So, yes, I should have known better than to travel Greyhound ever, but I have done so with moderate success going on 4 years now. I have taken the bus from Calgary to Saskatoon, and back, many many times with smooth sailing all the way. Until this Christmas!
I took a week off of work to go home, see my family, get some gifts, come back to work. I took my nice clothes, my gifts I had received before leaving, and I headed out. I had fun. And on New Years Day I put a tag on my luggage and headed home to Calgary. My bus left on time, wasn't very full. I had one transfer coming up so I knew to look out for my luggage when I got there. There wasn't much else to do on the 11 hour bus ride anyway!
I got to my transfer point in Edmonton Alberta (home to the most frightening A&W restaurant on the PLANET) and I saw my luggage and confirmed it was headed for Calgary, specifically Calgary South.
"Sure, we'll put it on for Edmonton South for ya!" the helpful staff member told me. No, CALGARY south! "Oh Calgary South, gotcha! Don't worry!"
Stupidly, I didn't!
Last place I saw my stuff was in Edmonton. I got to Calgary and I saw them unloading but I rushed over to the bus that would take me to Calgary South, because it was due to leave in about ten minutes. When the bus driver dropped me off at my stop (after driving past the stop, stopping in the middle of the road, and complaining about having to stop there for just one person) he told me there was NO WAY I had luggage, and huffily opened the cargo doors, as though they were the heaviest things he'd ever lifted. With a "SEE! I TOLD YOU! I would have KNOWN if I had LUGGAGE for YOU on here! You'll have to call them in the morning or whatever!" He sent me off. I sure felt like I was in good hands!
The next morning I headed down, thinking this could be resolved quite quickly. I checked the bus depot with a sinking heart. my luggage wasn't there I filed a lost luggage trace/claim thing, and I was told I'd get a call that day (it was 7:45am). I decided to call the two Edmonton depots, in case the helpful staff had really sent my luggage to Edmonton South. It wasn't at the south depot, but the main Edmonton depot didn't answer their phone any of the 6-10 times I called them, so I couldn't know if it was there. That day, I didn't get a call back.
The next day, I didn't get a call back.
The NEXT day, I tried calling everyone again and I still didn't talk to anyone OR get a call back!!
I decided to drive to Edmonton to see if I could find it myself.
The Customer Service agent in Edmonton apologized for not calling me, so that was alright I guess. We checked for my luggage but I was quite used to not seeing my luggage by that point in time. The woman told me sometimes luggage can be gone for a year. or three. 3 YEARS?! The clothes in there won't fit me anymore! The 18 year old Glenlivet in there will be an even more excellent vintage! Who cares, I need a drink right NOW!
She told me to call the tracing department and get on their case.
You can't get on the case of the tracing department. HELLOGREYHOUNDTRACINGWHATAREYOULOOKINGFOR
"hi I'm looking for these bags, my name is this, it's lost luggag-"
OKAY HOLD FOR ONE MINUTE PLEASE THANK YOU OK NO NOTHING HAS BEEN FOUND WITH THAT DESCRIPTION SORRY HAVE A NICE DAY
This has happened the 6 times I have called them. This last time the man working the phone asked for my address, and he will send me a claim form. They don't care, they don't listen to your questions, they make you wait on hold for 11 minutes and then barely check for your luggage in their database. If I were rich, I could replace my stuff. If I were rich, I could fly. If I were 1 year older, I could rent a vehicle, but alas, some of us are 20 year old preschool teachers who don't have the money to fly and can't afford to replace all of their nice clothes when someone like Greyhound bungs it up! Thanks for the liability forms coming in the mail guys, that $100 or $200 is really going to be a big help. What a gong show!
So a word of caution: If you are a normal person who likes their stuff to get there, or to be properly reimbursed, DECLARE YOUR LUGGAGE.
Oh and if you want to declare your luggage as having value over $100 well. you have to ship it Greyhound Courier Express because nobody could ever be expected to travel with a week's worth of clothes, and their christmas gifts, and not have to pay extra for the privilege of ever seeing them again.