This complaint involves travel during the July 4th holiday weekend. I have given Megabus ample time to respond to my customer service complaints, but after speaking to three different representatives, two unanswered emails, and a month of waiting, it is time to share my terrible experience with potential customers. For reference, this message refers to the scheduled 4:35 pm trip leaving from St. Louis to Chicago on 7/2/10 and the scheduled 9:00 am trip leaving from Chicago to St. Louis on 7/5/10.
In regard to the 7/2/10 trip, I had invited my friends to come home with me to Chicago for the weekend (their first time taking Megabus). To ensure a good seat, we arrived 45 minutes before the expected departure time and waited in line. After waiting outside for an hour in >95 degree heat, the scheduled departure time (4:35pm) came and we had still not boarded the bus. We tried communicating with the driver regarding the wait and he refused to answer us. It wasn't until 5:30 pm (an hour after the scheduled departure) that we were told that Megabus had over booked and there were only 10 more seats to fit the 30 of us still waiting in line. After announcing that there were only 10 seats left, the driver turned his back and a dangerous rush of people came to the door. I had been first in the waiting line to get on but I was being roughly pushed by people trying to get seats, so I moved aside. Since the driver's back was turned after that announcement, he not only allowed people to cut from the back of the line, but didn't even check their tickets!
Since I didn't secure one of the 10 remaining seats, I went back to the luggage loader and asked him to give me my luggage. He refused and even shut the luggage door so I couldn't see it/ask for it. I told him I needed my luggage since I did not have a seat and he was legitimately laughing in my face telling me "Don't worry, you'll get your $20 back," as if I had not paid much for my ticket and that it didn't matter (I actually paid $60 roundtrip for those tickets and it was the only weekend I could visit my family for the summer). Finally, the bus driver told the luggage loader to give us our bags, but then he drove away without even telling us there would be a replacement! This left us frantic and wondering what to do or whether there would even be a substitute bus. It wasn't until a "lucky" passenger got through to the dispatcher that we knew a substitute bus would be coming. He was told that the bus would arrive within the half-hour, and it didn't even arrive until 2 hours after the scheduled departure time!
Once we were on the bus, things seemed to be going smoothly. My friends and I were exhausted from the hooplah of the first Megabus boarding attempt, so we tried to sleep. Little did we know that a passenger had his own plans: he put the "Twilight: New Moon" DVD into the player and proceeded to blast it through all of the TV screens and speakers. I asked the driver to turn it down, and to his credit he did put on subtitles. However, the passenger came back up to complain and the driver blasted it again. Besides the fact that we were forced to watch a vampire movie for 2 hours and were therefore unable to sleep, it is against company policy to show above rated PG movies (there was a 4-year-old girl sitting next to me that kept telling her mom she was scared of the characters).
We didn't arrive back in Chicago until 11:30 pm, thus causing me to miss meeting a relative who was supposed to meet me at 10 pm (I had left buffer time from the original 9:40pm arrival time).
Now for the return trip: we didn't leave until 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time! I was willing to accept this at the time because it was at least a ride home. However- while the driver was nice- he started ranting about religion and telling us to complain to ministers and churches about the bad economic times, etc. While I am a religious person, I found this to be completely inappropriate and unprofessional behavior.
Given these terrible experiences, my two friends who had taken Megabus for the first time absolutely REFUSE to take it again with me, citing embarrassment over our treatment on the first trip and unreliability of the time. I agree with their assessment and have lost all faith in the Megabus system. After all, what is a "low-cost" ticket worth if we can't even leave on time (or risk not having a ride) in the first place?
I was looking forward to hearing a response from Megabus detailing how they would remedy this situation, but my unanswered complaints confirm their lack of reliability.
Avoid Megabus if you need a guaranteed ride home!