Don’t leave the driving to Greyhound

Posted by on Jun 6, 2012 in Brian's Blog | 13 comments

According to its website, Greyhound views itself as an “icon of bus travel, providing safe, enjoyable, and affordable travel to 6.5 million passengers each year.” Count me as one of the 6.5 million who won’t be looking for the running dog next time I want to leave the driving to someone else. An annoying recent experience with the bus company has made the decision easy for me.

I was travelling from Jasper to Edmonton. The bus was waiting at the terminal when I arrived, one hour before the scheduled 1:00 p.m. departure time. The driver was there too, but clearly in no hurry to leave. He kept the passengers waiting more than 30 minutes before allowing us to board. He offered no explanation or apology for the delay. Nor did he tell us what time the bus would now be arriving in Edmonton. He just gave us the standard spiel about no liquor consumption or smoking allowed on the bus, the location of the washroom, and so on.

There were no weather or traffic issues to slow the bus down en route to Edmonton. The roads were bare and dry, and the weather was clear. I assumed the driver would be able to make up for the lost time on the five-hour trip, but no such luck. The bus was 35 minutes late when it left Jasper, and 45 minutes late when it arrived in Edmonton.

If the driver had given us a reason for the late departure, that would have been appreciated. If he had given an apology, that would have been appreciated even more. Where was the common courtesy? Where was the customer service? I wrote a polite letter to Greyhound’s senior vice-president for Canada asking for answers.

He did not bother to reply.

July 26 update: Greyhound’s senior vice-president for Canada – his name is Stuart Kendrick – still has not bothered to reply.

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Copyright 2012 Brian Brennan - Author

13 Comments

  1. Just read the story about your Greyhound experience. I just wanted to express how I “SO” relate with your concerns and questions regarding common courtesy and customer service. I am speaking from a Manitoba perspective with family members who frequently use the Greyhound travel “service” and have faced frustration after frustration with delayed/no show buses with little or no explanation, rude/disrespectful treatment by employees/drivers, and regard for the safety of customers. I must say this does not reflect all employees but because these actions are allowed to continue, the behaviour is a reflection of the whole. I was planning on sending a letter/note to Stuart Kendrick but it seems it may be a useless attempt in my process to bring forward the issue of “common courtesy and customer service” or professionalism. Poor man’s travel, for the most part, will continue to be a “need” and change will come in the increase of prices rather than quality of service.

  2. I have travelled in Greyhound a number of times and I must say that each ride has been comfortable and memorable.

  3. Would you be able to forward me Stuart Kendrick’s contact information?
    Tonight Greyhound stranded my daughter (she’s a minor) at a deserted bus depot at 10:35pm on a Friday night. The bus driver told her the bus was full and that another one would be by in 10 minutes. An hour later she called me in tears cold, afraid and wanting to know where the other bus was. I called Greyhound and was told that another bus would not be by until 9 in the morning, and that the customer service line was closed until Monday and that I could open a complaint then……
    I would really like to contact Stuart Kendrick and let him know what I think about that.

  4. On the 17th of March 2013 at 6:45 minutes at Greyhound station in Ottawa , Gate number five, a huge line and horrible bottle neck situation brought me to complain to the city manager who showed no respect to myself as a customer and ignored my complaints while focusing on my attitude claiming that I was shouting; instead of solving the bottle neck problem that made me and other many customers wait in a huge double line that goes from the beginning of the fifth gate to almost the back of the station. When I insisted that he has and he is supposed to do something to solve the problem he kept claiming that I am not respecting him and that my attitude was not proper and refusing to add more checking stations and threatening me to not let me go on the bus.. He went looking for police and the security agent called 911 to arrest me and remove me out the bus station.. A thing that I find miss respectful especially towards a customer who is asking to improve the service by eliminating the waiting time. After a long useless conversation with Stephan I finally made it up to the bus, however 5 minutes later while I was nicely sitting in my seat, plugging my computer in and trying to to get ready for the bus to move and my trip back to Toronto to start after a delay of plus of 35 minutes… One of Greyhound employees came up and call me to come down the bus to the station’s floor, when I am there, I get surprised that two of police agents were waiting for me to make me feel that I am making trouble and disturbing the passengers, this is incorrect and insulting towards a customer who was asking for better service; I did not know that we have to stay hands tied and mouth shut up even when we are paying a lot for away Unsatisfactory service and when we raise our voice to speak up we got punished and kicked out of the station, accused by trespassing and disturbing passengers … the City Manager called it making a Scene.. So what should we call a horrible Bottle neck and more than 35 minutes extra waiting time wasted out of my time…

    For Greyhound’s knowledge, there is no other bus company that treats its customers this way and check their belongings in a miss respectful way even for passengers’ safety. If this is really a concern (passengers’ safety), then install scanning machines where security agents won’t be able to touch passengers clothes, objects and belongings only in the case of doubt and if they represent a real threat !! This is very unprofessional and completely wrong approach to customers’ safety.

    Knowing that there is no other bus company that relates Ottawa to Toronto and the earliest train is on 5:30 am the next day.. Greyhound did not only made me wait more than 35 minutes in a huge waiting line where another security screening station can be added to solve the issue and speed up the process, but it did not deliver the service that I paid for and made me miss regaining my activity on Monday as It should be..

    Terrible experience,time wasted and $ loss accounted.

  5. Can’t imagine Greyhound has detoriated so badly. I used Greyhound in 2009 in August to travel from Calgary, Canada to Banff, Canada. Banff is a hill station.

    Greyhound was quite remarkable at that time. Don’t know what happened.

    How to get the grievances to Stuart Kendrick..?

  6. My son is currently on his first trip outside of Canada. He’s 23. He is stuck in Pittburgh. His bus was over two hours late. When it arrived, they had overbooked it by 20 people and he’s still there. He watched a Vet get kicked off at a gas station for talking to another person two seats back. The next stop, the other person had his re-entry revoked. Both were left at the station. The driver also cussed out a woman who’s child was crying and yelled over the speaker to keep talking to a whisper.( This was not a nightime trip. It was daytime) As my son was texting, the driver accused him of trying to video the driver’s behavior.
    If you are considering “leaving the driving to them” just DON”T. His first trip to the US has just re-inforced his negative feelings towards americans, thanks very specifically to Greyhound. Hopefully, once he meets up with his friends to tour Washington his views will soften. In the meantime,Greyhound is one of the WORST embassadors for the united states. The department of tourism really should address this company.

  7. I will never take the bus again first of all I get 2 different prices I am a senior the bus depot at home was 88$ and from Beville 125$ I got it down to 117$. Then I get to Toronto wait for the bus told us to get in line half an hour before the bus comes in that is fine but I never excepeted to stand in line for 2 hrs. Plus they looked the bus waiting room poor kids were tired no place to go to the wash room. And not one person came out to talk to us and let us know what was going on I think we should get our money back or a free ticket and a apology.that is my complaint I hope the president of grey hound reads this.

  8. I work at a Greyhound agent and I can comment on the Jasper one, If a bus is scheduled to depart at a certain time, and leaves late their would have to be a reason for it! Its possible he could have been not in his legal hours til 130 to leave! Even if a driver is at his bus, He has to go by DOT regulations! If he came in late on his schedule to jasper then he would have to wait his 8 Hours to leave! And if u are travelling Im sure u should have known what time the bus should have gotten into Edmonton without someone telling u! Also drivers are only required to board 15 minutes prior!!

  9. Thank you for your answer. You are the first – and so far only – person from Greyhound to respond to my complaint, which I registered 18 months ago.
    If any or all of what you say is true, a word of explanation from the driver would have been appreciated. His colleague, a couple of days previously, was running late on the run from Edmonton to Jasper, and he kept us updated at every turn.
    We knew what time the bus was supposed to leave Jasper. We also knew what time it was supposed to arrive in Edmonton. Your driver could easily have given us the reason for the delay. But he never bothered.
    As you can see from the other replies, I’m not the only person to have this problem with Greyhound.

  10. I dont work directly for greyhound…just for an agent! But really Jasper to Edmonton its like 5 hrs u leave late u do the math.And drivers dont have to explain why their late, Some do some dont, They are not required too unless u are connecting to another bus in Edmonton then they would call ahead and hold it if they were too late, and let u know! If you were like 3-4 hrs late then they may tell u, If a drivers late u just ask why…they will tell u!

  11. ATTENTION SENIORS DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY FOR TRAVEL
    My sister who lives in Kitchener Ontario was diagnosed with a rare small intestinal cancer. My mom and dad who are aged 85 and 80 (Dad has severe arthritis in his ankles) wanted to visit her in the worst way. We, kids told them to fly but my mom who has a fear of flying insisted of taking Greyhound so here is their trip from HELL!! They were to have one transfer.

    They left Saskatoon on May 7th 2014 on time everything was good. They arrived at Winnipeg and the driver told them that they will have one transfer at Thunder Bay Ont. When they got to Thunder Bay and transferred their nightmare began. The driver told them that they will be transferring at Sudbury Ont. They get to Sudbury, no Greyhound employees around to help them or tell them where to go and stress kicks in. Finally a passenger assisted them.They get on the Sudbury bus and mom said she was honestly scared as the bus was well worn and dilapidated. Anyways along the way the bus driver pulls to the side of the road and tells the passengers that he has to make a phone call ?? Mom said that he was gone for quite awhile and all the passengers were wondering what was going on. This added to the 2 hour late arrival for sure. Then the driver tells the passengers that they will be transferring in Toronto…”are you kidding me” mom said. Anyway they finally get to Toronto. The driver goes to one terminal and tells the passengers that anyone going to Kitchener has to TAKE THEIR LUGGAGE AND CARRY IT TO THE NEXT TERMINAL ACROSS SOME ROAD. Mom said they barely made it. When they got to the terminal, surprise, their bus was not their. They stood in the early morning in the cold with no Greyhound employees around. Surprise again!! Finally the bus shows up, yes late!, mom said that they could hardly walk not alone carry their luggage. They finally saw a Greyhound worker and asked to help and he told them to bring their luggage closer to the bus. Now that is service..wow. Mom said that finally another passenger assisted with this. bless him!! Finally, finally they get to Kitchener, stressed, very very worn out and frustrated. I wonder if the CEO of Greyhound Mr. Leach puts his parents on his bus line. Like mom said GREYHOUND has gone to the dogs…

  12. My 14 year old niece was traveling from Calgary to salmon arm. Her parents were waiting there for her. When she was boarding the driver told her she couldnt travel more than 500 km alone and he would be dropping her off in revelstoke. Even though her father was waiting for her in salmon arm??? I called her father and tried to get the agent to speak to him but the agent wouldnt take the phone….what a joke! I guess it is safer to drop her alone in another town. When asked why the agent that sold her father didnt tell him this they said that every driver makes his own rules. These people are mental and our world is quickly turning into a society of nut jobs!

  13. Today 27 Sept 2014 the bus suposed to leave at 12:50 am but I don’t what’s going on they told us the bus will be delays for 2hours and half. The bus didn’t show until 3:00 am I will never ever take the greyhound anymore.

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