I'll keep this as brief and to the point as I can.
So I bought a monthly pass for an Amtrak line from Providence to Boston round trip for a new job. This pass was advertised as giving me unlimited rides for the calendar month. I bought it on the website for $378.
One day I switched bags and forgot my pass at home. I didn't have time to go back, so I went to the train station, and at the front desk I asked if I could possibly get another one printed out. I had the confirmation number up on my cell phone on the Amtrak website.
The Amtrak employee then told me these things:
1. They don't have access to them and can't print them out.
2. They treat it like a gift certificate, and if you lose it, well, that's it.
3. In the 3 years he's been employed there, only 2 other people have asked about it. And, most people put them in their wallets and I shouldn't have an issue if I just do that.
4. Even though I was showing him my reservation number, current, from the Amtrak website on my profile, he was trying to tell me that I needed...to BUY another ticket.
Okay, so that's not his fault. I mean, it's not a gift certificate, it's a train ticket, and one that costs roughly $400. If I need a copy, Amtrak should have the ability to print me off another one. ALSO, it really shouldn't matter if I'm the 1st or the 500th customer, I paid for this ticket, there are digital records of it. If I want another copy, Amtrak sure as *** should be able to give me one. It may not sound like he was overly rude, but his tone and general temperament was extremely defensive, and I wasn't being aggressive about it.
So I call customer service. I wanted to be able to pull up my pass on my smartphone, like it said that I could. However it was giving me an error saying that only if I bought it on the website then I would be able to display it. It said that I did not. BUT I did.
So I call, and make it clear that I have two cards and I can't remember which one it was. The Amtrak employee checks one card, and as I start to give him the second one he talks over me and transfers me to the refunds department...and I'm on hold now. (I ended up just getting on the train anyway because the conductor knew me. So it wasn't that big of a deal for me in the end, but it's the principle of the matter)
In the past, when I was calling Amtrak in order to ask about the 10 day multi ride ticket, the question that I had was to find out if each "ride" applied to round trips. I had 10 days left in the month and one of those was far less expensive than a "monthly pass" which I would have had to pay full price for. However I couldn't get a straight answer until the 4th time I called and I actually had to be pushy and kind of rude.
The first three calls consisted of me asking, them saying "Yes" without an explanation and hanging up really fast. Not to mention the hold times.
Which is another thing, they have an automated system, like most large companies. This saves money, I get it. However, Amtrak's is more obnoxious, and you can't even find the phone number for Amtrak without having to dismiss the automated helper on the website.
Amtrak is cheap. They are losing money and getting government bailouts every year. In order to save even more money, they are hiring *** employees and emphasizing that they end phone calls as fast as possible to save money.
Basically, every Amtrak employee I've spent time with has made me walk away angry. Even Amtrak's general services are lacking; the different ticket "deals" they offer aren't structured in a reliable format. I could lose my $378 monthly pass or accidentally destroy it, and I would be out of luck. And all the while I would have to deal with a rushed, and/or condescending Amtrak employee.
Product or Service Mentioned: Amtrak Train Service.