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7 comments

I was taking the train in the early morning and I had a duffel bag on the seat next to me, I didn't think much of it because there were only 3-4 people in the entire car, given the time it was not a busy time at all. The initial conductor came and checked my ticket...then moments later Amtrak employee, Claude A. Robinson came up abruptly and instructed me to put my bag on the ground because it was against policy. I let him know that I would be happy to put the bag on the ground if someone asked to sit next to me or once the train got more full. That apparently wasn't good enough. I've ridden the train over 200 times and have been a loyal customer since 2010. This is no way makes me think I'm entitled to special treatment - however, I do expect a certain level of professionalism. He was threatening, abrasive and disrespectful. He came back a few minutes later and i had put my bag back on my seat because i needed to get some things out of the bag but he told me again so stern I felt threatened and not safe. At that point I was already submitting my concerns via Amtrak.com's portal, which requires the name of the conductor, so I asked him his name. He looked at my computer, said his name with a big smile on his face and walked away.

What happened next was truly unimaginable. We stopped at the next stop (which was no where near my final destination) and I was ambushed by three grown male police officers with bullet proof vests that instructed me I needed to exit the train immediately. I was so confused and had no idea what was happening. Claude Robinson came over with a smirk on his face and said "You should have followed the rules and now you need to go." All this because I had my duffel bag on the seat next to me in an empty train? I thought I was being punked. They started yelling at me telling me I was delaying the train and I was still so confused. I told them I had no idea it was this big of an issue and received no warning that I was going to be escorted off the train. Claude then said he did tell em - which I can say with 100% certainty that he did not. He also said he "already wrote up the paperwork so I had to go." I'm not exactly sure what that means but I had no idea that any of this was happening. Not only was this incredibly embarrassing as everyone on the train was watching but also it just didn't make any sense. I am a professional female who was on her way to a meeting - which I ended up missing. I was not a threat in ANY way.

My nightmare didn't end there. I was escorted off the train with no idea where I was or how I was going to get home. One of the police offers at the station was incredibly disrespectful and treated me like I was a child - I am a 30 year old woman. He told me that hopefully now I learn my lesson. Again, I felt like this was all a joke. To be treated so disgracefully by individuals who are supposed to be protecting us from REAL threats was terrifying.

I had no idea that having a bag next to an empty seat next to you (and offering to move it if anyone wanted the seat) was a crime. I can confidently say with 100% certainty that I will NEVER ride on Amtrak again unless Claude Robinson's actions are corrected. I'd like to better understand what kind of customer training and psych examines they do on their employees- especially in light of all the recent accidents from Amtrak.

Product or Service Mentioned: Amtrak Conductor.

Reason of review: Poor customer service.

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Anonymous
#1543400

I think that the homeless people riding on Amtrak should be treated with the same dignity and respect as Greyhound does to all of it's homeless passengers.

Anonymous
#1499561

"if someone asked to sit next to me or once the train got more full"You know, stories like this always start with someone thinking they don't have to do what is asked of them when it's asked. It's all downhill for you after that.

I'm pretty sure you backed your statement up with attitude, bile and vinegar.You got what you asked for when you decided to play stupid games.

How hard would it have been to just drop the bag on the ground?Please do not reproduce. I'm sure you'raising the next Waffle House "victim."

Anonymous
to Anonymous #1595550

I am familiar with Amtrak conductor Claude A Robinson and in my opinion, he is a power hungry, racist, psychopath. Amtrak needs to put him in a back office, not with passengers. Robinson is a liability to Amtrak.

Anonymous
#1490586

I always see this kind of thing on the news - police beating homeless people, airline attendants shoving animals into cargo spaces - but never in a million years did I think I would see this on my Wednesday morning commute from DC to NYC. I was pretty sure this incident would go viral.

What a PR nightmare for Amtrak! I know it was early, nobody wants to be at work, but this employee was out of line. Out must have been really terrifying for this woman to be confronted by all those men. Over what?

A CAT??

Seemed like gross over-reaction. Hope Amtrak makes this right.

Anonymous
#1490019

I ride Amtrak because of the ease. I fortunately have not had this type of experience but have heard stories like this. If this is how Amtrak workers will treat the riders, I will seek alternative modes of transportation.

Anonymous
#1490006

With everything going on in the world you would think they would have something to better to do then pick on travelers. This seems like a violation of your rights.

I'm so sorry this happened to you. I wonder if this person has a history of this type of behavior? I hope you will take this to his superiors.

This behavior should not be tolerated. I don't blame you for not wanting to use their services again.

Anonymous
to Anonymous #1595551

Claude A Robinson has a history of this type of behavior. Amtrak needs to fire him.

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