View Single Post
  #5 (permalink)  
Old May 23rd, 2013, 04:54 PM
storybookcruises.com's Avatar
storybookcruises.com storybookcruises.com is offline
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ashburn, VA
Posts: 1,442
Default

My first advice is drop that agent and find another one! And you're definitely not sounding harsh at all.

I can't believe they told you to call RCCL and ask the questions! Seriously? No reputable agent would do that. They should not be telling you to do something that is their job - that's why you use them. Guess they're more interesting in selling than in providing good service.

Unfortunately, there are many of them like that. They pretend to give good service, but aren't there when you really need them. The measure of a good agent is how they handle problems or requests for help. The thing is that there is only money involved in the booking. There is no money in spending time and effort in handling problems or questions. So alot of agents are simply not willing to take time away from selling and spend uncompensated time on these types of issues. What they don't understand is that if they aren't willing to work for the client, the client won't be willing to provide work for the agent.

It's like any other profession. Look at all the negative stories about auto mechanics - tough to find a good one, but when you do, they're worth their weight in gold! I'm not picking on mechanics because the same can be true with many other professions, but you get the idea.

Travel agents are the same way. There are many who are unscrupulous and the bad press they receive make it difficult for those of us who are hard working reputable agents. So when you find a good one, stick with them. Yes, sometimes you might be able to find a rate that may be a bit cheaper on some discount online site, but is it really worth it in the end? If you have a problem, that online site won't/can't help you, so that discount you got ends up costing you much more after all is said and done.

And as I mentioned earlier, the average lifespan of someone working in these call centers, whether with the cruise line or an online site, is only 6 months. They take the job thinking it's full of benefits and great opportunities for free travel, but it doesn't take long before they realize it's alot of work with very few benefits and there's no such thing as free travel.

As Lee Iaccoca said in his book, and I'm paraphrasing here, "It takes a lifetime to gain a customer's loyalty, but only seconds to lose it." He believed it doing whatever was necessary to keep the customer happy. He also said that a happy customer will tell 3 to 5 people about their experience, but an unhappy customer will tell 8 to 10 people. Of course, that was before the internet, so now you could multiply those figures by tens of thousands, but the principle is the same. He said you may lose money taking care of one problem, but in the end you'll make that money up many times because you've now got that customer for life. It's too bad many companies (and many agents) do not believe in those principles.

Pete
__________________
Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/12 yrs exp and 47 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!
Reply With Quote