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  • FIRST POST
    • wordsearch
    • By wordsearch 9th Sep 17, 1:19 AM
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    wordsearch
    Complaint about Thomas Cook - worst customer service I've ever received
    • #1
    • 9th Sep 17, 1:19 AM
    Complaint about Thomas Cook - worst customer service I've ever received 9th Sep 17 at 1:19 AM
    I have wanted to vent all day about how appalling the customer service I received from the Thomas Cook call centre today was the whole day

    We have had frequent problems with our Thomas Cook flight booking since first making it, however to be fair these issues have always been solved relatively quickly and the customer services team have been friendly. Until today!

    I had a voicemail from them asking to call them about my flight tomorrow. So, I did. The first time I was on hold for about thirty minutes and was hung up on quite quickly as they said they couldn't hear me properly. Annoying, but fair enough, perhaps they couldn't actually hear me at all. I went back on hold for a second hour, and ended up in a long argument with who was definitely the rudest customer service representative I've ever had the misfortune of speaking with.

    He took an instant dislike to me anyway, to which I did try and apologise. I stated that I understood that they were probably busy because of the hurricane and that I realise that that isn't their fault, and apologised if I sounded fed up but that I'd been on hold for a long time and I had quite a bad cold which always made me sound worse than I actually was. We immediately had a problem as he asked for my booking reference, and I asked if he was able to obtain it from my passport number, date of birth, phone number or anything else. "No, so I'm going to hang up now and you can call back again later when you've got it." We argued about this for a few minutes, but luckily somewhere in that time I managed to get hold of it. He immediately replied with, "Well if you've been on hold for so long, why didn't you go and get it, what were you doing during all that time?" I was at work, and the voicemail said to call immediately, so I did...

    Once that was settled, he didn't seem to want to tell me what the call was actually about. He kept saying "Well, I don't know, I didn't call you, why would I know what it's about?" Well, SOMEONE at Thomas Cook called me, and SOMEONE asked me to call this number. I'm now calling this number, can you not check the system to find out what it is because I have no idea, probably the hurricane? "Fine, but I'll put you on hold for another thirty minutes, that's alright isn't it?" ....

    As expected, the flight was cancelled. (I sort of wish they'd said that in the voicemail as it would have saved a lot of stress, but there you go) However, this wasn't that simple either. The man used some odd phrasing so I thought I misunderstood. His words were, "Your flight tomorrow is cancelled. You have two choices. You can cancel the flight and get a refund, or you can move it." I clarified this as I thought I must have misheard, as how could I cancel the flight if it was already cancelled? To this he began talking to me like I was very stupid, saying, "Okay, let me break this down really simply so that you can understand it," then repeated what he'd already said extremely slowly and patronisingly. This lead to more drama as I didn't have the credit card I'd used on me to get a refund - sure, perhaps annoying, but I didn't know the flight was cancelled, I was just returning the call. I also don't work in an office, I work for the emergency services and so don't happen to have all of my posessions lying around near me.

    By the end of the conversation this guy was being such a douche and talking down to me as much as it was possible to do so. I asked for his name, and he absolutely refused to provide it and we ended up in an argument about it. I asked to speak to a manager and he said, "Why, just because you don't like that I've not told you what you want to hear?" No, that wasn't the problem at all - I half expected the flight to be cancelled and had a backup plan waiting to be put into action, but I DO have a problem with someone being so completely rude and unprofessional to me when it's already an upsetting situation. At one point he even said, "Okay, would you like me to put you through to my direct supervisor?" Yes please. "Well, I'm not going to." More going in circles trying to get his name and eventually he just hung up on me.

    I have never spoken to someone so rude and patronising and had someone talk down to me so much over what should have been a fairly simple transaction. I was never able to get his name or get put through to anyone (and of course got to spend a fortune on their phoneline just to be repeatedly insulted) and don't think I can recall a time a phone conversation has left me so angry! I want to complain to Thomas Cook but their complaints number appears to be the exact same one that this delightful man works for, so what would the point be in that...

    Anyway, just wanted to get that out I suppose
Page 2
    • wordsearch
    • By wordsearch 10th Sep 17, 3:40 PM
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    wordsearch
    If you're going to an affected area you surely knew your flight would be cancelled? Common sense would be that the call was to advise of your options, and common sense would be to make sure you had the relevant information to hand.

    It sounds like he was having a crappy day (and I would be too if I was taking constant calls where people didn't have the right information), and you were grumpy because of your cold and because your holiday has been cancelled (understandable). If that's the worst customer service you've ever received, especially under difficult circumstances, you're very lucky.

    As for the call wait time, people like you OP make the problem so much worse. How much time did you spend moaning about waiting, finding information you should have had to hand? That time is x minutes longer for the next person waiting in the queue. Multiply that by the hundreds of callers, and now you might understand why you were waiting so long.
    Originally posted by IAmWales
    To be honest, I'd assumed that the call was to tell me that I could get a refund or rebook etc etc. I had a friend on the same flight and he'd received a call the day before letting him know he could change everything without cost and I hadn't had that call, therefore I assumed I was just receiving the same one as I thought that if the flight was cancelled it would have said so on the voicemail. Live and learn!

    As for moaning about waiting, I didn't - I complained to my co-worker because the music was very annoying, but not on the phone. I realise that the guy on the other end has absolutely zero control over how long I'm on hold and expected a long wait anyway, that wasn't the issue.
    • wordsearch
    • By wordsearch 10th Sep 17, 3:42 PM
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    wordsearch
    Nearly as pedantic as the OP, it doesnt take a rocket science degree to understand the point being made.
    Originally posted by AylesburyDuck
    If in person, perhaps yes. However as this was over the phone and it wasn't the best line, I simply thought I could have misunderstood it and thought it was much better to clarify than to have completely misunderstood and go with an option I didn't actually need to take.
    • wordsearch
    • By wordsearch 10th Sep 17, 3:46 PM
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    wordsearch
    While you were 'on hold' all that time, didn't the message on the loop tell you to "have your booking reference number ready"? Even if it didn't, sorry, but foolish thing to do & your own fault, though if calling from work I can understand why you wouldn't have it about your person, after all, who does?

    I have in the past also rung a call centre extremely angry, & started my conversation by explaining that although I am furious it is not with them personally & I won't take my temper out on them, but I would like their help to sort 'it' out.

    I find it best to ask who I'm speaking to right after that, & I note their name & use it often during the subsequent conversation, also noting date & time - for pretty much any call to any call centre, otherwise it's all far too anonymous for my liking. Though I go out of my way to stay friendly & polite because being difficult & rude get you nowhere (except disconnected).

    It does sound like you got more than your fair share of sarcasm & rudeness, but TBH it also sounds as if you were doggedly determined to be somewhat awkward.

    You clearly knew the message left for you would more than likely be about a flight cancellation, yet pretended not to have any idea, finally suggesting "probably the hurricane".

    I agree that the operative could have phrased the cancellation choices better, but frankly, you don't sound so dim as to not have understood exactly what he meant.

    Only reading one side it's difficult to judge, but I wouldn't be surprised if you weren't giving as good as you got.

    Sorry your plans went awry though & hope you could rearrange your trip. Put this down to an annoying experience & a good amusing 'read' for us.
    Originally posted by SevenOfNine
    No, the loop didn't mention it. Perhaps now it is obvious I should have had the number and I completely appreciate that, however when I've had to phone them before they've never actually needed it. Plus in all honesty I thought I had the number written down though it ended up being a different one. You're completely right of course though, I should have checked and made sure I had it to hand, and that's only my fault.

    As for suspecting it was a cancellation, I didn't - I thought it would have mentioned that in the voicemail, and as my friend who was on the same flight had received a call the day before informing him he could change his flight for free or cancel for a full refund, I assumed I was receiving the same call as I hadn't had that one, and again thought it owuld have mentioned that it was a cancellation. In terms of understanding what he meant - I wanted to clarify it, as it was over the phone and the line wasn't amazing anyway and I thought it made sense to just double check it. I appreciate that that's probably annoying, but I've worked my fair share of customer service roles and I don't think it's that hard to just make an effort to explain it and sound polite about it, even if inside you're wondering what on earth wasn't clear about it :-)
    • wordsearch
    • By wordsearch 10th Sep 17, 3:47 PM
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    wordsearch
    A cancelled flight doesn't result in a cancelled a ticket until the passenger has exercised that option.

    To get a refund the ticket is cancelled, to re-arrange it isn't.

    It really isn't rocket science.
    Originally posted by peachyprice
    And that's fair enough, but I've not had that before. I've had flights cancelled before, they've called me and told me that they've automatically refunded me. Now I know that that's a thing that happens and I'll understand what they mean if it comes up again, no big deal.
    • wordsearch
    • By wordsearch 10th Sep 17, 3:51 PM
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    wordsearch
    Perhaps some of the responses you feel 'blame' the OP are because there is, of course, only one side to this story & some of it doesn't quite fit together.

    OP didn't have their booking reference (fair enough, he/she says they were at work, I wouldn't have mine there either), but they offered their PASSPORT number. They have THAT at work?

    OP has a less than pleasant discussion about what the answerphone message asking him/her to call might be about, initially acting ignorant (for how long did that go on when travel/airline call centres were under intense pressure). Than finally admits not only did he/she think it "might be the hurricane", but later also states he/she thought the flight might be cancelled & already had a backup plan.

    OP claimed not to understand why they were being invited to choose between cancellation or reschedule given that the flight was cancelled already, yes badly phrased but REALLY - you really think OP is dim enough not to have got that the operative meant refund or reschedule. Certainly bright enough to have put alternative 'just in case of cancellation' plans in place already.

    OP did not have the c/c in order to obtain a refund which led to "more drama".....more drama to & fro between themselves & operative perhaps? Not necessarily one sided with OP purely on the receiving end maybe?

    Are some people here right to perhaps suspect OP was also doing a bit of 'winding up'?

    OP spent 30 mins on hold, then a further hour on hold, followed by a long argument. Then claims to work in the emergency services! Blimey, I wouldn't mind a job in that field if there are random breaks lasting in excess of maybe 2 hours.

    The initial thread reads to me like customer service skills were very thin on the ground, but tempers short ON BOTH SIDES. There's no excuse for some of what has been claimed but this is, at the end of the day, only one side.

    Hopefully OP will have felt better after venting here, taking it all out on his keyboard, & got off safely to his/her destination.
    Originally posted by SevenOfNine
    I feel odd having to justify myself on here, but yes, I have my passport number at work. Because it's in my head, I know it by heart, it's not a new number I need to remember.

    As to why I didn't understand the cancellation bit - it was over the phone, I thought I could have misunderstood. It wouldn't have taken very long to just clarify the point, rather than me ending up cancelling a flight that I didn't actually need to. I've not had that option before, flights have been cancelled and they've just been refunded (or more often than not, let me know what hoops I have to jump through to get the refund...)

    And yes, don't worry about my long break at work - I got to do a delightful three hours overtime to make up for it and finish at 1am
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 10th Sep 17, 4:06 PM
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    lincroft1710

    Why Martin or any reputable company would want to be associated with the ridiculous amount of trolls and frankly nasty people who post on these boards amazes me.
    Originally posted by ThumbRemote
    Martin sold MSE some time ago
    • scd3scd4
    • By scd3scd4 10th Sep 17, 4:14 PM
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    scd3scd4
    Martin sold MSE some time ago
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    "associated".
    • kezzygirl
    • By kezzygirl 10th Sep 17, 4:26 PM
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    kezzygirl
    Do I get a prize for knowing this poster has absolutely no idea what it's like to deal with customers!

    Kezzygirl is possibly is a teacher or another similar profession.

    Either way Kezzygirl has no idea how to deal with such situations. Kezzygirl is basically a very blinkered person and will always be until they can see why what they've wrote above is so blatantly narrow minded!
    Originally posted by The-Truth
    oh, believe me i have to deal with the public, warts n all, yet still have to be professional. I would be struck off if I didn't 😉 narrow minded? Blinkered? What planet are you on? Are you seriously telling me that because she didn't have her booking number the person on the other end of the phone has free reign to be sarcastic, rude, and refuse to hand her over to a manager? Jeez, please tell me you don't work with the public! 😅
    • kezzygirl
    • By kezzygirl 10th Sep 17, 4:31 PM
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    kezzygirl
    Why did you put quotation marks around the word 'advisor'? Nobody on this thread has mentioned that word as of yet, so who the hell are you quoting??
    Originally posted by stuartJo1989
    If you would care to look again, they are speech marks....as in "advisor" in the least sense of the word, one would assume he was a customer service ADVISOR hence why I called him an advisor in a sarcastic tone. You know, like using your fingers to put speech marks around a word when speaking in order to denote a sarcastic tone? Is that enough of an explanation for you? Or would you like to pick a bit more?
    • kezzygirl
    • By kezzygirl 10th Sep 17, 4:40 PM
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    kezzygirl
    Do I get a prize for knowing this poster has absolutely no idea what it's like to deal with customers!

    Kezzygirl is possibly is a teacher or another similar profession.

    Either way Kezzygirl has no idea how to deal with such situations. Kezzygirl is basically a very blinkered person and will always be until they can see why what they've wrote above is so blatantly narrow minded!
    Originally posted by The-Truth
    Oh, and by the way, 'dealing with such situations' I should imagine involves responding calmly, not winding the person up even more, pointing out their faults, being rude and uncooperative. You might like to research de-escalation techniques, you could learn a lot 😉. But then, what would i know, being narrow minded n all
    • baza52
    • By baza52 10th Sep 17, 6:02 PM
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    baza52
    I've never worked in any job where I've felt the need to be rude to someone in the course of my employment. It's not professional.
    Originally posted by hollydays
    have you ever worked in a job where members of the public were often rude and condesending to you through no fault of your own? I asume not.
    • scd3scd4
    • By scd3scd4 10th Sep 17, 6:19 PM
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    scd3scd4
    have you ever worked in a job where members of the public were often rude and condesending to you through no fault of your own? I asume not.
    Originally posted by baza52

    But that's his job not the OP. Is he not the service provider, the one trained, is it not part of his duties.
    • keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • By keepcalmandstayoutofdebt 10th Sep 17, 6:35 PM
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    keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    I've never worked in any job where I've felt the need to be rude to someone in the course of my employment. It's not professional.
    Originally posted by hollydays
    I would seriously have been quaking in my shoes if I had been as difficult throughout as what the OP experienced. To refuse to give my name is despicable, when the guys in the retail stores all wear name badges and the consultant's name use to be all over the paperwork issued even when amended. (though I'm going back to when the stores had the red signage so quite a while but hey...)

    I hope they do take it further for the next customer if nothing else.

    I'm no angel but the moment someone would start asking for my name in a less then impressed way, when active listening - would be the moment I need to realise and start diffusing.

    As I spot at least one user posting on this thread under their new AE, I do wonder what reaction the OP would have got should they have become a new poster themselves with no history to rummage through. Nuff said.
    "If you are caught in a rainstorm, once you accept that you'll receive a soaking, the only thing left to do is enjoy the walk"
    • baza52
    • By baza52 10th Sep 17, 6:43 PM
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    baza52
    But that's his job not the OP. Is he not the service provider, the one trained, is it not part of his duties.
    Originally posted by scd3scd4
    But customers do not have the right to give abuse to the person working in the call center.
    For the service providor to ultimately terminate the call the OP must have over abusive or rude.
    • mattyprice4004
    • By mattyprice4004 10th Sep 17, 7:56 PM
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    mattyprice4004
    I'd play it smart - perform a subject access request to get a copy of the call, then upload it to YouTube with the transcript as the video itself.

    The PR team will soon pick it up
    • mattyprice4004
    • By mattyprice4004 10th Sep 17, 7:58 PM
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    mattyprice4004
    But that's his job not the OP. Is he not the service provider, the one trained, is it not part of his duties.
    Originally posted by scd3scd4
    No it's not, and if you're the kind of idiot that shouts at call centre staff you're an idiot.

    I had no time for people like that, I was there to help people not be abused.
    • ThumbRemote
    • By ThumbRemote 10th Sep 17, 7:59 PM
    • 3,781 Posts
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    ThumbRemote
    But customers do not have the right to give abuse to the person working in the call center.
    For the service providor to ultimately terminate the call the OP must have over abusive or rude.
    Originally posted by baza52
    Yeah right, no customer sales advisor has ever terminated any call other than for that reason!
    • mattyprice4004
    • By mattyprice4004 10th Sep 17, 8:06 PM
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    mattyprice4004
    Personally I've never terminated a call unless absolutely necessary.
    • baza52
    • By baza52 10th Sep 17, 8:18 PM
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    baza52
    The OP says in their post that they ended up going round in circles.
    To me that sounds like they were asking for something the advisor could not or did not have to give them and quite rightly terminated the call.
    • stuartJo1989
    • By stuartJo1989 10th Sep 17, 9:19 PM
    • 75 Posts
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    stuartJo1989
    If you would care to look again, they are speech marks....as in "advisor" in the least sense of the word, one would assume he was a customer service ADVISOR hence why I called him an advisor in a sarcastic tone. You know, like using your fingers to put speech marks around a word when speaking in order to denote a sarcastic tone? Is that enough of an explanation for you? Or would you like to pick a bit more?
    Originally posted by kezzygirl
    #Triggered
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