Thursday, June 10, 2010

BEWARE: Greyhound Bus Stranding Passengers, Abusing Disabled

Greyhound Bus Stranding Passengers, Abusing the Disabled

A paid ticket is no longer a guarantee of a seat on a Greyhound bus. You can forget about humane treatment for elderly or disabled. Don't expect Greyhound customer service department to care less, no matter what happens. It is now located in South America.

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

If you’re planning to take the Greyhound Bus in the United States this summer, make other plans. Even if you have a paid ticket, there is no guarantee you will be getting on the bus. All of the buses are packed. If the bus you hope to be on arrives full, you will be sitting at the bus station indefinitely.

NO SEATS: When I arrived in El Paso, the Greyhound clerk said, “We don’t know when you’ll be getting on the bus. All of the buses going west are full.”

Greyhound took an entire busload of us over the Mexico border and dumped us out at their partner's Americanos bus lines, and left us there. Then, Americanos said they had no buses going west. An 80-year-old disabled woman with a large suitcase was left on the corner in summer’s heat. I took her back to Greyhound in El Paso in a taxi. When I asked to be reimbursed for the fare, the manager could have cared less. He refused.

One family had been waiting to get seats on their bus for 24 hours. The staff at the El Paso Greyhound is some of the worst.

In Flagstaff, a large group of people had been waiting from dawn until afternoon because all the buses were full. So, I asked the clerk, "If I buy a ticket, does that mean I'm getting a seat on the bus?" The answer was: "No. Get in line and wait to see if there are any seats."

LOST BAGGAGE: On another recent bus trip, Greyhound said it would transfer my bag in Amarillo, Texas. They didn't. So, in Albuquerque, all I could do was check into a hotel and wait. Two nights in a hotel and taxi fare was $80. Not only did Albuquerque Greyhound refuse to reimburse the costs, but Albuquerque Greyhound also refused to deliver my bag to the hotel when it arrived. Picking it up by taxi was another $15. That's a total cost of $95. Customer Service in South America could have cared less.

CUSTOMER SERVICE IN SOUTH AMERICA NOW: There is no Greyhound customer complaint center in the US. If the complaint center answers the phone at all, after hours of calling, you will find yourself talking to someone at Greyhound Customer Service Center in South America, where the complaint call center is now located at. This basically allows them to get away with anything.

VIOLATIONS OF LAW: The constant abuse of the elderly and disabled by Greyhound employees nationwide demands a class action lawsuit.

In most places in the United States, Greyhound is the only bus line. Because of the lack of competition, Greyhound employees have become hostile and careless, mistreating people constantly.
BORDER PATROL'S RACIAL PROFILING: If you're traveling along the border, you'll also have to deal with the hostile US Border Patrol agents barking at you when they board the bus. They always harass people of color.

Once, late at night near Lordsburg, New Mexico, I watched a white person get fed up with the barking demands of the Border Patrol agents. When he was harassed for no reason, he picked up his belongings, got off the bus and walked into the desert alone, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night.

MONOPOLY Why has Greyhound plunged to such a deplorable and completely rotten condition? They have a monopoly. They underpay and under staff their station staff. Their customer service center is in South America. They violate the law by abusing the disabled and elderly. They refuse to carry out ethical business practices, including assuring a seat when a ticket is purchased and reimbursing unforeseen cost caused by Greyhound staff's incompetence. They refuse to even deliver your lost luggage to your hotel.


Let's cut to the real reason Greyhound finds it so easy to abuse people: The people who ride Greyhound are for the most part America's poor. They are people of color.

They are the disenfranchised, the voiceless, the elderly, the desperate and the disabled. They are the homeless. They are the sad youths in camouflage uniforms going and coming from war. They are women fleeing abusive husbands, single mothers searching for a place to live. They are an endless stream of hopeless people wandering America in search of jobs. They are the downtrodden, counting their pennies at the dollar menu stops.

These are the voiceless people that Greyhound finds it so easy to abuse.

Unless you like being miserable and mistreated, with all your rights violated, avoid the Greyhound bus. Yes, it was bad in the past, but now there's a good chance you will not be getting a seat on the bus.

If you are on a vacation, this is the last mode of nightmare travel you will ever want to take during the summer of 2010.

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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
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