Cancellation. . . .

Well after my first post, trains are great rah rah rah. . . I will have to add a disclaimer, don’t bother with them in Malaysia.

I was supposed to be heading up to Bangkok today on the 14:30 overnight express. After walking with luggage for 30 minutes under a noon day tropical sun and waiting for the ferry for another 30 minutes I was greeted by this at the station.

20130820-222028.jpg

I then got to experience some Malaysian KTM customer service. I would expect to see lots of those signs you see in stations and hospitals in the UK warning of prison for assaulting staff as they were that helpful.

Tom Vs Counter Lady, went something like this.

Tom “Is that sign correct, the train is cancelled?”
CL “Yes”
Tom “Ok, why?”
CL “Cause, it’s not coming”
Tom “Any reason?”
CL “Not coming”
Tom “So, what happens to my ticket?”
CL “Refund or take tomorrow, what you want?”
Tom “But I need to be in Bangkok tomorrow and have a hotel booked.”
CL “Refund or take tomorrow, what you want?”
Tom “How can I get to Bangkok? Are you going to pay for the hotel?
CL “No, not my problem”
Tom” How can I get to Bangkok?
CL “taxi or bus or train or plane”
Tom “you’re suggesting I get a taxi 1000km into another country?'”
CL “Okay just to border. Refund or take tomorrow, what you want?”
Tom “I want you to be more helpful. Can I take the bus to the border this afternoon and then get on a train to Bangkok?”
CL “Can, okay refund?”
Tom “Hang on, is that train running? Are there seats available? Does the bus get there in time for the train?”
CL “dunno”
Tom “Could you check?”
CL “No”
Tom “Brilliant. You have been brilliant, I’ll go tomorrow”

By this point there was a crowd of people in a similar situation listening in, who soon got to face this brick wall of unhelpfullness for themselves. Around this crowd buzzed a tiny little bus ticket tout who looked as happy a recent lottery winner as he quickly inflated his prices. It sounded as though the Japanese backpackers were going to be paying for the tout’s next luxury holiday.

On the way out I saw this on the window of the station. I wanted to put a brick through it.

20130820-222257.jpg

One more night in George Town isn’t such a bad thing, as it’s quite nice little place. Fingers crossed for tomorrow otherwise I’ll be on the bus up to Bangkok.

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8 thoughts on “Cancellation. . . .

  1. This post cracked me up…I can just picture you having this exchange with the ticket woman! hahaha! 🙂 (p.s. Hope you get there eventually) x

  2. Hahaha this post cracked me up. I can just picture your exchange with the ticket lady. xx p.s. Hope you get there eventually 🙂

  3. Ugh. I had a similar experience with KTM customer service last month as I tried to book a train from Butterworth to KL online, only to find that both trains were sold out. (Malay school holidays come so early! I had no idea!) I called customer service to double check that the trains were full and also ask if there were any other train options out of Butterworth. “I’m sorry, but there are NO MORE TICKETS,” the attendant scowled at me. So, devastated because I had wanted to travel the whole Bangkok-Singapore route via train, I booked a flight to KL.
    Mere hours later, when I returned to the website to book my KL-Woodlands leg, I saw that they had opened up 75+ more seats on the Butterworth train by adding additional cars!!! Argh!

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