Cape Of Good Hope They Get Fired

, , , , | Working | September 7, 2017

(I’m the customer. I am at home, calling a travel agency on the phone. The agent who takes my call sounds middle-aged, with a strong Southern drawl.)

Me: “I’d like to get an estimate on a round-trip ticket to Cape Town.”

Agent: “Cape Town? You mean Cape Cod. That’s in Massachusetts, honey.”

Me: “No. I do not mean Cape Cod. I mean Cape Town. That is in South Africa.”

Agent: “Cape Town?! Who in heck-fire would want to go there? Are you black?!”

Me: *speechless* “Uh…”

(I hang up on her, fume for ten minutes, then call back. This time, someone else answers. I explain that I called a few minutes ago about a flight to South Africa. The new agent on the phone interrupts.)

New Agent: “Yes, ma’am. You’re interested in Cape Town. We all heard what she said, and we are so sorry. She is now in the manager’s office, and I can promise you she will be let go today. I am so, so sorry.”

(She then gave me preliminary estimates, asked for my number, and spent a day researching cheaper go-arounds, such as flying through different connecting airports in Europe, Florida, and South America. I ended up getting a very good price.)

They Should Put In A Seat Warning To Not Sit Next To Them

, , | Right | August 31, 2017

(I am part of my travel agency’s back office team that processes customer requests for ticket changes and cancellations. Towards the end of the shift, we receive a very angrily-worded email demanding that we cancel a reservation made on our website.)

Me: “This is [My Name] from [Travel Agency]. I am calling regarding your request to cancel the tickets you booked with us last Friday.”

Customer: “Well, finally! You are thieves and scammers. You told me my card would not get charged! I was just checking availability on those flights, not booking them!”

Me: “Well, you have successfully completed the booking, which would require both putting in full credit card details AND checking the box that says that you have read the rules and you confirm the booking.”

Customer: “That is your representative’s fault! I was told that in order to see if there are seats available I had to put in full credit card details, but he said that if I didn’t want to actually book, I would just need to put in someone else’s card! I used my mother’s card! Why wasn’t the charge declined?!”

Me: “My apologies but that makes no sense. If you have put in full credit card details and the card owner’s ID number, why would the charge be declined? There was no inconsistency between payer details and card details. And why would anyone ever think that you need to put in full credit card details and ID number for ‘just checking’? You can see the search results without going through three additional screens to payment details.”

Customer: “I demand that you cancel the tickets RIGHT NOW and refund me in full TODAY or I will take it to the press! And just so you know, I am a lawyer!”

Me: “Well, as a lawyer, I am sure you are aware of the Consumer Protection Law under which…”

Customer: “Yes! Consumer Protection Law! It says I can cancel for free within 48 hours!”

Me: “…under which you will be charged a cancellation fee of 5% of the reservation’s total value so long as you cancel within 14 days from date of purchase.”

Customer: “But you can’t charge me cancellation fees! Your representative told me my card would not be charged!”

Me: “I can request the recording of that call if you insist, and we will call you back within 24 hours. Which phone number were you talking to that representative from?”

Customer: “Uh… You can’t charge me anyway. I am barred by court order from leaving the country!”

Me: “That has no bearing on your cancellation fees.”

Customer: “Did you hear me? Court order! It’s illegal for you to charge me fees!”

Me: “No, it’s not, but it just might make it illegal for you to purchase a ticket for yourself out of the country.”

Customer: “Okay, fine, I didn’t want to tell you because it’s personal but you’re forcing me. I have a medical reason. I’ll send you a letter from my doctor!”

Me: “I’m afraid consumer protection law fees are not waived for medical reasons. They are already a form of waiver as they are symbolic fees which, within the defined period of time, supersede the much higher fees of the products you purchase, like your non-refundable tickets.”

Customer: “I am serious. I have a valid medical reason! I had breast enlargement surgery!”

Me: “How is that relevant?”

Customer: “I can’t get the sutures wet! I can’t go into the sea! What would I fly to Cyprus for if I can’t go to the beach?!”

We Know Where You Can Stick That Bucket

, , | Right | August 14, 2017

(I work as a travel agent and on Saturdays I work alone. I have just come back from the restroom and reopened the store when the phone rings.)

Me: “[Travel Agency]. [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Finally! I was wondering if you guys were open at all! I have called ten times already!”

(I can see on my screen he has only called twice before.)

Me: “Sorry, sir. I am alone and had to step out to the restroom for five minutes.”

Customer: “Don’t you have a bucket you guys can use to be close to the phone? Rather inconvenient for the customer to be kept waiting.”

Me: “Unfortunately, not all of us are barbarians that relieve themselves in buckets. Now, how can I help you?”

Customer: *hangs up*

Their Geographical Knowledge Is Dull-es

| Italy | Right | July 21, 2017

(All of this happens in an Italian travel agency.)

Customer: “Good morning, I want a plane ticket to the Dallas Airport in Washington.”

Me: “I’m sorry, there’s no Dallas airport in the state of Washington. Do you want to go to the State of Washington, or to Washington D.C. in Virginia?”

Customer: “I want to go to the city of Washington in the state of Washington, and the airport is called Dallas. I’ve been there before, I know.”

(After a few minutes trying to explain that the city of Washington D.C. is different from the state of Washington…)

Me: “Ma’am, maybe you want to go to the Dulles airport, Washington D.C.?”

Customer: “Dallas, as I said. City of Washington, state of Washington.”

Me: “Ma’am, the city of… never mind. Here’s your ticket. Have a nice journey.”

(I still wonder how she came back from Washington the first time, asking for an airport in Milan, state of Milan.)

Timely Flights Of Fancy

| London, England, UK | Right | April 24, 2017

(I’m on the phone with a customer inquiring about flights to a certain destination. Airline #1 has multiple flights per day, while Airline #2 flies once per day.)

Me: “So the cheapest flight for [Airline #1] flying to [Destination] is £[Total], and the cheapest flight for [Airline #2] is £[Total].”

Customer: “Why does [Airline #2] only fly to [Destination] once per day?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “I don’t like the times for [Airline #2]. Can’t I fly at a different time?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I have no control over how often airline companies schedule their flights. If you want to arrive by a certain time, [Airline #1] would be the better option.”

Customer: “I still don’t get it. Why doesn’t [Airline #2] fly to [Destination] more often? Their counter at the airport is much bigger than [Airline #1]!”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Hello?”

Me: *trying to keep a straight face while talking* “No, ma’am, the size of the check-in counter has no relation to how many flights an airline has.”