So, to preface this, I work in the travel industry in the consumer outreach inbound sales department, but we are also trained to service reservations as well. We also allow travel agents to make reservations through out travel agent department, which can make things a little tricky.
When a direct guest books through a travel agent and has to make changes, such as date of the reservation, information corrections, cancellations etc, they have to go through their travel agent. The way a lot of travel agents make the reservations is that they have the billing information sent to their office/email, then forward it to the guest, and the one main thing that differs is that a travel agent is allowed to automatically charge the customers credit card for final payment. HOWEVER, that is not actually a service we offer, so the TA has to call into our travel agent department and provide the payment method so to the guest it looks like an automatic payment. If the reservation is not paid in full by a certain time, it is within our right to automatically cancel it.
TL;DR: get blamed for someone else’s mistake, and am shouted at for about 20 minutes
And now we get into the story: Me = Me AH= Ass Hat
The call starts off as a warm transfer, on the other line is an agent with the travel agent department saying that he has a direct guest looking for a spring break reservation. This was in January, which for us is VERY last minute, but we did have some things that still had openings depending on what he was looking for, so I take the call.
Me: Thank you for calling company during our current promotion, my name is ME, who do I have the pleasure of speaking with today?
AH: My name is Ass hat, I’m looking for This Thing on This Date.
I look up what he’s looking for and find that is completely booked full, and after a preliminary search, I don’t have any information on the guest in the system yet, meaning they’ve never been with us before.
Me: I’m sorry AH, it looks like we’re completely booked on that date, we could see what we have the following week if you’re flexible.
AH: LISTEN, I WAS ALREADY BOOKED ON THIS DATE AND YOU CANCELLED IT WITHOUT MY PERMISSION!!!
He was so livid, I was taken aback by the sudden change in tone
Me: I am so so sorry to hear that, do you have your reservation number so I can figure out what’s going on?
AH: I NEVER GOT A FUCKING NUMBER AND I’VE BEEN ON THE PHONE FOR OVER TWO HOURS TRYING TO GET THIS SHIT TAKEN CARE OF!
At this point, I set me resolve. I’ll let the anger slide for a little bit, but I hit the call record button just in case. Because I knew where this was going.
Me: That’s so strange, you should have gotten a reservation number with your invoice, what was the email you used for the reservation?
Looked up email, had nothing in the system, verified spelling and tried again with the same results.
Me: By chance, did you make your reservation with a travel agent?
AH: I DID AND IT WAS THE WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE, MY WHOLE FAMILY IS GOING TO BE THERE FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY AND YOU CANCELLED MY RESERVATION FOR NO FUCKING REASON. YOU TOOK MY MONEY, I HAVE THE BANK STATEMENTS TO PROVE IT! IT HAS COMPANIES NAME ALL OVER IT!!!
Me: Sir, I am so sorry, that’s terrible! let me locate your reservation and see what we can do.
I tried everything I could think of to find his reservation, but I could not find it anywhere. His name wasn’t in the system, his phone number wasn’t, his email wasn’t, his girlfriend (who he was traveling with) was, but it didn’t have this reservation under her profile since (assuming) the TA didn’t use her loyalty number. Now, a new person wont actually get a profile until after their first stay, even if they have a reservation, unless they manually create on online. Which means that there IS a reservation for him floating SOMEWHERE in the system, but I, for the life of me, couldn’t figure out how to find it.
Me: Sorry for the hold, it seems that I cannot find your cancelled reservation through the usual means, If you don’t mind… *get’s cut off*
AH: OF COURSE I HAVE A RESERVATION! YOU TOOK MY MONEY AND NOW YOU’RE SAYING THAT MY ROOM DOESN’T EXIST!? YOU ARE BENDING ME OVER THE TABLE AND TAKING ME FROM BEHIND! DRY!!!
Me: (having had enough of his shouting) Sir, I understand that you’re upset, and I am sorry that things have gotten so messed up, but if you continue to speak like that, I will have to disconnect the call
AH: What do you mean? I didn’t curse or use vulgar language (he says coyly)
Me: Sir, we’re both adults here, and we both know what you said, now if you don’t mind waiting on hold for a couple more minutes, I’m going to try something to find your reservation, but I have to reach out to another department
AH: FINE (back to shouting) AND YOU BETTER FUCKING FIND IT AND YOU BETTER FUCKING FIX IT
Me: I will be back in just a few moments, thank you for you patience.
I put Ass Hat in time out. I didn’t actually need to reach out over the phone, just had ask my floor manager about what tool we use to find a cancelled booking venue, date, and by guest name instead of reservation number. It was a tool I knew existed, but being 99% sales, had never actually had to use before. And boy oh boy…
I found it. It was indeed a travel agent booking, and he did indeed give us money. He gave his travel agent the deposit in September, but the travel agent never sent us the final payment which was due in early December. And considering it was now mid January, it had been cancelled due to non payment, which meant we held his whole deposit in penalty. And there were no rooms left on this date (it being spring break and all…) The Travel agent also set up the reservation info to be sent to them, but from the sounds of it, never forwarded a guest copy to Ass Hat.
Now, I did feel for the guy. Having family all come together for one large vacation from all across the country, it’s not easy to get set up sometimes. And to have it all ruined for him because of a bad travel agent mistake. There was nothing I could do about the room, but I was willing to try and reach out to see if I could at least get his deposit refunded. But as I went to get back to him, the line was disconnected. He was on hold for just over 3 minutes. I promptly sent the recording in to calibration, and went on my well deserved break, and he never got his refund.
Edit: I’m going to bed, so IF i get any comments, I will respond tomorrow between calls 🙂