In an attempt to go on what started as a simple family trip from Chicago to St Louis round trip , I was treated horribly and had a nightmare of a trip and the customer relations department was absolutely no help and made it even worse. For starters, I am a type 1 diabetic traveling with my autistic adult son and my daughter who is recovering from brain cancer last year.
We were notified a few days before that we would have to take the train from Chicago to Lincoln IL and then board a bus from Lincoln Il to St Louis. On our trip from Lincoln to St Louis I had issues with my insulin pump and needed to change my pump but could not due to no space and there was no time when they stopped to load people for me to take care of my medical needs. I was very sick by the time I reached St Louis. My son also had a very difficult time being crammed in like a sardine because of his sensory issues.
I realize that this was not entirely on Amtrak. However on the return trip home the nightmare was even worse. After boarding the bus in St Louis the bus driver was pulled over for speeding. The driver never said anything.
She was very upset and aggravated and then her GPS stopped working. Three times she answered her phone not on bluetooth to talk to her office. After pulling out of the Springfield IL stop she was on her phone with one hand and writing down directions all while driving endangering the lives of all the passengers. My son was a complete wreck after this and I dont know if he will ever travel again.
And my daughter is having a lot of hip pain sue to hours on these buses. When I called customer service to describe this trip I was told by Vanessa in Customer relations regarding my trip to St Louis that I knew I would be on a bus so I should have made other arrangements if I thought I would have issues. So if you are disabled and have medical issues then I guess Amtrak wants us to not use their service. As for our lives being endangered Vanessa told me that they would refer the complaint to the bus company who would reprimand the driver for those actions.
So apparently Amtrak does not feel they have any responsibility for the company they contract their buses thru even when it could endanger lives and pulled over by the police.I was told that they could offer no compensation except to say they were sorry. NO COMPENSATION. I was treated as if it was all about me just trying to get money. I wanted them to take responsibility for the major inconveniences and horrifying experience that I had.
When I told Vanessa that I would be reporting this to the Better Business Bureau and posting a negative review her response was well you do what you have to do. I was also told supervisors don't take calls from customers. As a professional who works in customer service, if the customer has a problem or a negative experience, the customer should always be treated with respect and an attempt made to resolve the situation. It is horrible customer service to tell a customer to go somewhere else or that the company is not responsible for life endangering actions by the company they contracted.
I hope that people who are disabled or have serious medical conditions do not use Amtrak because it was obvious from my round trip that they don't care about the customer but about money because they know they are the only passenger train system for long distance travel.
I really hope no one has to experience a medical issue or have to watch their disabled children suffer mentally and in my daughters case physically this level of disregard from a company that promotes itself as family friendly. I think they should be just as concerned about customer safety and satisfaction..
Product or Service Mentioned: Bus Service.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Monetary Loss: $158.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
Amtrak Pros: Conductors.
Amtrak Cons: See review.