Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Expedia dot fail

8:00 is my happy time. No singing birds (as they've gotten that out of their system by 5something). No "aroooorooooroooo" of Noel the dog (usually). Usually I'm watching reruns of Futurama. 'Cause there's nothing funnier than that. And I've seen every episode about 14 times so I don't feel bad if I fall asleep before reawaking [I know that's not a word] in a rush to get out the door if I need to.

8:01, however, is something completely different. It is the time when business are allowed to call their customers. So, when 8:01 rolled around this morning, I received a call from an "877" number and, of course, didn't answer. A few thoughts went through my head:
"Okay, I'm not behind on any of my bills."
"That certainly isn't the phone number for any place that I've applied to recently and if it is, they wouldn't be calling this early about my resume."
"Man, this is really a funny show."
So I let it go to voice mail. And that voice mail went a little something like this:

I know I can speak pretty quickly but this was like AmazingRoboSpeak. Since I have purchased a grand total of one thing in my life through Expedia which is my ticket to and from New Zealand, I knew that this is exactly what it was about. So I went online to find Expedia's dedicated customer service line (it's 404-728-8787, by the way). And wouldn't you know it, it went into a queue. I defy you to find one person who enjoys queues. Well, maybe efficiency managers but they're only concerned with net promoter scores and not customer experience. I can say that with full confidence because I used to do HR at a call center and if you have ever had to wait for a CSR then you probably know what I'm talking about.

And so I waited. And waited. And waited.

A CSR finally got on the line. He informed me that because my layover on my return trip when I'm at LAX is now less than two hours BY ALL OF FIVE MINUTES, I would need to rebook because that's their policy. I am very serious. I told him that my dates are set, I'm traveling with a friend, that I bought my ticket almost 5 months ago and I'm not rebooking anything. Guess who went back on hold while the CSR went to get in touch with American Airlines who initiated the change?

That's right. This dude.

After wandering around the house shirtless and opening my fridge in the hopes that a leftover burrito would magically appear (it didn't) for a while, the CSR came back on the line and said that he was "having trouble getting in touch with his help desk to get the flight changed." I told him that "I don't want my flights changed at all and that I don't think that 5 minutes is going to make all that much of a difference. I don't screw around. I'm an expert traveler." For future reference, that joke will be met with silence by Expedia CSRs.

Back into the queue.

Ten minutes later, my CSR came back on the line: "Good news, Mr. Bohn! I've rebooked your flight... You'll be --"
"Wait a minute. I just said that I DON'T want my flight rebooked. I don't care about the two hour policy. Can't we just leave it as it is?"
"Well, Mr. Bohn, the policy is that we have to have two hours between flights when you're arriving from an international destination."
"Oh, so I can get my luggage and and go through customs and all that?" I asked.
"That's right, Mr. Bohn!" he replied.
"And do you really think that takes two hours? 'Cause I've done it in about 35 minutes everytime I've traveled."

This was met with about 30 seconds of silence.

Then... "Well, like I said, Mr. Bohn, the good news is that I was able to rebook your flight and we'll be sending you through Chicago on your way back to Nashville."
No mention of upgrading my seat. No mention of some sort of food or drink voucher. No 'thank you for being so accomodating'.
That's not customer service folks.

But the real crime with all of this, is that my flight for Chicago (which is where I'll be connecting once I leave L.A.) leaves with just too short of time to head into L.A. to finally try this In-N-Out Burger that everyone tells me that a cheeseburger connoisseur like myself should try. You wanna talk about all-time crimes? That's one of 'em. Like Crosby scoring the gold medal winning goal. Or like getting dumped by text message. Or like Friends being on the air for ten seasons.

Oh, well. I'm sure I can get me an eye opener beforehand. And, really, that's all I need. A microbrew.

My total phone call lasted over 45 minutes. That's two reruns of Futurama I could have been watching. This is in inauspicious start to my day already.

No comments:

Post a Comment

pull the mctrigger