I feel I must complain about my recent experience on Megabus.
I had used Megabus for the first time on a recent trip from Chicago to Minneapolis, and had no trouble at all. Both the outbound and return trips were fine. And indeed our trip to Columbus last Thursday was fine as well.
Our trip from Columbus to Chicago yesterday (7/8-2255-082007-M6-1130-COL-CHI) was not fine.
The bus was not clean when we boarded; there was trash under several of the seats.
We got underway more or less on time, and I noticed immediately that either there was something wrong with the bus or the driver was not very experienced: There was very little steady cruising. Accelerator, brake, accelerator, brake; and heavy on the brake. The climate control was similar: frigid, then warm and stuffy, then cold again.
It was when we approached Indianapolis that things started getting really strange.
I noticed that we seemed to be driving down a smaller-than-normal road. I noticed that we seemed to be turning into a side-street...Then I realized that we were turning around and heading back up the same road. More turnings onto somewhat larger streets, and then we pulled into a small gas station. The driver got out and spoke to the attendant. He got back on the bus and we headed back the way we had just come.
More driving through the suburbs of Indianapolis. I heard the driver several times ask someone (I couldn't tell if he was radioing someone or asking out the window of passing motorists) how far we were from somewhere, but couldn't catch where. At one point he stopped the bus in traffic (not bothering to pull over) and went to use the restroom.
Eventually we came into downtown Indianapolis. I saw things I recognized from the trip out, so I knew we were close. Still, we wandered around the downtown area another good while, stopping to ask for directions from a tire repair shop, before we arrived at the Indianapolis stop one hour and 40 minutes late.
From there the trip seemed to be going somewhat better until we approached Chicago, where the driver pulled into the only closed lane in the toll plaza, amid other drivers frantically honking to warn him off, and had to back the bus out again and into another lane. In rush hour traffic.
I'm sure I need not attempt to express my anger and frustration! I fully understand that delays sometimes unavoidably happen. But I don't believe this delay was avoidable or indeed acceptable.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter, and I eagerly await your response.
Their response came within an hour:
Thank you for your inquiry. We do apologize for this inconvenience. Please provide us with the email address and name of the person that purchased your ticket so that we may be able to proceed in the proper way.
I sent the requested information and got this back a few hours later (CC both of us):
Again we do apologize for this. We would like to offer you a complimentary ticket for you and your passenger. Please keep this email and sent it back with the details when you are ready to use it. Thank you for choosing Megabus.com
I would have wished for more information about what the hell that guy was doing driving a bus and whether he was going to continue to do so, but upon reflection I didn't ask for that information in my initial message. In all, I am pleased.