Talking to the MTA is like talking to a brick wall

Last week, I was on a cold train. A really cold train.

I sent the MTA a note about it. To make this complaint actionable, I gave them the train line, approximate time and car number.

It is way too cold on trains. Please turn off the AC.

I was on a southbound 2/3 train. I got off at Borough Hall around 7:20. I was in car 1383.

They sent me an automated reply:

Your email has been received. You will receive a response as soon as possible; however, some responses can take up to 15 business days.

Please do not reply to this email, as it will go to an unattended email box.

15 business days? That’s crazy. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait that long. After 48 long hours, I received this thoughtful and detailed reply:

This is to acknowledge your e-mail to MTA New York City Transit.

The MTA is committed to providing safe, courteous, reliable, and accessible service. Please be assured that all comments, suggestions, compliments and complaints we receive from our customers are forwarded to the appropriate managerial personnel for review and any necessary action.

We encourage you to continue to e-mail us at www.mta.info , via the “Customer Self Service” link, with your comments and concerns. We look forward to serving you better now and in the future. Please note your reference number above.

Thank you for contacting us.

Sharon Adams
Customer Services

I tried to follow up — both to the general purpose mailbox, and to Sharon Adams herself (fortunately, her email and phone number are public):

Screenshot 2015-09-29 22.58.31

Turns out they don’t do email:

This mailbox is not monitored.

If you wish to respond to a previous e-mail, please create a new email using the customer service link http://mta-nyc.custhelp.com/app/ask and include your incident number in the subject line.

Thank you.

Sharon didn’t write me back, either.

One Response to Talking to the MTA is like talking to a brick wall

  1. Tony says:

    I suspect it’s a combination of scale and fear. The MTA has millions of customers; if they made it easy to reach them, they’d be deluged by (mostly duplicative) complaints about the system, most of which they probably can’t address anyway (because people are ignorant).

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