This is what I just finished writing in an email to Amtrak's corporate office, which, if my experience with the company tells me anything, will result in nothing:
I would like to formally complain about Penn Station customer service manager who, after speaking to me in an extremely abrasive and rude manner, refused to give me her full name.
I missed my train due to the incompetence two ticket sales representatives, who were under the mistaken impression that I would not have to visit the "Canadian Check-In" prior to boarding my international train. As per their instruction, I simply waited in line and was told upon attempting to board the train that I would have to get my ticket stamped at the "Canadian Check-In" desk. I immediately ran there, but apparently several other customers had also been misled, and I and about five other passengers were deemed "too late" and told that we had missed our train.
I then went back to the ticket salespeople and explained to them what had happened. They were a man and woman sitting next to each other, and upon hearing what happened, the woman started arguing with the man, saying "You see what happened? I knew he had to check in!" etc. Then they switched my ticket to the next train, which was 24 hours later, and decreased my fare by $7. I was of course irritated by the situation, as I would be missing my first day of University classes because of their incompetence, but they were relatively nice about it so I wasn't too upset.
I then asked if I could store my baggage at Penn Station, as I had a lot of heavy bags and did not want to have to carry them all the way back to my friend's apartment which was on the 6th floor of a building without a working elevator. They told me to go to the baggage check counter, which I did. There I was told that I had to pay 4.50 per bag to keep it there overnight. I explained to the man there (who was very nice) that I had no money and explained my situation to him. He told me that he was not authorized to waive the fee, but that I could speak to the manager at the customer service desk and she could do that for me.
So I went to the customer service desk and explained my situation, and asked if I could speak to the manager. The woman working at the desk there said ok, called her manager, and told her that I was there and wanted my baggage storage fees waived.
Twenty minutes later, I asked if the manager had perhaps forgotten that I was waiting there, and the woman at the desk said "Yes, maybe, let me call her again." She called a few minutes later after chatting with one of her coworkers. There was apparently no answer, so she said she would try to find her. She then continued to gossip with her coworker for about ten more minutes before standing up to find her manager, which I found to be a bit obnoxious but I didn't react.
Finally, about another fifteen minutes later (totalling about 45 minutes of waiting to ask the manager a simple thing) the manager came to me and asked me in a very aggressive, confrontational tone, with her hand on her hip, "What do YOU want?"
I replied, "I ended up missing my train this morning and it was sort of Amtrak's fault, so I was hoping--" at which point she cut me off:
"Oh really? It was Amtrak's fault huh?" which she again said in a tone I found to be quite rude.
I then explained the situation and she continued to speak to me rather rudely until I explained why I hadn't gone to the Canadian check-in counter, at which point she said:
"Mmhmm, yeah, and why don't I go and ask those people at the ticket counter right now?" I was rather taken aback by her implication that I was somehow lying about my story. Bear in mind that I still had not asked for anything, I was simply explaining what had happened.
To this I replied that, yes, of course, we should go right now and speak to the people at the ticket counter. Unfortunately, when I brought the manager to the man who had misled me about the check-in policy, he lied and said that he had only said I didn't have to check my luggage. At this point I started to get pretty visibly upset, and the woman sitting next to the man cut into the conversation and semi-explained what had happened to her manager. I was pretty stunned about the whole situation, and the woman was behind a glass panel, so I didn't hear exactly what she was saying to the manger, but finally she asked me what it is that I wanted.
Having gotten much more upset than before, I now suggested that my ticket be refunded in full. The woman's reply to this was to shake her finger at me and say "Nu-uh. There is NO WAY I am giving you a full refund. I dont think so. You should have just told me that's what you wanted in the first place so I wouldn't have to waste my time with you."
I was now quite upset, and asked her what her first and last name were. She replied that her name was "Yura" and that "people go by their first name around here so I don't need her last." I insisted that I wanted her first and last name spelled out for me and she simply walked away. I then asked the woman at the customer service desk how to spell her manager's name, and whether there was someone higher up that I could speak to. She said she didn't know the manager's last name, but that her first name was Eura-- spelled that way if I remember correctly, and that she didn't think there was anyone higher up at Penn Station that I could speak to.
Product or Service Mentioned: Amtrak Train Service.
Monetary Loss: $70.