Friday, August 19, 2011

US Airways: Last Choice in the US!

You had to be there to believe it.  On second thought, better to have missed the experience!

Imagine this:  you arrive at the airport with time to spare for an 8pm flight on US Airways.  You are informed that the aircraft is there, but they don't have a flight attendant.  So the flight is delayed 20 minutes.  Then the delay stretches to an hour, then 2 hours, then 3 hours and you are wondering where this flight attendant is coming from.  Maybe she is traveling on US Airways.

You now have been at the airport 3-1/2 hours and can't wait any longer with the bad headache you have and it is also very late.  At the Special Services desk, you change your flight to an US Airways flight leaving the following afternoon.  You go home and try to sleep.  (In the end, you find out that they cancelled that 8pm flight.)

By this time you have taken a taxi to and from the airport, in traffic and you have not gone anywhere.

The next morning you get into another taxi and arrive at the airport to check in to your 12:05 US Airways flight, only to be informed that you do not have a seat on the flight.  All you are told is that it is "overbooked" and the agent suggests you go to the gate and ask anyone if they are willing to give up their seat.  It is Friday and everyone on that particular flight is off for vacation.  No one is giving up their seat.

It takes 5 phone calls to find out what happened to the seat you had the night before.  Apparently the agent who changed the flight to the next day neglected to cancel the original flight, so it cancelled out the new reservation.  Was it their first day on the job?  Don't they know that you can't have 2 reservations in the same name going to the same place without it causing a problem?

Apparently not.

Now you are on an even later flight and you hope that it leaves and doesn't get cancelled like the one the night before.

Here is the part which would make you feel you reached the end of your rope:  After asking the reservations supervisor for the Corporate Office's phone number, he stressed the fact that they will just route your call back to reservations no matter what.  You give it a try.  You tell the operator not to transfer the call back to reservations so she asked why you are calling.  After you give her a short synopsis of the issue, she tells you to hold and next thing you know, you are speaking with, you guessed it, reservations.

All you are left with, as frustrated as you are, is the option to send an email to Customer Relations.  The auto reply you receive back says that you will get a response  in 4-6 business days.  That is what Customer Service has been reduced to.  No person to actually call anymore.  You could email, write a letter or fax, but never get someone on the phone while you need to deal with a situation.  And try are always directed to email Customer Relations.

Would you fly this airline?

I guess the lesson to be learned is to check everything an agent does to make sure your ticket actually gets you on the flight.  If you are now doing an agent's job, at least get a discounted fare.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

There Is A Major Disconnect When You Request A "Seasonal Disconnect" For Your TV/Internet Service

Have you ever gone on vacation or had to be away from home and thought that you may want to suspend your TV/Internet service?

Anything is possible, but for a price.

Let's take three major companies:, and  I have been a customer of all three. (Choice of programming is not the issue here as that is a more individual decision.)

Directv is the best company when it comes to putting your account "on vacation."  Directv allows you to suspend services for no less than a minimum of 30 days and up to a maximum of 6 months within one calendar year.  You don't have to do it consecutively either.  There are no charges associated with doing this.  Your account has to be up to date in payments and for the months it is suspended, you will see a "$0" balance.

Time Warner Cable permits a "seasonal disconnect" for no less than a minimum of 30 days and also for no longer than 6 months in a calendar year.  They do charge you $10 for the modem and $10 per cable box each month of the "seasonal disconnect," even if you are not there to use it.  Your account must be paid in full before asking for a "seasonal disconnect."

This leaves Verizon as the last and the least cooperative. I was informed that if I temporarily suspend the account I would lose whatever promotion I was locked into and would have to take whatever the price is once I reinstate my account. Granted, there may be a better deal later on, but the fact is that you feel as if they are punishing you for putting your account on suspension. And who is to say that they would actually offer you a better deal when you call to reinstate your account?

We never know what may take us away from home, but considering how much it costs us each month for our TV and Internet, it would be nice to deal with a company who worked with you in those circumstances.