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.