When I went to the Arts&Crafts Conference a couple weeks ago, I took the bus from Raleigh to Asheville.
I tried to buy tickets on the Greyhound website, but every time I did, it returned an error and asked me to try again. Then I called their phone sales number, and spoke to some mindblowingly unhelpful girls who kept spelling Stivison “F-G-Y-P-Y-F-O-M”, sighing loudly, and telling me that card wouldn’t work because I must not know the address on my bank statement (smack some gum while you read for full effect). I ended up driving to the bus station and buying a ticket in person.
But while Greyhound was telling me my address was wrong and I can’t purchase tickets by phone, they were actually running my debit card over and over, for more than a thousand dollars worth of charges.
Greyhound has two customer service numbers on their website. One begins by telling you to press one if you’ve been overcharged for tickets, so I guess I’m not the only one who’d had this problem, but when I pressed one, no one was there. The other number goes directly to a voicemail that isn’t connected. (Sometimes I am accused of exaggerating for effect on my blog. I’m not!)
Anyway, I had a great time seeing my parents, meeting new people at the conference, and hanging around in a really gorgeous hotel, so by the time I came home, I had kind of let my Greyhound problems go. The bank didn’t charge us the overdraft fees, but it did set off fraud protection, which makes the bank disable my debit card and issue me a new one. Looking on the bright side, not having any access to my account for 7 to 10 business days will help us save money.
Then yesterday, I got a form letter from Greyhound, apologizing because of my “concerns regarding not being able to reach customer service”. What? I wasn’t calling up customer service to say hello! I was calling about the THOUSAND DOLLARS I’d been overcharged. I didn’t need a apology because no one picked up the phone, especially that apology completely ignored the reason I was calling, those ten times they charged my card.
So now I’m completely furious again. I don’t want a voucher for a discount my next ticket, I’m pretty sure this has been my last Greyhound trip. Isn’t an old saying about this kind of situation: Overcharge me a thousand dollars once, shame on you. But twice, shame on me. Something like that. But I would like a “Sorry we were incredibly rude about not being able to sell you a ticket, while actually charging you ten times for that ticket. Sorry that when you called about that, our customer service number goes straight to disconnected voicemail.” form letter.
Think they’ve got one of those made up?
Update 3/14: Awesome to see this on The Consumerist! Just to clarify, my bank froze my account because the $1000 in repeated charges set off fraud protection. I haven’t had to pay the $1000. I was required to get a new ATM card, which is en route now, so the real damage is that I can’t access my money until the card arrives. I don’t know a lot of stories where Bank of America is the good guy, but they didn’t charge me overdraft fees or anything.
Update 2: Thanks so much for commenting and showing me that I’m not alone in my Greyhound feud! But please lay off the profanity in the comments! First, reading all these sailor words will make me fall right off the polite-language wagon. Second, my pastor dad is reading! Thanks again for commenting, even you with the gutter mouths!
Update 3: Some of the charges seem to have come through the from the website (it returned an error saying my transaction had failed and that I should check my info and try again, and I stupidly did). Some of the charges were at the telephone rate, which includes a $6 surcharge, so I know that my card was run both ways. (Blows my mind that I was charged extra to talk to rude people.)