UPDATED: Greyhound Stood Me Up And Won't Refund My Ticket

Miriam says she bought a Greyhound ticket in November, but the bus skipped her stop without notifying her. She couldn’t get the company to cough up anything more than a voucher for a future trip. She writes:

I just wanted to tell you about a ridiculous experience I had this weekend with the Greyhound Bus Company. I bought an advance ticket for a bus from New Haven to Boston leaving at 12:35 am, but the bus never showed. Customer service was not operating at this time, and I was a 100 lb. woman waiting at a bus station in downtown New Haven after midnight on a Saturday. Not the most encouraging feeling. I ended up waiting until morning and taking Amtrak home.

I called the customer service number Monday morning, but was given the run-around – redirecting, different phone numbers, unable to speak to anyone who could help. One supervisor went so far as to tell me that the number she was directing me to was “the only number for the entire company,” and she absolutely could not transfer me to a live person for assistance. One number didn’t even direct me to a phone tree – I just got a busy signal over and over again, for an hour.

I checked the archives from Consumerist, and found the number and exchange for Greyhound Corporate Services. I picked an extension at random, and spoke to a lovely woman in the facilities department, who was the first person to apologize for my experience. She took the time to find someone who could help me, and connected me to him.

This person, while extremely polite, kept me on hold for the better part of an hour, repeatedly needing to “check” things. His explanation for my situation was that the bus was running late, so the driver decided to skip the stop in New Haven. No announcement at the station was made. Furthermore, when I was at the station, one of the people working there told me that this happens with Greyhound all the time, and that in the two years he’s worked there, Greyhound has only made the stop on this route a handful of times.

I communicated all this to the customer service representative, and he told me all he could do was issue me a voucher for the price I paid, because I bought a non-refundable ticket. The thing is, it’s not as though I cancelled or missed my bus – the bus missed me!!! Furthermore, if this is typical Greyhound behavior (which was the sense I got from the station worker), I don’t trust Greyhound as a reliable form of transportation.

I let the customer service rep know that I would not accept the voucher, but only a full refund. He told me this was not possible, and that there was nothing else he, or his supervisor, could do. I responded that I understood he couldn’t do anything more, but that I was going to call American Express (the card on which I had bought the ticket) and ask them to stop payment for this charge. Which I did immediately after getting off the phone, and AmEx’s stellar service removed the charge without question.

Buses are late, stations get missed – things like that happened. But the runaround and lack of accomodation from Greyhound customer service was inexcusable. I don’t plan on riding with them ever again.

UPDATE: Greyhound refunded the ticket.

What’s your wildest bus travel story?