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Blah-Blah bus pain

We decided to use Blah-blah buses on a round-trip from Annecy to Chamonix two weeks ago. Our trip to Annecy was smooth and uneventful, allowing us plenty of time to take in the beautiful Alps.

On our way back, however, we encountered the worse situation on our near-three week trip in France. The bus driver yelled at each departing rider at Chamonix, insulting and berating them. When all departing had been complete,we asked what he needed from us (our first driver just checked a manifest with our names) he yelled at both of us to get our tickets on our phones. I did, returned to him and extended the phone. He again yelled, but this time wanted our last names. I told him and he shoved me away. He physically shoved a 67 year old small woman. Shaken, we went to the back of the line. Luckily, another bus employee appeared and got us all on without much further ado.

I wrote the company immediately that evening and have heard nothing back. From hereon, if we need the services of a company like this we will make sure we have the email addresses of the company's customer service team and the national travel agency.

Posted by
8165 posts

Wow. We did a round trip Annecy/Chamonix on BlahBlah and had no issues at all -- but in Chamonix the bus was completely unmarked -- it was a borrowed bus ie not painted in the BlahBlah style as the bus down had been and not even a car in the window indicting either BlahBah or its destination. I was lucky that I approached and asked. The driver seemed to think it was obvious but no shoving involved. He also had names on a list and that is all we had to do to board -- and just first names at that.

This is psychopath level behavior; hope you get a response and meanwhile review the heck out of them all over the net. And I would put your complaint through google translate and send it in French to their customer service as well as in English.

Wow.

Posted by
427 posts

It's actually BlaBlaCar -- in addition to individual car drivers, they offer some bus routes.

Posted by
8165 posts

the buses are called BlahBlah Bus -- and yeah I was reluctant as the name hardly instills confidence but there was no other way for me to visit Chamonix in a day trip so I gambled on it. It worked perfectly and was very very cheap. The buses were the fancy coach type and very comfortable.

Posted by
16 posts

I'm happy to help if you want... I'm kinda furious on your behalf TBH.

Very disappointing to hear watercolorwiz that you had such bother with this Blablabus driver, an offshoot of Blablacar, the world's largest carpooling company, famous here in France - where it originated - as it is routinely used by millions of people (100 million members worldwide, lots of youngsters in my family use(d) it, when they had no car or just to save money). They took over Ouibus in 2019 and now are a subsidiary of the SNCF group.

All these bus companies (Ouibus, Blablabus, Flixbus etc.) are nicknamed "les bus Macron" as they were created as a result of the so-called "Loi Macron" (Macron Law), passed in 2015, when Macron was economy minister under the centre-Left presidency of François Hollande. The aim was to introduce competition in the mid and long distance sector as only local/transdepartmental (county) buses were allowed up to 2015 in France (local as in operating within a department/county or two, they weren't allowed to go from, say, Paris to Rouen or Reims etc. In other words, there was no French equivalent to Eurolines, Greyhound in the US or National Express in the UK and Macron was keen to change that as SNCF and airlines company had the monopoly on that sort of journey in France).

Anyway, about your complaint (https://ma-reclamation.com/blablabus/):

"Déposer une réclamation en ligne
Vous pouvez aussi solliciter le service client de BlaBlaBus à travers le site web de la compagnie. Vous disposez notamment d’un formulaire de contact et d’assistance disponible sur leur site."

It's best to write to them in FRENCH, they might take notice, and you must threaten to publicise your story via social media, companies dislike that, even big ones. They have a specific tel number for complaints but presumably you don't speak French well enough for that so contact them through here:

https://help.blablabus.com/hc/fr/restricted?return_to=https%3A%2F%2Fhelp.blablabus.com%2Fhc%2Ffr%2Frequests%2Fnew&locale=fr

(you could complain by letter and send it by recorded post to their HQ in Vitry-sur-Seine near Paris, see "Réclamation au niveau du siège social" in the "réclamation" address above)

No more than 20-25 lines, and lay it on thick, don't mince your words that it, as what happened to you is frankly appalling. Be precise and to the point (date, time, journey, reference number, description of driver etc.).

Write it in ENGLISH here on this thread and I'll translate it for you in French (I'm a native speaker) and put the text back on here, you'll then paste it and send it to them.

It might not lead to anything in your case but at least you'll have vented your anger! It could help future customers too, after several complaints against that driver, he might be disciplined (I would hope so). You could do both, send them your complaint via this form I've put on here AND send them a typed letter by registered post to their Vitry-sur-Seine address (I would personally, but it's your call).

Posted by
6996 posts

Blabla just means chit-chat in French, so it doesn't carry any "blah" connotations here ;). It's a fun name.
Sorry about that bad experience with the driver!

Posted by
8165 posts

blabla means gibble gabble chat in English too but is also heavily dismissive -- it would be like calling it yadda yadda bus.

Posted by
6619 posts

I've heard they are working on a package where you also get a couple of nights at Fawlty Towers. ;-)