Grinding Away on Greyhound: Letter Writing Campaign

Part 1 was arduous.

Part 2, more so. Part 3…

A week after yet another disastrous Greyhound trip, the inspiration of my fellow privileged passengers had not worn off. I felt entitled in a way that riding Greyhound had never made me feel before. I submitted a refund request:

Dear Customer Service,

I was informed by a customer service representative that I was due a refund for my bus which did not leave as scheduled, the station managers had no information for the passengers, and a solution was only reached after multiple and sometimes misleading calls to the hotline. I was given reference number #23828; please let me know when I can expect my refund.

Thank you.

Three days later, the response arrived:

Dear Mrs, .

We do apologize for the delay responding youre [sic] E-mail.

We appreciate you taking time to notify us about the inconvenience that you experienced while using our services. We are never satisfied when a customer expresses a complaint or displeasure in our service. At Greyhound Lines, Inc., we strive to achieve a high standard of customer satisfaction and we rely on customers like you to make us aware of those areas that need to be addressed. It is our policy to investigate every situation brought to our attention.

As a gesture of our commitment to you, enclosed is a travel voucher in the amount of $20.00. This voucher can be applied towards your next purchase of a Greyhound ticket or Package Express shipment.

We hope you will not let this incident deter you from using our services, and trust you will give us another opportunity to prove we can be the most reliable and economical form of transportation to meet your needs.

Greetings.

Oscar Ballestas
Customer Care Analyst

I was not mollified and wasted no time in telling Oscar that:

Dear Mr. Ballestas,

I was told by your representative that both I and my sister would receive a refund for this trip. I expect you to make good on that commitment.

Thank you for the response.

With undue speed, I received a response four days later:

Dear Mr. ,

Thank you for contacting our office with your concerns. We sincerely apologize for the delay.

Greyhound Lines Lines Inc., is committed to providing quality customer service and maintaining affordable prices. Input from valued customers such as you and your family will help us with this process. We welcome any comments you wish to share with us, so that we may serve you better.

In the interest of customer service and as a gesture of goodwill, we would like to offer you a credit in the amount of $20.00 At your earliest convenience, please provide us with your credit card by calling our customer assistance line at 214-849-8966, we are open from 5 AM to 11 PM Central time.

We are certain your future experiences with Greyhound will demonstrate our commitment to provide quality customer service, and we look forward to serving your travel needs.

Sincerely,

Ms. Margarita Becerra
Customer Care Analyst

Unamused, I decided to make matters clearer:

Dear Ms. Becerra,

I would appreciate it if you would refrain from referring to me as Mr., or as your colleague did, Mrs., as I have not earned either title – a fact your company is well aware of in my ticket purchasing.

Your message does not address:
1. I was told I would receive a refund for the cost of my trip, which exceeds $20.

2. I was told my sister, who was also on the bus, would receive the same.

Please let me know who I should contact to ensure a full refund for both myself and my sister.

With appreciation.

In the ten days that it took Greyhound to respond, I received a $20 voucher in the mail toward my next ticket with them. I gave up on Greyhound and filed a fraudulent credit charge report with my bank. Then, this email arrived:

Dear Ms. ,

Thank you for contacting our office with your concerns. We apologize for the delay in responding to your request.In regards to your request, as a one time customer service gesture we will issue a refund back to the purchasing account, for your ticket number 85753059, in the amount of $40.50. Unfortunately, without the ORIGINAL UNUSED TRAVEL VOUCHER(S), we will be unable to process your request. Photocopies of your Travel Voucher(s) are not acceptable; we must have the original documents to evaluate your request.

Please forward your ORIGINAL UNUSED TRAVEL VOUCHER(S) along with this letter at your earliest convenience to:
Greyhound Lines, Inc.
REFUND DEPARTMENT 4715
PO BOX 660691
DALLAS TX 75266-0691

Unfortunately, until we receive the concern from the passenger or the purchaser that appears on the ticket with confirmation number 85733755 we will not be able to register this request.

If the passenger/purchaser(S) is unable to contact us via e-mail, please register the complaint by calling or writing our Corporate Customer Assistance Department. Once received, we will register the passenger’s request and they will receive a formal response via mail.
We appreciate your business, and hope that we can serve you again in the near future and hope to provide your future travel needs.

Sincerely,

Yomaira Marquez
Customer Assistance Analyst
I returned it to them with my compliments. Two weeks later I followed up:

Hello –

I returned my voucher to you over two weeks ago. Please let me know when the refund will be issued.
Thank you.
The response informed me that these things take time. Minutes later, I sent out a warning shot:

Please let me know what the timeline is. If that is not possible, it would seem that you were trying to reneg on your promise. In which case, I would take further action.

Thank you.

My lack of salutation must have made it clear that I was serious, because it was a week before Greyhound got up the gumption to respond:

Dear Ms. ,
Thank you for contacting our office with your concerns. We apologize for the delay in responding to your e-mail.
In regards to your request, according to  our records, your documentation was received on 06/28/2016, unfortunately is not uploaded in our system yet. Once we have the information visible in our system, we will process your case.
We appreciate your business and hope that we can serve you again in the near future.
Sincerely,
Yomaira Marquez
Customer Care Analyst
My bank refunded the charge on a provisional basis, and I officially washed my hands of this business. Last week, I received a notice from my bank:
We’re pleased to let you know that your billing dispute involving the credit card transaction with Greyhound has been resolved. The temporary credit we issued will remain on your account.
Success – and a lesson. A lesson not in persistence but in advantage and our changing society. Years ago, when I first rode Greyhound, I never dreamed that that bus line – with its terms and conditions of not guaranteeing a seat in return for purchasing a ticket – would refund a ticket for simply being a few hours late. My fellow passengers, whether we were poor or just on a tight budget, knew we had no other option for getting from point A to point B. So, we took what we could get – Greyhound. There was no reason – and no benefit – to complain about the only option we had.
But times have changed and so have my fellow passengers. Though the very poor still ride with us, the wealthier now do so as well. Rising costs of airfare and better busing options have brought a new class of clientele to Greyhound. I thank my fellow passengers, passengers who believe that they deserve better, for showing me that we can, and must, stand up for ourselves.
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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Grinding Away on Greyhound: Talk To Me At Midnight | there is on whom to rely

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