Letters

Bus passenger stranded

Last Dec. 24 I boarded a Greyhound bus in Penticton going to Maple Ridge. I had one suitcase under, and one carry-on. We made several stops along the way for passengers and/or freight.

Between Princeton and Manning Park the driver pulled into a truck break check stop to check on something. He radioed in to report the battery wasn’t charging. We went on to Hope where we dropped off and picked up passengers and freight and the driver did more checking and made more calls, then headed for Chilliwack. In Chilliwack we were told ‘this would be a long stop as we’d have to get another bus, so take your carry-on luggage and we’ll switch the other luggage. He then informed us that there was food in the bus depot or a Tim Hortons just behind ‘that’ building.

I took my carry-on luggage and went to Tim’s. I timed myself and since it was Christmas Eve, Tim’s wasn’t busy. I was exactly 10 minutes. When I got back I didn’t see my luggage or my bus so I asked when the bus to Maple Ridge would be ready. I was told it just left! What?

We were told it would be a long stop. Several others were also left stranded! I phoned my son saying I’d be even later and to check with the bus depot in Maple Ridge. Unfortunately that was impossible because that bus depot was closed. How inconvenient at such a busy time. I got to Maple Ridge two and a half hours late with no luggage and nobody there to help me locate it. At 4:30 p.m. Christmas Eve I had to go shopping for undergarments, socks, and pajamas. That evening I went to church in my jeans and sweater that I travelled in. The next day I wore my granddaughter’s clothes for Christmas dinner. My gifts to them were in my missing suitcase, somewhere, all because of Greyhound.

I telephoned several numbers but all I got was answering machines or recordings, then finally I got a real person and told him my situation. He asked what state Penticton and Maple Ridge were in! What?

I told him they’re both in the Province of British Columbia. He was in Texas and had no idea of what I was talking about. Yes folks, that’s where head office for Greyhound is now located. When I asked to be reimbursed for the clothes I had to purchase, I was told “That’s not our policy.” Thanks to Greyhound I was without my suitcase for the entire visit with my family.

On the way home I told the attendant in Chilliwack and she immediately got me a missing luggage report to fill out and she faxed it for me. When I got to Penticton the kind lady there said she’d try to locate it for me, and within minutes she called me to say she had located it and would have it here the next day. I finally did get my luggage and I asked Greyhound to send the gifts to my family at no cost to myself, since this terrible incident was their fault. They refused saying, once again, “That’s not our policy.” Can you believe it? Bus travellers beware.

Marg Eyre

Penticton

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