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I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to Lose Business Quickly

Even though we shared the driving, the trip home from Atlanta  was exhausting.  After unpacking the car, opening up the house, and feeding the cat, we sat down to a dinner of chicken satay -- and although tired, we were joyful with the experiences of the past week having met friends for lunch in Savannah, a great week at the beach in Siesta Key, and then the two days visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Atlanta on the way back. The ringing phone was an annoyance, but nothing compared to what the call would bring.

We've been so excited about our cruise from Barcelona to Venice.  We booked this several months ago for April of next year to celebrate our 40th anniversary. (We were married when I was two).   Margie and Dave and my brother and SIL, Jay and Nancy Blair, were joining us and we were a week away from making our flight arrangements.  And then Royal Caribbean called to tell us that our trip had been cancelled as the corporate big wigs had decided to re-position the ship, on which we were to have traveled, to China. They were replacing the ship with a smaller one, but that cruise wouldn't debark until June and they could not promise us the accommodations would be the same. If we chose another cruise we would have to realize any difference in pricing.  BUT, they were going to give us $400 (total) for on board spending.  (Can you hear me yelling, "Big, freakin' whoop"?)

Royal Caribbean could have handled this so much better. It is obvious to us that absolutely no planning had gone into their contacting us.  And so we have a few suggestions for RC:

1.   Apologize.

2.   Do NOT send the socially inept, the arrogant, cavalier, or a rookie to do a yeoman's job. 

3.   Contacting customers in writing, first, detailing why the cancellation is occurring and  and then following up with a phone call is more responsible than calling people and surprising them with bad news and giving them no viable options. 

4.   Apologize. 

5,   Have a plan in place detailing several options and compensating for your changing plans.  Making someone change the date of sailing because you want to re-position the ship from Barcelona to China and then telling already disappointed passengers that any other than the one suggested sailing will probably be more expensive and the passenger will have to pay "that prevailing rate" (your words; not ours) is just not good business.  We're not looking for 'freebies', but we'll be damned if we're  paying more than we would have for an April sailing than during peak season (June) because of YOUR "corporate decision".  If we had wanted to cruise in June or July, we would have scheduled a cruise for June or July.

6.  Apologize.

We're looking at a few options and a couple of cruise lines that actually want our business.








12 comments:

The Vanilla Bean Baker said...

How very disappointing for you all and how terribly mismanaged by RC this *re-positioning of the ship to China*
In my experiences, when a company screws up as badly as this one has, the best way to deal with them is to write directly to the President and CEO and c.c. their heads of Marketing, Customer Service. As my Mom always used to say *the squeaky wheel gets the grease* and if you have a complaint to lodge, take it to the one in charge.

Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

Total arrogance and disregard for their customers. Like they couldn't make the change AFTER they had managed to fulfill their commitments. Hope you find a cruise bigger and better and...cheaper, too!

Snappy Di said...

Well good grief! What's their problem. You still have a lot of time so hopefully things will work out and you'll find an even better deal than before.

DI

Retired English Teacher said...

I agree with Deb. This is totally arrogance and disregard for their customers on Caribbean's part. I guess you all go back to the drawing board. That is so frustrating.

Bilbo said...

We've been very happy with Princess. This is a prime example of a large, arrogant company demonstrating how little they care about their customers. And I'd do as The Vanilla Bean Baker suggested ... letters to someone very high up in the chain often work wonders. Years ago I wrote to the CEO of the Marriott Corp to praise the staff at one of their hotels for great service, and to this day I appear to get better-than-usual service at any Marriott Facility. Big shots DO read letters ... or have them read for them.

Jay said...

Now that really sucks. I would definitely be writing some letters and complaining to everyone I could find. That's just pathetic customer service all the way around.

Lena said...

Wow, I didn't know that they would even try to do that type of thing. Way bad for business!!

I hope it all works out for you and your friends!!

Cheryl said...

Yup, pathetic customer service. I'm so sorry. Besides the anger, you must be so disappointed.

forsythia said...

Someone at RC should be made to walk the plank,

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Sounds to me like they don't want your business. Hope you can do business with another cruise line. I know this is very disappointing.

Kay said...

I'll definitely stay away from Royal Caribbean. That's terrible.

Thank you so much for your visits, Kathy. I'm still so horribly jet lagged. I don't know what's the matter with me. I might have goofed up on my thyroid medication while on the trip and my energy level is zip. I'm trying to get through the thousands of photos that were taken by three cameras and it's exhausting! Sigh.

I'm looking forward to coming back later and catching up.

Mage said...

I am so sorry about this. What a thoughtless mess. I hope your travel agent can get you a far better deal with a ship you will enjoy more.