My letter to Princess Public Relations today...wish me luck getting back the $378 they have stolen from me. The time I wasted, the rudeness I endured and the vacation they ruined I will one day mentally write off.
I am writing to make you aware of the horrible treatment I received on
the Golden Princess Alaskan Cruise, which sailed on 9/20/2008. I received two tickets for the White Pass bus/rail excursion in Skagway,
Alaska, and my mother and her companion also received two tickets for
the same excursion. This was correct. My mother was charged for two
tickets, but I was charged for 4 tickets instead of two. I went to the
Purser's desk the night before we disembarked to make Princess aware of
the error. I waited in line 45 minutes for my turn, finally hitting the
desk at 11 PM.
Jamie, the purser examined my bill and my mother's bill and agreed that
my mother had been charged for two tickets and that I had been charged
for four (it should have been two each). He tried to contact the
excursion director, but they did not work that late and no one was able
to help. I was suprised that on the last night of the cruise that this
department would not be available to help. I was told to come back
early in the morning. Rather than enjoy breakfast with my family, I
went to the Purser's office at 6:30 AM to try to resolve the problem.
Unfortunately, when I got to the counter at 6:50, I was told that the
Excursion Director was not available until 7:00 AM. I was instructed to
go off to the side and wait 10 minutes, then return to the purser that
was helping me, not to get back in line.
Then the fun begins. I got to see 3 other couples, just within the 10
minutes, that had the same complaint about double charges on
excursions. They were furious and taking it out on the Purser's that
were doing their best to be pleasant. At 7:00 AM, I walked back up the
the Purser and an elderly lady pushed in front of me and told me that
"there was a line". I thanked her for that helpful information and
waited until she was done complaining about...guess what...double
charges for an excursion. After she was told that there was no one to
help her, it was my turn again. This time, I was told that the
Excursion Director would not be available until 7:30 AM. What to do?
Disembarkement for my group was at 8:15, and I had an 11:26 flight to
catch. Naively, I trusted that if I could just talk to the Excursion
Director that it would be solved quickly, so rather than upset any more
of my fellow passengers by approaching the desk, I went to the end of
the line. Why not? I had to waste another half hour anyway. At 7:35 AM, It was my turn again. Will the fourth time be a charm?
Hell no! The Purser called the elusive Excursion Director and she told
the Purser that she could not help me and to give me the number for
customer relations. I asked him to get the Director back on the phone
so that I could speak to her. He put the Director on and she was
standoffish and rude. She said that she could not help me because
Princess had already paid the excursion company for six tickets. I
asked her, "How on earth is that my problem". She repeated, "I can't
help you". I explained to her that this was not acceptable and that
many passengers were furious about our charges and were taking it out on
the Pursers. I requested that she leave her office and come down to the
desk to tell myself and the others that Princess was not going to refund
the improper charges, and not leave it to the innocent Pursers. She
declined and hung up. I was disgusted by her cowardice, rudeness, and
lack of leadership.
Off to the lounge area for disembarkment. At this point the
disembarkment process was 1-1/2 hours behind schedule, so I decided to
call the customer relations number. A customer service rep listened to
my story then said he could not help me for a week. I explained that I
was staring at a document that clearly stated that if I left the ship
without having changes made to the bill, the charges would be final.
"That's not true", he said. I asked why it was written on the bill if
it was not true. He repeated that I could contest the charges in a
week. I asked him to stop repeating this and to understand that this
contradiction in policy was not acceptable to me. He turned from snide
to rude and said that I was talking over him! God fobid that the
customer who has been inconvenienced and stolen from carry the lead in
the conversation. I asked him not to be rude to me. He continued
repeating his snide refrain and I asked to speak to his supervisor. He
refused to put his supervisor on. I asked him not to treat me in a way
that he would not treat a person if they were face to face and he said
"I do not have to take this" and hung up. Is this how you train your
customer relations employees? If the customer asks to escalate the
issue to a supervisor, to hang up on them?
All in all, a miserable experience.