Amtrak Off the Track

January 31, 2012|By Kathy

When it comes to customer service, Amtrak is easily derailed.  My nephew gave me an Amtrak gift certificate for Christmas. I tried to use it on Sunday when making reservations for travel to New York.
 First, I went online. Nothing relevant could I see on the computer screen.  I called the Amtrak 800 number. The friendly man said I had to go to the train station to use the gift certificate.
On Monday, I went to Penn Station. The man at the counter made the reservations, then said he thought he’d better check with his manager to be sure the certificate could be used at his terminal. He reported that the certificate said in miniscule type that it could not be used at a station. 
Several minutes later a manager came out and told me that I would have to go home and make my reservations by calling the 800 number for Amtrak Vacations. Why she could not have phoned the 800 number herself or given me a phone to do so speaks volumes about a bureaucratic company that is uncoupled from its public.     

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