A while ago, I wrote an article with the title “When everything else fails, call headquarters”. This article talks about how sometimes it is best to skip the middle man and complain directly with the company headquarter if there any issued with booking, hotels, etc.
I sent two identical letters, one to the company owner, Mr. David Siegel and another to Mr. James Gissy, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales. To my surprise, 3 days after I’ve sent the letter, I received a call from Michele Colaci, Sr. Director of Specialty Marketing.
Michelle was very professional, and I could tell she had a genuine intention of make things right. For once, she immediately acknowledged that I was grossly misled with the information I’ve received. She also explained to me that it was a third party vendor the one responsible for the marketing material I had received, but after my letter she send out a memo to all third party vendor informing them that West Gate would now allows this type of misleading practice to go on.
Michelle offered me a two night stay at their resort and two ticket to any Orlando park free of charge to compensate me for all the troubles, which I accepted.
In two weeks, I’ll be in Orlando enjoying the free accommodations and tickets.
This goes to show you once more, that a letter is a powerful tool if you send it to the right person, so don’t give up on your complains. I must also comment West Gate Resorts for making things right.
With summer vacation fast approaching, most parents are already making plans to take a road trip, or visit their favorite vacation spot with their kids. We prepare psychologically to deal with the “are we there yet?” or “I am bored” nagging from our kids because we all know that those classic road games that we used to play when we were kids, would not be enough to entertain our kids nowadays. For this reason, I have put together a list of free resources for parents who are planning road trips with their kids this summer. The list include places where you can legally download free music, videos, audio books and many other digital content guarantee to entertained your kids during the long drive.A couple of things about this list:
First, I am assuming that you own at least one of the following:
An iPod, or any other Mp3 players
A portable DVD player or any other portable media player that can play videos, music or both.
A cell phone, PDA or any other device that can display text or PDF files.
A portable CD Player
Second, all the content I am providing complies with copyright laws, meaning that the files are either public domain, or the owner had agree to share his/her work.
Third, all the content is free and safe to download (no virus, spyware, etc.)
Forth, no subscription is necessary to download this content, in some cases you might need to create a free account with the site, but you don’t have to subscribe to any services nor pay to download the material.
This said, here is the list of FREE electronic content you can download and bring with you on your next trip.
Spirit Airlines seems to forget that they exist thanks to their customer, and they have also forgotten the most basic strategy for the survival of any company not matter who big or small: good customer service. But then again when not even its CEO cares about the customer, what can you expect from the rest of the employees.
Yesterday one of my cousins came over my house to help him find a good deal on airline tickets from South Florida to Las Vegas. Since I got a good deal before on Spirit, I went to their site and got them a decent price on a round trip Fort Lauderdale – Las Vegas.
During the booking I entered his information, along with his wife and son. Spirit Air gave me the quote and I proceeded to the check out. Immediately after the payment was completed, I noticed that they had charged him for only two passengers instead of three. I soon realized that because my cousin’s name and his son’s name are the same, Spirit booking system rejected the third passenger thinking that I had entered the same person twice (even thought I had put his son’s middle name to distinguish it from his)
I quickly called Spirit Air to clarify the error and include the third passenger in the reservation. To my surprise, Spirit Air wanted to charge an extra $10.00 fee to change the reservation! No matter how much I argued with the customer service person and even her supervisor, they wouldn’t budge. My cousin was left with only two options: either pay the $10.00 fee or pay a $90.00 per person and cancel the reservation and re do it again. Just when I was about to scale my complain to the next person in command, my cousin gave up and agreed to pay the $10.00.
Obviously this is not about the $10.00. This is about a company who wouldn’t even acknowledge their own mistake and do something to remedy the situation. I have heard plenty of complains about absurd fees and bad customer services that plagues the travel industry, but I think this one tops the charts.
As far as I am concern, if you find a competitive rate, fly with a company that really cares about its customer.
We all love free stuff, not matter what it is. Las Vegas is especially good at given free stuff. Good free stuff!
Here is the list, and how you can get it:
Free backpack and other goodies:
Ever hotel and casino in Las Vegas tries to get you to become part of their player’s club. Becoming a club member allows the hotel to track how much you spend on their machines, plus it also gives them the opportunity to mail you (or email you) their marketing material. It is a gold data mine for them. Several hotels were giving away travel backpacks. They retail between $20 to $30.00 each. Their free stuff usually varies from month to month. If you are traveling with you spouse, each one can enroll on their player’s club individually, so you can get two gifts.
Along with the goodies, several hotels gives you either free money in the form of a refund check or in the form of credit to play in their slot machines when you enroll on their players’ club. On my resent visit to Las Vegas, there were several hotels refunding back the first $100.00 that you loose on their casino. The refund would come in the form of a check that they would mail to you 4 to 6 weeks after your visit. (the catch here is that you would need to go back to the same hotel at a later time in order to cash your check, but if you are planning a second visit to Las Vegas, is free money nevertheless)
Free Food and Free Shows
Timeshares sales are very popular in Las Vegas and if you are willing to spend 2 hours of your time listening to a motivated sales person trying to sell you a timeshare, then you can really get compensated for your time. Most developers selling timeshare will give you 2 tickets to a Las Vegas show plus dinner for two at a popular buffet as long as you go to their presentation. Most of them allow you to pick the show you want to see from within a list of shows they have available. In addition, they even give you a free hotel stay as part of the package. When we went to Las Vegas, my wife and didn’t have anything planned for one of the days, so sit through one of those timeshare presentation and in return we got two tickets to a show, a buffet dinner for two and 4 nights hotel stay in St. Thomas, US Virgin Island. Not bad for two hours of your time.