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JackieTakestheTrain

Complaining -- mail, phone or email

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Hi --

What's the best way to complain these days to Amtrak?

 

Mail -- I used to mail the CEO's office and someone would call, now not sure if that works anymore.

Call Customer Service -- I have done that recently and that worked but my gripes this time are more about systemic issues.

Email -- On my recent Cardinal trip, I received a card with a phone number (800-722-6139) and directing me to the website and using the contact us feature.

 

Thanks!
-Jackie

 

 

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How about your Senators and Congressperson? They have far more influence over Amtrak than anyone you're likely to reach by phone or mail. If they're neutral or positive toward Amtrak then consider talking to them instead. Amtrak as a company has never shown much interest in resolving passenger concerns, at least in my experience. I'd only call Amtrak if I had some ideas for new phone applications or web templates or some other window dressing.

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It also depends on the issue. There are plenty of legit Amtrak issues or things to complain about that will garner 0 attention at the Congressional level.

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If you want to complain about something, you do not call and talk to customer service, you ask SPECIFICALLY to be connected to customer RELATIONS! (Customer Service is another name for the reservation agent.)

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If you want to complain about something, you do not call and talk to customer service, you ask SPECIFICALLY to be connected to customer RELATIONS! (Customer Service is another name for the reservation agent.)

 

Any company that requires a special secret code to talk to someone who cares has already made it clear where they stand on customer service.

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One of the challenges in routing complaints is that a legit complaint that deals with Amtrak services is often not under their control. A good example is Albany-Renns. an extremely busy station, but owned and operated by CDTA. Amtrak is a tenant. Lets say you had a problem with the parking lot, or the bathrooms, or one of the shops in the station. Normal inclination would be to call Amtrak, but most folks would probably feel like they were getting the brush off if they were told "that's not our problem" And they aren't particularly good at handling the problem areas that they are responsible for. They seem to hand out credits sooner than resolving problems. poor management oversight of service delivery is a norm. Things that could be easily corrected with a little effort (like using too much diner or lounge space for crew ops) have gone unresolved for years.

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If you call your city bus service or some store or the US Capitol or your state Capitol or even City Hall, I bet the person answering the phone will say

Let me transfer you to the correct office.

I doubt they will take your complaints directly themselves. Edited by the_traveler

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No clear answer. Some companies or organizations publish or disseminate a clear path for issues, some route. NYC has done very well with "311" an all purpose non emergency call center, they take your complaints, and they are routed to the correct (hopefully) agency for followup and action. You get a tracking number to see the actions taken. I left a cell number and received a follow up phone call from a DSNY area supervisor to get more info about an issue as well as the e-mails.

They have also added a "service map" where you can go online and see complaints (you can filter by type) in your (or any) area and how they were handled.

Edited by PVD

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My feeling, as an older person, is that a letter sent by mail carries more weight than a call or email, but you have to know where to send it for maximum impact.

If you have an address for a ceo, I would send them the letter, and add the line at bottom, "Copy to xxxx". xxx can be congress person or anyone else you think will cause worry to the ceo :D (That part can be a bluff, of course...)

 

Ed.

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If it's a complaint about an individual situation, call.

 

If it's a complaint about a systemic issue, certified mail (return receipt requested) to the CEO and chair of the board of the directors. Next step Congress (or if the issue is that Amtrak's breaking the law, a lawyer).

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Does anyone have any direct email addresses, telephone numbers, or US Mail addresses for some of the decision-making executives at Amtrak? And in that regard, is there a reporting relationship chart available that shows the chain of command at Amtrak and their respective names?

 

For instance I have often wondered of each long distance train, for example, has its own decision-making manager, or if higher up the chain are there decision-makers that could be contacted that have to do with system-wide issues?

 

I don't care for that clunky email system on the Amtrak website that doesn't appear to go to a line executive, not to mention it seems to be limited to comments about only a specific reservation number.

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For all the good its going to do when you complain to Amtrak, you just as well make the complaint here on this forum.

Edited by anumberone

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To be fair, CEO's and folk high up in the chain of command in any business don't want to be bothered by routine complaints, they have other folk to take care of that, so they can devote their attention to what is important, such as where to have lunch... :D

 

Ed.

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I normally have good response from the Contact Us email feature on the website. I always leave feedback about every trip there (good, bad, & ugly) and have yet to get a canned response- or maybe the canned responses are just that good.

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I agree with you Ed, but I’ve had good responses from letters sent to the COE. If it “less than important”, they may forward it to the appropriate department. (I’m sure they take care of it better if they know that it came from “the Boss”!)

 

On one particular trip that had numerous problems where I sent my letter to the top, I received a personal call from his secretary!:)

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Maybe I am missing something here, the OP states that she has complained by mail, phone and email.. Is she ever satisfied?? I have been on quite a few trips the last 3 years and not had anything to complain about. Maybe she should try another mode of transportation..

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Maybe I am missing something here, the OP states that she has complained by mail, phone and email.. Is she ever satisfied?? I have been on quite a few trips the last 3 years and not had anything to complain about. Maybe she should try another mode of transportation..

Jackie has been a valued member of this forum for many years. We appreciate her questions and comments because they help many of us.

Edited by Everydaymatters

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Maybe I am missing something here, the OP states that she has complained by mail, phone and email.. Is she ever satisfied?? I have been on quite a few trips the last 3 years and not had anything to complain about. Maybe she should try another mode of transportation..

 

For someone who claims to be easily satisfied you seem oddly sensitive about this.

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If you want to complain about something, you do not call and talk to customer service, you ask SPECIFICALLY to be connected to customer RELATIONS! (Customer Service is another name for the reservation agent.)

Any company that requires a special secret code to talk to someone who cares has already made it clear where they stand on customer service.

 

I wonder whether that's actually the case, or just another case of that "internet knowledge" that is so often incorrect.

 

Maybe what you really need to do is find the Complaint Department...

 

834px-Complaint_Department_Grenade.jpg

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Personally I've gotten the best results by phone. Using the AGR number, if I'm happy with the service I ask to speak to a supervisor. Sometimes it's a wait but if I offer my opinion of my service I'm usually assured that my comments will be entered into the agent's record. But I have only done this when I was happy with the service I got. I have no idea what they'd do with a complaint.

Edited by Chey

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