amtrak agent always busy

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blackpup

Service Attendant
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Aug 16, 2009
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180
when is the best time to call the Amtrak agent on phone. It is always experiences a higher than average call volume when I call. and I can't call M - F working hours.
 

Thirdrail7

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In the wee hours of the night when most people are sleeping. I wouldn't recommend calling between 12:05am and roughly 2:05am but if you can manage a 2:30am to 5:00am call, you're probably golden. Remember, reservation agents and as well as station agents are decreasing with eticketing and online reservations.

That leaves a smaller number of people to deal with the issues as they arise.
 
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blackpup

Service Attendant
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Aug 16, 2009
Messages
180
yeah, I cannot figure out how to modify my reservation online, as I need to change the first leg of my trip from a Wednesday to a Monday and can't see any way to do this online. I usually get up at 5 am for work, so I will just get up a 1/2 hour earlier, and try a 4:30 am call.
 
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AmtrakBlue

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May 6, 2011
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yeah, I cannot figure out how to modify my reservation online, as I need to change the first leg of my trip from a Wednesday to a Monday and can't see any way to do this online. I usually get up at 5 am for work, so I will just get up a 1/2 hour earlier, and try a 4:30 am call.
I suspect since you're changing dates, they will need to cancel/rebook which could end up being at a higher fare.

Is this portion of the trip on the same reservation as the rest of your trip? If so, that could result in higher fares for the whole trip.
 

Cho Cho Charlie

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Apr 9, 2009
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If calls start go directly to agents, doesn't that mean Amtrak has too many agents scheduled to work for that TOD? An agent sitting around waiting for a call, isn't being all that efficient/effective.
 

Madzoo

Train Attendant
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Dec 14, 2013
Messages
51
I'm not sure if this is what you need, but on the Amtrak website there is a link to modify trips just to the right of the link to buy tickets. I used it the other night to change a start date, and my reservation number stayed the same. I received an updated pdf in my e-mail.
 

blackpup

Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 16, 2009
Messages
180
Ok, I only want to change the date of the first leg of my trip from a Wednesday to a Monday. I want to keep the 2nd and 3rd legs of my trip the same. Can they do this over the phone. Or will this involve a complete cancellation of my trip and have to re book everything.
 

J-1 3235

Lead Service Attendant
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May 6, 2004
Messages
465
In the past, I have called and made a change to just one part of my itinerary. I did not have to rebook the entire trip. Good luck!
 

blackpup

Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 16, 2009
Messages
180
that wasn't bad, only had to hold like 7 minutes. Got an even exchange. Only changed the first leg and 2nd and 3rd is the same. No extra fees. Where is the "wow that was easy" button.
 

blackpup

Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 16, 2009
Messages
180
okay, I found a link before as to what all the abbreviations mean, now I can't find it. So what is AGR? NMD, found it
 
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ciship

Service Attendant
Joined
May 4, 2004
Messages
156
I had to call the other day during the day to modify and existing reservation and I waited 37 minutes for a live person. However, once I got that live person, my call went very quickly. She knew exactly what she was doing and it went FAST!
 

tricia

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Aug 23, 2011
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If calls start go directly to agents, doesn't that mean Amtrak has too many agents scheduled to work for that TOD? An agent sitting around waiting for a call, isn't being all that efficient/effective.
Is it really more "efficient/effective" to inconvenience ALL of your customers by making them wait to speak to an agent?
 

willem

Conductor
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Aug 17, 2014
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If the call volume is always higher than average, then some Amtrak employee should be scheduled for remedial mathematics. The alternative is that Amtrak does not mind lying to its customers.
 

Lonestar648

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I am sure that Amtrak management receives regular call center reports from their phone system computer. They know how many calls, average wait time, longest wait time, number of gave up waiting. Also they know the average time an agent is on the line plus the longest and shortest. Bottom line management has determined what the acceptable wait time is based on the number of give up callers. Also, if complaints are lows, then stay with the current number of agents. I am sure that Amtrak like most Call Centers have a reserve staff that can be called in if thing go crazy. If callers are tolerating the wait time then why pay additional people to work?
 

afigg

Conductor
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Jun 8, 2009
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5,896
If calls start go directly to agents, doesn't that mean Amtrak has too many agents scheduled to work for that TOD? An agent sitting around waiting for a call, isn't being all that efficient/effective.
Is it really more "efficient/effective" to inconvenience ALL of your customers by making them wait to speak to an agent?
From a cost viewpoint, yes, pretty much. If agents are sitting around too often with little to do waiting for a call, that is wasting money. Call centers is not a business I know much about, but I expect in this day and age, there are extensive business models to monitor call volume & wait time and project the optimum staffing levels to have available around the clock. The optimum staffing level from a cost standpoint is not what is optimum for the caller or customer.
 

Devil's Advocate

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May 24, 2010
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11,337
I am sure that Amtrak management receives regular call center reports from their phone system computer. They know how many calls, average wait time, longest wait time, number of gave up waiting. Also they know the average time an agent is on the line plus the longest and shortest. Bottom line management has determined what the acceptable wait time is based on the number of give up callers. If complaints are lows, then stay with the current number of agents...If callers are tolerating the wait time then why pay additional people to work?
So if customers can't manage to wait long enough to reach anyone to complain to then everything must be fine then? Who cares what they have to say anyway. Send them a third party questionnaire by snail mail. They can give numbered responses that will be distilled down into unintelligible gibberish and then shoehorned into a series of zero context charts and graphs. This is what I love about supply side business logic. Customers needs are so far removed from management decisions that there is barely any connection whatsoever.
 

willem

Conductor
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Aug 17, 2014
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Send them a third party questionnaire by snail mail. They can give numbered responses that will be distilled down into unintelligible gibberish and then shoehorned into a series of zero context charts and graphs.
Well said! If management cared what a customer had to say, management would have someone listen to what the customer has to say, rather than give numbered responses to questions that don't address the customer's concerns.
 
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