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Old 12-05-2006, 04:33 PM   #1
Bonehead
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Default Customer Service?

What the hell is that? In almost all sectors of retail--customer service is non-existent. Right now I am a bit down on travel agents. I booked on Orbitz and had a problem--it was resolved, but not without a lot of fanfare. No one seems to call you back or nothing

Last edited by Bonehead; 12-05-2006 at 04:34 PM. Reason: Added somethign
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:37 PM   #2
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Orbitz, Travelocity, etc. are very different than a brick and mortar travel agency.

Booking online you don't have anyone "there" for you. If you walk into a brick and mortar agency and build a relationship with a TA, the experience is vastly different.
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:54 PM   #3
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Right now I am a bit down on travel agents. I booked on Orbitz and had a problem--it was resolved, but not without a lot of fanfare. No one seems to call you back or nothing
Basically you paid a very small fee and got what you paid for.
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Old 12-05-2006, 05:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by deangreenhoe View Post
Basically you paid a very small fee and got what you paid for.
Rinse and repeat.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bonehead View Post
What the hell is that? In almost all sectors of retail--customer service is non-existent. Right now I am a bit down on travel agents. I booked on Orbitz and had a problem--it was resolved, but not without a lot of fanfare. No one seems to call you back or nothing
Hey BH. Orbitz is not a travel agent. All they do is book reservations, and in my opinion, not all that well.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:24 PM   #6
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Orbitz is not a travel agent.
Believe it or not Ned, the airlines consider them as such. They have to report sales through the ARC (Airlines Reporting Corporation) just like we do and they do charge nominal fees for crappy service.

I don't consider them a real travel agency and it is frustrating that we have to be compared to them and their ilk in the travel sales arena.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by deangreenhoe View Post
Believe it or not Ned, the airlines consider them as such. They have to report sales through the ARC (Airlines Reporting Corporation) just like we do and they do charge nominal fees for crappy service.

I don't consider them a real travel agency and it is frustrating that we have to be compared to them and their ilk in the travel sales arena.
Dean, you and I know they're not travel agents. They're booking agents. Generally, the customer does the work online, and they get the profit. They may have cheaper prices than other places have available, and then again, they may not.

Can you sit down at a person's desk at Orbitz and work out a complicated trip with a person, get advice as to where to stay and where to visit, get hints about specific attractions, etc? As you finalize a trip, if you make a bad decision, will Orbitz stop you or will they book it? If you run into a snag while you're away, is Orbitz going to work their butt off to help you, and figure out alternative on the spot if needed?

In a word no!

To me that says they're not a travel agent.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by John225 View Post
Orbitz, Travelocity, etc. are very different than a brick and mortar travel agency.

Booking online you don't have anyone "there" for you. If you walk into a brick and mortar agency and build a relationship with a TA, the experience is vastly different.
Ain't that the truth.
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Old 12-05-2006, 11:04 PM   #9
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****In almost all sectors of retail--customer service is non-existent****

For the most part, I agree with you. However, I do find customer service alive and well in the smaller, locally owned businesses. The problem is that they are struggling to survive because people want cheap, cheap, cheap products. Businesses can't give extremely low prices and pay employees who will give a darn about providing service.

I would rather have 10 really good clients that I can service than 100 bargin hunters. Orbitz, Travelocity, and other online companies go for volume and with volume you can't provide quality service. As a consumer you have to decide what is important to you.
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Old 12-06-2006, 06:50 AM   #10
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As a consumer you have to decide what is important to you.
This is key. You have to educate yourself. In the travel arena, there are times where it makes sense to use an online booking engine (like a simple point-to-point on Southwest, for example). If you are planning a complicated air itinerary, need assistance with hotels/cars/tours, cruises, then using a traditional travel agent is more to your advantage if you expect someone to be there when there is a problem. And like with any product, service comes with a price these days. If you shop at the Dollar Store, what do you expect?

You have to decide if you are willing to pay that price, and act accordingly. And remember that the adage "If it looks too good to be true..." is alive and well in the travel industry.
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