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17 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
#1727913

Yep. This conductor should be terminated.

Had a run in with him myself.

I think he may be racist and anti-women. Not sure, but it appears he has severe mental health issues.

Anonymous
#1724395

To be honest none of this would of happened if she would of just moved the bag out the seat in the first place when he asked. I’m a frequent traveler with amtrak as well & you never know what the situation is, for all you know there can be a group of 20 or so passengers getting on.

You caused this on yourself. It’s so sad that now possibly this guy is in Jeopardy if losing his job & not being able to provide for his family all because he asked her to move a bag

Anonymous
#1726160
@Anonymous

I agree totally

Anonymous
#1710911

AMTRAK : THEY ARE THE KING OF DISORGANIZED TRAVEL!

Anonymous
#1637360

I have seen this "Claude Robinson" and I will tell you that he knows his rules. He can also be the nicest person that has ever helped an older lady like myself.

He went out of his way to make sure that my travel experience was amazing. When my train got to New York, he made sure a red cap was there waiting for me with a wheelchair. He even thanked me for my military service. Perhaps if you had done as he asked instead of having an attitude, you might not have been removed from the train as you should have.

You're probably younger person that does not know the value of following other's advice. You got what you deserved.

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
#1726212
@WhyYouBeSoAnonymous

That's a ridiculous

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
#1595550
@Anonymous

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
#1627796
@Anon

Absolutely agree. Something is wrong with Claude for sure.

Anonymous
#1627798
@Anonymous

She got what she asked for? You sound like Claude, probably are him. If you are...you are an *** if you aren't, you are still an ***

Anonymous
#1727916
@Amtrak Passenger

Claude A Robinson. In my opinion it is better to avoid this Amtrak conductor. Robinson appears to have mental health issues.

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
#1595551
@Anonymous

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

Anonymous
#1744431
@Anon

Yep. Claude Robinson has real psychological issues, coupled with his racist and anti-woman stance, he will be a real liability for Amtrak one day.