6. TechnoDestructo says:

    I believe “getting together and doing something about it” is what they refer to as a “class-action lawsuit.”

  7. LoganAdams says:

    @TechnoDestructo: Or a riot.

  8. Jabberkaty says:

    @jadenton: Oh, I’m doing alternating giggles and “eew!”

    hee hee! EeeW! That’s so awesomely gross… That’s now one of my favorite stories.

  9. Pizza_Guy says:

    I’ve had some crumby jobs, but at least my business transportation was never Greyhound. Their CS people need to be careful what they say. Especially after the Canadian beheading incident, [tinyurl.com]

  10. semanticantics says:

    Geez, they didn’t have to bite the customers head off. Cooler heads should prevail.

  11. Average_Joe says:

    Police report! A theft occurred. The police should be able to get a list of who was on that bus and investigate. Granted that is if they feel it is worth their time. But a police report shows grey hound you aren’t lying.

  12. BrianDaBrain says:

    Let’s get together and stop riding Greyhound! How’s that for doing “something about it”?

  13. W24x192 says:

    @BrianDaBrain:

    Corr-xactly!

    I’d love to see Greyhound get their comeuppance, but when you ride the Dirty Dog, you do so because the only other option is not to go at all. Greyhound knows they have their passengers over a barrel – there isn’t any other option for some people.

  14. Snakeophelia says:

    “My brother raises snakes. Snake breeders use lots of frozen rats. Once, his supplier shipped them on Greyhound.”

    Now that’s bizarre! I’ve ordered plenty of frozen rats and mice before, and never have I heard of “Greyhound” shipping! Normally they’re shipped by one of the big three companies and packed in dry ice…

  15. leprendun says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with Greyhound. I actually just got back from a trip this weekend with Greyhound; although the ride from Indianapolis to NYC was nearly 19 hours long, a round-trip ticket only cost $110 when I bought them in January–this is total, not like the fake airline prices that look low until taxes and fees double the original price. If you bring things to do on the ride and don’t have problems sleeping on a bus, then Greyhound can save you a fortune.

    Although they have some major problems, Greyhound also has some great things going for them. Because their seats are sold on a first-come basis, you have to get there early and wait in line in order to be guaranteed a place, but this also means that they don’t give you hassle for changing your travel dates. Simply show up, even after the fact, and they’ll change your ticket dates right then and there. They’re supposed to charge $10 for this, but you can sometimes get them to waive it. Bus fees are much lower than the airlines in general; one bag underneath is free, but a second only costs $15, and you can get away with as many carry-on bags as you fit overhead or under your seat. Greyhound bus drivers also don’t put up with any crap from passengers (they probably don’t get paid enough). On my last trip, the driver stopped the bus when someone swore loudly on his phone, took his ticket and threatened to throw him off. She would have too if he hadn’t been so apologetic, but she kept his ticket and handed him over to customer service at the next stop; it was the end of the line for him. Sure, the drivers might be rude, but they won’t allow passengers to delay the bus because some riders are speaking Arabic, or are wearing turbans, as has happened numerous times on airlines. They are going to drive the bus where it’s going and if you have a problem with it, they’ll happily kick you off.

    Of course, the people you ride with can be a bit trying, as the line services mostly the lower-class and a smattering of broke college students. Despite the problem people I’ve met (including the guy above, but he was hardly the only one), I’ve also met wonderful people on the bus. Since it’s such a long and often anxiety-filled experience, I’ve noticed the bus turn into a temporary community of people that drawn together by the shared experience. I’ve never had a conversation with the guy sitting next to me on the plane, but on the bus it’s a common occurrence.

    As people have mentioned, the customer service really is terrible, but you have to know what you’re getting into before you ride. I’ve only rarely had to deal with them, but the times I have had to I was able to get my problem resolved. You just have to ignore the rudeness (because they are incredibly, incredibly rude), and stay calm and focused. They are not trained like other customer service reps you know; they are people paid very little to deal with all sorts of bizarre and often aggressive customers. I personally find the lack of any facade of customer service refreshing; other companies will screw you over, but they at least pretend to care about your problems–not so Greyhound. Still, if you are familiar with bus practices, don’t mind reading or sleeping on a bus, love to people watch, and want to save a lot of money, then Greyhound can make for a pleasant and frugal vacation.

  16. vespa59 says:

    Wow. Give me the stock symbol for the company that makes their business travelers use Greyhound! Thrifty CFO at that organization for sure!

  17. se7a7n7 says:

    Here’s a quick tip for anyone thinking of traveling with Greyhound….

    DON’T!

  18. spoco says:

    If the OP lives 20 miles from Tupelo, they live in the part of Mississippi that the rest of the country knows. I doubt this guy is wearing a suit to work.

    I’ve lived in Nashville, Atlanta and Charlotte – Tupelo is much smaller, but its great for families. Very little crime (basically no violent crime) – a short drive to Memphis if you want to see crime or a bigger city.

  19. Did a summer job working for an engineering company that performed lab analysis on sewage samples.

    It was my job to go to the Greyhound station and pickup the foam coolers containing the samples. Funny thing was the number of other businesses, especially food & restaurant businesses that were doing the same thing.

    More than once I wondered if the Greyhound staff were sampling the products in the coolers…. in cooler #1 is a sample of the latest wine from the hootytooty vineyard, in cooler #2 are some premium angus steaks, in cooler #3 is OMG WHAT IS THAT SMELL.

  20. allstarecho says:

    Tupelo – world headquarters of the American Family Association. Maybe jeebus can find yo bags!

  21. last time i rode Amtrak (September 2001) they misplaced my luggage for a good 30-45 minutes. When we complained to someone about the missing luggage the reply was something to the effect of “What do you want me to do about it? Next time, you should take Greyhound” (can’t remember the exact wording, but i do remember that i was told to use their competitor)
    @spoco: Charlottean here!

  22. citrus538 says:

    Way back when I was in college I used to take Grayhound back home for the holidays. Of course my luggage was lost.

    The CSR asked for a claim ticket. Seriously. Has ANYBODY in the history of Grayhound ever received a claim ticket for the luggage?

    They wound up cutting a me check that barely covered half my losses.

    I made the mistake of riding Grayhound from LA to San Diego one time. Not only did we board half an hour late, but we waited another half hour until more people got on. They basically cancelled one trip just to pack us tighter into the bus.

  23. AgentTuttle says:

    Really? Nobody is going to say it? Okay, I’m not above it. “Do something about it” – how about cut off a guy’s head?

  24. kc2idf says:

    In order to shame Greyhound, Greyhound would have to have shame. In my experience, they do not. My perception is that they have people trying to rip them off quite a lot, which is probably contributory to it.

  25. HogwartsAlum says:

    Don’t even get me started about Greyhound.

    1. They pack the bus like sardines, even ignoring laws about capacity (people sleeping in the aisles).

    2. Their drivers are crazy. Not just rude, CRAZY. As I posted once before, a lady at LA’s station told me their driver parked in the middle of the desert, walked off the bus and didn’t come back for three hours.

    3. The company runs busses all night, but smaller stations (in the worst part of town) are closed. If you have to get off there, too bad. You’re on your own.’

    Never again. I’d rather fly.

  26. JustaConsumer says:

    I am no baggage handling professional, but if I had to guess, I would say the luggage is under the bus.

  27. jimconsumer says:

    and that’s without traveling insurance that he could not afford

    Am I the only one who sees through this bullshit? “Can’t afford” and “Don’t want to pay for” are two different things. Normally, when people say the former, they mean the latter. Yeah, sucks that his bags were lost and he’s only going to get a small fraction of what their contents were worth, but he rolled the dice when he declined to pay for insurance. Thems the breaks, kid.

  28. KateWasTaken says:

    Here’s the thing with Greyhound: at every stop, the driver opens up the hold under the bus and lets people take their own luggage. Greyhound isn’t “losing” your luggage. It’s not like they’re putting your bag on the wrong bus, cause you usually see them put your bag in the hold when you board. The problem is they don’t have any mechanism for stopping other people from taking it. I rode Greyhound when I was broke and in college, and I actually had to get off the bus once and stop a girl from walking away with my bag. If everyone had to prove whose bag was whose at every stop it would add hours to every trip. That’s the risk you take with Greyhound, Peter Pan, the Chinatown bus lines, and pretty much any other bus system.