Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Do. Not. Piss. Me. Off.

So, we are back from vacation, and 99% of it was just lovely. I'll have photos for you all to view in just a few more days, but first, here's the 1% of it that was just horrendous. I've drafted a letter & it will be put in tomorrow's post. Let it be a warning to you all. Also take note of the info on the front page of their website. I sure as hell didn't see it when I combed through their website at the end of December. Here is the letter:

Jessica Fitzgerald

Operations Manager

National Park Reservations

6475 Highway 93, South Suite 23

Whitefish, MT 59937

Re: Fee charged for Reservation Number xxxxxxx

Dear Ms. Fitzgerald,

I am writing to register a complaint regarding the fee charged to make a reservation for our recent stay at Tenaya Lodge. When I called the phone number in January to make the reservation, it was not at all clear the purpose of the fee or that it would be a separate charge paid directly to your company for “services.” I asked the reservation agent, Bryan, to clarify it several times & was told it was “applied towards your account and if you had to cancel this trip, it would apply towards a future reservation.” At no time was it made clear to me that I would be charged $140 for what amounted to (1) a 10 minute phone conversation (2) an exchange of emails to fix 2 errors and to clarify (again) what the various charges were. I was clearly under the impression that the $140 was applied towards the cost of our stay, or I never would have made the reservation, period.

When I was told upon checking in that the fee had not been credited to our resort folio, I was absolutely livid. When I called National Park Reservations to state my concerns, the agent did everything within her power to behaving in a condescending and inflammatory way, saying things like, “Well I’m not Bryan and I don’t know what he said” and “I don’t know what you perceived, but it’s a standard fee.” I am quite certain of what Bryan said & what I perceived, because I jotted notes down on the conversation. I am also quite certain that I would never have agreed to pay $140 for such a service, therefore it was unclear. Regardless of what front-end message you may put on your phone line, when a customer asks for a clarification, and your employee provides misleading information, it is your responsibility to rectify the situation.

I attempted to explain to the agent, to whom I spoke on May 3rd, that it was also exceedingly misleading to fail to have the fee information listed in the email you generate to confirm the reservation. Initially, I was outraged, but felt a sense of responsibility to provide feedback to help your company be more aware that it is failing to be clear on the charge. I am now of the opinion, partially because I was promised by the agent that I would receive a call back from her supervisor on the morning of May 4th, and no such call took place, that your company willfully and purposefully is in the business of deceiving travelers. I still have received no contact regarding my complaint, and thus I have opted to write this letter and also to send a copy of it to the staff at Tenaya Lodge so they may choose to exercise caution in doing future business with your organization. Rest assured, I will do everything within my power to inform all of my friends, family, and associates to avoid doing business with your organization.

5/18/10: UPDATE: Ms. Fitzgerald received my letter and called me. We spoke for several minutes, and I reiterated my concerns. She conceded that the fee structure had not been made clear to me, and she said they will be issuing us a refund by check. At this point, my trust level is low, so I'll believe it when I see it.'s encouraging.


Mel said...

Uh oh.

k....well, the condescending phone call would have put the icing on the cake for me.
And no ring back?
Oh--that's just wrong....

K...put the letter in the mail and put it on the shelf until it's time to go back to it again. That other 99% deserves the airtime! :-)

(which means Mel wants to see!! LOL)

theelfqueen said...

Oh I would be LIVID.
$140 is not a 'standard fee'. That's CRAP.

Connie Carpenter Macko said...

this has been noted! thank you for sharing this information so that no one else might get stuck with this sort of situation. it is so difficult to receive good, quality customer service any more... why is that? glad the vacation went well otherwise...