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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DO NOT USE TRAVELOCITY!

BRYCE ON TRAVEL

- Of course, if you can live without refunds and don't mind talking to India...

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Not long ago I wrote about the perils of Travel Planning (July 14, 2013) where I described my displeasure with being forced to become a travel agent. I also described the problems with on-line discount travel agencies. Unfortunately, it took a turn for the worse recently.

A few months ago I booked a business trip to western New York through Tavelocity, complete with rental car and hotel room. When the trip fell through, I naturally contacted Travelocity to cancel my reservations. I had no problem cancelling the hotel and rental car via the Internet, but hit a brick wall when trying to cancel my airline reservation which, of course, was the most expensive part of the trip. I cannot remember the exact wording, but the web page indicated there was a problem with the cancellation. Naturally, I wanted to know why and called their toll free number. I was put on hold and waited my turn to talk to a customer service agent which I discovered was in India.

I do not have anything against the Indians offhand, but I experienced difficulty trying to understand the English dialect of "Apu", and I suspect he had trouble understanding me as I had to repeat myself several times. I even called back a second time as I was unsure whether the first Apu understood my problem. Unfortunately, Apu2 was even worse than Apu1. The best I could understand from their yammerings was they were unable to issue a credit to my credit card. Instead, I had a credit against my Travelocity account whereby I would have to book another flight through them within one year. If I didn't use it, I would lose the credit. I told Apu2 this was unacceptable and I would seek some other way to reclaim my money. Frankly, he was unapologetic, but I think he plain and simply didn't understand my displeasure (or anything else I was telling him).

Since I didn't receive satisfaction, I decided to write about it, so other consumers do not experience the same snafu I faced. It's bad enough you cannot get your money back from Travelocity following a cancellation, but to make the consumer talk to customer service representatives who do not have a command of the English language adds insult to injury.

This was a horrible experience for me. I feel truly scammed by the company. Perhaps my only way out is to convince others not to use Travelocity. I may never get my money back, but hopefully I can convince others not to use them as well. Hopefully this will have an adverse effect on the Indian gnomes they use.

One thing is for sure, it will be a cold day in Hell before I use Travelocity again, and I will certainly think twice about using any other similar on-line discount travel agency. They all lost a lot of credibility with me on this one.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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