19 Dec 2007
I've just gone through the vacation booking from h*ll at Red Tag Vacations.
I feel like I've been made to jump through hoops, I was toyed with, told one thing then something else, where does it end?
After I successfully booked a vacation at Red Tag (through their website), an agent phoned me to inform me that I needed to fax an authorization letter with a copy of only the back of the credit card (because I used my partner's credit card to book the vacation). This wasn't mentioned anywhere in the ordering process (on their website) & their Terms & Conditions state otherwise.
Airfare and vacation package purchases are 100% non-refundable. Third party credit cards bookings will only be processed after receiving written confirmation from the card holder. You will be required to fax us a copy of the back and front of 3rd party cardholders' credit card, (make it as light as possible so that it is legible) along with a copy of the cardholder's driver's license, along with their address so we can verify address to credit card. The 3rd party cardholder will also need to write on the fax that he/she accepts responsiblity for payment of the charges (put amount) and a signature will be required. All fraudulent purchase will be investigated and prosecuted.
I verified with another agent that I was indeed required to fax an authorization letter with only the back of the credit card and I sent my partner on his merry way to send the fax before work.
When I called a supervisor (Janet Kuzmich) to make the point that there needs to be something mentioned during the ordering process, I was treated very rudely. Not only did she trivialize my suggestion (who knows, maybe she didn't understand it) but she contradicted the previous two agents and told me that I needed both the front and back of the credit card. I wasn't told this before. Not only that, but she gave me a one and a half hour deadline to send the fax. This was impossible because my partner (who obviously has the credit card) was at work and I can't pull that him & credit card out of a hat. Am I expected to pull my partner out of work to send the fax and possibly get him written up and/or fired (he did get a warning for it)? Of course not! I'm not going to sacrifice someone's job just for my own vacation.
The supervisor reminded me of a petulant child kicking up a fuss when they aren't getting what they want when they want it.
I felt like I was being pulled in two different directions because one hand clearly didn't know what the other hand is doing. This is also very bad for business.
The supervisor wasn't listening to my concerns, wasn't taking me seriously nor was she showing any level of empathy, thus increasing my level of frustration. I did get upset once or twice & the company eventually used this against me in my complaints.
Anyway, I sent the required fax with only the back of the credit card by 5 pm as I was originally asked to do by the agent and even still, that wasn't accepted by the supervisor. She refused to hear me out because I didn't fax exactly what was asked (when I did indeed send the fax) and instead refunded my reservation, all (nearly) $1,000 of it.
If an agent tells me that I need to do something, obviously I'm going to take them at their word and do as they suggest - that goes doubly so if two agents tell me the same thing. A supervisor can contradict the agent all they like but giving me only an hour and a half to pull the credit card out of a hat is beyond unreasonable.
I feel that as a valued customer who had a valid suggestion to give, getting stonewalled and then power games being played against me is not good for business.
I have sent two BBB (Better Business Bureau) reports on them already. They ignored the first one and the second was replied to by the supervisor herself (who the complaint was about). You don't reply to a complaint when it's about you. That's a conflict of interest.
I tried escalating the matter to a co-founder of the company and he basically said "Apologies for the inconvenience but my employees are just doing their jobs." Does the job definition include jerking around customers? He quoted the Terms and Conditions which expressly specified that in the case of a third-party credit card billing, an authorization from the cardholder needs to be faxed with a copy the front and back of the credit card. Well how can two agents possibly get that wrong? Why wasn't I told that the first time I talked to an agent? The co-founder needed to at be responsible, do the right thing and apologize for the miscommunication. His agents screwed up & his supervisor was totally unprofessional. He represents the company, the onus is on him to fix the problem.
I should not be blamed for the agents' incompetence. If you work for any company, you should know what their own policies are and you should be able to quote them verbatim.
I think the company should at least acknowledge that I went through hell to get my vacation booked and they should compensate me in some way for booking what should have been a simple vacation and the supervisor should apologize for playing power games with me. I've noticed a lot of customer testimonials on Red Tag's website, praising the company for excellent service when I have received anything but. Where are the negative reviews?
It seems to me that this business doesn't care about the customer at all - despite what one of their agents tell me about how they pride themselves on serving the customer. If they cared about serving the customer, they would have apologized for the misinformation, given me the reservation and left me alone.
Let me get this straight - the company will side with their supervisor and completely disregard my complaints and this is meant to lead to better customer service how exactly?
Regardless, this is the first and last time I do business there.
A very important things to note:
* It took 38 days to charge my vacation to the credit card after Red Tag's little power game of "cancel the reservation if we don't get our way & make the customer beg us to reinstate it".