When did customer service mean that only those with major attitudes, who essentially hate their job get these positions?
I just came back from a luxury vacation, but because of forces out of our control (a snowstorm in New York), our flight was delayed 3 hours, which meant that we were going to miss our connecting flight in La Guardia to get back to Toronto. This is where an amazing vacation went south real fast.
Our first stop was with the Delta staff at the airport. We told them our situation and asked them to help us out. After a lot of waiting, the staff told us that they had arranged our new flight and to talk to the other staff member at the gate once we got through security. Mistake number 1. When we got to the take we found out that they didn’t book us on a flight. They just deflected it to the next person, who could care less about our situation. She told me to call a rebooking number “now”. Nearly 30 minutes on the phone and stalling boarding the plane we got our flight rebooked for the next morning. I asked the customer service rep about getting a voucher for our hotel and she deflected to call their other customer service number.
When we landed, I called the number to find out that the customer service hours were closed. Perfect! Next, we had to find a place to stay that night. I called the nearest airport hotel which was the La Guardia Plaza Hotel. The person on the line told me that they had space, so I asked them if they provided shuttle service and they said yes. Just for some insurance, I went to the information desk at the airport and asked them about hotels in the area and shuttle service. The woman gave me a piece of paper with a list of hotels. I’m thinking, this was not helpful, what is your purpose. Next, I asked where the hotel shuttle service is. She told me that I would have to call the hotel to find that out. Once again, not helpful, what is your purpose? How can you work for information and not know anything? So after a long time waiting, we finally got the shuttle and headed to the hotel.
When we arrived at the hotel, I asked them for a room and they told me that they were sold out. I told them that I called and that there was a room available with two queen beds. Then the staff started giving me attitude that nobody at that hotel told me that there were availabilities. So, I called the hotel number, talked to the same woman who I did before when I wanted to book a room. She found me a room at the La Guardia Plaza Hotel and booked us a room. This was all done in front of the rep at the hotel. Then I told the staff to look up my name and confirmation. Of course, they didn’t want to, but I told them to. When they looked up my name, low and behold, my reservation for a room with two queen beds popped up. Luckily, I kept the customer service person on the phone to make sure everything went through smoothly.
Next, the person on the phone wanted to talk to the person in the hotel because they wanted to know how they could book a room when there were no rooms available. After another hour of waiting they magically found a room for us. How could this be possible? When they said they were sold out but I was able to book a room. Sometimes impossible things are possible.
The next morning, when we were checking out we asked if we could split the bill three ways. I was asking the shuttle to wait because it would only take 2 minutes because we were checking out. It took the representative nearly 10 minutes to cash us out. How hard could this be? It took two of them to do this. Once again, not helpful, and what is your purpose. This was the moment when I just wanted to tell these individuals that their jobs won’t exist in 10 years so they better figure out what they are good at because automation is on the horizon.
The future is not too far away. Cashiers are being replaced with self-checkouts. Websites like hotels.com and expedia.ca make it possible to book and pay virtually without the need of a travel agent. Robots are now being used to deliver room service and finally pilots will be replaced with automated planes. The truth is that the future is already here. And I look forward to the day when I can travel with pure efficiency without the added attitude from individuals because robots will be automated to my specific needs and wants.