Blond:ish Tour Blog: Friday Flight Rant
It’s been a while since I’ve wanted to rant about customer service discrepancies and I feel that this is long overdue…
As we’ve mentioned in a previous post, part of our job description as DJs is booking flights. Even though we have a travel agent via our agency, we’ve learned the hard way that its always best to triple check your itineraries and flights for routing/pricing.
Over the years, dealing with customer service has been a nightmare and an interesting adventure of learning the tricks of the trade for getting what you want.
Today, I had to change my flight that I got on Aeroplan miles from Reno – London after Burning Man so that I fly out of Salt Lake City – London instead. This way I can drive back with my friends to return our RV.
I called yesterday to change my flight and the nice Canadian Aeroplan lady gave me two different time options with one connection Salt Lake City – Houston – London getting me back to London just in time to fly London -Marrakesh for Viv’s sister’s wedding.
I had to double check the game plan with the girls, so I said I would call back asap. Finally got a chance today to call back but called the UK office instead and obviously got re-routed to their outsourced third world office.
So what do I get as a reply to my request that was fully available (with a few different options) yesterday?
“No sorry ma’am – nothing available at all for that day we’re all sold out.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes I’m sure, I triple checked. Nothing.”
I hung up in frustration, contemplating my next step. I remembered the famous quote: ’If at first you don’t succeed then try, try again.’
On a whim, I decided not to take no for an answer and called back the Canadian Aeroplan office to double check. Not only did the lady find the flight I wanted (for a $90 change fee), she found three more options for me on the same day from Salt Lake City that would all be suitable. I booked it straight away praying that my Skype wouldn’t disconnect.
I asked her why on earth is everyone telling me a different story, to which she replied “I have no idea”, but whoever it was obviously didn’t know how to do their job and should be fired.
Another time, I had called Vodafone UK and asked for the best international data plan for an iPhone and the guy gave me a special deal they had for unlimited world data for £20/month on top of the £40 monthly tariff. I asked him honestly like 10 times if this was for real (because sounded too good to be true) and if he was sure and reassured me that this was their new special.
As luck would have it, I of course did not have my credit card on me at the time so I had to call back.
The next time I called, the lady informed me that the last guy I spoke to was a complete incompetent that had no idea what he was talking about. She went on to explain that it would impossible for any cell phone provider to offer such a deal. Ever.
Lesson of the day: No is never an acceptable answer when delivered by a customer service representative when they:
a) are brand new to a job
b) have no idea what they’re doing
c) don’t care
d) are complete idiots
10 Blond:ish Tips and Tricks of the Trade
- When you first dial the customer service number and its an automated service, just blurt out ‘AGENT’ and/or press 0 simultaneously and repeatedly like a crazy person till you get through to a human.
- Always call back if you get NO for an answer.
- If it’s too good to be true, they’re most likely misinforming you so best to secure payment right away and ask for an invoice/contract or double check with their supervisor.
- Always ask them if they can call you back in case you get disconnected and you have to go through all the same shenanigans again.
- Book flights online, computers generally don’t lie. Be aware that prices change all the time and really often, so book in advance not at the last minute.
- In Europe, use Skyscanner.net, in North America use Kayak.com and when booking multi-city itineraries try grouping them in different ways and grouping them by alliance (star alliance vs oneworld vs skyteam, etc) because the flights will most likely come out a lot cheaper.
- Don’t waste your time by yelling at them or cursing, just hang up and call back.
- Also with multi-city itineraries, try booking your outbound and return flights separately from your internal flights, that could also result in significant savings.
- If you’re still dissatisfied with the service, ask to speak to their supervisor.
- Finally, do your research beforehand so that you are adequately prepared for the call and most importantly be prepared to deal with idiots!