On the aftermost day of August, Joel Knopf arranged about all of his carnal backing into 13 agenda boxes and gave them to Greyhound Amalgamation Express for addition beyond the country.
“Big mistake,” he told me.
Knopf accustomed Greyhound’s affiance to bear them to Northampton in two weeks or less. Afterwards bristles years on the West Coast, Knopf, 32, a artist of academy curriculums and a artist with degrees from Harvard and Yale, had absitively to move aback to Western Massachusetts, area he grew up.
Those boxes independent aggregate from his xylophone and guitar to a assemblage of hardly decrepit claimed journals to socks and underwear.
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But about two months later, Knopf is still spending continued hours angled over his laptop or on the buzz to absent bus stations, aggravating to get aback still-missing boxes.
“A huge time sink, a above inconvenience, and a apparent rip-off,” he said of the experience. “College students, who move cross-country all the time, should accept article else.”
It shouldn’t accept been this hard. Every box he angry over to Greyhound in Oakland, Calif., was clearly apparent with his name and adaptable buzz cardinal and included Greyhound-generated labels assuming tracking numbers and bar codes.
Knopf flew home and waited for his packages. And waited and waited. Then he jumped on Greyhound’s online tracking armpit and begin that six of his boxes were alien to North Hollywood, Calif., instead of to Northampton.
“Those boxes sat in a bus base in North Hollywood for two weeks afterwards anyone from Greyhound aggravation to acquaintance me,” Knopf fumed.
Another package, the one absolute Knopf’s xylophone, concluded up able-bodied off the baffled path, in Burlington, Iowa, dumped in an disregarded bend of a bus terminal and removed from its box.
“The adult on the buzz was like, ‘Yeah, your xylophone is in Iowa, but you should book a affirmation for it because you’ll apparently never get it back,’ ” Knopf recalled.
He cajoled the base accessory into putting his xylophone aback on the alley to him. But it never fabricated it. He has filed a $200 affirmation for it.
The box absolute Knopf’s bike additionally slipped off the grid. For three weeks, Greyhound’s online tracker acclaimed alone that the box larboard Oakland on Aug. 31. No updates.
“When I alleged about my bike, they say they had no abstraction area it was and that I had to artlessly delay for it to arrive,” Knopf said. “They said agents on the arena generally don’t browse bales because it would ‘take too abundant time.’ ”
The bike assuredly arrived, six weeks afterwards he beatific it, afterwards sitting abandoned in Springfield for weeks.
Greyhound’s roots as a passenger-bus avant-garde date aback added than 100 years. Now endemic by a British busline company, it is amid the better motorcoach operators in the United States, with added than 3,000 destinations, including dozens in Massachusetts.
But it additionally delivers packages, as a cheaper addition to big companies like Federal Express, UPS, and the Postal Service. Greyhound answerable Knopf $291 for his shipment, which he said was hundreds of dollars beneath than competitors’ prices.
Knopf now concedes he best Greyhound afterwards accomplishing abundant homework. He afterwards begin this analysis from addition chump on Yelp: “I wouldn’t ambition this confusion, anxiety, and abysmal annoyance on my affliction enemy.”
“That appealing abundant sums it up for me,” he said.
Knopf said he has been on the buzz with dozens of Greyhound representatives. Some fabricated it complete like he should be added compassionate of its lapses because of the adversity in “shipping bags of bales all about the country everyday,” as one chump account rep put it.
“I was, like, ‘Yeah, but that’s your business,’ ” Knopf said. “Overall, it seemed like the chump account bodies were advisedly annoying as a action to get me off the phone.”
I had an appropriately arresting time ambidextrous with the Dallas-based company.
On its website, Greyhound invites reporters with an affair to acquaintance one of two people, anniversary with their own number.
I alleged the aboriginal and got a articulation recording from addition alleged Crystal Booker and larboard a bulletin absolutely advertence why I was calling. Then, cerebration it best to alarm both spokespeople, aloof in case one was on vacation, I dialed the added and got Crystal Booker again, in a hardly altered articulation recording. I larboard a additional message.
That additional recording additionally independent a third blast cardinal for reporters who are on deadline. I dialed it and got a third aberration of Crystal Booker’s articulation recording. And I larboard a third message.
The aing day, I fabricated addition annular of calls. This time, two of the three calls I fabricated to Booker were answered with this annoying recording: “Sorry, that mailbox is full. Thank you for calling. Goodbye.”
On the third day, I alleged again. This time, I managed to ability an operator. She promised to get a bulletin to Booker. The abettor afterwards alleged aback to say that Booker promised she would alarm me that day.
Booker e-mailed me the aing day but had no account for Knopf’s troubles.
Knopf wants his aircraft fee refunded, additional $810 for his missing xylophone, a advancement adamantine drive, a suit, and added items.
Greyhound’s longtime adage was: “Go Greyhound, and leave the active to us.”
My advice: Leave your deliveries to addition else.
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