Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Live Blog Bolt Bus 2

Well, revising some of my statements about Bolt bus.

Their overall bus service is pretty good but their customer service is a wreck. As long as everything goes off without a hitch it's all good, but everything did not go off without a hitch for me.

I should have suspected that there may have been a problem when my confirmation for my return trip did not appear in my mail. I should have suspected there may have been a problem when their online booking system kicked me off their servers 3 times.

There is extraordinary value in checking and double-checking your work. God damn.

So now I'm stuck here in a Starbucks staring at local buses go by while a schizophrenic woman in layers of workout gear rambles next to me.

Anyways, here's what happened.

I tried to book my tickets three times. I was trying to purchase a ticket to Portland from Seattle and a return one three days later. Sounds simple, and the first time I did the ticket, before I had to make changes, it worked great. A window popped up asking if I wanted to return and I said yes. Then I selected the time I wanted to return. So that was great. But then I wanted to make changes and everything screwed up. I tried to delete trips but couldn't until I went to check-out. I wasn't ready to check out so I kept trying to find a change ticket option. That option was not available.

I left the site and returned, starting the entire booking process over. It was a hassle but no big deal. I accidentally screwed up there and had to start over for a third time.

On the third attempt I booked the two tickets I wanted and a third one for a time I did not want. At this point I suspected that there was a way to delete unwanted tickets without completely exiting the system. I found it in the checkout portion. There is an option to delete trips but not to change. I deleted what I thought was the trip I did not want and proceeded to finish my purchase.

I received two emails from Bolt bus, one that was a confirmation for my first trip out, and one that was my receipt of both trips. I never received a second confirmation email for the return trip. That should have been a big tip-off that something wasn't quite right. It also should have notified me to look closely at my ticket receipt.

At this point I have screwed up twice. I didn't read my receipt carefully and I didn't take action when I didn't receive the information I needed.

Here's why I'm mad at Bolt bus. Regardless of the trip I booked I never received the second trip confirmation email that would have clearly stated in large print that I had booked a trip from Seattle to Portland instead of the reverse. This is required protocol in their system to avoid these snafus yet I never received one—clearly a technical error. Minus ten points to Boltindor house.