4.19.2011

corporate callousness

so the spate of unfortunate events continue.
goody goody gum drops.

we had finally decided to book our flights for our getaway mid-year. thought everything was hunky-dory. had connecting flights booked, was going on a five day tour of the country i was born in but never got to know. it was gonna be fun.. being a tourist in one's own country, exploring it with the hubbs.

and then i get a call from singapore airlines.
they would have to rebook our 1.30am flight from singapore to taipei to a 12.20 flight the same date.
*shrug* no biggie. thank goodness we picked the earlier flight and was landing in singapore at 9.40pm the night before.

or so we thought.. until i got the confirmation email with our new flight times. 12.20 PM.uh-oh.
our tour was meant to start at 11am and with the new flight time, we wouldn't have even left singapore at 11am, let alone be in kaohsiung to start the tour. the rep on the phone only said twelve-twenty. never said am or pm. i had assumed. still, it would have been nice for her to be more thorough and confirmed. the time properly.

so, the calls to the customer service center began. and man, has it been a journey. the fiasco hasn't even ended yet. for nearly every day for a week, i would call 'em and get a different person each time. some were more dense than others when i had to explain my situation for the umpteenth time from the very beginning with each new customer service rep. my calls have been "escalated" to a different department (or a supervisor, depending on what rep i talk to) three different times now. each time, i've been told to call back in the next 24 hours to get an answer. i give them some time. i call back in another 2 - 3 days.. and get more irate each time that i'm back to square one. at one stage, one very rude rep placed me on hold while i was still talking. he had assumed i would answer yes when he asked to place me on hold. he put me on hold for fifteen minutes, only to get back to me and offer alternate flights. i bluntly told him that if he had bothered to listen, he would have known that i already knew of these flights he was "offering" and the purpose of my call was to CONFIRM my flight schedule change to these "offered" flights. the guy then put me on hold for close to ten more minutes to tell me that i can't confirm my accommodation request but can confirm my flights. again, i told him bluntly that if he had bothered to listen to me at all for the thirty seconds i managed to talk to him for in our twenty five minute phone call, he would have learnt that i called only to confirm flights and not accommodation. idiot.

they don't seem to understand that regardless of any of the flights they've offered to rebook us on.. including the current ones that reach singapore at ten past midnight and leave singapore for taipei at 8.35am, each combination of flights would require us spending a night. now, correct me if i'm wrong but i'm under the impression that if an airline cancels a flight, they are obliged to provide their customers with alternate arrangements that include rebookings, refunds, providing accommodation if an overnight delay occurs and some even provide airport meal vouchers. oh ho ho.. not singapore airlines. each rep has maintained that the airline policy was to rebook the customer to another flight with the shortest connecting times and their obligation ends there. when told that the umpteenth time, i asked the rep if he thought what he proposed was reasonable to any sane person - that we would spend the 8-odd hours between our flights in the airport terminal and sleep on the terminal chairs when it was through no fault or plan of ours to have to spend the night in singapore. he may not have seemed to think it a big deal but out of principle, i don't see why i have to either fork out money to get accommodation or have to sleep on airport terminal chairs when the airline cancelled our flights and can't book us on any other.. PLUS to be further inconvinienced by having to miss our 5-day tour at our destination. they're lucky i'm only asking for them to provide us accommodation for the night instead of making them pay for the tour they're making us miss - all because they cancelled flights due to "operational reasons" as i was told by the rep.

at this rate, i'm irate enough to stamp my feet and ask for a refund. ranked one of the top airlines in the world my ass. maybe so, but they sure are lacking in basic courtesy and goodwill.

1 comment:

-- Lu -- said...

you're very unlucky! why do such things happen to you???