Wednesday, December 01, 2004

OK - a few comments first:

Janet - can't wait to see you, Ernie,Joan, Don & the rest of the gang..Expect the unexpected in the near future

Kelly C - you need my assistance!???? That is laughable, but'd be great to hear from you and catch email is Will be home on Monday

Becky Rogers - you'd better have one damn good tan when you come home. I hear you on the leaving your home sadness....I can't imagine how I'll ever pull up my roots from Edinburgh. I can't wait to see you though and hear your plans for the new year, knowing you they'll and completely unexpected...maybe you will est up shop in Souris and open a hostel for all the backpackers that head to the 'field of mice'?

OK - enough notes, now it is time for a rant. As of late, Ms Shields has related to me two disturbing stories regarding persons being screwed over royally by businesses. Here are the details , I ask you to consider, whenever you buy a product or service- does the business really deserve your custom? Have they treated you well? Do you feel good when you leave the shop/finish the transaction? Way too often I think we go back to businesses that provide crap service because we think there is no other option - we assume that there is a trade off between price & service. This is simply not the case... I've outlined a third story (also from Ms Shields, to prove this point. Please, people - you have the power - choose to use it.

E-Vil Business Number 1 - E-Bookers

Ebookers are an on-line business that book flights for travelers. Keri booked her return flight home from Edinburgh to Halifax and back. It cost her about £50 less than the on-line booker Jen & I used. At first I was jealous, because she was also flying Air Canada for most of the flight, thus avoiding a stopover in the US. But then the cracks began to show. They had screwed her over royally in a number of ways:

1. On her return flight, Keri will be arriving in London Heathrow from Halifax. 4 hours later she will be departing from London Gatwick for her final flight to Edinburgh. The cost of getting from Heathrow to Gatwick is approximately £20..the travel time is approximately 1 hour and, of course, there's the hassle of traveling, dragging luggage from one airport to another and then checking in again.

2. On the way home, Keri's stopover in London Heathrow is 1 hour and 10 mins. This is simply not enough time to get from one terminal to another, given the need for security checks, etc. Air Canada recommends a minimum of 1 hour and thirty minutes for transfer in Heathrow.

3. Because E-bookers booked Keri's flights separately, she can not check her luggage the whole way through. she would have to pick up her luggage in London and recheck it for her flight to Halifax. Impossible.

4. When Keri called to inquire about this issues, she was given the run around and basically told that there was nothing they could do since she'd booked the flights. This phone call followed numerous unanswered emails and one previous callwhere she'd been put onhold for ten minutes.

5. Keri also had to pay £15 initially to have her tickets mailed to her - Jen & I rec'd our tickets free of charge through first class mail.

6. In the end Keri made the choice to book another flight to London - the night before she is to leave London. She is now out another £60 and will spend the night in the airport. ON the upside, she will have plenty of time to check her baggage.

I know this is only one instance, but I suspect that it is not uncommon for people to experience these hassles...

Some better discount airlines (in my experience) -
Major Travel
Zoom Airlines

2. The Unloyal Loyalist in Summerside PEI.

Imagine the shock of arriving at the place you are having your wedding ceremony & dinner two hours before it is to begin, only to discover that all the decorations you spent hours putting up have been torn down because some worker thought the wedding had already taken place. Imagine how you would then feel when, ia panicky state you approach the woman at the front desk to ask what has happened and what can be done to rectify the problem and find that she shrugs her shoulders and basically says 'its not my problem'. so you spend the next two hours frantically redecorating and trying to find the stepboard platform you had set up so your little cousin could do her stepdancing routine. And then, to add insult to injury, the LOyalist OVERCHARGES you for the event - claiming they have no record that you paid in part back in July when you booked the place. Finally, after much hassle you find you ONLY have to pay what you actually owed in compensation whatsoever for the fact that they pulled apart your wedding and caused you stress.

3. It DOESN'T have to be this way

Last year Keri went to buy a digital camera at the FutureShop. EVerybody goes to the Future SHop yet I know few people who actually enjoy the experience there, namely because they have sales people trying to sell you upgrades and ridiculous warranties, and because when you actually try to cash in on a warranty, they try to give you the run around and most people just give up.

Anyways - so Keri goes to buy her digital camera and encounters the sales guy who tries ot sell her the warranty (no thanks) and tells her that the software doesn't come with teh camera????? what? Right, so Keri leaves without buying it because she feels a bit uneasy about it. And then she does what every person should consider doing -she shops around and finds that she can get teh exact same camera with teh software for the EXACt SAME PRICE from Charlottetown Photography (I thnk that't the name). And the people who work there are nice and not at all pushy and you can leave feeling good that at least your helping a local business person and not some huge conglomerate which answers only to its shareholders and sees customers as putty to be moulded.

There- rant over - anyone still readin???? really though - I am sick and tired of hearing all these stories about bad businesses - why are we all so Complacent? This is my attempt to not be complacent - spreading the word is a powerful thing - try it on for size the next time you feel you've been untreated fairly...and while you're at it lodge a complaint with the company and DON't give up - persistance does pay off.....

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