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Subject:  If you don't like the answer, call back Date:  7/29/2007  11:23 AM
Author:  juiceb Number:  10593 of 25922

My nephew is staying with us for the summer. His grandparents told him they'd fly him out to see them for a week, but his grandfather (My FIL) called us yesterday ranting and raving about how he wasn't going to pay $600 for a plane ticket.

I knew that sounded outrageous, so I did some online research myself. I found a ticket for $230 on aa.com (by using kayak.com). We had him on the phone, and I booked the flight with his CC. I got the confirmation via email and forwarded to him.

Then we got a flaming phone call at 7 am from him - "You booked the wrong airport!!" They recently moved. DH told me to book to Raleigh, but they live near Charlotte. Oops! And I had booked a discounted "nonrefundable" fare. Double oops!

First I thought about booking a flight from Raleigh to Charlotte, but the cheapest direct flight rate I found was $360. (It's cheaper to fly all the way from Austin then to take the hour flight - I'll never understand airfare pricing!)

So I called American and (finally) got through to a live human. She told I had to pay the difference in ticket prices + $100 change fee. Sigh - OK, fair enough. I see a flight here on aa.com for $238. She said, no the cost for the ticket is $379, so I owe them $149 for the flight difference and $100 for the change fee. "But that's $249 - more than the cost of a new ticket online," I said. She said, "We're not training on online booking. Do you want this ticket or not?" I said, "So you're telling me it would be cheaper for me to just waste my original ticket and buy a new one rather than make a change to the existing one?" She told me to buy the ticket online and then call back and they would apply my original ticket to my new ticket. I said, "OK I have it up now. It will take me less than 30 seconds to buy it and then you can do what you need to do to apply the ticket." She said, "No, you have to call back." So I said, "OK" and hung up on her. Throughout the whole call I didn't get a good vibe that she knew what she was talking about, so I decided to start fresh with a new person in the queue.

New person, new answer. I told my story again, and she said, "Well it's great that you called withing 24 hours because we can wave the change fee." Huh? Score! OK, but what about the cost of the ticket. I gave her the flight numbers and times of the flight I saw online and she said, "OK, the cost of the new flight is $238... so you owe us $8." Whew - $8 I can handle! I made the change and thanked her profusely for helping me fix my error.

Different training - different answers. If you don't like the answer you get at a call center, try again. ;)

:-) Juice
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