Customer Service Revisited

Now that it has been resolved, let me tell you about my latest skirmish in the world of customer service.

On April 25, I booked three tickets via Travelocity to Indianapolis for my nephew’s bar mitzvah.

On September 5 I called to notify Travelocity that I needed to cancel Robbie’s ticket. I was informed a copy of the death certificate needed to be faxed in. When I followed up, I was informed it had not been received, could I attach a scan of the document. I sent the scan to customer service department, at their repeated request, on September 10, September 12, September 13 and again on the 15th.

On October 9, I spoke with a customer service agent to confirm everything was resolved. The agent said the ticket had definitely been canceled and I’d receive written confirmation within 24 hours.

On November 18, I spoke with a different customer service agent and his supervisor. They had no record of the incident being resolved and in fact, when speaking with an agent at United, the airline had no records.

I wrote a letter the next day to the president of Travelocity and days later, on the 25th, Betty Mangum, Executive Resolution Coordinator, was on the case. I had a letter from her to United Airlines asking them to resolve the matter on their end.

The ever useful Mohammed Khan at United’s web refunds e-mailed me on December 1 and asked for the electronic ticket number, already included on Betty’s letter. He also wanted more details such as our purchase date, departure dates, and other stuff.

This morning, I woke up to an e-mail from Betty stating:

Thank you for taking the time to advise us of the situation you encountered with the airline reservation. Our priority is to offer complete and accurate information as well as superior customer service at all times. Travelocity would like to offer our condolences on your recent loss. We apologize for the delay in responding to your issue.

After a review of your file, Travelocity has contacted United Airlines on your behalf to request a refund of Robert Greenberger Jr.’s ticket. United Airlines has granted a full refund and has processed a credit in the amount of $290.00 to the credit card used for the original purchase.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please be assured that you are a valued customer and we look forward to your continued patronage. Should you require additional information, or if we may be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Case closed, but did it have to take three months?

6 comments

  • Beth Goodwin

    Very unfortunate that you had to go through that! It doesn’t exactly make me want to go roaming with the gnome!

  • Makes you wonder if they’d have handled things any different if their priority was “fair-to-middling customer service”…

  • Susan O

    I’m not that old, still a child of the computer age, but it sure seems to me that things were a lot less messy before we relied so heavily on computers – how many fewer misunderstandings and snafus occur when you actually get to speak to a person in real time, and documents come across as a piece of tangible paper with meaning, not words on a screen. We’re losing our humanity.

  • When Mom died, we had to provide a copy of her death certificate to cancel her cell phone service. Fortunately, that went smoothly. But it did make me wonder if there’s actually a rash of people trying to cancel their service and get out of their contracts early by claiming to be dead.

    And, in a story similar to yours, I had to speak to TIAA-CREF three times to get them to change an address for where they were sending a disbursement check. The annoying part was that each time I called, they would tell me that the previous person I had spoken to had given me incorrect directions on how to change the address, so they kept not doing it even though I was following their own steps.

  • bob a

    My God, Bobby. Nothing like rubbing salt into that third-degree burn in your soul. It’s not enough that you’ve already suffered….
    I think it’s all about fear. People in these cust serv positions are to0 damned afraid of taking a stand- making the hard decision without something written down for them telling ’em what to do. Make the call, and stand behind it. I’d rather you be wrong, but resolute in your decision. If you’re called out on it later than at least you had the courage to help someone.

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