Incompetence can lead to dire consequences.


I work in a call center for a major travel agency as a escalations supervisor.

One of my agents gets a call from a customer who immediately asked for the supervisor so I take over the call. The woman on the line is super nice and explains that her request is extremely important and wants to make sure that it gets done correctly.

She purchased tickets for her and her boyfriend to go on vacation but he turned out to be an abuser and kicked the crap out of her. She waited until it was safe to do so, packed a bag and was fleeing for her life.

She needed to cancel his ticket, and change her ticket to leave town ASAP but didn’t have much money. There was only one flight available that same day but it only had business class available, (too expensive)
I was able to change her ticket for the next morning leaving from an airport nearby but not the same airport she was originally booked to travel from and booked her a hotel room for the night.

I could tell how scared she was but she was super appreciative, super nice, and super patient as I worked.
AKA the best customer I could ask for. (If I’m talking to a customer they are usually screaming at me)

The final request was to make sure her ex couldn’t find out where she went. I explained that our company doesn’t have any built in safe guards for this kind of situation and because her ex is on the booking, technically he has access to the account. So I did some sneaky shit!

I got the ticket reissued in the GDS (the system travel agencies use to issue tickets on behalf of airlines) but I did not update the booking on our end so if the ex opened the account on our website, he would still see the “confirmed” booking for their scheduled vacation. I also notated the booking so that if any agent opened the account, the caller would need to provide a pass code.

She thanks me perfusely and we disconnect the call.

About a week later I get pulled into my director’s office and he is in the middle of a confrence call with the head of our legal department, the CEO, the entire executive board….. And police detectives.

It turns out, after I did everything I possibly could to protect this woman, her ex called in. An agent from our India based call center completely ignored all of my notes and just gave him all the information he needed to catch an earlier flight than her on a different airline, Meet her in the city she was flying to, and murder her.

Always remember, small, seemingly harmless acts of incompetence can literally mean life or death.

EDIT: our company now has a built in option for Customers to request a pass code to access an account. It’s not required but available upon request.

Edit #2: In the case of my company, All of our agents are trained extremely well and my colleagues across the pond are some of the most well meaning, professional, and generally good people I have ever worked with. You can train people until the cows come home but people cut corners for a miriad of reasons and I most certainly do not attribute any ill intent on the agent, just laziness or trying to rush through each customer.


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One missing leaf doesn’t make it defective

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