I’ve been trying to cancel a reservation at the Savannah Beach Inn for about a month now. I’ve e-mailed and called four times to no avail.
The Savannah Beach Inn is run by two women and one of the womens’ sons. While I’ve never received a response to my multiple e-mails asking for the deposit to be refunded, our phone calls usually go one of three ways, depending on who I’m speaking with:
“Hi, my name is HijabMan, I made this reservation on this date, and I’ve been trying to cancel it since June 2nd, I’ve sent multiple e-mails and called several times. Can you help me out?”
*Conversation 1:* “We do things by e-mail here. So, I can’t take your cancellation over the phone.”
“But I’ve already e-mailed three times!”
“Well, I’m not in the office so I can’t check it. Can you call back again?”
“When will you be in the office tomorrow?”
“I don’t know.”
*Conversation 2:* (After putting me on hold and hanging up) “Yeah, well, oh dear! Let me see, I’m not in the office. You see we have some flooding and there is this going on and that going on and…can you call back at 8 pm. That’s when I’m at the office.”
She of course, is not in the office at 8 pm. And is unable to remember anything or write anything down (see Response 2). And thus there is a repeat of Conversation 1.
*Conversation 3:* I’m an old lady, I can’t deal with this. Whatever. (I was floored by this one.)
I’ve never had to dispute a charge before, and so I called Citi Cards and quickly bypassed any automated message by asking for a representative. In this world of huge call centers, Lindsey, a cheery, young-sounding woman picked up the phone within seconds.
Lindsey was quick to laugh while I spelled out my name and compared it to the spellings of a particular fruit. She definitely lightened my mood. I explained the situation, and while productive, the conversation was actually full of laughter. I was just fascinated by how these two ladies ran me around in circles. Lindsey and I were becoming quick buddies– that is until the scary, inevitable part happened.
She wanted to transfer me.
Oh no, please God don’t.. elevator music.. bad experiences with Verizon. The horror! The horror!
I expressed my sadness. I had found a helpful, bubbly woman to help me with my troubles, and now I was being _transferred!_
Just when it dawned on me that the stars were not even close to alignment, Lindsey, concerned for my happiness, assured me:
“Don’t worry, I’ll make sure the next person you speak with is nice, too.”
I was expecting that to be our last goodbye, but Lindsey, superwoman that she is, got back on the line with Rochelle. She proceeded to introduce Rochelle as a very nice woman. Wished me a lovely evening, and we parted ways.
Rochelle was pretty decent too, but explained something quite illogical if you ask me. She explained that in order to dispute the charge, it would be helpful if I could get a cancellation confirmation number.
I explained quite clearly that the people who are running the half-assed operation over at Savannah Beach Inn do not work with reservation numbers or cancellation numbers. They just say they’ll take care of it and then forget about you. Rochelle seemed to be saying that if they display some competence, it is easier to dispute the charge than if they are totally incompetent. Peachy.
I was not happy with Rochelle’s explanation of things, but I called back Savannah Beach Inn, and as expected got nothing from them. They told me to call back tomorrow, but [surprise, surprise!] couldn’t give me a time for when, because she had errands to run. I had gotten used to these long-winded explanations involving floods, natural disasters, errands, and the like.
I called Citi Cards, my credit card company back, and immediately got hooked up with Ray, Employee ID YF0414, aka Best Guy Ever. He explained that I didn’t need to go through this back and forth with Savannah Beach Inn, that as soon as I felt there was an issue, I should have called and disputed the charge. At that point, my credit card company does the back and forth with the merchant so that I don’t have to. And Ray said not to worry about the cancellation confirmation number. Yeehaw.
Never in my life did I think I would say good things about a credit card company– but hot damn, these people are nice!
Ray gave me his employee ID number, and confirmed that until the dispute was solved, they would credit my account. Thank you for the great service Lindsey, Ray, and sometimes Rochelle!