Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Bait and switch

"But those aren't the terms that I was promised," I said pointedly into the phone.

I was short of sleep, having just gotten up from 5 hours of day sleep after working 15 hours. My wife needed me to confirm with Spirit Cruise Lines what date we were going to go on our first little cruise. The woman had just given me two dates that were not on the list of dates that we had submitted as being available, from Galveston, TX. She also said that the only rooms available were luxury sea-view staterooms with substantial price upgrades. "Can you find another way?"

"The certificate that you signed says 'subject to availability,' sir," came the snotty reply. I dreamed of a device or magical power that would let me take hold of that tongue through the phone line. Okay, I'll admit it-- I was cranky.

In my sweetest, most reasonable, "Let's Solve This Together" voice, I asked, "Can I get you to send me a copy of that certificate, then, please? I fear that this trip may not be possible."

My scanner is in storage. And, no, I didn't run down the street to make a copy. Sue me. I'm a bad record keeper. I didn't have a copy of The Certificate. I wanted to read the text on this almighty document, that apparently countermanded what I had been told verbally by Silverleaf people.

"Sir, I can't resend the certificate."

"You can't resend the certificate? Or you can't rescind the certificate?" I asked.

"What?!?" she was clearly not happy with me. Well, I suppose that the feeling was becoming mutual.

However, I pushed on. "Did you mean that you cannot "resend"-- R-E-S-E-N-D-- the certificate, or that you cannot "rescind"--R-E-S-C-I-N-D-- the certificate?" I enunciated very carefully for her. You know, like you would to, say, a retarded chihuahua. Which is hard of hearing." (I was cranky.)

"Sir, I'm quite sure that you understand the conversation that we're having right now," she said, peevishly.

"Actually, no, I'm not. That's why I'm asking you to clarify, so that I, the customer, can get the full picture. Now, back to the predicate. 'Rescind,' or 'Resend?' The way you pronounce the word, it's a homonym. And, as with "raise" and "raze," these two words have vastly different meanings. Well, not as different as raise/raze-- that's one's just ridiculous. Now, I can understand that a phone person might not have the power to revoke a contract, but to be denied the power to even forward me a copy of it, which almost seems the more likely thing that you're saying, makes little sense to me."

"I can't send you another copy," she said testily. Almost as if she felt insulted. "Look, if these dates won't work, I can refund the money that you've put down."

"Aha! In fact, the powers do apparently fall along counter-intuitive lines," I said. "Very well, may I speak to a supervisor?"

"All complaints must be made in writing," she said. "And the supervisors can't be reached by phone."

"Wow. It's good that y'all have planned for success," I said. "But whoever said anything about a complaint?"

"Well, I just figured..."

"Indeed."

I hung up. I really should have gotten some coffee in me before attempting that call.

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9 Comments:

At Tuesday, July 01, 2008 7:33:00 PM, Blogger J.R.Shirley said...

Sorry, dude.

 
At Tuesday, July 01, 2008 9:14:00 PM, Blogger CrankyProf said...

The Stepgator used to be a travel agent. Say the word, and I'll sic her on them.

They'll give you a free cruise when she gets done with them.

 
At Wednesday, July 02, 2008 6:10:00 AM, Anonymous Jason said...

Isn't it frustrating that "customer service" so often just.. isn't.

 
At Wednesday, July 02, 2008 9:30:00 AM, Anonymous Shrimp said...

what she said:
"Look, if these dates won't work, I can refund the money that you've put down."

what you should have said at that point:
"YES. Do that immediately. Then I can find a real cruise line to book a trip with."


In my experience, when I'm on the phone with someone to complain or clarify or get answers, I have to remind myself that the issue I need resolved is usually not their fault.

But then, someone like that answers the phone, and I end up realizing that it is their fault that my blood pressure went through the roof.

 
At Wednesday, July 02, 2008 10:36:00 AM, Blogger LauraB said...

Ah, yes...Silverleaf. Con artists extraordinaire. We nearly fell for it until I hit this site just prior to our visit. http://www.davesplanet.net/silverleaf/index.htm


We declined the honor and obviously saved a lot of trouble. If you can get your $ back, do it and consider yourself lucky.

 
At Wednesday, July 02, 2008 12:57:00 PM, Blogger Hammer said...

Thank you I will not be using spirit cruise lines.

 
At Wednesday, July 02, 2008 1:01:00 PM, Anonymous homebru said...

With corporate attitude and foresight such as that, if you should decide to sail with them, please count the lifeboats before the ship leaves the dock.

 
At Wednesday, July 02, 2008 7:23:00 PM, Blogger TattoedIntellectual said...

I did dispatch work w/ a security co. Which meant I was the poor dumbass who had to call the customer at 0200 to advise that the f***ing secretary had left the balloons up in the office and the motion detectors were going off. Unfortunately corporate decided, in their infinite stupidity, that as the lowly front-line employee I could have no power to solve/resolve any customer issues.

 
At Thursday, July 03, 2008 7:47:00 AM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Matt, personal opinion, skip the cruise and go enjoy a week at the beach somewhere... I've seen too many cruise ships in trouble to ever go on one if they gave me the presidential suite and $1000 spending money for free. Just my .02 worth

 

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