Why Greyhound Sucks

Greyhound: I hope you do not leave the driving to them.

Greyhound Lines, Inc has some very consumer unfriendly policies regarding tickets. If at all possible, I would suggest avoiding Greyhound for your future travel needs. And possibly investigating their current business practices.

I purchased a ticket through Greyhound.com on February 11th with $3.00 handling charge for travel on March 8th for which I have a receipt. The ticket was supposed to be mailed to me within 10 business days. After 3 weeks, I called to check on the status of my ticket because I had not yet received it. I was told that the ticket had been mailed and I should have received it. If I had not received it yet, I would have to purchase a new ticket. If after 30 days my ticket was unused, they would be able to refund the purchase price. When I attempted to purchase a new ticket, the price had gone up. They would only refund the purchase price of my original ticket, not the handling fee, if it was not used within 30 days.

This means I am going to be out the $3.00 handling fee along with the price difference of a new ticket, including an additional $3.00 handling fee. Also, I would not be able to have the new ticket mailed to me because my travel date was too soon to the date of purchase. Thus, I would have to go to the bus station and wait in line to pick up my ticket there, adding additional inconvenience. I had to call the customer service center, a toll call for me, to try and straighten out this mess, three times. And since my bus leaves at 5:55am and Will Call does not open until 7:00am according to their website, the purchase of additional tickets means additional hassles as I have to try and pick them up at a very inconvenient time during the week.

The practice of forcing a consumer to purchase a new ticket, when he or she has not received the other ticket in the mail should be reevaluated.

Another policy that is very unfriendly is the charge for buying a gift ticket. Greyhound Lines, Inc charges a $15 fee if the person who purchases the ticket is not the person who uses the ticket. They said they could not offer me a refund or another ticket because someone else might use my ticket. I would like to know why they do not check photo ID's to prevent this from happening; all the while charging $15 to be sure the person who purchased the ticket is the one who used the ticket.

Both of these policies seem very consumer unfriendly. I would like to know how a company can justify these policies, especially when it was not my fault that I never received the original ticket.

Update (11 March 2003): One of the local news stations, WFMY2, a CBS affiliate, has asked me mroe about my story and are going to look into it for me.  Woo-hoo.

Update (17 March 2003): I received a letter from the Texas Attorney General regarding this incident (dated March 6th).  They are looking in to the matter and hope an acceptable solution can be reached.

Update (24 March 2003): Greyhound has refunded my original ticket purchase, but has yet to do anything about the second, more expensive ticket.  I am also still trying to work with WFMY2 on this issue.

Update (27 March 2003): The Better Business Bureau of Dallas Texas wrote me a letter saying they are looking into my case.  WFMY2 is looking into the matter for me and will keep in touch with any progress they acheive.

Update (1 April 2003): Greyhound called and left a message while I was away that they would like to talk to me about the difference in prices of my two tickets and what can be done to fix this situation.  I called and left them a voice mail in return.  Tag, they're it.

Update (3 April 2003): I checked my credit card balances; Greyhound has refunded the price of the original ticket, plus the difference of the price for the second ticket.  Basically, they refunded the price of the more expensive ticket, but they couldn't just do that because I actually used the second ticket to travel.

Update (4 April 2003): I received a letter from Greyhound.  They are going to refund the difference in ticket prices for me.  Yeah, I already knew that.

Update (7 April 2003): I received a letter from the Attorney General of Texas.  Greyhound has settled the issue with them.  If the issue is not resolved to my satisfaction, I will need to seek outside legal counsel to pursue the case any further, according to the Attorney General.

Update (9 April 2003): I received a letter from the Better Business Bureau of Dallas; they are asking if I think the settlement is basically fair, or more is desired.  I have 30 days to appeal the settlement I have received.  WFMY2 is still looking into the case, and overall business practices of Greyhound for me.

Update (23 April 2003): I continue to receive phone calls from Greyhound.  They do not leave a message and I am in class when they call.  Are they harrassing me, now?  Also, WFMY2 is looking at closing the case for me.  They want to know if I received an apology from Greyhound for my troubles (I explained the settlement) and if I think the settlement agreement is appropriate.  Do I?

Overall, I guess this situation turned out to not be bad.  Am I happy with the final resolution?  No.  Do I have anything left to complain about?  Not really.  Thus, I guess it is case closed.  I probably shouldn't try to rely on Greyhound for travel anytime in the near future, though.  Or, at least, not using my real name.  I guess when you have the Attorney General, the Better Business Bureau, and a local news crew breathing down your neck, you are quick to settle.  I would probably look foolish trying to milk this for anything else.

One more final thought.  I think the reason I never got the original ticket was because Greyhound did not mail it to the right address.  My address must include something to signify apartment 52.  The first letter I received from Greyhound did not have any reference to my apartment number and was delivered, but marked "Incomplete Address."  My credit card bills, however, have "Apt 52" plain as day in the delivery (billing) address.  If Greyhound verified my address (even though I know I put 2053 Bethabara RD #52), they would have caught the error.  Their fault, not mine.

Next Topic: spammers.  In North Carolina, it is illegal to send spam.  I intend to make companies knowledgeable about this law, and perhaps to enforce it.  Then, onto telemarketers.