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If I could buy at ticket

June 1st, 2012

The following was much more amusing after the fact than during:

Amtrak would not let me buy tickets on line because it was too short a notice from purchase to delivery. I was referred to their 800 number.

Answering the phone at the 800 number is their automatic programmed named “Julie.” Don’t know about you, but I absolutely detest the automated conversation on-line systems. I will press numbers or talk to a human but not the program. I feel like an idiot already, why make it worse?

So anyway – Julie wants me talk, spell things and otherwise walk me through the system. Then we hit a snag – she tells me about picking up tickets. Now, if I am getting on in Sandpoint Idaho, there is no place to pick up tickets. If there was, I would buy them at the station. Since there is no station, I am attempting to do this on-line. I get a reservation number, but can’t get a response to tickets- this is not a human….

Frustrated, I hang up and wait about 15 minutes. I call back. Between hitting 0 and saying help I finally get transferred to a human. She informs me that I need a boarding code and will have to pay for the ticket on the train. Ok – I can do that as an alternative to picking up tickets.

Will the train stop?

What do you mean, will the train stop?

Does the train stop if no one is getting off? Do the conductors know that someone wants to board.

She tells me that the train always stops.

Ok, I will have to trust this and we will find out at 2349 tonight.

Meanwhile, if Caltrain, all the airlines and the buses can sell you tickets over the web, email you the receipt and deal with you on site – Amtrak can’t do this because?

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  1. Helen
    June 2nd, 2012 at 17:01 | #1

    Time warp? Linear thinking? Either way, hope it worked out!

  2. Helen H
    June 3rd, 2012 at 03:53 | #2

    Because? Let me guess….too much like being organised???

  3. April
    June 3rd, 2012 at 03:54 | #3

    I have labeled those automated HELL. and that is what it is . so when i get automated HELL on the phone i usually start punching zero alternating that with yelling unkind things about HELL and agent agent help help help
    some of the automated HELL is programmed to hang up on you. take your pick you can redial the #1 works also. Stay away from 7 and * as those are usually “♪♫Goodbye♫♪” which infuriates me worse than talking to automated hell. I used to wonder how many customers were lost to that. But then when one has no choice, we the sheep have to comply funnel ourselves down the chute through the gate and to the sheering machine.

    Personally, I resent it.

  4. Carmen
    June 3rd, 2012 at 03:54 | #4

    In my opinion, the train will stop, but you need to be on the platform, because if they don’t see you they will not stop for long.

    Amtrak is a government owned corporation, and you know how well the government is working these days? More than half the people in Congress are bat-poop nuts, and want smaller guvermint. Not better. Smaller.

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