Because of my work I am unable to make long term plans for family holidays, therefore I usually end up booking things at the last minute during peak season, paying double the price and getting crap for it, and by that I mean I get crap accommodation and crap from my family 🙂
It pays to travel extensively so you don’t panic and shit yourself when ….. shit happens. I must say that the majority of my travels have been fun and utterly enjoyable.
But there were two occasions that stick out in my mind for how poorly customer service handled a client complaint… allow me to explain.
I had made a booking on Airbnb for an apartment in Taipei for a Christmas 2017 holiday, and this had to be the worst travel experience I’ve ever had. We arrived at an apartment that looked like something out of an old Hong Kong triad movie …. yes it was that bad, nightmarish to say the least when you are travelling with your family. To add to the bad dream, there was a poster on the wall of our apartment floor to let everyone know of an intruder, who by the way looked like some one with a drug addiction problem.
I made it known immediately that the room that I booked on Airbnb website was not what they were showing me, and I wanted my money back, the host tried to offer me another apartment in the same building, which was like a fire disaster waiting to happen. Because we couldn’t come to an agreement I proceeded to walk out and book a hotel for the night through Booking.com.
On return to Bangkok a week later, I compiled my complaint on Airbnb with photos, etc. and to be perfectly honest I wasn’t expecting much, but as it turned out Airbnb came back to me with more questions and proof (receipts) that I had booked somewhere else for the remainder of my stay. It took Airbnb about two weeks review the matter, and promptly refunded me in full PLUS a discount coupon… now how good is that!
On the other hand, I had with an issue with Agoda who cancelled my accommodation in Singapore for no apparent reason the night prior my arrival. To make matters worse they confirmed me two alternatives, both 2 stars hotels with double beds, when I had booked a 3 stars property with twin beds as I was travelling with my son. Problem is you can’t contact these guys unless it is by email, and by 9 pm the problem was still not solved. They did call me, but it was a Hong Kong number….. weirdest thing ever, I was in Singapore, headquarters of Agoda, but they get customer service in Hong Kong to call me!!
Finally I booked my own alternative hotel, and Agoda never apologized for their screw up which cost me more money because I had to book a room at the last minute …. but continue to bombard me with discount coupons for future trips…. quite honestly they can stick it where the sun don’t shine because I will never travel with them again.
But to be fair, I have booked rooms with Agoda numerous times, which they obviously should have a record of, and never had any issues….. but it was just this one bad experience that they could have resolved much better. From my experience in working both as a hotelier and a travel agent, when there’s a problem, solve it, solve it quickly and if possible upgrade or offer complimentary services to keep the customers happy, it’s not going to make the corporation lose money.