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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Friday, August 11, 2006

MBTA, I didn't really want a
two-hour tour of Boston today


Dear MBTA,

You run a service for disabled passengers. You call it The Ride. Remember? It's supposed to pick up passengers at their homes, take them to where they need to go, and bring them home. Easy peasy.

So why the hell do you make so many mistakes? Why are the reservationists so uninformed that they don't even know where they do and don't go? Why are the drivers stuck with incorrect addresses, no GPS systems, and their own maps? Why do you charge your passengers a hefty fee per ride for really bad service?

Let's give you an example. You require 24 hour advanced notice of a ride reservation. You only take reservations between 8 am and 4 pm. It's a real pain for passengers but usually we learn how to work around this issue of not being able to go anywhere, like say an emergency doctor's appointment, unless we've given you 24 hour notice. Not really very user friendly there, buds.

So on Wednesday at 3:15 I make two reservations for Friday. One for Friday morning to get to the dentist and back, and a second one to get to the optomitrist and back. Not so tough. You should be able to handle that without a backwards glance, right? WRONG.

I got picked up on time, sort of. The driver was 15 minutes late but that's within the realm of possibility because my appointment time was 10:30 and my pickup time was 9:13. Then the driver got a second victim passenger and took him first to Faulkner. Still OK, because you left me such a huge amount of time between pickup and appointment time. I am not yet pissed off.

I'd like to thank you for the lovely scenic ride between the Faulkner and BU Dental. We drove by the golf course, the zoo, and through much of Roxbury on Blue Hill Ave. I don't usually get to that part of town. I arrived 20 minutes early, the dentist pulled out my stitches, and then I waited 1.5 hours for the Ride to pick me up and take me home. Yes, it was a long wait, but you gave me a chance to catch up on my reading when I wasn't being tortured by the mom and her 5 screaming brats in the lobby. But that's not your fault.

A lovely driver, Diane, picked me up only 10 minutes late. Wow, you guys are really getting good with the timing! She had another passenger to get at 47 Tremont. Confident that she knew where she was going, we went from the South End to Chinatown, but there was no 47 Tremont. Not even close. So she thought it might be the other end of Tremont, past Mass Ave. After another scenic tour of both Chinatown, the South End and Roxbury, we discovered that there was indeed no address at 47 Tremont. She called dispatch. They told her it was in the South End, and gave her the wrong cross street. The street they gave her was actually a one way street going the wrong way, and was totally blocked off by construction. The poor driver got out and walked up and down the street but nope, no 47 Tremont. We went up and down several streets before we accidentally found the address, not on Tremont at all, and in the middle of the projects. How about giving the driver a hint as to where her next passenger is, you jerks!

The woman we picked up was NOT happy. We were really really late. Like an hour late. And you know what? She had a right to be pissed off. And so did I. Because it took me TWO HOURS to get home. And I had to pee. I didn't want a tour of Boston. I wanted to get home, pee, eat something for lunch, and get my second ride.

But...

But dear MBTA, the second ride had already come and gone before I got home from the first ride. Not only did the abandon me, but they also totally screwed up my reservation. You see, Veteran's doesn't go to the mall. But the reservationist didn't tell me that. Nope, they took my reservation, even asking me what entrance of the mall I needed, and having a big discussion with me whether or not there was an entrance near Macy's or Sears (I didn't know, as I don't really do malls).

When I finally got home, peed, and called Veteran's, they told me that they didn't service the mall and that Joint Ventures did. Having never even heard of Joint Ventures, I called them to try and straighten out my ride. They said they had called and left a voicemail, but they didn't. They couldn't pick me up. They denied all responsibility. They got mad at me when I told them as contractors for the MBTA it was their responsibility to ensure that clients got where they needed to go. Guess what? They didn't care.

Back to Veteran's, I tell them that this little fuck-up has cost me $40 I can little afford. Fortunately, I had made a second appointment just in case last night at the optomitrist down the road. The difference between the one in the mall and the one down the road? $29 vs $69 for an eye exam. $40 difference. But I can't go another day with no glasses. My head is pounding, dear MBTA, and I need to see.

Veteran's finally agreed that they were at fault after I complained bitterly about the two hour ride, the two hour ride (sung to the Gilligan's Island theme song). They are taking me to the second appointment. But they don't want to assume the $40 bucks. Yeah, because I'm just so freaking rich that I can eat that money.

So, MBTA, maybe you can see why I'm a tad bit annoyed with you today. All I wanted to do was go to two medical appointments. I wasn't asking for a trip to the ski slopes or a vacation in Cancun. I wanted to get to the doctor and back twice. And you couldn't even manage that without screwing it up.

Nice Job!

Another Dissatisfied Customer, Margalit

(I know, you're all sick to death of me whining. Nobody, but nobody is more sick of this than me. Believe me, I know it sucks to be living this life right now. But the latest upset is just insane.)
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1 Comments:

Blogger Attila The Mom said...

Yikes, what a nightmare!

Could you email me? I tried to send one in response to your questions on Coupons and Kosher, but it bounced!

Cbnnthwudz@aol.com

ATM

13/8/06 1:03 PM  

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