April 10, 2004

Crosstown Traffic

Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 6:47 pm

If you’re travelling with Voyageur in the near future, you should phone them about their schedules. Make sure you talk to a human, and not their automated systems, because it turns out that everything on their website is an outright lie. You’d think that if you’re going to change your schedules, you’d also change the web page people read to find out about those schedules. And, call me crazy, you’d change those two things in precisely the same way.

“When does the next bus leave for Kingston?”

“Err… tomorrow morning. At ten. The last one left a few minutes ago.”

“Uh-huh. The schedule says that it leaves in fifteen minutes.”

“Well, we change our schedules four times a year, sir.”

“The schedule on your website right now says that it leaves in fifteen minutes.”

“Well, what do you want me to do about it?”

Dear Service Industry: when you ask me that question, I am filled with rage; I know instantly that I am dealing with a complete tool.

“The bus stops at Lincoln Fields, doesn’t it?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“Get on the phone and call the dispatcher. Tell the bus driver to wait there for me. I’ll take a cab.”

“Oh. Um, Ok.”

“I’ll wait here until you hear back from the dispatcher.”

“Ok, yeah.”

… time passes. Some other office drone emerges from the back office, to tell him that the dispatcher has left a message for him.

“Sir, they said they can wait ten or fifteen minutes, at most.”

“You didn’t tell the dispatcher where to call you back, did you?”


I guess if you’re the kind of person who can solve simple problems you’re overqualified to work in the Voyageur office.


  1. To quote their Ottawa-Kingston schedule webpage:

    “This page is updated regularly, so please press ‘reload’ on your browser to view the latest information.”

    . . .

    “So that we may respond to your comments, please include your name, address, telephone and fax numbers in any e-mail you send.”

    Comment by Rob — April 13, 2004 @ 2:47 am

  2. Smegging hell. My siblings and I ran into the same kind of crap with Voyageur when I had to bus up to Northern Ontario a few weeks ago for my grandmother’s funeral – we were informed, in such a fashion as to make it plain and clear that trusting the information on their site and the confirmation I got from the ticket agent clearly put us at fault, that there was no guarantee that we’d make our connection in North Bay and that we might have to idle as long as 24 hours.

    Comment by Gnomon — April 13, 2004 @ 11:06 am

  3. Obviously you didn’t click “reload” right. Or something.

    I asked for a refund, and was informed that “we can’t do that, the website also says to show up thirty to forty-five minutes ahead of time, to make sure you catch your bus.”

    I can’t find where it says that, mind you, but I’m told it’s there.

    Comment by Mike Hoye — April 13, 2004 @ 11:15 am

  4. Awesome. From the Greyhound FAQ:

    Where does Greyhound travel?
    Greyhound has over 19,000 daily departures to more than 3,600 locations in the 48 contiguous United States, Canada, and cooperative service to Mexico with major bus lines in those countries. You can travel safely and conveniently with the everyday low fares on Greyhound.

    If it’s frequently asked, you’d think a real answer wouldn’t be too much to ask for.

    You talk funny, Nash. Where you from?

    Comment by Mike Hoye — April 16, 2004 @ 2:54 am

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