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What happens when the Viking agent that you have cruises booked through is (apparently) no longer with the company?


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Posted (edited)

That seems to be the case. I emailed the agent I've been using the past few years about adding a post-cruise extension to a booking and it came back 'undeliverable'. Tried again just to make sure it wasn't a glitch - same thing. Now, I would have thought that if an agent is leaving the customer would be notified about it and then bookings transferred to another agent? This would appear to be the logical sequence of events. So at this point...what do I do? I emailed another agent with whom I've had correspondence regarding some of our bookings (not sure actually why I wound up getting emails from him) just to see if he can help with this. With the agent who has been helping me, all his emails also contained the name of another agent to contact just to offer comments on the former's services - so I emailed him as well. (Ain't technology wonnerful?? lol)   So.....any advice?  I do have an AAA agent but failed to transfer my newest bookings to her within the allotted time to do so. 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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  • OnTheJourney changed the title to What happens when the Viking agent that you have cruises booked through is (apparently) no longer with the company?

Don't worry ,Viking will assign another agent to handle your booking. However, with that being said, it is always a good idea to be proactive and if you don't hear back from the supervisor ( the person on your past agents email that they wanted you to send comments to ) by tomorrow, then call Viking , give them your booking number and ask that agent if they will be willing to be your contact person.   They are very, very busy right now so it may take awhile to get someone on the phone . I waited 90 minutes to get someone on the phone today to do my payment for the 26 June 2021 Iceland sailing The agents are not even able to do email booking at the moment. 

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Thanks. I called them and gave up after the "we are receiving an unusually high number of calls and your wait time might be longer than usual" message!  90 minutes? Wow. Couldn't you have made the payment on the MVJ site?  I've seen it listed as an option. Sounds like they're being overwhelmed with these new bookings. Tor must be happy to see some money rolling in....

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Your experience with Viking agents is very different from mine. I’ve booked 6 cruises directly with Viking. After the initial booking the booking agents have never seemed interested in returning my calls. In fact I’ve gotten the impression that the correct procedure is to call Viking and speak with whatever agent answers the phone. They can always solve my issues and seem happy to do so. The original booking agent’s name remains on the account so they get the commission and maybe that’s all they care about.

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47 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

Couldn't you have made the payment on the MVJ site?

We are on the same cruise.  Unfortunately, MVJ is not up yet for the Iceland cruises.  I turned things over to my TA.  She was able to get through fairly quickly.  We are supposed to be up for booking excursions, but can’t do so because MVJ isn’t yet operational. Tellus said to be patient.  Not my strongest suit, but trying!

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4 hours ago, TakingFlight said:

Your experience with Viking agents is very different from mine. I’ve booked 6 cruises directly with Viking. After the initial booking the booking agents have never seemed interested in returning my calls. In fact I’ve gotten the impression that the correct procedure is to call Viking and speak with whatever agent answers the phone. They can always solve my issues and seem happy to do so. The original booking agent’s name remains on the account so they get the commission and maybe that’s all they care about.

This is generally how we work with Viking.  We have never had much luck trying to connect with an agent we worked with on earlier bookings.  Contact attempts became complicated  games of phone tag.  Frankly, booking a cruise takes a bit of time and as we generally do e-check, getting things together to do the booking is an effort  and I generally don’t want to leave a message then wait for a return call sometime later ... probably the minute I step into the shower!  Most agents are polite, competent, and happy to help.  Have only had one frustrating experience in almost 20 cruises!

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Posted (edited)

I must say, the guy at Viking I've been working with has been outstanding in all areas of service provided - hence was hoping to continue with him. No phone tag - and emails responded to promptly. He'd without hesitation send all different trip quotes, etc. with the various options that I'd present him with. I've actually been in many ways happier with him than with my longtime agent at our local AAA.  If he did leave (voluntarily that is), it is truly Viking's loss. 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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The agent I worked with on Wednesday , Walter, said he had worked at Viking for 8 years. He also said the next seven days will be super busy for all agents. Said to call him on April 13 and gave me his direct extension. Late last night I got my flight information and my  letter of confirmation on the Bermuda cruise. 
he was really nice , informative and gracious. 

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On 4/7/2021 at 8:52 PM, OnTheJourney said:

Thanks. I called them and gave up after the "we are receiving an unusually high number of calls and your wait time might be longer than usual" message!  90 minutes? Wow. Couldn't you have made the payment on the MVJ site?  I've seen it listed as an option. Sounds like they're being overwhelmed with these new bookings. Tor must be happy to see some money rolling in....

No,  the on line payment option was not available for these Welcome Back sailings. I just stayed on hold and did other things while I waited to get an agent. Thank goodness for speaker phone ! 

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15 hours ago, vslparis said:

Thank goodness for speaker phone ! 

Yeah really - especially when you wind up on hold as long as you did! With regards to the original topic, I had several conversations with Viking. I'm told that they don't necessarily assign another agent for bookings that were made through someone else at Viking, being that all agents in the sales / reservation departments are "all on deck", as it were, with being able to assist customers with making and handling bookings. Nonetheless, my preference is to continue to work with one person (assuming of course I'm happy with the service), so today I was transferred from one agent to another on the phone since I had a question about making a payment on MVJ (couldn't do it). The guy I talked to was very helpful so I told him I'll use him going forward.

 

Have to wonder how the commission process works (if there is one?) in terms of getting info from one (or more) agents but then winding up booking through someone different? Or do these agents not receive additional compensation for making a booking as would be the case in some other sales-related businesses? 

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After booking our first cruise, I have pretty much booked all subsequent cruises through a single Viking agent.  He has been incredibly responsive, such that if he can’t answer my call, he either calls or emails me back almost immediately.  
 

In fact, DH just got off the phone with him.  I had called him earlier this week to pay the balance on a cruise.  I should have called later, as I called the day after. Viking’s most recent cancellation, so knew he would be bust.  The call came in at 5:30, on his day off.  This is the longest it took him to get back to me. 
 

He has helped me out quite a bit.  

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A few years ago, we used a Viking agent who left shortly before we embarked on our river cruise. On the cruise, I ran into a woman I went to high school with (how likely is that?) who recommended her Viking agent. We have been using him ever since and get the same high level of service as Mich3554. We have 6 ocean and river cruises booked through 2023.

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On 4/7/2021 at 9:52 PM, OnTheJourney said:

Thanks. I called them and gave up after the "we are receiving an unusually high number of calls and your wait time might be longer than usual" message!  90 minutes? Wow. Couldn't you have made the payment on the MVJ site?  I've seen it listed as an option. Sounds like they're being overwhelmed with these new bookings. Tor must be happy to see some money rolling in....

I wish that I could remember.  Perhaps someone does.  Viking has an email "tellus@viking" or something like that.

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5 hours ago, fudgbug said:

I wish that I could remember.  Perhaps someone does.  Viking has an email "tellus@viking" or something like that.

 

tellus@vikingcruises.com

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On 4/7/2021 at 9:03 PM, TakingFlight said:

In fact I’ve gotten the impression that the correct procedure is to call Viking and speak with whatever agent answers the phone. They can always solve my issues and seem happy to do so. 

I have done 2 cruises with Viking and really liked my agent but he is now training.  Anyway, I was interested in doing the Med Odyssey cruise but there was only one listed.  I inquired if they might be canceling that cruise but he assured me that there would be more announced but he didn't know when.  A day or two later I called and spoke to whoever answered the phone and told them of my situation.  He was able to tell me when they would be offered and when they would go on sale.  I called my agent and informed him and we were booked on the first cruise to be up for grabs.  Great cruise in 18.  He wondered how I got the information and I told him I just called the company and someone there had the answers.

 

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Posted (edited)

I found another agent - happened just by making a phone call regarding an unrelated issue. The guy was very helpful so I told him I'll contact him going forward. I just don't like the idea of having to deal with lots of different agents - just not used to that approach. I'd rather email and deal with the same person all the time instead of pot luck on the phone. I liked the one at Viking that left the company more than my longtime TA at our local AAA. She's good for the most part, but often doesn't deal with issues very promptly. The Viking agent was amazingly quick at responding to inquiries. I heard that travel agents in general have been offered excellent opportunities (by other companies) and so have taken advantage of that. I suspect that's what happened with the one I've been using the past few years at Viking. 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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