22 hours ago
Friday, March 23, 2012
By now you all know I'm a marketing genius, even if it is only in my own mind where it is sunny all the time and things run with precision, fairness, and customer service is a top priority.
So give me a minute while I take this company name and change it immediately to U.S. Unfairways. And, make certain you know we will never again book with this outfit of "you are just a little person and we don't have to help you because we are the big air line and you need us more than we need you." Okay U.S Air, have it your way, but just remember you asked for this.
You may recall that, last September, my family vacation to the Outer Banks was canceled when a hurricane decided to not only cause damage to buildings, it actually took out the road to Hatteras Island. I was totally bummed because it has been years since my family was able to vacation together and it would have been the first time to vacation with Laura's babies. Sigh...
Luckily, we took the insurance out on the rental so all of us got most of our money back, minus the insurance fee. So the rest of the family was okay, but Michael and I had booked flights into a nearby airport and rented a car to drive to the beach house instead of spending close to 12 hours in the car. Getting that part of our expenses back proved difficult straight off the mark.
Because the hurricane caused such wide, multi-state damage, the airlines and other businesses offered refunds on travel plans that got canceled. When we learned about this, we contacted U.S Air about a refund, and that's when all the 'fun' started. Somehow, according to them, we weren't eligible because the airline determined that the airport wasn't in the "hurricane circle." So, NO we weren't eligible for a refund. With exceeding patience, Michael suggested they look at a map because we were booked to fly into the airport closest to our destination which was smack in the path of the hurricane. There was a great deal of back and forth until finally, they agreed to give us a voucher for the almost $550 we had invested.
I needed to tell you the amount so you understand I'm not whining about just a $69 fair that used to be offered when South-West Air used to make it possible for us to be "Now free to move about the country!" So, after that major back and forth, we had until April 19, 2012 to rebook a flight. We didn't get our money back but at least it was something.
Now here's where it gets complicated:
What with the arrival of Argyle into our clan, Michael's work schedule, and life getting in the way, it became obvious that we wouldn't be able to use the voucher before the time ran out. We talked it over and decided it would be a really nice gift for Melissa so she could go to Florida and visit with Evan. She's been through so much in the past year and she adores her little brother. We just wanted to give them some time together.
But U.S. UNFAIR says, "NO!!!" The voucher is not transferable, even to a child. NO!!!!! Even though we called to see if someone, somewhere could help. NO! was their answer. Okay, that was a long shot, but we can understand; everyone has rules and the airlines are struggling so we understand.
Next, Michael suggested, "Look, I'll stay home with the dogs and you use it to go down to Matlacha, (which is pronounced Matt La Shay, who knew?!,) and spend a few days with cousin, Val. In all the years since Val and Tom moved to Florida, I've never had the chance to visit with her. I thought, "Wow, wouldn't it be nice to spend time with her outside of the tragic, hard times we see each other when she comes north to take care of family funerals, etc?"
But, it didn't work out because she and Tom were traveling when I could use the voucher to come for a visit. Sigh.
Then one night recently I said to My Lion, "Hey, why don't you call Evan and see if he has any leave time and you go down and visit with him and I'll stay here with the dogs!" Yes, I do want to go see my Boychic, but we just can't ask the neighbors to watch the dogs again what with just getting home from the business trip AND because Argyle really is a fist-full at 5 months AND he still has trouble with the whole no potty in the house thing...
"You and Evan haven't had guy time alone in so long, it might be fun to just spend some time with him!" So that's that, right? WRONG.
We checked with Evan; he couldn't get leave but he does have his days off during a week, so he and Michael decide on dates and set the plan in motion. Immediately after that it went straight down hill...
...because when he contacted U.S UNFAIR, they will NOT let him use the voucher by himself because the original flight was booked for two people and could only be used by two people! WTF?!!!! They've had our money for an entire year...they could sell the second seat again and make additional money. The amount would cover a round trip for a father to spend a few days with his son in the military and NO, we can't use the voucher for him to do that?!
NO! They did offer to 'peel off,' (their nasty term not mine,) the second person and allow Michael to use a one person portion. BUT, that would cost us $300 additional to make it a round trip. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!!!!
Michael asked to speak with someone higher up the chain and when that person got on the phone, he explained the entire situation, and that the "PEEL OFF" would end up costing him money when all he wants to do is use the $550 which they have had for over a year, to go and see his son in the Air Force before he is possibly re-deployed. Why is it so hard for them to allow us to use what we already purchased?!
"Well, Mr. Frock these very special deals we offer on air fairs (really, he acts like $550 is a pittance,) come with significant restrictions. I'm afraid our computer will not allow us to change it so you can use it as a single fair. The best I can do for you is give you the email address of our customer service center that handles these cases and perhaps they can extend the voucher further so that you and your wife can book a future flight."
All right, not what we wanted to hear but at least he was the only person in the long stream of NAY SAYERS who offered us a glimmer of hope. Michael thanked him for his time, and after hanging up, he sends off an extensive email explaining the entire issue and, as directed, asking for an extension.
This morning, the terse reply is NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, we're out $550 of our money. Thanks to the intractable, unreasonable, impersonal U.S Unfair, Melissa couldn't go see her brother, Michael can't go see his son, and as it turns out, even if my cousin had been available for me to visit, I would have run into the same issue of being a sole traveler and wouldn't have been allowed to use it either.
We promised U.S. Air that we will NEVER book a flight with them again. And, we promised U.S UNFAIR that we would tell all we know about this major cluster F**K of attempting to deal with them to use OUR money.
U.S UNFAIRWAYS, let me make sure you can hear me:
NO! You are not nice to work with and,
NO! I won't use you again and,
NO! I wasn't kidding when I told you I'd make certain I tell everyone how you all have behaved. YES, I am a Woman of My Word!
U.S. UNFAIR, you SUCK!!!!!!
Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Has Been Ripped Off & Is PISSED!
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