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Lettermanfan1  (Level: 88.3 - Posts: 486)
Tue, 8th Jan '08 8:53 PM


So I used 50,000 frequent flyer miles to go to CA (from FL)and fly back with my daughter in law and grandkids while my son is deployed. I got some guy who barely spoke English and it took about 45 minutes to accomplish this. I had to buy 1 one-way ticket which I was told was $145. Ok. So, I check my bank acct today and I was charged $277. When I called to ask "What the heck?" I was told that all these charges were explained to me when I made the reservations. They may have been....could barely understand the guy. When I said this, the "customer service" person told me that not everyone in the US speaks English. I said I realized that, but if they are helping someone who speaks English, they should be understandable. She said they needs jobs, too. She then hung up on me! Un-freakin-believable.
Thanks for listening.

1mks  (Level: 208.0 - Posts: 5864)
Tue, 8th Jan '08 9:09 PM

Which airline? That is awful! They really have you at their mercy. Sorry that happened! Jerks!

Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Tue, 8th Jan '08 9:20 PM

Sounds like the Tijuana Express to me. Were they serving Tacos? Took that airline once myself. Pilots name was "Squint" Hernandez. Didn't drink the water though.

Smaug  (Level: 140.7 - Posts: 2772)
Tue, 8th Jan '08 9:25 PM

Call them back, get a different customer service operator.

Nsinuosblufyxn  (Level: 106.3 - Posts: 274)
Tue, 8th Jan '08 9:45 PM

Now you have 2 complaints to make. Keep on, until it gets done. Take down names & possibly employee #'s when you first start the conversation. What was the airline? Everyone wants to be forewarned.


Tuzilla  (Level: 130.8 - Posts: 3769)
Tue, 8th Jan '08 9:56 PM

When you call to complain to customer service at any company, as soon as you beat your way through the defense system (phone tree), ask the person for their whole name, and employee number. That puts them on notice up front that they best be flying straight, because you can call back with on them if they don't do a good job.

Smaug  (Level: 140.7 - Posts: 2772)
Tue, 8th Jan '08 10:02 PM

I used to consult to Continental airlines. They had this thing called "Office of the President" which was just another customer service sweatshop.

-- Write a letter to the president of the airlines and copy in a few travel and leisure, stuff like that.

-- Most importantly -- KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. Have a want your 50k miles back. You want your $150 back. "this whole experience has been a nightmare" etc..

-- My trick is angry to the first person, (don't swear, that is a hangup) but get heated and sarcastic. Then ask for a supervisor. Often they will say they are the supervisor, or they'll put you on hold or whatever. But if/when you do get a senior much nicer. That is the person that can cash you in. Make him think the subordinate is a knucklehead and he, the supervisor, is the Problem Solver.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Tue, 8th Jan '08 10:14 PM

I used to work for a call-center for a bank, and none of those tactics worked in that setting. I would say no, a supervisor would say no, and if they kept on demanding to go to someone higher we just passed the phone around the room to each other, pretty much pretending to be supervisors and still saying no. Guess it depends on who you are dealing with!

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3645)
Tue, 8th Jan '08 10:18 PM

You jerks!

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Tue, 8th Jan '08 10:20 PM

Hey, if we didn't do that we'd lose our jobs!

Cjar855  (Level: 133.4 - Posts: 838)
Tue, 8th Jan '08 10:34 PM

I go with what Smaug says. You are a Frequent Flyer and should not have been treated that way by the first operator.Call back and ask for a supervisor. Let them know how dissatisfied you are.


Kaufman  (Level: 253.9 - Posts: 3936)
Tue, 8th Jan '08 10:53 PM

Alert the consumer reporters in your local media too. They can go to bat for you.

Smaug  (Level: 140.7 - Posts: 2772)
Tue, 8th Jan '08 11:15 PM

Banks are different...regulated...can't throw financial goodies around.

Airlines...frequent flyer mileage and money.

Lettermanfan1  (Level: 88.3 - Posts: 486)
Tue, 8th Jan '08 11:41 PM

I did write an email and got back a standard kissass reply. I will take Smaug's advice and write everybody. I did get some names. It was Delta Airlines, by the way.

Chickfbref1  (Level: 120.7 - Posts: 2012)
Tue, 8th Jan '08 11:53 PM

Just a thought for next time, I always use my credit card, that way you can challenge the charges is it's not what you were told, they'll wipe them out and the airline (or whatever company you have an issue with), trust me will contact YOU.


Smaug  (Level: 140.7 - Posts: 2772)
Wed, 9th Jan '08 12:01 AM

Don't threaten to blow up a plane, Smaug said from world-weary experience...

Kaelin  (Level: 49.2 - Posts: 1685)
Wed, 9th Jan '08 12:06 AM

This sounds like a converasation I had with someone the other day - about how if I visit a non-English speaking foreign country I damn well better know the language because they aren't going to cater to me...but then I guess that's probably a political hot button so I'll keep my finger off it.

I do know that I had these issues in dealing with Office Depot - all call centers seem to be in India - spoke English well enough, but was like talking to the guy from Short Circuit - and I just about short circuited...

sigh -

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Wed, 9th Jan '08 7:21 AM

Was rear-ended at a red light last week. The person on the phone from the insurance company of the lady who hit me also could hardly speak English - I had to ask him to repeat every single question. Exasperating. (Oh - and get this - I'm on the other side of town from my school, but I was hit by the mom of two of my former students - I CAN'T GET AWAY FROM THEM!!!!!!!)

Lettermanfan1  (Level: 88.3 - Posts: 486)
Wed, 9th Jan '08 7:50 AM

Chick, I thought of doing that (used a Visa check card) but then I was afraid they would cancel my tickets. Can't afford that!

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3645)
Wed, 9th Jan '08 8:44 AM

I've been pretty lucky using my frequent flier miles but mine are on Alaska Airlines. The only problem I have is talking to the Eskimos.

I did have the problem Jeremy described with JC Penney. As a result, I closed my account with JC Penney. I wrote them a scathing letter but apparently nobody cared.

There is an online newsletter to which I subscribe called the Frequent Flier Crier. It has tips, shows the best & worst airlines for using miles, lists others' experiences and how problems were best handled, etc.

Good luck.


Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Wed, 9th Jan '08 8:54 AM

I had the same problem at my local Verizon store. Couldn't understand much of what was going on. I also felt that two side-by-side clerks speaking Spanish to each other while waiting on two non-Spanish speaking customers was rude. When in Rome..............

Heidi  (Level: 36.2 - Posts: 694)
Wed, 9th Jan '08 9:12 AM

Don't believe I hold any particular prejudice against any particular group of people. However, it is getting really bad in Florida to not only communicate with people on the phone but in person in stores. I live in Central Fl. -would not even attempt to navigate Miami any more!!! Folks had better not even consider applying for a job here in most places unless they speak both Spanish and English-thankfully I'm retired so can continue being the "Ugly American" at least in my own country. Linda

Kaufman  (Level: 253.9 - Posts: 3936)
Wed, 9th Jan '08 10:18 AM

So Smaug, tell us, how long did it take the blisters on your lips to heal?

Texlewee  (Level: 34.1 - Posts: 601)
Wed, 9th Jan '08 10:32 AM

I am a FF with Continental, and when they occasionally piss me off, I call the FF service center and raise a little hell.

Typically the FF service center folks are told to be nicer to the FF'ers, so I ask them to help me get in touch with someone who can actually help me. Then I ask them to stay on the line with me until I reach said person.

The few times I have done this, I have been satisfied with my results.

2 RT tickets and a year membership to the President's Club.

Texlewee  (Level: 34.1 - Posts: 601)
Wed, 9th Jan '08 10:33 AM

Oh, and it is more likely to work for you if you ask for a benny instead of money. They would typically rather give you a perk, such as a 1st class upgrade or a free flight than actually give back money.

Texlewee  (Level: 34.1 - Posts: 601)
Wed, 9th Jan '08 10:36 AM

And, don't ask for " A One night hookup with that hot stewardess"

They hate being called stewardesses.......

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