Customer didn’t understand the difference between paying a credit card and paying a vacation package

So this story happened a long while ago and it’s actually something that happened to someone else who worked with me, but for simplicity’s sake, I’ll tell the story in first person.

Backstory: the vacation company sells vacation packages as a kind of pre-paid vacation where you can buy from an array of different vacation package options and choose your preferred pick from the options. You could buy the entire package upfront paid in full or you could make monthly payments, but the package itself must be paid in full before they arrive to check-in to the hotel.


Me: thank you for calling vacation company, how may I help you.

Customer: yes I’d like to make reservations for next month, we’d like to book our vacation now

(Side note: it was for one of those weeklong vacations, the type where they get additional gifts if they go on a timeshare presentation)

Me: ok sure no problem. However, It looks here like the vacation package is only 50% paid. Would you like to payoff the remaining balance and book the reservation now?

Customer: oh no, there must be some kind of mistake, I already paid off the remaining balance…

Me: proceeds to read the transaction history of payments to customer

SIDE NOTE: there was only one single payment for half the package amount in the account history. There was a promotion when the customer purchased the vacation package that if they got approved for a vacation points credit card, and used the credit card to pay for the vacation package, they would be receiving additional points for simply using the credit card to buy the package…. Which is exactly what this customer did, except for whatever reason she figured she’d only want to use the credit card to pay half and she would pay the other half “later”…. Anyways, back to the story.

Customer: yeah I remember making that half payment, but the other half should be paid off by now.

Me: I’m sorry to say that there is only the one half payment recorded in the system.


Me: have you been making monthly payments?

Customer: yes, I have been making significant payments for the last 4 months, this should be completely paid off.

NOTE: it dawns on me that she’s probably making credit card payments and she’s thinking those payments are paying off her account balance (her vacation package balance, not her credit card balance, which are two different things).

Me: have you been making monthly payments to your credit card instead of making those payments to us for your remaining balance due?


Me: ma’am, do you have the last bill invoice that you paid?

Customer: yes I do, and on this last bill I made sure to payoff the remaining balance so my vacation package should be completely paid in full at this point.

Me: who sent you that bill

Customer: well you guys did, what kind of dumb question is that…

Me: we didn’t actually send you that bill, will you please read to me the name of the company that sent you that bill?

Customer: it says so right here, this bill was sent from (reads credit card company name), and I paid it.

Me: ma’am, we are not (credit card company name), we are (vacation ownership corporation)… These are two totally different companies

Customer: what do you mean?

Me: well one is a credit card company and the other is a vacation ownership corporation that sells vacation packages

Customer: but I paid the first half when I first signed off and I finally just finished paying the second half off just recently, I should have been paid in full by now.

Me: when you make monthly payments, you weren’t paying us those monthly payments, you’ve been paying your credit card those monthly payments…, So we never received more than half the amount due on the vacation package.

Customer: wait, so I’ve been paying a credit card the entire time?

Me: yeah it appears like you’ve finally paid off the credit card which was used to make the initial payment for half the package price. Would you like to pay the 2nd half of the package price now and book those reservation dates now?

Customer: disgruntled, yes, ok, I guess so…

Me: OK, which payment method would you prefer?

Customer: just put it on this damn credit card, sigh…

Me: OK, sure thing!

The end, LOL

What do you think?

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She couldn’t understand why her CC wasn’t activated.