Drama with Flixbus

I checked my luggage, received my baggage ticket, and got on a Flixbus in Zagreb, Croatia to go to Vienna on the 8/08 (Reference 8077552418). HUGE mistake! At the border of Slovenia and Croatia, I was first through customs, and indicated to the driver that I was going to the bathroom (since the bathroom on board was dodgy). When I came out approximately 2 minutes later, the bus was gone with all of my bags. The bus driver had apparently not remembered that I was in the bathroom, counted passengers or seen my stuff on the seat. I immediately called Flixbus and despite accepting responsibility and apologising, they said they would not return and basically washed their hands of the problem. They promised to sort out my baggage immediately, and to refund my ticket as well. This necessitated me hitching alone as an ill pregnant woman across two countries to my accomodation.

It is now nearly three months later. I still don’t have my bags, despite more than 40 phone calls, ten emails, 4 seperate complaint forms, and forty of fifty facebook and twitter messages. Of course I have also not been refunded my ticket price or paid compensation in any way.

Lowlights of the process have included *My inability to speak to a manager or any person who will take responsibility despite requesting one every time I call. This is even true when I tried to skype the U.S number, and when I directly tweeted the CEO and founder. *They refused to send me any emails or any paperwork that admitted they had ‘lost’ my bags that I could then use to claim insurance. *Each time I write to or call them they act like it’s the first time they’ve heard of it, apologise and then tell me how they are unable to do anything because Lost and Found is ‘paperwork only’.

They then refuse to give me an email to contact them, and act like its a seperate company that they are not responsible for. *After tracking down the local company that provides Flixbus services and requesting their help, Flixbus wrote to me (this is more than a month into the process) to tell me they had found ONE of my bags. They told me I had to PAY (more than my original ticket price) to have it shipped to me. When I pointed out that they had promised to send it to me for free on numerous occasions since they created the problem, they stopped answering my emails at all.

Two days ago, after contacting the local provider again, they wrote to me again telling me they will send my bag (almost 3 months later) ‘free of charge’ with no mention of my other bag despite me pointing out repetitively that I had two. *Many of the emails I sent pointed out that, for example, my bags contained my pregnancy vitamins that stopped me from getting too sick, and my warm clothes for where I live as winter is oncoming. They have never responded nor shown the slightest interest in the problems and massive costs they have created.

* I contacted numerous agencies for help, including submitting a complaint to the European Consumer Centre who contacted Flixbus for an amicable solution. Flixbus never responded to the ECC.

I have similar stories with other regulatory authorities, who are unable to force compliance with the laws Flixbus has broken. In many years of company advocacy for the marginalised, I have never come across a company that shows such a lack of care for their customers (and the bad publicity!) or is as actively obstructive in fixing problems as Flixbus has been.

My advice is to stay as far away as you can get!