Apologies as it has been some weeks since my last blog. Since the Travel Convention I have managed to squeeze in a family holiday at last to sunny Tenerife. Travel is amazing as I have still have some friends over there Roberto and Karina that I worked with and Adi and Ruth and even though it has been over 14 years since we worked together it still felt like yesterday. Since then I had a jaunt to SSH to the Hays IG Conference which as was well attended and productive. SSH does let itself down however as the arrival process is a daunting and disorganised affair and more should be done not just for the conference but generally to make it a bit more welcoming to say the least. My last journey of late was to Amsterdam for a great joint Fam Trip with the COOP Scottish Region co-hosted by Holidaytaxis, Travel2, Hoseasons and of course DFDS. Amsterdam is know for a lot of tolerance to wards various activities, however there is a lot more to the city and I had forgotten what a great destination it is. It was a great cruise and highly recommended for a short beak and all of the agents were hard working and excellent.
So a lot of trips with no hitches – wrong…….
On arrival in SSH there was a problem with my relatively new passport (don’t worry no one had drawn whiskers on my face this time), as there was a problem with the chip. I managed to get through – same problem on the way back and the same going to and from Amsterdam. I then this week had to go through the torture of the passport office call centre – reference Stephen – who was reading the same info of the website that I was reading!! I did manage to get an appointment in Liverpool to go down and sort it out. My passport is only a year old and I paid extra to get it the same day – I then had to pay an extra £77 to get a new passport yesterday – the broken chip is their fault!! They have said that if the passport has not been tampered with then they will refund the money – however in the old days it just would have been stamped – no hassle and lasted a good ten years!
Second call centre rant – Sharon and Amelia (my wife and daughter) were all booked to go and see Sharon’s mum and dad in Malaga. I received an e-mail when we were in TFS to say the outbound had been cancelled – I booked the flights 4 months previous with BMI Baby. There was no phone number on the email and it was a no reply email either with no reason and no name. I managed to find a number – called their call centre overseas who informed me I would be refunded the flight cost but not the taxes or the credit card charge – wrong answer! After a debate on legalities and speaking to the supervisor, they agreed to full refund – then couldn’t work out how much it was. I then asked them was it definite that the inbound wasn’t going to be cancelled (he didn’t understand you have to fly a plane out so that you have one to fly back in again!) and he said it was definitely not cancelled. I rebooked the outbound this time with Easyjet next thing new email – inbound is now cancelled by BMI! I have had a full refund – no apology – and an experience that I will never book with BMI Baby again – poor and shoddy service and they expect support from the trade. Yes I know I should have booked it with a travel agent and there are good and bad call centres and staff – however still a very poor show by BMI Baby
Anyway nearly Xmas and goodwill to all men (and women) – back next week.
4 Dec 2009 11:59 AM