Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Big, Fat, Stinky Leroy
Here's the problem - I live in TVC, have to fly to DTW to get Linda, then we travel to LAS. The trip back, therefore, is LAS to DTW to TVC. We booked the tickets in May with Linda and me on the same flights. Delta has since canceled their 8:20 pm Saturday flight from DTW to TVC, which was supposed to be my trip back home.
Delta has a policy regarding schedule changes - they will put you on another flight or refund your trip. Here's the problem - to reschedule me mean rescheduling all of Linda's flights, which we have to coordinate with people in two places to make sure she can get rides to/from the airport. It's hard enough to find one day/time that works for everyone. Trying to find a replacement day would be another headache. The other policy, of course, is to cancel the flight and give me my money back. Well that won't work unless we cancel Linda's trip, too.
For the most part everyone at Delta was wonderful. They were very understanding of my situation and did everything they could to help me. I ended up having to book a flight for a day later, so I have to spend the night near the airport and will get home almost 24 hours later than expected. I asked the gal if there was any way Delta could help me with the cost of the hotel room and three meals. She couldn't, but she offered me a $100 voucher.
Let me preface by saying that I was thrilled that she offered me ANYTHING! I was happy enough that it only took me 30 minutes on the phone. Though it was an inconvenience, the experience was overall an easy one. Everyone I spoke with was completely understanding and friendly.
Here's where it gets good: as the gal was giving me my ticket number, we were disconnected. I called back to confirm that I would receive the credit. The new gal didn't see it mentioned anywhere, and she only had the authority to give me up to $50. She offered to transfer me to a supervisor who could override that authority.
Introducing big, fat, stinky Leroy.
When Leroy got on the phone he was already on the defensive. Even though he had my file and explanation in front of him, he started off with "We don't compensate for schedule changes. You can change your flight or cancel." Here are the highlights:
Me: "Delta canceled my original flight--"
Leroy: (interrupting me) "It wasn't canceled. It was a schedule change."*
*Um, if flight 1234 no longer exists and I'm now on flight 5678 is that a rescheduled flight, or did you cancel one and put me on another one?
Me: "I can't reschedule. I have to travel with my aunt, so if I have to reschedule, then she has to reschedule."
Leroy: "We're only talking about your ticket here."
Leroy: "There's nothing that says anyone offered you anything. We don't compensate for schedule changes, so even if someone did offer you..."*
I can't even tell you how many times he said, "You can reschedule or take a refund, but we don't compensate." I pointed out that he's the supervisor and has the authority to compensate, and he'd repeat his mantra. My personal favorite was when I kept trying to make the point that if I canceled my ticket I'd have to cancel Linda's and my earlier ticket. Like a mean ol' teacher he kept snapping, "We're only talking about this ticket. We're only talking about this ticket."
When I asked to speak with someone else he told me I could call back and try to reconnect with someone else, or I could write a letter to complain.
He's the customer service supervisor! When I pointed that out, he repeated the mantra. When I told him he wasn't actually providing customer service, mantra, mantra, mantra. I asked for his employee ID number so I could complain, but he would only tell me that he was the Customer Service Support Supervisor in Cincinnati.
I did finally hang up on him. I called back Delta to speak with someone else just because I needed to know that all of their supervisors aren't like big, fat, stinky Leroy. I spoke with John next - not only did he apologize, but he gave me a $50.
I'm happy with that because my intent was never to fleece Delta. I asked for something because the worst that could happen was that they'd say no and I'd be no worse off than before, but I wouldn't know if I didn't ask. I completely understand how the airlines work - I don't agree with it, but I understand it.
Of the six people I spoke with today, five of them were fantastic. Just as I realize the schedule changes aren't their fault, they realized that spending time on the phone rescheduling a previously scheduled flight isn't my fault either. They were polite and friendly; I was polite and friendly. Everything was find until big, fat, stinky Leroy.
I took his advice and hung up on him. I will absolutely take his advice and send a letter. I'm exacting my own revenge by letting you know that Cincinnati Customer Service Support Supervisor Leroy is a big, fat, stinky jerk who has no business working in customer service and definitely shouldn't be a supervisor. If you're ever flying Delta through Cincinnati, consider yourself warned.