Amtrak is a national rail service that operates throughout the United States and several parts of Canada. With over 300 trains running each day, it isn't surprising that Amtrak gets a lot of customer service calls.
Why Do People Call Amtrak Customer Support?
People call Amtrak customer support for a range of reasons including:
- Checking on train schedules
- Booking tickets and travel packages
- Providing requests for special services and accommodations
- Filing lost and found reports
- Filing complaints about Amtrak service
- Questions regarding Amtrak Guest rewards loyalty program
- Technical support with the Amtrak website
- Canceling or changing tickets
- Reserving a seat to be paid for later (this option is only available for some tickets, ask the Amtrak agent if it can apply to your desired ticket)
Best Practices for Calling Amtrak Customer Service
There are several things that you can do to help make your call to Amtrak customer service go more smoothly:
- Make sure that you have the correct number for the department you need to speak to. For example, Amtrak has separate numbers for domestic and international calls, scheduling group travel, booking vacation packages, reporting accessibility issues or contacting the Amtrak police department.
- Before you call Amtrak, assemble any relevant documentation so that you have it handy during your call. Documentation might include confirmation numbers, cancellation numbers, descriptions of travel packages, current schedules as well as any correspondence between yourself and Amtrak.
- If you are calling because you are having difficulty with the Amtrak website, make sure that you have access to a computer during your call so that you and the customer service representative can troubleshoot the issue together.
- Have pen and paper handy so you can take notes during your conversation.
How do Consumers Feel About Calling Amtrak Customer Service?
Some Amtrak passengers are very satisfied with the level of service that they have received from Amtrak customer service over the years. Still, others are less impressed, complaining that customer service agents are not always helpful. Being prepared before calling Amtrak is one way of helping to ensure that the call is successful.
What Kind of Issues can Amtrak Customer Service Representative Resolve?
Amtrak customer service can resolve a range of issues over the phone, including purchasing, changing and canceling tickets. Other issues include questions about schedules, delays and other issues with trips that are already in progress.
Many people don't realize that Amtrak sells vacation packages and a customer service representative may be able to assist in booking these packages. Another concern of many is group travel, when a club, school or family ops to travel together. Amtrak has dedicated phone lines for both group travel as well as package vacations, where specialists are able to assist in these more complex travel plans.
What Can't Be Resolved With a Call to Amtrak Customer Service?
While most issues that affect Amtrak passengers and trains can be resolved over the phone, there may be some instances in which a phone representative will not be able to resolve an issue completely.
One example of this is putting your Amtrak reservation "on hold." If you prefer to pay for your ticket with cash, or don't feel comfortable making a payment online or over the phone using your debit or credit card, you may be able to reserve a ticket and then pay for it later at the station. However, this option is not available for all fares. Your customer service representative can help you find a fare that is eligible for this payment option.
What Should You Do If You Have an Unsuccessful Call with Amtrak?
If you hang up the phone after talking with an Amtrak customer service representative and feel that your situation was not understood or that your problem is not yet resolved, don't fret. You still have a few options:
- In many cases, you will be able to take care of your issue by calling Amtrak back. Different customer service agents have different levels of training and experience. You might be able to connect with a better customer service representative on your next call and he or she will be able to resolve your case.
- Before calling, however, it's a good idea to review any notes that you took during your first call. Doing so will make it easier to explain your situation during your next call.
- If a second call to Amtrak doesn't work, try emailing Amtrak through its online form. This method has the advantage of providing you with a paper trail that can be of assistance if you need to escalate your case.
- Another option is to go to an Amtrack station and ask to speak to a manager there. He or she may be willing to look into your situation and put you in touch with people at Amtrak who are able to help.