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It Ain't Rocket Science

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#1 bratkinson


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Posted 09 February 2018 - 12:14 PM

I don't know about others on this site or other railfan sites but I've just about had my fill of the incompetence at Amtrak Guest Rewards.  I've written them directly numerous times in the past 2-3 years, got zero response, and zero improvement in their computer systems. 


For starters, WHY does it take more than a few MINUTES for a trip segment to appear in my AGR history?  I consider myself LUCKY if everything gets posted within 5 business days...sometimes longer.  All the package delivery companies, including the US Postal Service, update their computers within a couple of minutes of a package being delivered.  Yes, their scanners use cell-phone communications to communicate with their computers and there are areas where there aren't cell towers nearby to provide service.  When I was delivering packages for Fedex Ground, perhaps 30% of my out-in-the-boonies territory had no cell contact.  But when the scanner could connect, it DID!  And at the end of the day, upon checking the scanner and discover it hadn't reported all deliveries, I could connect it to my phone with a cord and it would 'call' it in.  So, at worst case, there might be a 10 hour delay in reporting deliveries if my scanner could not connect at all while I delivered packages.


Why does AGR wait 10-14 work days after the start of the month to email me with totals as of the end of the prior month?  Obviously, it's related to their slow AGR updating indicated above.  I get zero benefit of seeing I have some number of points available and have made 2 round trips in the early part of the month that are not shown in their email.


Then, today, I got an email with this subject line: "Five roundtrips done. Take one more by Feb. 28."  Having signed up for the 1-2-3-free promotion, I know full well what the requirements are.  But most interesting is the use of the word 'roundtrips' in the subject line.  I have completed 5 SEGMENTS, not 5 ROUNDTRIPS!  And of those 5, only 4 qualify as costing $49 or more.  Obviously, whoever the advertising person(s) is and/or the email author/programmer don't know the difference between a round trip and a segment.  So much for Amtrak and most businesses only hiring degreed people for salaried positions...brains not required...a sheepskin is.   So, they got another not-so-nice email from me today.


If I wasn't a railfan for well over 60 years, I'd give strong consideration to dumping them.  I recently did exactly that with a local gas station/car wash chain that had an unlimited monthly wash program and after being refused at the wash as my associated credit card was expired.  My credit card was NOT expired!  It had been compromised 6-7 months previous and I had updated their site with the replacement card number at that time.  Obviously, somebody did a file restore from a previous date that put the old credit card number back on my account.  Let's hear it for data integrity!

Edited by bratkinson, 09 February 2018 - 12:18 PM.

#2 Ryan



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Posted 09 February 2018 - 12:44 PM

It must be as nice to be as perfect as you are.

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#3 jis



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Posted 09 February 2018 - 01:16 PM

With so many emails flying in maybe the spam bot filter at AGR has decided that all those emails are coming from a bot :P :D

#4 Bob Dylan

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 01:40 PM

Best way to contact Amtrak and AGR is still the old fashioned way, via Telephone!

I've generally received excellent service by using this method when I've had urgent concerns or inquiries.
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..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

#5 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 03:31 PM

I do think AGR could be better about activity updates and that Amtrak in general is really bad at responding to emails with anything productive or relevant.  Not sure why that would be a controversial complaint.  Maybe try calling and asking for a tracking number after explaining your complaint.  Then call back a few weeks later to see what if anything is being done about it.  Just a suggestion.  I honestly have no idea if would make any difference.


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