On October 6,2019, I purchased a trip to Portugal through BeMadrid, scheduled for December 6,2019. I received a confirmation email confirming a successful payment and completed registration. On December 6,2019, I had still not received my ticket for the trip but the last time I went on a trip through BeMadrid, I did not receive the ticket either and was told that this sometimes happens. So I boarded I train from Oviedo to Madrid, Spain where the trip was set to leave at 2am from Plaza de Torres.
I arrived by 12am to the plaza and waited until the bus arrived. Finally, the tour bus arrived around 1:30 am and I got on board. I've traveled with this tour company before, so I knew that they were going to go around for confirmation that everyone on the bus is on the trip. They came around to me, I showed them my confirmation email and they go to check me off the list.
I am not on the list. They call their boss, she says that it must have been a computer error but since I am not on the list, they do not have room for me and I have to leave. They then proceed to kick me off the tour bus at 2:30am, leaving me alone in Madrid. I am a 20 year old, average sized female, with mediocre Spanish skills so first thing first, I needed to find a hotel, but since it was 2:30 am nothing around me was open. So I decide that I would go to the bus station, I know there is a 6am bus back to Oviedo that I could take and I can wait in the train station for the time being.
Got to the bus station, doors are locked so I am forced to wait outside. A fight breaks out between the homeless people outdoors which quickly turns extremely violent and for my own safety, I had to grab my stuff and run. Luckily for me, a taxi driver saw me tearing down the street with all of my luggage and stopped in the intersection to ask if I needed help. Finally, a person who finds it strange that a young girl is alone in Madrid will all her luggage at now 4am. This angel of a man took me to the nearest open hotel, where I had to pay $200 to simply get off of the streets. I finally made it back to Oviedo 24 hours later.
Upon my return, I contacted the company to see what could be done about the now $400 I had to pay to get myself out of the dangerous situation they left me in. They say that their system never pulled the money out of my account so even though I got an email saying that the there was a successful payment, that was wrong and, I quote "you could've kind of guessed that something was wrong" and then told me they would do nothing to help me.
I specifically chose to travel with BeMadrid because of their "core values of community, quality and trust" and "objective to help international students to get settled, integrate and get the most out of their stay in Madrid" Despite this, they were perfectly fine kicking a young girl off a bus in a foreign city in the middle of the night. Not only was the experience extremely traumatic, but now I am trying to figure out how to make up $400 that was not in my budget because I was not expecting to be put in such a dangerous situation.