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    • 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 4
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 14th Sep 17, 4:23 PM
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Dealing with angry customers in NOT the job they are paid to do, that would be the complaints team.
    Originally posted by baza52
    If any company tells its customer facing staff that, they are talking nonsense. Angry people usually want their problems sorted out to enable them to do whatever it is they are trying to do, as in the original example. They want somebody to shut the stable door; they don't want to raise a retrospective complaint after the horse has bolted.
    • baza52
    • By baza52 14th Sep 17, 5:40 PM
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    baza52
    Thomas cook advise people with a complaint (that would include people who want t rant) to contact Customer relations. They are a different team and would be trained how to handle such situations
    Customer support/services would most likely NOT get the same training.

    Take a look at their website.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 14th Sep 17, 5:55 PM
    • 9,921 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    ..........wtf was that all about
    Originally posted by kezzygirl
    You're not a fan of "At Last the 1948 Show" then?

    (The sketch was originally performed on this show, but more memorably performed on Monty Python live stage shows).
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 14th Sep 17, 9:50 PM
    • 15,543 Posts
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    hollydays
    Perhaps hollydays simply doesn't feel obliged to enlighten you by answering your question. Perhaps she just got bored by the thread & couldn't be asked to read further than page one.

    "Hollydays has logged in today"..........you're starting to sound like a stalker!
    Originally posted by SevenOfNine
    I'm abroad so not following mse as often as I might do
    Yes, I'd probably have got bored with the thread at that point, or perhaps not responded to see how the truth reacts when he doesn't get a response?

    To answer a couple of questions broadly.
    It's because I've worked in jobs where I've had to deal with high levels of confrontation, I've learned that getting wound up but the client/customer is needless.

    A skilled employee knows that if you lose your temper, you're the loser.
    Last edited by hollydays; 14-09-2017 at 9:54 PM.
    • baza52
    • By baza52 15th Sep 17, 12:16 AM
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    baza52
    I'm abroad so not following mse as often as I might do
    Yes, I'd probably have got bored with the thread at that point, or perhaps not responded to see how the truth reacts when he doesn't get a response?

    To answer a couple of questions broadly.
    It's because I've worked in jobs where I've had to deal with high levels of confrontation, I've learned that getting wound up but the client/customer is needless.

    A skilled employee knows that if you lose your temper, you're the loser.
    Originally posted by hollydays
    Does not answer the question though. If you took the time to reply you could have used an example to back up your point. I appreciate you dont have to.
    In your job were you a basic front line agent or were you trained to be able to deal with difficult customers in a different role? You say you were a skilled employee.
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 15th Sep 17, 2:12 AM
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    hollydays
    Does not answer the question though. If you took the time to reply you could have used an example to back up your point. I appreciate you dont have to.
    In your job were you a basic front line agent or were you trained to be able to deal with difficult customers in a different role? You say you were a skilled employee.
    Originally posted by baza52
    Can you point out where I said I was a skilled employee?
    This isn't about the mundane job of a call centre agent, but about the
    Basic premis of being able to treat a customer with respect and behave like an adult.
    And you are correct, thank you, for reminding me I don't have to put my personal details on a forum , and I replied because I found some of the posts amusingly presumptuous
    Last edited by hollydays; 15-09-2017 at 2:21 AM.
    • baza52
    • By baza52 15th Sep 17, 2:57 AM
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    baza52
    I

    It's because I've worked in jobs where I've had to deal with high levels of confrontation, I've learned that getting wound up but the client/customer is needless.

    A skilled employee knows that if you lose your temper, you're the loser..
    Originally posted by hollydays
    I just asumed from your post that you considered yourself a skilled employee. If you are not talking from experience or were not a skilled employee in this field i can only assume your giving a point of view rather than a factual account of what is accepted and how peoplee are trained. You said you learnt this rather thann being trained for it.

    If staff were trained to deal with this situation why would they have a seperate department for complaints?
    Last edited by baza52; 15-09-2017 at 3:04 AM.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 15th Sep 17, 8:05 AM
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Because complaints are a different thing. Complaints cannot get your issue sorted out because they happen after the act. People making complaints are less likely to be angry because whatever it is has already happened and they have more time. If your company doesn't tell you this, you are just receiving very poor training.
    Saying to someone who is angry because they are stuck in a airport somewhere and just wants their issue sorted out "Do you want to make a complaint about it?" is one of the most annoying things any customer service operative can do. No, they don't want to make a complaint and get an apology and a £50 voucher a month later. They want to get home. Now.
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 15th Sep 17, 9:09 AM
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    hollydays
    Does not answer the question though. If you took the time to reply you could have used an example to back up your point. I appreciate you dont have to.
    In your job were you a basic front line agent or were you trained to be able to deal with difficult customers in a different role? You say you were a skilled employee.
    Originally posted by baza52
    I just asumed from your post that you considered yourself a skilled employee. If you are not talking from experience or were not a skilled employee in this field i can only assume your giving a point of view rather than a factual account of what is accepted and how peoplee are trained. You said you learnt this rather thann being trained for it.

    If staff were trained to deal with this situation why would they have a seperate department for complaints?
    Originally posted by baza52

    Yes, yet again you are making assumptions.
    I didn't say I wasn't a skilled employee .
    I didn't say I was or wasn't trained.
    Listening to the customer is a useful skill for us don't you think? Then you won't continue to make assumptions.
    Last edited by hollydays; 15-09-2017 at 5:46 PM.
    • SevenOfNine
    • By SevenOfNine 15th Sep 17, 9:39 AM
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    SevenOfNine
    I have also worked in a call center role before and have come across countless abusive customers, ones that think they are right and wont listen to you and ones that are quite happy to argue the toss all day if you were to let them.
    Originally posted by baza52
    Seems like you're currently giving an excellent demonstration of how, sometimes, call centre operatives treat customers as if they are, be default, wrong. Are always right themselves leading to a failure to listen to the customer, & give off an air of impatience because call centre operatives must often meet call volume/time requirements.

    Last but not least, they want the last word - which I'm sure you will continue to demonstrate wholeheartedly.
    Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it.
    • PhylPho
    • By PhylPho 16th Sep 17, 3:20 PM
    • 1,247 Posts
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    PhylPho
    It used to be that the pious went to church. Nowadays it's increasingly the case that they appear on MSE, second-guessing someone else's post and delivering of themselves long lectures about how an OP was either lying, or deluded, or unfair, or -- and this really is a favourite -- "unrealistic", as if realism is a dimension within which only they exist to the exclusion of all lesser mortals.

    Thankfully, there are still some MSE posters who don't feel a need to augment their own adequacy by belittling others; the posts about the Thomas Cook CS rep's gibberish are spot-on and, especially, those about that same rep's conduct.

    Nobody is compelled to work in CS, and nobody who does so should expect every day at t'office to be a good day at t'office because it won't be. What they should instead expect are calls from customers who may well be stressed, may well be inarticulate, may well be hostile, may not even have English as a first language . . . and deal with that. If not? Go find another job, because where CS is concerned, empathy comes to work, ego stays at home.

    Best wishes to the OP.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 19th Sep 17, 9:00 AM
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    I said that that is what they want. If you can't fulfil what they want of you, it's your job to do what you can for them, even if that's nothing but a proper apology, and primarily to try and ensure that they don't decide never to spend money with your company again. This often involves apologising for things that are not your personal fault; and also often ought to involve accepting that people are angry if your company has let them down. That's the job.

    The first step of course is listening to what people are saying to you and properly understanding it.
    Last edited by MSE ForumTeam5; 19-10-2017 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Quoting deleted post
    • POPPYOSCAR
    • By POPPYOSCAR 19th Sep 17, 9:22 AM
    • 10,824 Posts
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    POPPYOSCAR
    I quite agree.

    Sometimes people just want to vent their frustrations.

    Having someone say I understand how you feel, I would feel the same etc goes a long way to diffuse the situation even if it does not solve the problem.
    Last edited by MSE ForumTeam5; 19-10-2017 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Quoting edited post
    • The-Truth
    • By The-Truth 20th Sep 17, 11:16 AM
    • 470 Posts
    • 532 Thanks
    The-Truth
    This is all very nice but it reads very much like a theory book and not a response from someone who has ever worked in such a situation to know what it's really like which I suspect is the case here.

    Your reply is basically a text book theory response by someone who has blatantly never worked in such an environment.
    Last edited by MSE ForumTeam5; 19-10-2017 at 11:49 AM. Reason: Quoting edited post
    • ThumbRemote
    • By ThumbRemote 20th Sep 17, 11:29 AM
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    ThumbRemote
    This is all very nice but it reads very much like a theory book and not a response from someone who has veer worked in much a situation to know what it's really like which I suspect is the case here.

    Things sound all very nice on paper (which is what you have done) but you quite blatantly otherwise don'r have any experience of such work to know what it's really like.
    Originally posted by The-Truth
    Given that you work in a supermarket, I can't see how you're any sort of expert on call centres either.
    • baza52
    • By baza52 20th Sep 17, 11:56 AM
    • 2,036 Posts
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    baza52
    Seems like you're currently giving an excellent demonstration of how, sometimes, call centre operatives treat customers as if they are, be default, wrong. Are always right themselves leading to a failure to listen to the customer, & give off an air of impatience because call centre operatives must often meet call volume/time requirements.

    Last but not least, they want the last word - which I'm sure you will continue to demonstrate wholeheartedly.
    Originally posted by SevenOfNine
    In my role as technical support sometimes the customer WAS wrong. Blaming their problem on the ISP when it was clear to me it was a local problem on their machine.
    When you tell them its a problem with their machine and they dont accept it what can you do? You either stay on the line going round and round in circles trying to explain or you are treated as though you dont know what your doing and they want to speak to a supervisor.
    If you could put every caller that wanted to speak to a supervisor through to one they would need to have 25% of the desk in a supervisory role to cope lol.

    What your also not grasping is that a call center worker has to meet SLA's and is often given a target of x number of calls per day to hit which would be impossible if every call went round in circles. Ending the call is as important as answering it.

    In an ideal world call center staff would work in the way you believe they do but in reality it does not.
    Its all about the number of calls taken each day, yes quality is important but SLA's will always come first and that is what the person working in the call center is judged on.
    • The-Truth
    • By The-Truth 20th Sep 17, 12:08 PM
    • 470 Posts
    • 532 Thanks
    The-Truth
    Given that you work in a supermarket, I can't see how you're any sort of expert on call centres either.
    Originally posted by ThumbRemote
    Given that I don't work in a Supermarket (and never have) that makes your post invalid.
    • meer53
    • By meer53 20th Sep 17, 2:01 PM
    • 8,946 Posts
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    meer53
    Why are people trying so hard to shove their opinions down other peoples throats ? There are good and bad call centre staff, same as there are nice and not so nice customers. I get a wide variety of them every single day i'm at work. I don't work in a call centre but my job is telephone based. Some people i speak to are absolutely delightful, some are absolute Tw*ts. It's what makes my job enjoyable, i find it incredible that some people resort to personal insults thinking that this is the way to get their issues sorted. I appreciate that they may be extremely frustrated but if i say i can't do anything for them, they need to understand that i'm not lying. I'm paid to tell the truth, if i didn't i would not have my job, why is it so difficult to grasp this ? Asking to speak to my manager isn't going to change anything, nor is swearing or telling me they're going to report me to my CEO.

    The OP just wanted to vent about the conversation they had, fair enough, my view is, there are two sides, we only have one, the rest of the thread is a bit like a playground argument.
    • grayme-m
    • By grayme-m 20th Sep 17, 4:03 PM
    • 1,341 Posts
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    grayme-m
    Why are people trying so hard to shove their opinions down other peoples throats ? There are good and bad call centre staff, same as there are nice and not so nice customers. I get a wide variety of them every single day i'm at work. I don't work in a call centre but my job is telephone based. Some people i speak to are absolutely delightful, some are absolute Tw*ts. It's what makes my job enjoyable, i find it incredible that some people resort to personal insults thinking that this is the way to get their issues sorted. I appreciate that they may be extremely frustrated but if i say i can't do anything for them, they need to understand that i'm not lying. I'm paid to tell the truth, if i didn't i would not have my job, why is it so difficult to grasp this ? Asking to speak to my manager isn't going to change anything, nor is swearing or telling me they're going to report me to my CEO.

    The OP just wanted to vent about the conversation they had, fair enough, my view is, there are two sides, we only have one, the rest of the thread is a bit like a playground argument.
    Originally posted by meer53
    Given your post count, I assume you already know the answer.
    Toyota - 'Always a better way', avoid buying Toyota.
    • Grassy Knollington
    • By Grassy Knollington 21st Sep 17, 7:44 AM
    • 106 Posts
    • 151 Thanks
    Grassy Knollington
    ....Snip!

    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
    Keep your finger on the pulse mate. Good old Martin sold this website for £Millions. They aint his anymore.

    We all have an opinion. So, suck it up.
    Last edited by Grassy Knollington; 21-09-2017 at 7:46 AM.
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