Air travel receives it’s fair share of criticisms. And to be sure, from surly gate agents and flight attendants to frequent delays to broken equipment and ridiculous security screenings, there are certainly no shortage of annoyances about which to complain.
But at least the airline doesn’t drop you off in the middle of the night at a closed airport in a sketchy part of town.
And you typically aren’t seated next to ex-cons who are jumping parole.
For that kind of travel-industry service experience you evidently need to purchase a Greyhound bus ticket.
Surprisingly though, tickets on Greyhound don’t come cheap when compared against other transportation options. Which leads matt.bratton to wonder, why is Greyhound customer service so atrocious. Members of the City-Data forums offer several opinions, but most fall into one camp, expressed clearly, if depressingly, by jlawrence01:
If I go into a supermarket in the suburbs – take Kroger’s as an example, the store is very clean, upscale and very pleasant. If I head into a Kroger’s in the inner-city of the same city, it is a complete dump. Why? Because the chain does not really feel that they need to provide the same quality service to lower income people.
Greyhound is the same way. They view their customers as low income, no class people and generally treat them like that. They don’t really care if the terminals are clean or if their drivers curse customers and the like.
Now there’s an uncomfortable idea if I have ever heard one.
Do you think service organizations might actually treat some people worse not based on the amount of money they spend, but based on a perception that they are “lower class” and therefore don’t need to be treated better? Is it possible that a company like Greyhound (and mind you, I’m not saying this is how the people at Greyhound think – I’m just pulling on a thread here) assumes that people who for whatever reason consider bus travel as a first option (cost evidently being only one, somewhat minor factor) simply don’t expect or need to be provided a high-level of service?
Or, to put it another way, would Greyhound, or any bus service for that matter, have a better chance of attracting more customers if it were to improve its service? Would you travel by bus if you knew the busses were new and maintained well, the seats were comfortable, and there were plenty of quality in-ride entertainment options? Would clean terminals with dining and restroom options that were fully staffed with security personnel 24-7-365 cause you to consider the bus as a travel option?
Or, to put it in even another way – would you consider traveling by bus within the U.S. if Greyhound was more like the Mexican bus system?
There is much catching up Mexico has to do to reach the level of the United States in economic development, but bus service isnt one of them. Mexican buses are excellent and first class. Many lines have a premium service where you get a complimentary snack and a movie, special waiting room and a movie. Plus comfy seats and leg room. Bus stations are more like airports and there is a selection of snack bars and convenience stores at most stations. You are treated like a respected customer rather than cattle ~SoCal Midwest Noobie
An interesting discussion to be sure. Read the thread in its entirety: Why does Greyhound have such horrible customer service?