Originally Posted by felix_the_cat
I have to point out - you are wrong about Expedia when it comes to booking cruises. I am an example of Expedia. Since Expedia bought out cruiseshipcenters a few years ago, you do get a live person and a live person whom you can contact at any time with a direct phone number.
I didn't say you don't get a live person, I said you usually get ahold of someone who's never been on a cruise. And if you have any problems, they do not want to spend any time helping you because there's no money in it. There's only money in making reservations, not in providing service after the fact.
There was an article put our years ago that said when you call the cruise lines or these online sites, you're talking to someone who; 1) works in a call center, 2) is not a certified travel agent, 3) has worked for the company less than 6 months, and 4) has never even seen a ship let alone been on a cruise or to any of the ports. So their expertise is limited to taking your money, not in answering any questions about the cruise or the ports. They're in a hurry to take your money and get onto the next customer.
Yes, there are exceptions to every rule, but those are a small percentage of the total that fit within the usual perimeters. The thing is these people work for a big company - they do not work for themselves. They get paid for making bookings. To spend time answering questions and providing good customer service takes time away from their number one priority.
We all know how frustrating it can be working with large companies. When you call them, it often starts off with a voice message that says, "Press 1 for English." Then it often takes 5 minutes to go through all the prompts before you actually get to talk to a real human being. Personally, I would much rather work with a small business anytime! They care more about me as a person than just another number.