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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:43 pm
Posts: 16
Hello parents,
I though I need to share my story of using their service (or rather lack of it) with you - parents need to know what to expect when trusting their children to this company.

My daughter has been using Green Bus for 2 years now (route 872 to Camp Hill Girls). Last year we paid £845 the annual pass and obviously were only able to use this bus for about half of this time since schools were closed in March. The company refused to refund the money on pro-rata basis stating that "they were still running for key workers". Therefore, I paid for half a year of no service. After numerous emails they agreed to refund £75 as a "goodwill gesture" which made me wonder if it would be cheaper to use a taxi to school instead of this very expensive bus.

This year we paid £895 for the annual pass and, of course, were unable to use their service again for a number of months. This year there was no even a discussion about refunding customers part of the money paid. The company charges your for the full year, there are no monthly passes, it then saves money by not running their busses during the lockdown (or running limited services), and we, the parents, pay for nothing. But that's not even the major problem with them.

Another problem happened this Spring right after schools reopened. One day I received a text message stating that "there was a covid case on a bus, therefore, all children must self-isolate for 10 days. The bus will not run for these 10 days". When I called the school to inform them they my daughter can't come and will need to be studying online for the next 10 days, it turned out that there is NO requirement for children to self-isolate in this case. It is safe to children to come to school, there is no government requirement to keep them at home, and we are free to make alternative arrangements to bring her in. In other words, the company will gladly take your money and then you'll need to make other arrangement for your child to actually get to the school as the bus simply won't run. When I emailed Green Bus, they stated that "they consulted a university virologist who recommended that children self-isolate", refused to accept that they are in breach in contract as "they are following an expert advice", and refused to refund the payment for the period they are not running in spite of the fact that parents had to make alternative arrangements to take their kids to the school.

Moreover, another problem was that they have made NO arrangement for safe travel for children. Children were asked to wear masks, sit at specified seats (but the company changed their seats every few days), kept windows open. That's it. There was NO social distancing in place! While public transport was running half-empty with limited capacity, Green Bus kept their buses packed with children! Kids sat at EVERY available sit with no distancing whatsoever! It was obviously only a matter of time when another covid case happens (and bus will be cancelled) and then another. When I emailed them my concerns about children's safety due to lack of distancing, the manager basically demonstrated that they don't care. They said "they are following their own risk assessment which does not require social distancing". When I asked how they are going to ensure that another case won't happen again and what safety measures they plan to implement - they advised me to contact a solicitor if I'm not happy.

The school wasn't happy about this situation and I've been told that they had lots of arguments with Green Bus too. Eventually, after a few days they resumed their service.

Today I received a similar message - that "there was a covid case on our route, students must self-isolate for 7 days, the bus won't run with immediate effect, make alternative arrangements to collect your child from school". The school immediately confirmed that the information is WRONG. That according to Public Health England children who were not in close contact do NOT have to self-isolate and need to keep coming to school. We, the parents, had about 3 hours notice to find the way to get to our kids. If you are working a long distance away and your child doesn't know which public bus to use to get home, you are stuck. Green Bus doesn't care - they'll save another week of your payments and won't provide any service.

And that's not it! The day after the half-term the bus was late as the bus driver was new and didn't know the route! He had no idea where to drive, when to turn and relied on children to tell him where he is supposed to travel! The company had a week of half term to train new drivers but this was not done. When I emailed about this issue, I was told that "there is no safety implications" (no apology, of course). Well, I don't think so! I want to be certain that when I trust my child to a company, all people dealing with them are suitably qualified and trained.

And, by the way, when I told then that I'm going to make my experience of dealing with Green Bus public, their managing director responded that "We reserve the right to take legal action against you if you make defamatory comments about our service in a public place." That's how they deal with customer's complaints - be prepared if you are not satisfied with anything. They've also cancelled my daughter's pass with immediate effect. Hope to be able to get my money for the rest of the year from them though, as I'm totally fed up with this - paying for nothing and then still having to make alternative arrangements at short notice and pay again.

They charge for bus passes well in advance, trying to force you to pay for the full next year right now. Well, I'm personally out of this, although their route was right onto our doorstep, it's far too unrelibale. If another covid wave hits us in Autumn, and schools close again, I don't want to be paying for nothing when they decide to "consult some expert who advises them not to run" while you trying to get your kids to school in some other way.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:43 pm
Posts: 16
And totally forgot! One day my daughter did not return home after an hour when the bus was due. Her phone was off. I didn't know where my child was, I couldn't get to her. I didn't know if the bus was late or something happened to her. Their online bus tracker conveniently didn't work that day. When I called the company to find out if the bus was late, they responded to my call but stated that the "office is now closed"! They offered to email them my daugther's name, date of birth and other details and the office with get back to me tomorrow! I begged them just to tell me if their bus is running late or not, I didn't want any other information - just to check if I just need to wait or start calling police. They were adamant that "for security reasons" they can't give me this information! For security reasons they are unwilling to help to find a girl that was supposed to travel by their bus but didn't get home! I begged them just to give all het details on the phone right now if they need to check them. Eventually, the person on the phone agreed and said that "the manager will get back to you soon" and put the phone down. And no one EVER called me after this! A child goes missing after travelling on their bus and the company doesn't give a s*! I don't wish anyone to go through this!

Luckily, my daughter switched on her phone soon after - I literally made the last attempt to call her before calling police, and she responded. Turned out she was fine, just dropped off with a friend at another stop for some shopping and was stupid enough not to call me. But the whole attitude to the horrible case when a desperate mum calls them because her daughter is missing and they won't lift a finger to help! - is very revealing to how they are likely to behave if something seriously dangerous happens.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:05 pm
Posts: 127
With regard to the failure to refund for school closure time you can report businesses behaving unfairly during covid time to the CMA.
https://www.coronavirus-business-compla ... ce.gov.uk/


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