I live in New York but travel back to my hometown, Philly, often. I used to be a regular Chinatown bus rider.
Granted the bus was a headache because you couldn't reserve a seat but at least you could buy a round trip ticket for $20 and use it whenever you desired. I started taking mega-bus about a year ago, thinking that paying a little more would be worth it to get a reserved spot. Unfortunately mega-bus service has gone from ok, to absolutely horrible!!!! I would hear horror stories from others about their chronic lateness and unprofessional attitudes but thought I'd give them the benefit of the doubt.
Almost every time I have taken this bus it has been 20 mins. to 1 1/2 hrs. late ( which is actually a blessing considering other people that I have known to wait OVER 3 HOURS!!!) Even when it leaves within a few minutes of its scheduled departure it always makes poor travel timing, so I'm always late to my destination. The designated stops are always packed with lines upon lines of angry passengers waiting with confusion and frustration.
The final straw took place on Sunday. I had a reservation to head back to NY at 11:30am. I was running late and realized that I would probably show up to the mega-bus stop one or two minutes late. Due to mega-bus' consistent lateness I figured they would still be loading the bus.
Once I got to the stop at 11:32am, to my surprise I learned that the bus had already left!!! I was told I had to wait an hour for the next bus and would also have to pay an additional $5 to "change" my reservation. Apparently about 10 other people that arrived before me had also missed the 11:30 bus. Technically I was at fault but if mega-bus employees possessed decent customer service skills there is no way they would have left without at least waiting a few extra minutes knowing that there were a significant amount of unclaimed reservations.
Nevertheless I waited for the next bus along with the other passengers on standby. When the next bus arrived, all passengers on standby were rudely told that they then had to wait for the next bus because all the reservations were filled. At that point it was completely obvious that we were going to be stranded on a random sidewalk waiting and watching buses come and go with no available seats in sight. Since I had already missed my appointment back in NY I decided to try my luck calling customer service and seeing if I could pay the $5 fee over the phone to have a guaranteed spot on the next available bus.
After being given the run around and then being placed on hold for 20 MINUTES, I made sure to remind the so-called manager that she could review my credit card records and see that I have been a frequent rider and loyal customer despite mega-bus' chronic lateness and extremely uncomfortable standing lines. All I wanted was to be given a guaranteed seat on the next available bus. I was finally told that because I arrived after the bus left the stop then I essentially forfeited my ticket. My only option was to wait indefinitely for another bus with available seating.
I was livid after this ordeal!! To know that a bus company with no station or seating areas getting on average $15 one way/person (not including all of the "change-fee") could be so unprofessional and unaccommodating angers me to no end!!!!!!! I am so sick and tired of businesses robbing people of their money and not being accountable for the services they are supposed to be providing.
For this, I AM DONE!!!! A MEGABUS RIDER NO MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Review about: Megabus Bus Service.
Monetary Loss: $15.