Lets talk about the "Fan Express"

Lets use this thread to talk about the debacle that was, at least for us, the Findlay "Fan Express".

Where to start? Well why not at the beginning. Yesterday my party of 4 STH/Fan Express Season Pass Holders arrived for the Lime Ridge Mall bus, set to depart at 3:10 PM. We arrived at 2:45, told the Ticats rep the group name we were under, and walked to the bar around the corner to get a few friends who were coming as well. When we returned from grabbing our friends, it was nearing 3, and we noticed that the bus was leaving.. so we run over, ask another Ticat rep what was going on (I believe her name was Sarah) and we were told that bus was actually the bus that was set to leave at 2:25.

So now we're here in the parking lot of Lime Ridge at 3:10, the scheduled departure time, with no bus, and a crowd that was very obviously too big to fit on one bus. The bus finally shows up at 3:15, and we line up outside. It's at that time that Sarah announces that we have too many people, and some were going to have to stand. The crowd was obviously not pleased. We continue boarding the bus, and all able-bodied people pile in. Note that in the time between when I told the first rep on the other bus that my group was here, and now, I was never asked to show a waiver, or even a bus ticket. In fact, I did not speak to Sarah once. Now comes the fun part. The driver has to load about 5 or 6 people in wheelchairs/scooters on the bus.. HOWEVER, he doesn't know how to properly operate the lift, or strap in the people in wheelchairs. Fantastic. After about 30 minutes, he finally has everyone loaded safely (presumably, we didn't check). He gets on the bus, and announces that he isn't driving anywhere until we have a max of 5 people standing (we had about 12). Sarah negotiates with a few fans, who agree to drive to Guelph (we didn't know how lucky they were at the time).

Finally at about 4pm, we are on the road - almost an hour late. The bus ride itself really wasn't all that bad, Guelph is a nice town. We arrive with enough time to pee and run to our seats to catch the end of the anthems. The game happened, and we all got wet, etc etc, no need to go into detail here.

With about 5 minutes left in the game and the heavens opening up, we decide to make the trek back across the field to where the buses were set up to board the bus home. We got stuck on Alumni Walk as the teams left the field where, IMO, the Cats should have waited for us after a display like that.. but I digress.. We finally make it to the bus staging area where we see familiar people from the bus trip up. They are all standing in the pissing rain and appeared to be very unhappy so we knew what we were in for. Apparently, our bus left after we got off, and never returned. We spoke to Sarah, and a Ticat manager (didn't get a name), who really didn't know what to tell us. There was no bus, and they didn't know if or when one would show up. Luckily for my group, we were able to squeeze on another bus that went to Lime Ridge, and stood, freezing cold and soaking wet, for the entire ride home. Once again we never showed a ticket or checked in with anyone.

It was by far, the worst customer service experience I have ever had in my life.

But who is to blame?

First, the Tiger-Cats need a much better system for these buses. As far as I know, they don't reserve seats ahead of time on the buses, so when you run 2 buses, and one leaves before the other, not everyone wants to go early, leaving more people than seats on the later bus. Also, if the first "downtown party bus" was full like they said, then they have oversold the Lime Ridge stop, since they should realistically be selling under 90 tickets (to ensure everyone has a spot including wheelchairs).

CoachCanada (or whoever subcontracts the Coach Buses) - How can you possibly send a driver who didn't know how to operate the lift to pick people up in Hamilton. IT'S THE SCOOTER/MOTORIZED WHEELCHAIR CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!! The fact that there was no bus to pick us up after the game is INEXCUSABLE. You knew fans were going to be VERY upset after everything that happened yesterday (especially us on the Lime Ridge Bus).. How could you not have enough buses to drive everyone home?

Anyone else have any similar experiences? Is there anyone on here that was on our bus that can provide more info on what happened after the game?

Yikes! Definitely a terrible customer service experience. Maybe Findlay should station one oftheir lawyers on each bus!

The Cats will definitely need to sort this out before Saturday's game, whether it was driver/schedule assigments or equipment issues .

I would like to thank you for your comments.

We are aware of the issues particularly concerning the Lime Ridge Mall shuttle yesterday, and we are making adjustments for Saturday's game.

Yesterday's downpour presented conditions probably worse than any of us have ever seen. While that isn't being used an excuse here, it certainly made everything seem worse yesterday.

Today, in considerably better conditions we are addressing the issues.

We have already been in contact with Coach Canada this morning to express our concerns. Coach Canada is a good company to work with overall and a partner of our club but unfortunately there were problems yesterday. Not all the problems tied to Coach Canada, and we are addressing our internal procedures as well.

Rest assured, our system is being reviewed, and things will be back on schedule for Saturday. Our pledge to you.

Thanks again for your feedback.

Sounds like a complete screw-up, not surprising the first time through. Does anyone know if the same kind of problems happened at the Wild Wings location. We plan to take the bus from there on the 27th for our first of five games and I certainly don't want to have to go through what was mentioned here.

Well dwatkins I think you should re read this write up because the problem started long before the rain. I am sorry but I do not see a comment here from the Ti-Cat organization who set up this obvious screw up. "Oh we got the buses but it is not our responsibility". People you are seeing the true colours of a marketing machine out of the pages of Wall Street. We got your money you are on your own! Another screwing to the good people and fans of Hamilton by the Wall Street Bullies.

Well that is a wee bit harsh. I didn't take the bus, but I think dwatkins said he wasn't using the rain as an excuse and that there were problems and they will be fixed. Not sure how much more can be said than that. It's a learning curve for everyone.

Wow. This thread title should have the word "talk" replaced with "complain." I dropped in for a "discussion" and all I read was pissing and moaning. I should have known better than to expect that a discussion could occur. 25 seconds of my life I will never get back.

Please. This was a recount of all the issues that came with the bus. People were absolutely outraged, and with good reason. I'm sure you wouldn't be so quiet had you been on the bus with us.

To start with dwatkins, wouldn't a simple APOLOGY to those who were inconvenienced be appropriate? Customer service 101.


8) Wow, a real horror show for sure, "DogsFan". I sympathize with you and the rest of the fans that were subjected to this
   kind of nonsense  !!!

    The TiCats better pray that the new stadium is done for the start of their 2014 season (June 2014), because not many
     fans will be willing to make this treck to Guelph again !!    <!-- s:roll: -->:roll:<!-- s:roll: -->

DogsFan described his experience with the Fan Express. If you have a more positive experience to describe, we're all ears.

I have been told that a bus never showed up after the game to pick up the fans from the limeridge bus. They were forced to pay cabs to get home.

I really cant imagine this happened. I'm not saying it didn't but I have a hard time imagining they messed it up that much.

Wow if that is the case that is terrible.

8) If that actually happened, the Findlay Law Firm should be reimbursing those fans for the cab fare !!

Is Findlay running this or are they just paying to be a sponsor?

IIRC the Tiger-Cats are running it and Findlay is a sponsor of it


Wow. Great advertising for them :?

I'm not sure that the Ticats are entirely to blame here.. I suspect Coach Canada has a part in the bus not being there to pick us up. I had a weird feeling about the driver. However if I was the ticats manager who came over to try and remedy the problem, the first thing I would have done was made sure they got home, and covered the cab fare.