Canada·GO PUBLIC

Greyhound bus shipments go missing, customers left out of pocket

Two people Go Public after they say thousands of dollars' worth of personal items disappeared from Greyhound buses.

Single mom wants her possessions back lost during move, but Greyhound can't find them

Greyhound bus just loses it

8 years ago
Duration 1:44
Shipments go missing, customers left out of pocket, single mom wants her possessions back lost during move, but Greyhound can't find them

Two people are Going Public after they say thousands of dollars' worth of personal items disappeared from Greyhound buses.

When she packed up everything she owned along with her children to take a new job across the country, Lorena Curbelo knew it wouldn't be easy. But the single mom didn't expect the hardest part would be getting some of her belongings back from Greyhound. 

Curbelo and her three children aged 12, 14 and 19 moved from Windsor, Ont., to Lethbridge, Alta., last September. She chose to ship everything using Greyhound because it was the least-expensive option. 

When she showed up at the Lethbridge Greyhound depot to pick up her shipment, she said, she realized a lot of it was missing. She asked a Greyhound employee what happened.

'Happens all the time'

"She said, not to worry, this happens all the time … the boxes get taken from one bus to another, they get split apart.  But don't worry about it, they end up getting to their destination," Curbelo told Go Public.

Curbelo said the Greyhound employee told her she had to sign for all the boxes she sent — even the missing ones — if she wanted to take anything home. She said her adult son and Greyhound employees witnessed that conversation. 

The move to Alberta proved too much for her children, however, so a few months later, Curbelo moved back to Ontario, again using Greyhound. And again, some of her belongings went missing. 

"When your child has two pairs of underwear, and no school supplies, and no clothing and no socks and no shoes and no jackets. Then you find out you have no spoons and no knives and no plates … this is getting costly, buying everything over again," she said.

Eight months after the first shipment, Curbelo is still waiting for her missing items. She said some of the boxes that did arrive were open and things were missing, including personal items with sentimental value that can't be replaced.

'Got the runaround'

She said the most frustrating part was dealing with Greyhound, which she said gave her the runaround.

"I tried for months to get someone to call me back, and everybody ignores me.… I've called the Greyhound bus stations, I have been on hold for over an hour, then I get hung up on … or told it's the wrong department," she said.

"I'm mad. I'm a very patient [person], but this is ridiculous."

Curbelo admits she did make mistakes by signing for boxes she didn't receive, declining insurance and not keeping track of how many boxes she shipped or what was in them. 

Bike disappears somewhere near Winnipeg

Curbelo's story seems familiar to Daniel Lombardi. 

The 26-year-old's mother used Greyhound to ship him some boxes and his bike when he moved from London, Ont., to Calgary a couple of months ago.

Daniel Lombardi recovered his bike accessories shipped through Greyhound — but not the bike. (CBC )

Lombardi eventually received the boxes, which included all the accessories for his bike, a helmet and handlebars.  But somewhere around Winnipeg, the bike itself went missing, according to Greyhound's online tracking system.

"A bike box is a big thing to lose," he said.

His attempts at communication with Greyhound, he said, went "poorly — very poorly in terms of the phone conversations. In the emails, everything has been pretty brief or gone unanswered."

Compensation lacking

The company offered Lombardi $100 in compensation for the lost bike. But he turned it down, saying that didn't even cover the cost of shipping. 

In Curbelo's case, she estimates she's suffered a loss of about $5,000.   

"I don't want the money, I want my things.…I want my daughter's baby blanket.… these things I can't get back."

After CBC contacted Greyhound, it apologized for the "inconvenience and frustration," saying it has launched a Canada-wide search for some of the boxes Curbelo said are still missing.

"Our system shows that Ms. Curbelo received and signed for all of her packages that were shipped in September. However, we are diligently searching for packages from her March shipment, Lanesha Gipson wrote in an email to Go Public from Greyhound's head office in Texas. 

Gipson said the company is also searching for Lombardi's bike.

Greyhound made more than 1.8 milliion shipments to different parts of the country last year, but says it doesn't keep track of how many were lost. (CBC)

Greyhound also agreed to increase compensation, offering Curbelo and Lombardi $100 of declared value for their shipments, a refund of their shipping costs and a $100 voucher for shipping or travel. 

Lombardi said he's happy with that offer. 

Curbelo said the offer is insulting, because it doesn't begin to cover what it's costing her to replace everything Greyhound lost. 

"If a customer does not purchase extra declared value, which is similar to insurance, we will reimburse a customer up to $100 in the event that any packages in their shipment are delayed or lost," Gipson said.

Last year, Greyhound made more than 1.8 million shipments to different parts of the country. The company said it doesn't track how many of those were lost. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rosa Marchitelli is a national award winner for her investigative work. As co-host of the CBC News segment Go Public, she has a reputation for asking tough questions and holding companies and individuals to account. Rosa's work is seen across CBC News platforms.

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