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Surly AGR Agents


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#1 Everydaymatters

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 11:00 AM

I am really disgusted with being talked to by AGR agents who are going to control the conversation, even when there is nothing to control!

 

This has happened twice in the last 3 days.  The first one was obviously a new agent as she put me on hold several times, presumably because she didn't know how to handle an open ticket and didn't know how to answer my questions and didn't know how much to charge.  She spoke to me like I had no idea what a train is. 

 

She then sent me an unprintable email.  I didn't call until a few days later when I found that her confirming email was unprintable.  This second agent was adamant in telling me multiple times that I had to get the ticket at the station, which I told her multiple times that I knew that.  She was so haughty that I actually asked her to please don't talk down to me.

 

I finally got it across to her that I simply wanted her to re-send the confirmation.

 

I know, I know...it was only a couple of days ago that I said that usually I have had good experiences with agents, but the bad ones are truly in the wrong profession.  It makes me think that possibly, based on other posts on this subject, that the climate of rudeness is the present culture for agents.  Where do they get this from?????


Routes Traveled: Desert Wind, Southwest Chief, Missouri Mule, Empire Builder, Capitol Ltd., Lincoln Service, Lake Shore Ltd., Missouri River Runner, City of New Orleans, Cardinal, Silver Meteor, Texas Eagle, Cascades, Broadway Ltd., Acela, Downeaster, Sunset Ltd., Coast Starlight, California Zephyr, Hiawatha, Capitol Corridor, Maple Leaf, Ethan Allen Express 76,745 Amtrak miles.    Via Rail Vancouver to Toronto 2775 Miles.


#2 SarahZ

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 01:00 PM

Get their names and talk to a supervisor. Nothing will change unless the agents receive negative feedback. While the calls are recorded, the supervisors do not have time to monitor 100% of them. When I was monitored at previous jobs, I received one call evaluation every week or two. When I was a supervisor, I tried to give people two evaluations per week. Honestly, the best feedback is customer feedback (and that includes positive feedback).

 

Alternately, you can ask to speak to another agent. I know it's a pain and you shouldn't have to do this, but it will ultimately save you time and frustration. Once you've finished your business, you can ask to be transferred to a supervisor. If you don't want to wait on hold again, I believe you might be able to email Amtrak since it's a customer service issue. In either case, make sure you have the date, time, and the agent's first name. The date and time will help them narrow down which "Jennifer" or "Kevin" you spoke to. My software actually allowed me to look up a recorded call using the incoming phone number, so you could provide your phone number as well.

 

The rudeness comes from people who aren't professional enough to keep a smile plastered on their face when they're having a stressful day. I live by the mantra, "Never let your mood determine your manners." It's hard some days, especially when you get call after call of people yelling at you, but it's not impossible. It's not Caller #113's fault that Caller #112 was a jerk. (I'm saying you're Caller #113 in this instance, not the jerk. ;) )

 

Customer service is an easy field to get into, since you generally don't need any experience or a degree. While that's good for job seekers, it also means that it's harder to separate the wheat from the chaff. Additionally, burnout is common, but some of these people may not have any alternatives (as I said, it's one of the few fields you can get into without a degree or experience). Why give up a job that pays around $10-12/hour with benefits for a part-time job at a pizza place? That's why providing feedback to supervisors is so important. The bad employees aren't going to quit a cozy gig, and the supervisors can't take disciplinary action if they don't realize an employee is a problem.


Amtrak Miles: 39,318

 

Amtrak Routes: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine

 

Metropolitan Rail: Chicago Metra, Chicago L, Dallas TRE, Detroit People Mover, New Orleans RTA, San Francisco MUNI, Seattle Monorail, South Shore Line (NICTD), Toronto Subway & RT, Washington DC Metro


#3 oregon pioneer

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 02:16 PM

I love your answers, Sarah, as you speak from experience and give advice for constructive action.

 

I can say for sure there are some great people working AGR customer service, like the one that just got me low-bucket AND my preferred roomette on every segment of the trip I just booked for next winter (yes, I looked at Amsnag first, but did you know that if you ask the system to *change* your roomette after booking, you immediately lose the low-bucket fare? This genius figured out that you have to ask for the roomette by number BEFORE hitting "book this trip", and she did it cheerfully).


Jennifer

 

I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.


#4 Tennessee Traveler

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 08:42 PM

I am really disgusted with being talked to by AGR agents who are going to control the conversation, even when there is nothing to control!

 

This has happened twice in the last 3 days.  The first one was obviously a new agent as she put me on hold several times, presumably because she didn't know how to handle an open ticket and didn't know how to answer my questions and didn't know how much to charge.  She spoke to me like I had no idea what a train is. 

 

She then sent me an unprintable email.  I didn't call until a few days later when I found that her confirming email was unprintable.  This second agent was adamant in telling me multiple times that I had to get the ticket at the station, which I told her multiple times that I knew that.  She was so haughty that I actually asked her to please don't talk down to me.

 

I finally got it across to her that I simply wanted her to re-send the confirmation.

 

I know, I know...it was only a couple of days ago that I said that usually I have had good experiences with agents, but the bad ones are truly in the wrong profession.  It makes me think that possibly, based on other posts on this subject, that the climate of rudeness is the present culture for agents.  Where do they get this from?????

 

 'the climate of rudeness is the present culture' of our nation now.  Without making a political comment, I'll just say "think about it".  Your experience with AGR agents does not represent mine.  Thankfully, every AGR agent I have talked to have been very helpful and willing to book my preferred roomette 03 on every train so far in 2016 and 2017.



#5 SarahZ

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 11:53 PM

Just remember that the "climate of rudeness" isn't specific just to customer service agents. There's a reason agents get burned out. I've dealt with many, many rude callers over the years, people who were rude for absolutely no reason at all. It goes both ways.


Amtrak Miles: 39,318

 

Amtrak Routes: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine

 

Metropolitan Rail: Chicago Metra, Chicago L, Dallas TRE, Detroit People Mover, New Orleans RTA, San Francisco MUNI, Seattle Monorail, South Shore Line (NICTD), Toronto Subway & RT, Washington DC Metro


#6 Bob Dylan

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 02:10 PM

Wise words from Sarah, one whos been there/ done that!😉😙

Edited by Bob Dylan, 06 June 2017 - 02:11 PM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay




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