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Old 10-27-2008, 09:33 AM   #1
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Cool Tipped off – computer glitch stiffs couple

Anita has an excellent article, Tipped off – computer glitch stiffs couple, with a lesson which everyone should heed. Get and save your trip reservation documentation.

Anita put it well by saying, "Document the advertised fare and your booking information by keeping track of e-mails and taking screen shots from the Web site and then printing them out for your records."

OK, that being said, I have a general comment about how Anita helped this couple, and how Chris helps people with other problems, and in fact about how over time a number of the Tripso columnists have helped readers.

My comment is, why should it come down to needing this kind of help. Why shouldn't the airlines, cruiselines, and reservation websites, for example, not do the right thing the first time, without the hammer of the press poised over their head. These companies treat dealing with these problems as if it's a game, while to the many customers of theirs, it's real money they need to pay bills. What happened to the American sense of "fair play."

I found cruise.com's response laughable, when they acknowledged to the Johnsons they goofed. They asked for receipts showing they actually tipped the room steward, and waiters, before they would reimburse them. I'd like to know if in the history of cruise.com, a single employee on a cruise ever, even once, when handing a tip envelope to a waiter, steward or any other ship's employee, said, "Oh, would you mind signing this receipt for your tip, for my records?" Give me a break!!!

Cruise.com's computer glitch may have started the ball rolling on the problem, but in my opinion, it was cruise.com's employees, real living, hopefully thinking people, that really tried to stiff the Johnsons.

Anita ... great job on behalf of Kris and Steve Johnson. It's a shame the company couldn't have sent them $147 without your wonderful intervention.
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:52 AM   #2
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I always check cruise documents before calling my clients. Carnival Cruise Lines documents have it in writing whether or not tips have been prepaid.
Before they had it in writing, once we did get a phone call from the purser's office on a ship because a client was very upset. She had prepaid the tip but her info on the ship did not show that. We took care of it right away.
There is no reason to put further upset a passenger, especially when they are right.
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:47 PM   #3
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Is the new travel catch phase, "A Computer Glitch'? One of Chris' past columns was in response to a computer glitch with a tour company from an online reservation.

The old rule that the customer is always right doesn't work any longer and you must protect yourself with written proof, even well after your return date of travel!
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned View Post
I found cruise.com's response laughable, when they acknowledged to the Johnsons they goofed. They asked for receipts showing they actually tipped the room steward, and waiters, before they would reimburse them. I'd like to know if in the history of cruise.com, a single employee on a cruise ever, even once, when handing a tip envelope to a waiter, steward or any other ship's employee, said, "Oh, would you mind signing this receipt for your tip, for my records?" Give me a break!!!
Ned, anymore, a lot of cruiselines charge tips to the onboard account. I'm sure cruise.com was probably thinking of that when they were demanding receipts. But I'm sure the travelers could come back with exactly what you just said - "we tipped them in cash, why would we have receipts?"
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:22 PM   #5
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I've taken many cruises over the years, the last one in 2007. I'm Elite with Celebrity, and Diamond at Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society. I'm looking forward to a cruise in 2009. We try to do a cruise every other year. We like different kinds of trips.

Meanwhile, I've been on cruises where the tips were included, and on ones in which they were not included, I've never had them charged to my online account or had the cruise line do it for me (I wouldn't take a cruise in which tips weren't included, but were merely charged to my account without my authority.) I've always paid those in cash, and in person, and all without receipt.

All that being said, that's not the point of my original post. My point is that it used to be that when you made your case, the company did right by you. Now it seems like if you don't find someone with experience and clout, to help you, the companies will make every attempt to steal you blind, if they can get away with it, when something goes wrong. It shouldn't be that way.

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Originally Posted by Gesualdo View Post
Ned, anymore, a lot of cruiselines charge tips to the onboard account. I'm sure cruise.com was probably thinking of that when they were demanding receipts. But I'm sure the travelers could come back with exactly what you just said - "we tipped them in cash, why would we have receipts?"
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:44 PM   #6
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I should have read the article before I posted because it seems cruise.com didn't care when the guy told them he didn't have receipts. But these cruise lines don't charge them to your onboard account without your authority. You know in advance that they're doing this. And if you don't care to have it done that way, you ask them to remove the tips so you can tip in cash, just like you have done. I prepay mine well in advance so I don't have to be thinking about paying for them after I get home. Then I just have vouchers in those envelopes. I can add extra cash if I think it's warranted. Or I suppose I could have them back it out if something has gone horribly wrong.

Or you could just stick to the cruise lines that cost more and don't do tips that way. Good for you that you can afford that.

I don't disagree with your original point. That's why I pulled out only that paragraph to address.
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