I spent over an hour trying to help my mother book a bus ticket online, from Langley to Vernon. The Greyhound site would not let us purchase the ticket.
We tried to log on a number of times and we also tried different departure locations, and there still was no option to purchase.
We logged onto our other computer to attempt to buy a ticket, and when we put in the route, a large sign came up and said there were no departures at all between Langley and Vernon that day.
Frustrated, I called the 1-800 Greyhound number to book a ticket, and after five minutes of button-pushing, I was finally connected with a person, only to be informed there would be a $10 surcharge for booking by phone.
I explained that the internet wasn't working, and the customer service rep responded that I should contact customer "web help" for assistance with the internet purchase.
We were not willing to pay a $10 surcharge, considering how long it took for us to actually get a person on the phone, so I hung up and went back online to find the web help phone number. When I dialed it, a message came on that said the number was no longer available, and that there was no further information available for contact!
The entire experience was unacceptable and ridiculous.
My mom had difficulties booking her ticket to come here, as well. When she clicked the "print ticket" option, she was charged for two tickets. She then had to try to explain the situation to a person from the Southern United States who had the nerve to ask her, "Well, why did you buy two tickets if you only wanted one?"
My mom is very doubtful that she will get refunded the money for the mistaken second booking.
We would have called the actual bus depot right away to get a ticket, but it was closed and there was no one at our local bus depot to call. The Greyhound bus stations are so minimally staffed that they don't open until one hour before the bus is scheduled to depart, and then, without pre-purchasing a ticket, my mom risks not getting a ticket at all if they have been sold out by the time she arrives at the depot.
She also risks arriving in Vernon alone at night to a bus depot that is - surprise, surprise - CLOSED. And she will left alone waiting for a cab to pick her up in the not-so-nice part of Vernon. It has happened to her on more than one occasion.
My mom is 71 years old and very well traveled, but she is on her own, as are many other bus travellers. Greyhound has a responsibility to her to be open at the times when her bus arrives, during the day or late at night, so that customers like my mother have a safe place to wait for their rides home.
Greyhound should be ashamed of its poor service on line, on the phone, and at the actual depots. If they cannot afford to run the company properly with some semblance of customer service, I suggest they close up shop and let another company take over - one that can run it properly and that cares about its paying customers.
There are many people who need buses to travel around B.C., who cannot drive, who do not wish to drive, or who can't afford to fly, but the lack of any sort of customer service by Greyhound makes the bus-riding experience stressful, difficult, and just plain awful. My mother deserves better.
Lori Opper, Aldergrove
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