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finny2

Am I expecting too much from my Travel Agent?

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This is the first time I've used a Travel Agent and I don't know if I am expecting too much or not. She appears to be very knowledgeable, but she is very slow to answer emails. I want to get my hotel reservations made now and I first asked her to do this over 2 weeks ago. A week ago she responded with a question about it and I immediately answered. Since then nothing. I realize I've got several months before I cruise, but I want to get all the arrangements squared away now. Am I expecting too much?

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Can't answer if you are expecting too much from the TA because we never use one;  but why not make your own hotel arrangements?

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Posted (edited)

Do you have a phone number for the TA? That might be quicker.

 

some TA’s are part-time contract workers....some work only two days a week.  Try asking this TA’s work schedule.

Edited by cruisestitch

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You are not expecting too much.. the TA should respond within a day.  I was a TA for 21 years, I would also be in touch with my clients within a day.  I understand as OP said you could make your own reservation, but she has your reservation and should handle all your requests for your booking. Good luck, I would find another agent for your next vacation..I use an online agent who has called me from her home, when I called after hours, as she is on east coast and I’m on the West coast.

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2 minutes ago, cruisestitch said:

Do you have a phone number for the TA? That might be quicker.

 

some TA’s are part-time contract workers....some work only two days a week.  Try asking this TA’s work schedule.

I avoid using the phone because I don't hear well, but I may have to call her. She is an independent agent and runs her own business.

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That does seem like a long time to get a response to an email. If you didn't specify where you want to stay, maybe there are a ton of hotels to pick from and she's trying to narrow down the best option(s) for you? Or as others have mentioned, maybe she only works a few days a week (you'd think she'd have mentioned that though). I'd send a follow up email tomorrow and if you don't get an answer to that, call - and if you don't get a response to the call, I'd find a new TA. I understand that people get busy and we're all human - sometimes things slip your mind - but reasonably prompt communication is kind of a big deal between a TA and his/her clients! 

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1 minute ago, ebtrip said:

You are not expecting too much.. the TA should respond within a day.  I was a TA for 21 years, I would also be in touch with my clients within a day.  I understand as OP said you could make your own reservation, but she has your reservation and should handle all your requests for your booking. Good luck, I would find another agent for your next vacation..I use an online agent who has called me from her home, when I called after hours, as she is on east coast and I’m on the West coast.

Thanks, I am looking for another, but I prefer an agent with experience assisting mobility impaired customers and those are not easy to find. And that's the reason why I want an agent to handle hotels, etc. It's not easy getting good accessible accommodations and transportation.

And in the meantime, she has our booking and so I'm stuck with her.

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4 minutes ago, finny2 said:

Thanks, I am looking for another, but I prefer an agent with experience assisting mobility impaired customers and those are not easy to find. And that's the reason why I want an agent to handle hotels, etc. It's not easy getting good accessible accommodations and transportation.

And in the meantime, she has our booking and so I'm stuck with her.

You don't have to be stuck with her. If you're unsatisfied with her, you can contact the cruise line to have the booking taken back from her and transferred to you. I would give her one last chance and warn her that you will do this if she can't respond to your needs in a timely fashion.

 

This is why I value my TA so much. He works full time,  and during working hours responds to my calls or emails within  an hour or two. If he makes any kind of booking I have the paperwork the same day.

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I don't think you are expecting too much.

 

You might want to level set with your current TA about response expectations.   If they only work a few days a week, that would be a reasonable question to ask.  If for future booking if that doesn't work for you, time to move on to a new TA.

 

If they work full time, they should respond more readily outside of their days off

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When you asked your TA to book a hotel did you give her some guidelines?

price range you wanted to stay within

neighborhood or area of the city

a chain hotel or a independent,

do you get loyalty perks at any hotels

do you want free wi-fi, breakfast, airport shuttle

If you provided this type of information then 2 weeks to give you options to choose from is a bit long. If not then giving her this info would make her search less time consuming.

 

I book all our arrangements and if we are going to a city we haven’t been to previously it takes quite a bit of time; starting with researching areas of the city before I even get to researching hotels.  

 

 

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My first experience - I had a Guarantee cabin, i.e. general category but no room assigned. Got my assignment. Called agent: that looks like an obstructed view cabin, what do you think? Answer: I don’t know anything about the cabins; if you want to change, tell me where and I will move you.

Second time, different  company. Will you alert me to price drops? Answer: no of course not, I don’t have time for that. If you see a price drop, tell me and I’ll fix it.

Third time, different company. I’ve made a partial payment, will you send me an updated invoice? Answer: no, we don’t usually bother until after final payment.

 

Since then I have dealt with Celebrity directly. I may miss out on a few perks but I also miss out on the aggravation of dealing with phone clerks who know nothing about cruising or about customer service. 

By the way, I did try local. One group said to tell them what I wanted, they would only charge $50 per reservation to set things up for me. The other group said they didn’t deal much with cruises and didn’t really want to bother.

Do you expect too much? I don’t think so, but nevertheless your experience with shoddy service may be the norm.

Stan

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13 minutes ago, jelayne said:

When you asked your TA to book a hotel did you give her some guidelines?

price range you wanted to stay within

neighborhood or area of the city

a chain hotel or a independent,

do you get loyalty perks at any hotels

do you want free wi-fi, breakfast, airport shuttle

If you provided this type of information then 2 weeks to give you options to choose from is a bit long. If not then giving her this info would make her search less time consuming.

 

I book all our arrangements and if we are going to a city we haven’t been to previously it takes quite a bit of time; starting with researching areas of the city before I even get to researching hotels.  

 

 

I did, but her first response was to say that she would suggest better options for accessibility. She is familiar with the area and knows the hotels, etc better than I do.

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3 hours ago, GottaKnowWhen said:

My first experience - I had a Guarantee cabin, i.e. general category but no room assigned. Got my assignment. Called agent: that looks like an obstructed view cabin, what do you think? Answer: I don’t know anything about the cabins; if you want to change, tell me where and I will move you.

Second time, different  company. Will you alert me to price drops? Answer: no of course not, I don’t have time for that. If you see a price drop, tell me and I’ll fix it.

Third time, different company. I’ve made a partial payment, will you send me an updated invoice? Answer: no, we don’t usually bother until after final payment.

 

Since then I have dealt with Celebrity directly. I may miss out on a few perks but I also miss out on the aggravation of dealing with phone clerks who know nothing about cruising or about customer service. 

By the way, I did try local. One group said to tell them what I wanted, they would only charge $50 per reservation to set things up for me. The other group said they didn’t deal much with cruises and didn’t really want to bother.

Do you expect too much? I don’t think so, but nevertheless your experience with shoddy service may be the norm.

Stan

Really sorry you had such bad experiences.. I was in the business in 1986 to 2006.  We were professionals. Service was our business. I handled corporate and groups.  Sent people all over the world. If I was not knowledgeable in something I did my homework and got the answers.

 Price drops are difficult in today’s market.  I keep my eyes opened and when I see a lower price I do call my agent.  Going to a large agency, usually online does get you more perks.  I have found one I use, but I do my own comparisons then go to her.  I do have the expertise so I know what I want.

Many of todays agents are home based, they are in it for some freebies and don’t know the ins and outs of all travel.  I lived in London for a year and traveled extensively..

 

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5 hours ago, finny2 said:

Thanks, I am looking for another, but I prefer an agent with experience assisting mobility impaired customers and those are not easy to find. And that's the reason why I want an agent to handle hotels, etc. It's not easy getting good accessible accommodations and transportation.

And in the meantime, she has our booking and so I'm stuck with her.

 

Here is a link to the forum for

 

   Disabled Cruise Travel

 

    (just in case you don't already have it)

 

The people who post there are very helpful and kind.

It is a great source of information and advice for cruising with just about any kind of disability.  They may be able to provide just what you are looking for.

 

 

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8 hours ago, finny2 said:

This is the first time I've used a Travel Agent and I don't know if I am expecting too much or not. She appears to be very knowledgeable, but she is very slow to answer emails. I want to get my hotel reservations made now and I first asked her to do this over 2 weeks ago. A week ago she responded with a question about it and I immediately answered. Since then nothing. I realize I've got several months before I cruise, but I want to get all the arrangements squared away now. Am I expecting too much?

 

No you are not expecting too much from this TA.  Since you are several months out and before final payment, I would cancel this reservation with this agent and re-book with someone else.  I would call today and speak with the TA.  I wouldn't go into details with the TA since it won't help you, just tell the TA you want to cancel.

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Posted (edited)

Hi F,

 

>I avoid using the phone because I don't hear well, ....

 

Try calling her to tell her that you have sent her an eml.

See if she responds to that.

 

Ira

Edited by I_r_a

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Have you considered using a relay service for telephone calls?  The website below is the one for Louisiana.  They should be able to help you get the right equipment (might even be able to use your existing computer) or determine if there are other resources you could utilize locally.

 

https://larab.org/

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I’m a TA.  I have a hearing impaired client and we text most everything. Ask if she would feel this works better then email.

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7 hours ago, LuluNOLA said:

I’m a TA.  I have a hearing impaired client and we text most everything. Ask if she would feel this works better then email.

that's an idea, thanks. Do you live in NOLA? I'm in Covington.

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I do not think you are asking too much.  My TA gets back to me the same day every time.

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Thanks everybody. My TA did get back to me with an apology and explanation, and is addressing my requests. So I’m going to give her another try.

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