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Hans_Woerzt wrote a review Oct. 2015
Vlaams-Brabant8 contributions4 helpful votes
Saturday October 10, I visited Conimbriga by local Transdev-bus from Coimbra, a mere 16 km away. Previously I had looked up their complex bus schedule, and asked for confirmation in the bus station where they gave me a simplified leaflet with just the Conimbriga bus times I needed : on Saturdays, to Conimbriga from Coimbra at 09:30, 12:30, and 15:30, and to Coimbra from Conimbriga at 13:25 and 18:25 only. I got on the 09:30 bus just fine, together with six other foreign tourists : a Danish-Austrian couple of elderly people, two Brazilian students, and two Japanese ladies. On arrival I asked the driver (in Spanish) to confirm the next return bus to Coimbra, and he told me 13:25 as expected, from the same spot as where he had left us - the parking lot next to the museum. One of the Brazilian students asked for the same confirmation - in Portugese. We were all waiting for the 13:25 bus well before 13:00 (I had finished exploring the site around 12:30). 13:25 came and went. So, we waited some more. And some more. After 45 minutes of waiting - the time it takes to drive from Coimbra to Conimbriga - it became clear that this bus wasn't going to turn up anymore. There is no excuse for not sending another bus in case it broke down or the driver drove it into the Douro ; the reduced weekend schedule left many more idle busses available. So, this Transdev bus company left seven foreign tourists stranded. The Brazilian student tried to call their phone number from the leaflet twice on his cell phone, but nobody even bothered to answer. Now, it turned out that I had made my homework - 35 years of traveling on 5 continents helps. I had made screen dumps of the route from Conimbriga to Condeixa-a-Nova, where Transdev has a bus station (a small parking lot with bus shelters), and more than the two daily busses back to Coimbra on Saturday, so I knew what to do, only walk an extra 2 km. Out of the six foreign tourists, four joined me on this walk to Condeixa, the elderly couple were physically incapable of walking this far and opted to call for a taxi instead. Next day I went to the Transdev bus station to buy a Red Expressos ticket out of town, and reported this unpleasant incident. The friendly overwhelmed good English-speaking lady at the Transdev counter looked at me with a what-does-this-silly-foreign-tourist-knows-about-really attitude, and replied bluntly that maybe I should have waited for the 18:25 bus. Really. That's redefining customer care to insulting level. I was in Coimbra for just one day, to visit Conimbriga and see the university library, not to wait for Godot, or for Transdev busses that might not turn up for whatever reason. This story will be put on several popular travel forums to warn other travellers about the customer care of the Transdev company. I also sent it to the complaint's section on the Transdev webpage, but as I did this in English, I guess it will be ignored by them. But you never know, they might still send their excuses. I'll wait. And wait some more.
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Date of experience: October 2015
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