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H2-Slow, Part 24

, , , | Right | April 27, 2022

I work at a cruise ship company.

Client: “Do you have any rooms with underwater balconies available?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Client: “You must be new… Can I speak to someone that knows what they are talking about?”

Related:
H2-Slow, Part 23
H2-Slow, Part 22
H2-Slow, Part 21
H2-Slow, Part 20
H2-Slow, Part 19

Time To Share!

, , , , , | Related | March 30, 2022

When my husband and I got married, we asked a few close friends and immediate family members to stand with us at the courthouse. The week after our wedding, my brother-in-law came over with his wife. 

Brother-In-Law: “We didn’t have time to give you your gift last week.”

Husband: “Oh, it’s okay. We don’t need anything.”

Brother-In-Law: “No, you do! You didn’t have a real wedding. You should have a real honeymoon.”

He handed over a brochure with two tickets for a week-long cruise. We were floored. These two are super cheap despite being successful and wealthy.

Me: “This is so nice!”

Sister-In-Law: “You’re going to the Bahamas! It’s in three weeks. I hope you can take off?”

Husband: “I think that’s enough time.”

Me: “Thank you!”

We took off work and went to port, excited to go on our vacation. Imagine our surprise when my brother- and sister-in-law were also there.

Brother-In-Law: “Hi! Ready to go?”

Husband: “Yeah.” *Pauses* “Are you here to see us off, or—”

Sister-In-Law: “No, no. We’re going, too!”

We boarded and learned we were in an interior room with no view. No big deal; it was a free cruise. My in-laws were in the next room. Once we were all situated, we headed out to the buffet. While we were walking around, I saw several signs about a seminar the next day while we were on the water. 

Husband: “So… how did you get this cruise?”

Brother-In-Law: “We won four tickets in a raffle.”

Husband: “Oh. Okay. So… okay.”

Me: “A raffle?”

Brother-In-Law: “Yeah, this company, [Time Share Group], was holding a raffle, and we won four tickets!”

Me: *Putting it together* “So, this is a timeshare thing?”

Brother-In-Law: “Yeah, but it’s easy. You just need to listen to some speech—” *the seminar I’d seen signs for* “—and you get the whole trip for free!

Me: “And if we don’t want to sit through it?”

Brother-In-Law: “It’s [amount] for the room.”

Husband: “You gave us tickets to a timeshare scheme as a wedding gift.”

Sister-In-Law: “No, we gave you a free cruise!”

Me: “Uh-huh…”

Sister-In-Law: “You don’t understand. It’s not a scheme.”

Me: “Okay, then.”

Brother-In-Law: “Wow. You are ungrateful.”

My husband and I attended the presentation and took full advantage of the open bar and buffet afterward, despite not being interested in any timeshare properties.

My in-laws told us they were sick at the time of the presentation, so they didn’t even go. They tried to argue with the presenting team that they could not attend, but they were billed for their room anyway. Then, they tried to convince us to cover half of their cost since we wouldn’t have been there at all if not for their generous gift. We declined.

A few years later, my husband and I finally had enough time and money to go on a proper honeymoon by ourselves.

We’re Not Holding Our Breath

, , , , , , | Working | March 15, 2022

I booked a cruise for my brother, his fiancée, and myself in the summer of 2019. It was supposed to sail in May of 2020. Of course, this cruise was canceled due to the health crisis. The cruise line refunded our excursions and drink packages, and they also issued us a credit for a future cruise worth more than what was paid for the initial one. We booked a new cruise for June 2021. It was canceled this past April.

At this point, things were starting to open up again. The three of us decided to do something else, and we wanted a refund so we’d have money for a new trip. I’ve now had several conversations with the cruise line.

Phone call #1, in April:

Me: “I booked a cruise for June 2021 using a credit, and I just received notice that it has been canceled. Do I have to accept the credit back, or can I get a refund of the amount paid for the original cruise?”

Representative #1: “We can refund you the amount you paid for the first cruise! Just give me your reservation number and the money will be back in your account in thirty to forty-five days.”

Phone calls #2, #3, and #4, in May, July, and October, respectively:

Me: “Hello. I am checking on the status of a refund for a canceled cruise. The reservation number is [number].”

Representatives #2-4: “Yes, I see you booked using a credit. You are not eligible for a refund and your credit should have been reissued to you.”

Me: “That’s not what I was told initially. I was told I could get a refund for the cost of [Ship #1] even though I used a credit to book [Ship #2].”

Representatives #2-4: “Oh, I see that your account is flagged for a refund. I’ll have to open a case with the resolutions depart to get this refund processed. The money will be back in your account in thirty to forty-five days.”

Phone call #5, in December:

Me: “Hello. I am calling about a refund for a cruise that was canceled in April. It’s been over seven months, and I’ve called now five times. Can you please check the status?”

Representative #5: “Yes, I see you have called many times, but as we are dealing with the effects of [health crisis], refunds are taking a long time.”

Me: “I was told forty-five days. It’s been seven months.”

Representative #5: “Yes, well, it’s taking a long time.”

Me: “Am I going to get a refund?”

Representative #5: “Oh! I see you already got a refund! It was processed in May for $400.”

Me: “That was the port fees and excursions on [Ship #2] that I paid extra for. I am waiting for a refund for [Ship #1] that should be around $3,000.”

Representative #5: “Oh, you had two cruises booked? The only one is linked here for [Ship #2]. Let me see… Yes, it looks like whoever you spoke to in April only linked a refund to the second cruise but forgot to link it to the first cruise. It looks like there’s a little over $2,800 on this cruise that has not been refunded.”

Me: “Yes! That’s what I’m waiting for!”

Representative #5: “Okay. I’ll submit a case for the resolutions department. The money should be in your account in thirty to forty-five days.”

Me: “And that is the fifth time I’ve been told that! Can I just speak to the resolutions department myself?”

Representative #5: *Suddenly frustrated* “Fine, I guess, if you really need to, but they’ll just tell you the same thing.”

Resolutions: “I’m sorry. The thirty to forty-five days was our policy when we initially started canceling cruises because we had thousands of refunds to process. They aren’t taking nearly as long to refund now because we don’t have many cancelations anymore. I don’t know why customer service told you that this time. It should only be one or two weeks maximum now. I am so very sorry that a mistake was made in the first place, and I hope it didn’t completely ruin your summer vacation. Thank you for being loyal to [Cruise Company]. I hope you will travel with us again soon.”

It’s been four days so far, so we’ll see if I actually get a refund this time around.

We Should Just Send All The Stupid People To An Island. Wait…

, , , , | Right | March 10, 2022

I work on a cruise ship, and it has a private island. I’m a lead ship-wide entertainment tech, so I run the team of techs that runs the shows that happen in venues around the ship.

One of our stops on the island was unfortunately a cold day. My team was actually asked this question three different times.

Guests: “Could you turn up the heat on the island?”

You know, the island which is controlled by Mother Nature. I did give my team credit for not saying the answer that was actually in their head.

Some guests aren’t the brightest. I’ve been asked if I sleep on the ship or if I go home at night.

No One Wants To Be Trapped On A Boat With You, Anyway

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Sivartius | February 4, 2022

I work for a customer service center, and I take calls for cruise and travel insurance. The company I work for is in no way affiliated with any cruise line; we just contract labor with the insurance company and have no control over the insurance policy or the decision of the claim

It’s been a rough day, as I listen and sympathize with people’s tragedies that are causing them to have to cancel their cruises. Then, just a couple of minutes before my lunch, I get this customer.

I give my greeting in an upbeat and cheerful manner, because I’m good at my job, and part of my job is to be friendly to people even if I’m feeling lousy. I get the info to pull up the customer’s account.

Customer: “Yeah. Finally. I had to cancel my cruise, so I need to get a refund.”

Me: “I’m very sorry to hear that you had to cancel your cruise, but I would be happy to help you. What was the reason that you had to cancel?”

Customer: “The state cancelled my unemployment, so I need to get the money back.”

I should mention that the insurance policies that the people sign say that they can get a full cash refund if they have to cancel for one of the reasons listed in the policy, or if they don’t qualify or don’t want to provide documentation, as long as they paid for the plan in time, they can get a Cancel For Any Reason Cruise Credit equal to 75% of what they paid for the cruise, not including what was paid for the insurance. The most common reason is for a medical emergency, and there are things like terrorist attacks and such. Needless to say, just wanting your money back doesn’t qualify for a cash refund.

I’m thinking I must have misheard her or something, I pause for a second to gather my wits.

Me: “What did you say was the reason you had to cancel?”

Customer: *Sigh* “I paid for this cruise with the money I got from unemployment, but I just got a letter from them saying I won’t be getting any more unemployment money after the end of this month, so I need that money back to pay bills.”

Me: *Baffled* “Ma’am, I do apologize for the inconvenience. The policy that you purchased has two sections. The first one is the Trip Cancellation benefit, which offers a full cash refund in the event—”

Customer: “Yes! That’s the one I need!”

Me: “The first one is the Trip Cancellation benefit, which offers a full cash refund in the event that you have to cancel your trip after you pay for the insurance—”

Customer: “Yes. I told you that is what I need. How soon do I get my money?”

Me: “The first one is the Trip Cancellation benefit, which offers a full cash refund in the event that you have to cancel your trip after you pay for the insurance for one of the reasons listed in the policy. Unfortunately, having your unemployment insurance run out is not one of the reasons listed in—”

Customer:What?! I was told that I could cancel for any reason and get my money back!”

Me: “There is a Cancel For Any Reason Cruise Credit equal to 75% of— ”

Customer:No! I need it all back!

Me: “Ma’am, I do apologize for the inconvenience. Per the policy, the full cash refund, minus what was paid for the insurance, is only available if we can document that the reason you cancelled for is one of the eight specified reasons. Otherwise, there is the Cancel For Any Reason Cruise Credit.”

Customer: “A Cruise Credit?! I don’t need me no Cruise Credit! I need my money back.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry for the confusion, but the policy says that we only offer a cash refund if you have to cancel for one of the specified reasons. Those reasons are—”

Customer: “So, what are those so-called ‘reasons’?”

Me: “The first reason is for sickness, injury, or death, for yourself, a travelling companion, or members of either of your immediate families, that is diagnosed and—”

Customer: “So, what if I say I’m sick?”

Me: “I’m very sorry to hear that. As part of the claims process, we will need documentation of your sickness from your doctor so we—”

Customer:What?! Those are my private medical records. No way are you getting my private medical records. You have no right to see them.”

Me: “That is, of course, your choice, but the policy does say, ‘Diagnosed and treated by a licensed physician,’ so if we aren’t able to get the medical documentation, we would not be able to offer a cash refund. There is, however, the Cancel For—”

Customer: “Well, if I say that I’m sick, that’s all the ‘documentation’ you’ll receive or have any right to.”

Me: “Well, you’re welcome to submit a claim, but if we can’t receive the medical documentation, we will be unable to provide a cash refund.”

Customer: “But I need that money to pay rent and buy groceries for my kids. Are you saying you want my kids to be starving and homeless?”

Me: “I’m very sorry to hear that. Perhaps you can speak with the Unemployment Office to see what they need to—”

Customer: “I already tried that, and they said they wouldn’t. I need that money.”

Me: “Then perhaps you could see if there are any kind of state or local assistance programs? Or perhaps a local church or charity would be willing to help you?”

Customer: “So, what you’re saying is that you want my kids to be homeless and starving! I didn’t know they were gonna end my unemployment when I paid for this cruise. It’s not my fault!”

Me: “I’m very sorry to hear about your financial difficulties. Unfortunately, I can’t change the contract. Perhaps—”

Customer: “No one told me I had to give no reason to get my money back! I shouldn’t have to give no reason why to get my money back. That’s why you buy insurance.”

Me: “I am very sorry for the inconvenience. I am unable to alter the contract or change the reasons listed in—”

Customer: “And what are these ‘reasons’?”

I go through all the reasons listed in the policy, and, surprise, surprise, none of them apply to her. She gets even more upset, screaming even louder.

Customer: “I want to speak with a supervisor since you want my children to starve to death!”

Me: “I’d be happy to get a manager on the line as soon as possible, but they can’t change the policy, either.”

Customer: “Then connect me with someone who can!”

Me: “Any changes in the insurance contract would require the sign-off of the entire legal department, and even then, it would apply to new policies, not ones already signed.”

This is a guess on my part.

Customer: “Fine! Then let me talk to the CEO!”

She says that like I have the CEO on speed dial or something.

Me: “I can submit an escalation to our Executive Team.”

Customer: *Still screeching* “I don’t need no ‘Executive Team’! I didn’t ask you for no ‘Executive Team’. I told you to let me speak with the CEO!”

Me: “The Executive Team is the highest level I have access to, and even there I don’t get to talk to them, just submit escalation requests.”

Customer: “That’s not good enough! I want the CEO’s private cell phone number! I know you have it!”

I don’t.

She kept threatening to call the cruise line and tell them to fire me, but I kept trying to tell her that I don’t work for the cruise line. Eventually, she said she was “gonna sue yo a** and send you to prison,” and hung up.

Being the friendly and helpful person I am, I submitted the escalation, and I made sure to put in the exact details so that if she called in again, people would know what she was up to. And then, I went to lunch, secure in the knowledge that I was most likely never going to hear from her again.