This has got be the worst phone queue hell I have ever experienced. As I write this, I am exactly 2 hours into being put on hold by Expedia to make a minor change to my flight date for an upcoming trip. Why am I so stupid to wait this long on hold? You might be more perplexed that this is not my first time being placed on hold in the past two days, but my THIRD. My previous hold times were 1 hour 10 minutes and 1 hour 40 minutes, respectively – both which I ended to try a different course of action. Since Expedia is an online site, you would think I could make these changes over the net, but no, they require you to call their support line. After each of my first two attempts, I wrote them an email. Here is the frustrating correspondence that has left me no choice other than wait through the shrieking looping violin blaring out of my speaker phone:
- ME, Oct 13th, 2007 (through Expedia site):
Hello -I need to change my return flight on Alaska Airlines from San Francisco to Vancouver. Please let me know what the procedure is and how much the change will cost me. Thanks. Rajan
- EXPEDIA, Oct 15th, 2007, 10:17am:
Dear Rajan Sodhi, Thank you for contacting Expedia.ca regarding your reservation. Due to our high security measures, we ask all Expedia.ca members to call us directly and speak to one of our agents in order to change or cancel their booking. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions. Our Customer Support Representatives are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Thank you for choosing Expedia.ca!
- ME, Oct 15th, 2007, 11:20AM:
I have been on hold for over an hour now. Please call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX. Rajan Sodhi.
- EXPEDIA, Oct 16th, 2007, 10:00am:
Dear Rajan, Thank you for taking the time to write to us. We appreciate your thoughtful comments, and we’re sorry that your experience was not as expected. We rely on customers like you to provide us with the information we need to continue improving our services. We would just like to remind you that your time is of value to us, but we are experiencing an unusually high call volume at this time, and all calls are answered in a priority sequence. Due to high security standards, we do require you to call back, but cannot at this time give you a direct line to call. We thank you for your patience. If you have questions regarding this matter or require further assistance, please reply to this email or contact our 24-hour support desk at 1-888-397-3342. Our customer support representatives are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- ME, Oct 17th, 2007, 11:40AM:
I am currently on hold again and it has now been exactly 1hr and 40 minutes. Do you find this acceptable? I have been a customer of your site for at least three years and I find this appalling. Please provide me now with a direct phone number to an agent or call me at XXX.XXX.XXXX or XXX.XXX.XXXX – I cannot continue to stay on hold. Thank you. Rajan SodhiItinerary# XXXXXXXXXXX
1. Need to change return flight from SFO.
2. Received a notification through Expedia that a change was made to my flight. Cannot see it on site – prompted me to call you. Please clarify.
- EXPEDIA, Oct 17th, 2007, 12:17pm:
Dear Rajan, We apologize for the wait you had on the phone lines as we are currently experiencing an unusually heavy call and e-mail volume. Unfortunately, we cannot provide a direct line or have an agent call you as they are all working hard to reduce the call volume. We understand that you are frustrated and appreciate any patience in this matter. If you have questions regarding this matter or require further assistance, please reply to this email or contact our 24-hour support desk at 1-888-397-3342. Our customer support representatives are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ridiculous. And they have the nerve to refer to themselves in their recorded greeting as ‘customer care’ representatives. What’s the point of using witty terms and canned friendly email messages if the service doesn’t deliver. I used to recommend Expedia to everyone. I’ve been using their services for over three years and book 90 percent of my flights and hotels through it. No more. Crappy service like this makes me want to find a good travel agent.
Rajan is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BIG Marketing for Small Business. He's an award-winning marketing strategist who is passionate about branding, digital marketing and social media. He spent nearly a decade as the marketing executive at global IT firm Peer 1 Hosting and was instrumental in their explosive growth.