Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Don't Laugh. Examples of (horror stories) ... Where buying travel ONLINE got these folks ! (Also consumer disasters on my last Alaska cruise). The rules they didn’t know … Got ‘em in the $$ pocket book !

As many of you know, I’m in business with several associates.  Unlike the consumer, who is NOT in this business on a daily basis, we get to hear the many ‘online’ buying disasters, day in AND day out !  And the ... I listened to a 'friend', who said, 'buy online' (coming soon ... Folks will be able to suit their friends for wrongful advice) !

*Some folks call us, only to buy from us, cause they ran into a glitch when buying online.  And think … They ONLY need an agent FBO fixing a glitch ! Or help with a special need.
*Others call after they are in a bind.  Oh is this costly !

The online provider.
I heard woman on my Alaska cruise say, “And wait till I call and chew them out”.
And I thought ... How is that going to help your current HORROR issue now ??

WHY ?? WHY do consumers buy online ?  Consumers are NOT in this business !  How can they expect themselves to be an expert & know all you need to know, in 5 minutes ?  In 5 hours of research ?  When we’ve been here helping many folks for years !

The average consumer calls me or my staff, 3-4 times before they sail, with needed answers AND PERSONAL ISSUES ! Even with the many pages and pages of insight we email them !
You cannot just ‘make stuff up’ … There’s are MANY laws & rules !

An associate got a call today … Woman ONLY calls to buy over phone because she wants to be sure there will be 2 KING beds in their inside cabin, cause she will be bringing 6 people. 
WOW, what a shock that would have been, when 2 couldn’t board !!

Another associate today … Woman will be DRIVING to Hawaii from US !  Can you help me – Need directions.
WOW, want to know that highway myself !

Another associate got a call today … Honeymooner bought All-Inclusive package to Cancun, for August 28 (THIS YEAR), not knowing passport needed.
WOW, they may not be flying anywhere or pay fees to overnight !

Associate got call … I’ve shopped Orbitz, Hotwire, Priceline, & others, and prices all the same, WHY ?
Ummm … Cause they ALL buy their cruises from one source … US !

Associate got call … Consumer calling all agents.  I don’t want to pay that price.  Will you take this ?
Guess they don’t know rates aren’t negotiable !

Associate got call … Need to cancel cruise, yet didn’t buy Cancellation Insurance.  Said, but I was going if I had not gotten sick, so it’s not my fault.
That’s WHY there’s Trip Cancellation Insurance !

Associate got call … I didn’t go on cruise, but cruise line won’t give me my money back.  Why didn’t you go ? I just changed my mind.  Did you call anyone to know the rules ?  NO.
Oopps ! 

Associate got call … Woman pregnant and no one knew.
She may get denied boarding !

Associate got call … Bought cruise to take my grandchildren.  Thought my daughter had sole custody, but she doesn’t.  Now father won’t sign and we leave in 2 days.
Most likely denied boarding !

Associate got call … Final payment due today.  Client claims they get paid again in 2 more weeks.
Oopps, not financially planned out.  Cruise will auto cancel & no money returned !

I get a call today … Honeymoon (this) September.  Caller heard, wait till 2 weeks prior for best deal.  Told me, rates have gone UP in last 2 weeks.  I said, last minute rates seem to already be on the rise !  He said, if rate not what he wants, NOT GOING !
Hmmm, was that ‘miss-out-on-honeymoon-cruise’ a threat for me ?

Call yesterday … I want cruise from Norfolk to Hawaii, stay in Hawaii 2 weeks, and cruise back.

While back … Woman called to tell me, she was going to disembark ship in Nassau & fly home early.
Lady, did you read the cruise contract & the penalties she’ll have to pay if doing so ?

While back … Known person told me they were going to drive to ship & buy cruise at pier.  I get call for help – Now double the price !
I tried to tell them !

While back … Woman calls after cruise & upset cause the ship took her suitcase of liquor from her, when boarding.
Really ?? !

While back … Woman booked cruise with upcoming marriage last name.  They decided not to get married.  Latter called to also say, she booked 1st name, with what she wished folks would call her.
You not getting on nor refunded !  Full name change.

Last week on my Alaska cruise … I have NEVER heard as many disasters on one cruise, than this one !  AND YES … THEY ALL BOUGHT ONLINE !  Thought …
*Transfers from airport to hotel and hotel to ship, in Vancouver, were automatically included, when buying hotel on your own.  WOW !
*They could just catch a cab, outside the ship, from Seward to Anchorage !  WOW !
*They could make a 11am flight from Anchorage (early train doesn’t even arrive till 11am).  WOW !
*The cruise was round trip Vancouver, instead of Vancouver to Seward.  Their post hotel & return air was from Vancouver.  WOW ! (This was the one I mentioned above).
*They bought a 14 night that would return them back to Vancouver, but only bought a 7 night. Their return airfare was from Vancouver.   WOW !
*An outside Tour Vendor would wait for them (or auto be refunded), if ship pulled into port late.  WOW !
*They would auto receive refund on a shore excursion, cause they weren’t feeling well that day & didn’t go !  WOW !
*Since not driving while on cruise, why bring your driver’s license.   Left passport on ship when they got off.  WOW !
*They were getting drink package, $200 shore excursion credit, and onboard credit.  They got NOTHING !  WOW !
*Their 7 night cruise included Denali.  WOW !
*Their hotel in Anchorage, not knowing it was 20 miles away, would included free transfers or only a $10 cabin fare.  WOW !

Never occurs to consumers …
*Online is online !
*No Answers !
*No Pre-warnings !
*No Insight ! 
*No expertise !

There’s no one to blame, but … YOU chose to buy online !  Listen to others, rather than turn to an expert !

Buying online is for the person who will be …
*Reading all the contracts (word for word)
*Reading all the available insight online !
*Calls no one, especially NOT an agent they didn’t buy from, for ANY info !
*And likes the challenge of the unknown & can get themselves out of a box !

ME – I’ve been on 140 cruises.  Yes, I take some challenges.  And yes, it’s been known to put me in a box. 
But I don’t take my customers there !