So, you think I am nuts?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Fooled by Fools

Today was supposedly to be a big day. I was going to pay up for my trip to Bangkok. After much research few weeks back, I have decided to engage Asia Travel Mart for my trip. Despite being a young company, I trusted that they would deliver to my expectations.

I chose a Free and Easy to Bangkok. I booked the flight and hotel. Everything went smoothly.

Today , somehow, I just felt like paying for the trip and went to the kiosk ( yes, they operate in a kiosk and not a shoplot office) while on the way to do some of my cake deliveries.

I got the money ready. Just waiting to pay up. A very happy girl I was. My mood outbeat the gloomy weather anytime.

After hearing the tour consultant mumbling something unfavorable, the smiling muscles in my face frozed and inch by inch changed to a frown and finally to an angry face. I could just eat up the guy like Hannibal upon hearing that they could not get the hotel for me. My face was like Mount Pinatubo, my fangs ready to devour my victim like a tiger, my body stiffened up like a frozen Dacquiri and my tongue, oh boy, my tongue ready to fire missiles. Why ah? I tell you why. Asia Travel Mart sucks !

Firstly, they did not advice me to give a few hotel choices in case my first choice of hotel was fully occupied. Secondly, the travel consultant did not check the status of the hotel rooms and advice me earlier that due to the water festival, most of the rooms are over booked. Thirdly, I was very MAD that they took it for granted that I would take any hotels that they could shoved me in.

Upon hearing that my trip would not be as rosy as I have planned, my hopes were dashed. In fact, I had a feeling that they were just interested in selling me the airline tickets while "trying to look like they are booking the hotel room for me." They had a week to try getting a room for me but they said that they were still waiting for confirmation from Thailand. A week to get confirmation? Come on...do not lie to me. And most certainly do not put the blame on the Water Festival that all the rooms are fully occupied. I was not bornt yesterday.

I asked for my deposit refund and they could only reimbursed me in 6 weeks time because it was a credit card payment. That I understand. But the supervisor whom I called to complain said that if I did not receive the reimbursement in 6 weeks time, I should go to the kiosk and enquire. Do not look for their accounts department. Whaaaaat? Do not push the responsiblity to the poor consultants. Their job is just to sell, sell and sell tickets.

Then I realised that this Travel Mart specialises in tickets and may not be experienced in handling traveling packages and most certainly do not have connections to hotel reservations. Why I dare say that ?

Because after such a big fuss, I was not contented with the answer. I went to Reliance Travel and enquire for the same tour, same flight , same hotel and same departure date. There and then I got a confirmation on flight and hotel bookings and I was told that there were still vacancies at my choice of hotel.

So, what have you got to explain to me, Asia Travel Mart?

Call me the last minute and tell me you have taken the trouble of relocating me to YOUR next favorable hotel because of full occupancy due to the festival? I REALLY DO NOT THINK SO.

Shame on you . You have acted on my behalf without notifying me. Do not take me as a fool and most certainly not take me as a blurr sotong. And the worst part was, the person who sold me the package did not even have the courtesy to say sorry and not even the supervisor apologised. I was appalled with the "tidak apa" attitude. These people are the frontliners. They represent the company.

Yes, they may have lost me as a customer but I certainly did not want to lose the chance of going for my trip. To them, losing a few hundred ringgit from me or any potential customers could be OK but I still need my vacation. And the clock is ticking. I only have those few dates available for my vacation. I needed to find an agent who could amend the mess.

I felt cheated . Cheated like a kid. Give me a candy to pacify me while "trying " to look busy with the booking? I really don't think so.

I had to rush to a more reliable travel agent and got Reliance to settle for me. They were resourceful, helpful and courteous. I got my bookings confirmed on the spot . All went well. All the more angry I was because Asia Travel Mart blamed on the festival for the full occupancy.

A word to the shameful agent:
Hey, do not lie or blame because the cat will eventually come out of the bag and that will tarnish your image. You are killing your own reputation. And you have done it on yourself today. Well, you most definitely will not have me as your customer again.

And by the way, your flight tickets are not as cheap.

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