Thursday, June 29, 2006

And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the land

One of the great things about summer is that I have more time (and perhaps more importantly, appetite) for reading. I've finished the World is Flat by Thomas Friedman and Freakonomics which were both full of interesting, left-field ideas about everyday life. Of the two, Freakonomics is the easier read (not to mention shorter LOL). It investigates such intriguing ideas as what Sumo wrestlers and cheating techers have in common and the economics of naming your child!

Unfortunately, the world is not flat all over as I discovered yesterday while booking my return flight to Greece on the internet. The actual booking part went smoothly and was completed in less than five minutes (hurrah Thomson!!!). However, when I got my confirmtion email it didn't mention anything about tickets, Indeed it said that I had to have my flight documents with me when I check-in. As this is the first time I've booked a flight via all through the internet I wanted to confirm that I had indeed got a place on the flight and ask about the procedure as far as collecting the tickets was concerned.

The most logical answer would be that I would pick them up at the airport. However, living in Greece for many years has taught me always to check such details in order to avoid any unwanted complications.

Golden rule - The size of an organisation is inversely related to the common sense it uses when dealing with people.

And then suddenly bumpy terrain. First, I made a phone call to their "help" line which produced first, an engaged line(20 mins) and then a recorded message that they were all doing training. Next, a vist to the local Thomson travel agency got me zero results. They said that they had nothing to do with the internet side of the business and that I should phone the help line.

When I told them I'd already tried that they reminded me that they had no connection with the internet side of the business (if this is all starting to sound familiar I went through this loop two or three times before I realised that I was in fact dealing with some advanced, prototype cyborg, rather than human being. Eventually she did offer to phone on my behalf. However, only if I gave her the phone number,

"You mean that you don't know your own company's phone number?
"But they are loads.
"And you don't have a list somewhere?
"Why don't you phone the helpline?"
"BUT I HAVE ALREADY...... never mind."

After appproximately ten more phone calls, including one to Kafka's long-lost English descendent, and another one to somebody who first refused to give my the number of the Thomson customer service department, and then denied that that Thomson even had a customer service department at all, did I manage to get the information I needed.

Does "No frills" have to mean "no brains"?


dorapap said...

They didn't have their own company's telephone number?!!!
You did get the tickets or will you be staying in England forever? Your students would be so disapointed...
You're missing a terrible heatwave by the way...

teacher dude said...

I got a booking and so I guess I have my tickets. Eventually I got through to somebody who told me that I can get my ticktes from the check-in desk.

Hot enough for you ? LOL