Monday, May 9, 2011

My Opinion Monday - vouchers

I recently went to Jamaica for a destination wedding. I booked my stay with a travel agent (and neglected to pay my self imposed monthly payment so I was doing some major scrimping 45 days before the trip to get it all paid for) and thought it would be smooth sailing. And it was. Until we got to the resort.

I was staying with 3 others in our room - our travel agent talked us into upgrading for a mere $40 a piece to an "oceanfront room with concierge service, king bed, pull out sofa and roll away often do you get to see the ocean from Iowa?" is how she closed the deal. Yeah okay, I don't see it that much (from Iowa that is) but how often would we really be in the room? I was planning on waking up there and passing out there, showering and brushing my teeth when my hangover allowed. But okay fine, I've spent $40 on much more ridiculous things before. So we all decided to upgrade and decline the insurance - I was going to Jamaica no matter what!

When we got to our resort, we were all shuffled into the concierge room to check in - this was annoying by the way. We've been traveling for like 15 hours, just give me my keys and we can sign papers in the morning. We were escorted to our room way across the resort with an actual key in hand, with the little wrist band thing too, so fancy. However, when we got to our room, we noticed we needed a swipe card, not an actual key. After tracking down the guy that had dropped us off there sans luggage (someone else was in charge of that) he let us in with his master key.

Oh no, this is not the room we booked. We're staring at 2 double beds, no stocked bar!!, and is was dark, but not the "oceanview" our agent had sold us. Okay fine, nothing we can do about it tonight. So we decide to grab some dinner, I grab two bottles of champagne and make no friends at the karaoke bar that evening.

8AM the next day, I'm calling our travel agent and she's not in yet. When we get in touch with her, I tell her we're in the wrong room type, we want to be moved and we want to get the room she sold us. She asks me what type of room we booked (I polietely told her she was the agent, not me and she should know that), argues with me for a few minutes and tells me she'll do what she can. We were able to move to a new room, right next to the bride and groom, about 8 hours later. Annoyed and all, I continued to drink the champagne.

After a beautiful week in Jamaica - we were back to Des Moines and I was off to send our travel agent a request for a refund of our upgrade fee and her fee. Both of which are non-refundable. Okay whatever.

So a couple weeks go by and we're informed that we have been given a $100 voucher to use on another Delta vacation in the next year. Um why do companies give vouchers for services you're not happy with in the first place?? It's like getting a gift card from Applebee's after sending back all your food and having your bill comped - why would you want to return?

So now I have this silly $100 voucher for a company that did pretty much what I could have done on my own - and have done before, and most likely will do on my own from now on. At least when I get to the wrong room at the resort, I only have myself to request a refund from...and I'll probably give myself a voucher for next time :)

And because I had so much fun (or was too drunk otherwise) here is the only pic of the bride and groom I took - congrats Kayla and Jim!

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