Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mood Goes Up...Mood Goes Down

We've had a roller-coaster 24 hours here as we're waiting for #1 Son and Semi-Son-in-Law to get here from Florida.

The kids were only going to be here for five full days. They wanted to visit FT's 90-something-year-old aunt downstate; they wanted to go to Frankenmuth and revisit Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland, the mack-daddy Christmas bling store of all time; and they wanted to do something that we enjoy. Well -- we enjoy traveling up north; so we devised the bestest Leelanau Peninsula itinerary ever, especially to showcase it for native Southerner SSIL, who already thinks that Podunk County is over the edge of the known world. We even arranged to have one of our friends dogsit for us so that we could stay overnight at a bed-and-breakfast. We found a centrally located B&B that, on the map, would make a great way station for our tour of the peninsula.

We had it all planned. The kids had made their plane reservations a couple of weeks ago. FT was going to pick them up at the airport around noon today. Thursday night we were going to be esconced in our rustic inn, soaking up all that Leelanau atmosphere. We'd sent the boys scores of websites of vineyards and parks and other places of interest.

Yesterday #1 Son called in a panic: In the aftermath of the Florida hurricane, flights had been cancelled, including theirs, and they couldn't get a new flight anytime before Thursday afternoon.

Last night FT called the bed-and-breakfast owners, explaining the situation, and asking if we could use our payment as a credit for some future stay there, especially since we try to get up north at every opportunity and would certainly be repeat customers if we were pleased. The response she got was so abrupt and -- there's no other way to put it -- mean -- that FT was taken aback. And FT deals with the Veterans Administration on a fairly ongoing basis, so rude people taking her aback takes some doing.

"You read the terms on our website," she was informed frostily. "Your receipt will be in the mail." There was no acknowledgement that we'd been hit with an unforeseen circumstance; that we'd called to cancel our reservations for any reason other than to be thoughtless, capricious, clueless tourists.

"Why do people have to be so mean?" she said after she hung up the phone.

And the thing is -- this is really bad business. After all, we're people who refer businesses we like to others, who blog, who fill out customer comments on Trip Advisor and Purple Roof and everywhere else. If this particular businessperson had been at all sympathetic to our plight, and willing to work with us to reschedule a stay later in the year, we'd have sung the B&B's praises throughout the land.

That's not going to happen now.

So there is no joy at The Big House today, nor in Little Bungalow in Florida.

1 comment:

PamBG said...

I totally sympathise.

We actually had the same situation when we were prevented from going on to the second part of our vacation when my father ended up in the hospital and had to get a pacemaker - totally unexpected.

I really didn't expect a refund, but I also didn't expect the 'Who the hell do you think you are asking for a refund?' attitude either.