Premier Bus Service, Australia

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Premier Bus Service, Australia

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33% positive

3 reviews from the community

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Review of "Premier Bus Service, Australia"

published 19/10/2008 | LIZKEMPO
Member since : 11/09/2003
Reviews : 267
Members who trust : 113
About me :
Is living in Australia for a year so lots of travel reviews coming your way! Trying to read and rate as much as i can xx
Satisfactory
Pro Cheap
Cons Crap customer service, moody drivers
very helpful
Value for Money
Sightseeing
Shopping
Nightlife
Ease of getting around

"21 hour bus journey from HELL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Bus Nightmare

Bus Nightmare

Australia is a very vast country to travel around and there are various options available to backpackers;

For those on a short trip with money to burn then internal flights are a good option, if you are travelling in a group then a car or campervan is a great option or if you are alone and have a long trip the hop on hop off buses a great way to get around.

I opted for the last option and decided to travel by bus! I had two options Greyhound or Premier Bus.

I was originally going to buy a Greyhound pass as I had heard a lot about them and new them to be good but when I got into the travel agents they told be all about Premier Bus.

I was informed that the service is just as good as Greyhound just with slightly fewer buses per day and that the price was cheaper, well it sounded like a good deal so I went for it!

Sadly it wasn't as great as I had hoped and I was left wishing I had spent the extra money!

The 'Slightly Less' service ended up being just one bus a day, so you had no choice you had to get on that one bus. The times of the buses were not great either really early in the morning or really late at night, one bus arrived at it's destination at 2am which is really impractical for booking into a hostel. I was shocked at this especially when some of the travellers are young girls alone just being dropped off in the middle of nowhere.

Greyhound however offer a about 5 buses a day all leaving and arriving a different times so you can chose the service that suits your needs, also they offer over night services which means you don't have to loose a day on a bus.

I found the drivers on Premier Bus quite rude and uncooperative, they were really fussy about food on the bus, this was impractical bearing in mind some journeys are 8 hours long or more.

Also they some times played movies for us but the selection was their own and we had to watch a lot of tedious documentaries not really selected for the cliental of young backpackers.

Be advised that these buses are often cold due to the air conditioning being on full blast, so make sure you have a jumper to hand. Also all large luggage is placed on under the bus and stays their till you get off so make sure you have every thing hand you need for your journey.

I had two very unfortunate experiences with the Premier Bus while I was in Australia, the cause was due to the weather but the way it was handled was dreadful, allow me to explain:

21 Hour Bus Journey from Hell!!!!!!:

I originally planned to travel from Hervey Bay to 1770, this a 3 hour journey, the coach picked us up at 9pm and we set off in good time, I was due to arrive at 12pm and had arranged for a hostel bus to pick me up from the bus stop. As I was only in for a short journey I had a small bottle of water and no food with me, I had left my jumper in my case under the bus.

We had been experiencing heavy rain for a few days and it was still raining as we travelled in the dark, we got to Bundaberg half and hour late and picked up some more passengers and carried onto 1770 the next stop.

About an hour away from 1770 the driver of our bus was pulled over by a man on the side of the road, the man jumped on the bus and explained that their was a large flood ahead 3 ft deep and he couldn't get through in his car, he was worried that if we tried to go through we may tip the bus.

I was sat at the front of the bus so I knew what was going on but the driver did not make any announcement to the rest of the coach, after much debating with the car driver the bus driver decided to turn the bus around, this is the point where it all goes wrong.

In his hurry to turn us around the driver managed to get up stuck in the mud half way up a bank, side ways across the road, he then kept revving the engine and attempting to move us out only to get us further stuck in the mud! This went on for a good half an hour before he decided to stop and tell the rest of the very restless coach what was happening.

At this point the driver decided it would be a good idea to get everyone off the bus and in to the rain to help push the bus, everyone was happy to lend a hand and we clambered off the bus most of us in shorts and flip flops to help push.

Needless to say it made no difference and we all ended up caked in mud, wet and cold.

At this point a police car arrived to see what was happening as we were blocking the road, the policeman advised the driver to call a tow truck to come a pull us out.

About two hours had passed by now and instead of accepting defeat and letting us get back on the bus and into the warm the driver decided to this time empty all the luggage from underneath the bus on to the road so that we could try and push the bus again.

By this point some of the passengers where very unhappy, especially as now all our bags (Some not water proof) where getting soaked as well. Yet again our attempts did not work, but the driver was determined to be a hero and started collecting wood and trying to leaver the stuck wheels out of the mud.

Covered in mud some passengers decided to wash off in the flood water, suddenly the police starting shouting 'Get out of the Water' as they came back and spoke the police it turned out that 6 brown bellied snakes where swimming in that water. For those of you that don't know the brown bellied snake is the 2nd most venomous snake in Australia.

After standing in the rain for 3 hours and hearing about the snakes everyone was anxious to get back on the bus and into safety, at last the bus driver agreed to give up and wait for the truck.

At 9am (9 Hours Later) the tow truck arrived, by this time massive queue of traffic had formed behind our blocked coach and they all stood and watched as we were pulled to freedom.

At this point I had decided to forgo my day in 1770 and felt I should try and stay on the bus to Airlie Beach to try and make it for my sailing trip booked for the next day. Sadly some on the coach had missed out on their trips and could not get their money back.

I spent 21 hours in total on that bus and it was a journey from hell! After we got going again a new bus driver took over, he got on the bus and advised us we were going to stop at services to get something to eat etc, we were all very relived to hear that as we had been stuck for about 10 hours now with no supplies, he then only gave 10 minuets as he wanted to try and make up the time lost. Well needless to say everyone took their time; we were in shock that this man could be so unsympathetic to our needs.

Floods and Cancellations:

My second experience was after I had been to Airlie Beach, this time I was trying to go to Magnetic Island. Now while I was in Airlie Beach a cyclone decided to come and visit us and made havoc up and down the East Coast, causing road blockages and major floods in both directions.

Due to this happening all buses where cancelled for about 5 days, not just Premier where affected but Greyhound as well, I appreciate that this was not their fault but the customer service I received was utterly appalling.

The first day we headed down to the bus stop where we waited for 3 hours for our bus after this time we called Premier who informed the bus was delayed but could not give us an estimated arrival time and we should all back later. After another 2 hours we called back and still no news.

By this point we were worried it was going to be cancelled and as more and more people were starting to get stranded in Airlie Beach we went back to the hostel to reserve a room for the night.

I am so glad that we did this as Premier decided to wait until 5pm to cancel the bus service for the day and about 20 people where left with no room for the night and had to sleep at the bus station.

This fiasco went on for 5 days, each day we had to call them and they kept us on a waiting game all day, I was frustrated as I knew from others that the Greyhound Bus Company where making courtesy calls to their passengers to give them updates and cancelling services by midday to give people a chance to find accommodation for the night.

Premier Bus Service advised us that they could not make outgoing calls, this was utterly ridiculous and caused nothing but chaos for everyone.

Conclusion:

In conclusion I would advise that you pay the extra $50 for the good customer service of the Greyhound Bus. Premier Bus maybe cheaper but the customer service was so awful, I have never had such bad service in my life. They offered no compassion, no refunds or compensation.

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Comments on this review

  • torr published 24/10/2008
    Sounds awful, but a good review.
  • majeedkazi published 20/10/2008
    Great Review....
  • Claiiiree published 19/10/2008
    oh dear, but at least you have a story to tell now..
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Product Information : Premier Bus Service, Australia

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Ciao

Listed on Ciao since: 31/03/2008