Greyhound races to send canned responses — but not a refund

Thelma Tanner buys tickets for herself and her daughter on Greyhound, but they can’t use them. She returns the tickets but receives nothing. Can our advocates help her?

Question: I purchased two round trip Greyhound tickets for myself and my daughter to travel to Richmond, Va., from New York. We did not use the tickets and I mailed them back, as instructed by Greyhound, expecting a refund of $202.

Since then, I have been receiving the runaround from Greyhound. There has been way too much back and forth with no resolution for more than six months. Every time I contact customer service they refuse to put a supervisor or manager on the phone, and it has become annoying to deal with an issue like this from a big company like Greyhound.

While I was initially offered a voucher, I just want a full refund. After a wait this long, I am no longer interested in a travel voucher and I feel that should be granted. — Thelma Tanner, Brooklyn, NY

Answer: I’m sorry to hear about the runaround from Greyhound. It seems that it acknowledged receiving the returned tickets in an email, and that should have immediately triggered your refund. There is no explanation from Greyhound on why this didn’t happen.

Greyhound offers two types of tickets. The first is a flexible ticket, which allows for a full refund if returned, unused, before the original date of travel. Unfortunately, you purchased the second type of ticket — a nonrefundable ticket, which is eligible for a ticket exchange with a $20 fee. The origin and destination cities must remain the same, but the dates may be changed. This is why Greyhound initially offered only a ticket exchange instead of a refund.

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If the story had ended there, I would have agreed with Greyhound’s offer, as it follows the refund and exchange rules listed on its website. But Greyhound repeatedly acknowledged that it had received your tickets and that the return needed to be processed:

Every time that you mail some information such as unused tickets, doctor’s notes, in order to provide a response, first must be studied by our Analyst Department at the end you will receive a resolution according to the paperwork that you previously mailed to us.

It seems that Greyhound’s Analyst Department never got around to studying the tickets and other documents you provided. You could have reached out to the contacts we list for Greyhound executives on our site. Instead, you asked us to get involved, which we did.

Our advocates reached out to Greyhound and received what seems to be a form letter thanking us for sharing our thoughts about its “service.” It also informed us that it would not respond to inquiries from a third party and when the customer informed customer service that there was an issue, Greyhound would respond “immediately.”

In addition to informing Greyhound that we were not sharing our thoughts about its service, our advocate also informed Greyhound that you had repeatedly requested your ticket exchange — and then a refund.

Amazingly, after more than six months of giving you the runaround, Greyhound replied to us within 24 hours with the information that only six days earlier it had processed a refund for $194, which it claims is the price you paid for the tickets. It also indicated that it could take up to two billing cycles for the refund to appear on your credit card statement.

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You seem happy with the outcome, and I hope you receive your refund soon. If not, you know where to find us.

Michelle Bell

Michelle worked in the travel and hospitality industry for almost two decades. Born in Germany, she has lived in 15 states and two foreign countries, and traveled to more than 35 countries. After living and working in Southeast Asia for several years, she now resides in New Orleans. Read more of Michelle Bell's articles here.

  • AJPeabody

    The “delay until they give up” tactic failed in the face of a determined consumer.

  • DChamp56

    How come the “Multi-page” format is back?

  • MF

    Not to mention a little spotlight from this website on their questionable business practices and ethics.
    This is the same tactic I see in my medical office when following up on our insurance billing that didn’t get paid; ‘Oh it’s on top of the stack & we were going to get to it today’. Yeah, right…

  • cscasi

    It is a shame that Greyhound took so long to give this lady her due. However, even Chris brought out, the fact that all she was eligible for was, ” eligible for a ticket exchange with a $20 fee. The origin and destination cities must remain the same, but the dates may be changed.” However she did not want that, she wanted a full refund; not Greyhound’s fault or duty to give her that. How was it that she expected a full refund when she mailed the tickets in when she purchased non refundable tickets? I see nowhere in the article that she repeatedly requested her ticket exchange and finally a refund (“our advocate also informed Greyhound that you had repeatedly requested your ticket exchange — and then a refund.). Where is that shown in the article?
    As I see it, she is very lucky that Greyhound refunded her $194 of her $202 cost.

  • PsyGuy

    LW got lucky, she wasn’t entitled to a refund.

  • Don Spilky

    The delay was caused by the OP herself, wanting a refund on a non-refundable ticket. In her own words, she “was initially offered a voucher” however, “I just want a full refund.”

  • AAGK

    Your advocate was not truthful with Greyhound. The OP didn’t repeatedly ask for an exchange and then a refund. The OP states that Greyhound initially offered her a voucher, which she declined.

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