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Upgrade Fairy becomes a Troll - Email Offer Not Honored


loanshark
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Received an email from the Upgrade Troll for our upcoming 8 night Liberty cruise. We are currently in a 4J, and the email offer stated we could "upgrade to a balcony for $150.00."

 

Needless to say, I called the number listed in the offer within 30 minutes of receiving it, and was told that they couldn't upgrade me, supposedly "due to the rate code that I originally booked under." This is despite the fact that if you do a mock booking for this cruise, there are currently 90 balcony cabins available (although some of these may be taken by the Guarantee pool).

 

If I were to upgrade/book at normal rates, the base rate of a BL guarantee is $75 p/p more than my original booking, or $150 total, and the taxes are about $30 more p/p than what was originally booked. However, I would lose a $200 in onboard credit that was included in the original booking. Hence, it would effectively cost me $260 more to upgrade on my own, than the offer I received - which wasn't honored (loss of OBC + new tax amount).

 

I am assuming that the onboard credit issue is the reason why they cant honor their offer, and the only reason why I currently received the offer is that their system noticed a small price difference of the current rate versus the rate I booked.

 

Anyone else have simmilar issues or suggestions?

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And isn't it harsh for bashing someone because they are upset that an offer that Carnival made was not honored by Carnival? They sent the offer.. they know their rules.. to the customer this looks bad when they are offered a deal and then find out they were never entitled to it...

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Isn't it a bit harsh to call Carnival names? So you decided that you didn't want to give up onboard credit to accept the upgrade offer. Promotional offers aren't usually combinable, so this sounds typical.

 

Please read what was written. The OP said Carnival said no, not that the OP could upgrade but would lose OBC. And even if it was the case that the OP could take the upgrade but would loss the OBC, it was poor form on Carnival's part to make the offer.

 

Instead, the reference to losing OBC came when the OP looked to see about doing the upgrade without Carnival's help.

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I think Carnival's data-managing abilities are poor (at best!). I often think that there must not be any communication between various departments in the company, e.g., sales, promotions, loyalty/VIFP, etc.

 

I am constantly getting offers incorrectly directed to me: for first-time cruisers, people new to Carnival, because I haven't cruised in a while, etc. -- all wrong. But it seems as if the entities sending out those offers have no connection to the data elsewhere in the company that would tell them I cruise Carnival all the time, have cruises booked, am already a VIFP member, etc.

 

Maybe that is what happened to OP? He was sent the offer without them realizing that he was not eligible for it? Doesn't make it right, but might explain it.......?

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The upgrade offer said to upgrade for $150.... not upgrade for $260. (Yes... I , am perfectly capable of figuring out the total cost of my cruise when figuring for taxes and obc's.) I also see threads here all the time where early saver is denied due to the TOTAL cost of the cruise going up when accounting for new rates for taxes and fees, and normally side with Carnival in those situations without bashing the original poster.

 

The email offer said nothing about onboard credit being taken away, cruise has to be re-booked under a new rate code, etc... It just said "UPGRADE NOW For Just $150" and to call and mention "Promotion Code BAL". (For what its worth, I work for a fairly large online travel agency and am somewhat familliar with Carnival's various booking codes, but had not seen this one before as it pertains to upgrades.)

 

If my company sent an email to an already booked Guest and offered a similarly worded offer for someone's hotel stay...e.g. "Upgrade now for just $150" to go from a gargen view to an ocean view room, I would expect my company to honor it, and if such an event came across my desk, I would honor it, even if it resulted in an expense for my company, as we would honor such a commitment. Maybe I am expecting too much for Carnival to do the same.

Edited by loanshark
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Update...

 

Contrary to the previous post, we are talking $150 for the upgrade per their offer vs $410 if I work my own upgrade and not $260.

 

Anyway, like so many other threads here, I called them back to see if I got a different answer.

 

... and of course I did.

 

Ended up paying $75 p/p or $150 total for an upgrade from a 4j to 8d balcony on the lido deck. Also, I was able to retain all of my obc. This is what I expected.

 

Also, the representative told me that the reason why the system couldnt process it at first was that my booking was flagged due to having a modified cabin (fiance has some mobility issues due to a car accident, but not to the extent that a modified cabin is absolutely needed - especially since a sofa is available in the new cabin), and that there were no balcony modified cabins left. Essentially the first rep from this morning blamed it on the original rate code, which turned out to be incorrect info.

Edited by loanshark
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And isn't it harsh for bashing someone because they are upset that an offer that Carnival made was not honored by Carnival? They sent the offer.. they know their rules.. to the customer this looks bad when they are offered a deal and then find out they were never entitled to it...

I'm sorry you're having a bad day.

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Received an email from the Upgrade Troll for our upcoming 8 night Liberty cruise. We are currently in a 4J, and the email offer stated we could "upgrade to a balcony for $150.00."

 

I got 2 different ones of these within this past week. Both times, I went in to do a mock booking and found that I could find a cheaper rate myself. I did notice that when you looked at the rooms available under the offer, then checked the exact same area under a mock booking, those available rooms did not show up at all! About 15-20 of them. So they had blocked those specifically for those responding to the email offers.

 

I'm also in 4J and wanted one of the Lido balconies, but not for $300 extra. I'll keep watching though. Glad in the end you got the one you wanted at your price! Good for you!

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Received an email from the Upgrade Troll for our upcoming 8 night Liberty cruise. We are currently in a 4J, and the email offer stated we could "upgrade to a balcony for $150.00."

 

I got 2 different ones of these within this past week. Both times, I went in to do a mock booking and found that I could find a cheaper rate myself. I did notice that when you looked at the rooms available under the offer, then checked the exact same area under a mock booking, those available rooms did not show up at all! About 15-20 of them. So they had blocked those specifically for those responding to the email offers.

 

I'm also in 4J and wanted one of the Lido balconies, but not for $300 extra. I'll keep watching though. Glad in the end you got the one you wanted at your price! Good for you!

Carnival could be holding those cabins back until they assign guarantee cabins that have already been booked. And it may not be that those exact cabins get assigned. Upsells could cause a domino effect where people accept upsell offers, and then the cabins that end up being released are in easier-to-sell, less expensive lower categories.

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I realize there is a lot of thought differences in these boards and have indulged myself also. OP should have the right to name call and feel disappointed as to me, it was a version of bait and switch. Carnival never should send out blurbs that are not fully explained as Carnival has the records detailing what and how much the OP'S cruise was.

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I realize there is a lot of thought differences in these boards and have indulged myself also. OP should have the right to name call and feel disappointed as to me, it was a version of bait and switch. Carnival never should send out blurbs that are not fully explained as Carnival has the records detailing what and how much the OP'S cruise was.

 

How is that bait and switch? the OP got the discount exactly as written. The first person the OP talked to had bad information but the upgrade sent was 100% legit and they got it.

 

the OP can name call and rant and rave or anything else... but in this case, the offer was valid and legit and the OP got it so if the OP 'STILL' wants to name call.... well, to each his own I guess

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Yes... I eventually did get what I was offered, at the price that it was offered to me ($75 p/p or $150 total for the upgrade). In my case it would have been $205 p/p or $410 to upsell myself to a BL guarantee based on the current rates, and even more $$$ if I wanted a guaranteed cabin location by booking a rate code that allows an assigned cabin.

 

Although this was a legit offer from the "Promotions" department, there were some system issues that were not resolved by the first Carnival rep that I talked to. I also feel that the first representative who told me that "I wasn't eligible for their offer" used this as an excuse to get me off the phone, as opposed to fixing the issue. That being said, I don't think this was a case of bait and switch.

 

Although the issue was resolved due to the second call that I made, I shouldn't have had to make the second call to begin with. That being said, I have mixed feelings about this whole scenario... While I am happy that I received the upgrade at the price that I expected, based on Carnival's correspondence, I am also upset that I had to make multiple calls, and was given an excuse that turned out to be untrue on my first call. Does this warrant bashing or promoting Carnival in the future? I will let you be the judge of that.

 

Also, as a disclaimer to those who want to bash me for possibly not understanding what I was offered, I am employed by a fairly large online travel agency, and have worked specifically with various disclaimers for my company's offers and bookings.... My point in stating this is that I have experience in reading, interpreting, and in many cases, writing the actual disclaimers seen in fine print as it pertains to offers to sell travel. That being said, I think I had a pretty good idea of the exact offer that Carnival originally sent to me.

 

In addition, I was upset at Carnival when i wrote the original post on this thread. However, I don't think it's possible to change the title of the thread at this point, nor do I feel it is warranted to call out a cruise critic moderator to do it, as overall, this was a mediocre experience.

Edited by loanshark
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