— 30 March 2006 —
My most active post, via search results and comments is I Hate Travelocity.
When I wrote the post, I specifically titled it as such to get it to show up in search results for people who weren’t happy with Travelocity. Better still, just searching on the term “travelocity” gets that post into the top 20, sometimes into the top 10.
I own part of their online reputation.
Many of the comments on that post are in the “I agree!” category. Most feel Travelocity betrayed them in some fashion. I don’t know to what level Travelocity should have helped them then, or even now. One commenter went so far as to use all caps in his comment. My guess is that he is pretty upset.
I’ve left comments open on purpose. I want that post to be a place people can go to read about others’ unfortunate interactions with Travelocity. I am not on a mission to wreck the company, far from it. I am just using a blog to carry part of the conversation for them and (as was my hope) to them.
Well, hope (like other things that spring) springs eternal and I was rewarded today with a comment from an actual Travelocity company representative. Here is his initial comment:
I hope people are still reading this I work for Travelocity and if you think we give a shit about your petty complaints you are wrong. This is all your fault didn’t read the rules can’t change a name on a ticket. This is the same thing all of us deal with on a daily basis a bunch of morons so if you don’t want to use us then go somewhere else and PLEASE pass this message along to the other moron travelers I DARE YOU.
Let’s take a quick poll: Do you think that is a decent way to talk to your current and potential customers? I get to vote too. No.
And I said as much:
Wow. If Jared truly works for Travelocity, I hope he gets fired for speaking like this to customers and potential customers.
But since this post has never received feedback from an actual, recognisable Travelocity representative, I bet Jared will have a long future with Travelocity.
My feeling is that any passer-by can feel the people that are commenting are morons. I think even Jared can feel this way. But stepping up as a corporate representative and saying such a thing is in very bad form.
My comment spurred this response from Jared:
Yes Matthew I do still work for Travelocity and I get these same calls every day, fare alerts we don’t know how many seats there are once they are gone that is it. Refunds take 30 days that is the credit card companies (more interest), Sam didn’t read the fine print. Mr. Pittas while unfortunate we can’t help that the Riande wouldn’t honor his reservation. As far as Andrew goes names on tickets are non transferable…You can pass this message along and put it on any board you want. Go somewhere else until you screw up and don’t get your way then find another place to go. We don’t need any more moron travelers at Travelocity.
The problem (for me, others might not have it) is that Jared is speaking on behalf of Travelocity. Regardless if the people who commented (or I for that matter with the original post) are correct or incorrect about their grievance, the company of Travelocity should not be treating people this way. It furthers the mind set (right or wrong) that Travelocity is a bad company if they allow people like Jared to respond on their behalf.
There was an opportunity to be polite and remind people, once again, that reading the fine print is a good idea. But Jared chose to take his Call Center Hate out on people through my blog; something I bet he can’t do in an environment where a call comes every 30 seconds.
I suggest that there is likely something Travelocity could do to reduce the amount of calls they receive. But then they may have to downsize Jared. All these “morons” as he calls them gives him a job.
As such, another Travelocity Sucks post. I don’t truly believe that Jared is speaking on behalf of Travelocity with their knowledge. But unless someone else comes along, Jared is the company’s official spokesperson around these parts. Methinks that isn’t a good thing. It might be good if someone from Vollmer PR, who seems to handle Travlocity’s public and media relations would stop by and comment… Or better yet, Jeff Glueck (Travelocity’s CMO) himself!
Oh, and in the interests of full disclosure and all that: I bought my ticket to SXSW via Travelocity. I found a flight that was $200 less than on Expedia. I decided to give them a try when I couldn’t find anything under $400 on Expedia. I figured, what could it hurt. And for the most part it was a very painless process.