Rewards program may not be rewarding

I tried to resolve this at the Greyhound station in Philadelphia, but they said their computers couldn't handle an awards redemption. I called the customer service number they gave me, but they said they do not process award tickets any more, and they gave me another number. The person at that number was extremely rude and refused to help me. I was told to go to a Greyhound station in some other city that had the computer capability. I sent an e-mail to Greyhound and received a reply that they'd reimburse me for half a ticket if I paid for it.— Lois Shestack, Philadelphia

A: Greyhound's Road Rewards program is relatively straightforward, compared with the average frequent flier program. But you still have to read the terms carefully: Many of the rewards expire or can be used only in conjunction with other offers.

I couldn't find any restrictions about redeeming the rewards that apply to your situation. On the contrary, the Greyhound site is clear about where to redeem your reward ticket. You can cash in your points at the terminal or by phone, it says. All you have to do is to print your reward voucher and bring it to the bus terminal.

What went wrong? In the e-mail you received back from Greyhound, a company representative blamed the problem on "a lack of knowledge regarding the program in the field." Greyhound also promised to forward your concern to a program manager so that it could be addressed, but as far as I could tell, it didn't actually resolve your problem. Instead, it warned that you only had a few weeks left to use your voucher, but offered no meaningful information on how to redeem it.

Sending the e-mail should have been the first rather than your last resort. Once you received the apparent form response from Greyhound, you could have searched for a supervisor, but I had some trouble finding anyone at the company in charge of customer service.

I contacted Greyhound on your behalf. A representative called you and made arrangements to issue your ticket at the Philadelphia terminal. Greyhound also offered you a $50 certificate to make up for the trouble.