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Unbelievable service at contact centre.


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I booked a cruise on IONA on Monday direct with PO was told I would receive a confirmation email within a few hours ,Thursday still waiting .I have tried on numerous occasions to contact them waiting 47 minutes on one occasion .Unbelievably just waited 25 then told not open .I cannot believe I am dealing with an iconic brand .

Why on their messaging don’t they ask for your number and recruit advisers to do call backs .certainly not leave you on hold without any confirmation you are on hold just silence their service levels must be atrocious.It doesn’t make business sense to give such poor service people will just keep calling till they are answered increasing contacts and frustration and possible loss of custom .

Sorry for rant ,I just wanted to know my cabin number and if I need to print off NHS proof of jabs for domestic  or travel as there are two on the NHS app ,as we aren’t visiting any port  not sure Also I can’t book any speciality restaurants online only queue  for a booking but mainly I want my confirmation email.This doesn’t bode well for cruise ,we haven’t used PO for a long time back to celebrity I think .

 

 

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, margo2011 said:

I booked a cruise on IONA on Monday direct with PO was told I would receive a confirmation email within a few hours ,Thursday still waiting .I have tried on numerous occasions to contact them waiting 47 minutes on one occasion .Unbelievably just waited 25 then told not open .I cannot believe I am dealing with an iconic brand .

Why on their messaging don’t they ask for your number and recruit advisers to do call backs .certainly not leave you on hold without any confirmation you are on hold just silence their service levels must be atrocious.It doesn’t make business sense to give such poor service people will just keep calling till they are answered increasing contacts and frustration and possible loss of custom .

Sorry for rant ,I just wanted to know my cabin number and if I need to print off NHS proof of jabs for domestic  or travel as there are two on the NHS app ,as we aren’t visiting any port  not sure Also I can’t book any speciality restaurants online only queue  for a booking but mainly I want my confirmation email.This doesn’t bode well for cruise ,we haven’t used PO for a long time back to celebrity I think .

 

 

 

 

 

I agree its not very good when you can't get through on the phone and its one reason some people prefer to use Travel agents.At the moment you do need proof of vaccination.You can either show confirmation on the app or print it off.(We will be printing it  as well)Were you given your booking reference number? If so you can find out details on your cruise personaliser.That should also give your cabin number

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Three weeks ago I did a post on trying to get through about our forthcoming cruise in October, their online service would not let me pay our balance,  I managed to get through after 50 minutes wait for them to inform me that because I had not paid my deposit in time they cancelled our cabin, our deposit was paid using our FCC, I explained this to her she then said that was correct and I could pay my balance which I did and still had the same cabin, I asked for a confirmation email that said we were fully paid up, I received a email saying there was still the deposit outstanding, I could not face another long wait on the phone so I  sent a email to their customer service dept and got a reply yesterday to say that our cruise was fully paid up, followed by another email saying we have until December to use our FCC !! 

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37 minutes ago, margo2011 said:

I booked a cruise on IONA on Monday direct with PO was told I would receive a confirmation email within a few hours ,Thursday still waiting .

 

 

Not very good is it?   I know I am stating the obvious here but have you checked your Spam folders ?

When you booked over the phone did you write down your booking reference ?

If you did then you can use the "Already booked" link to get into your booking I will put here 

for you https://my.pocruises.com/mycruise/login  

 

If all else fails when on the phone go through book a new cruise option ,someone will answer that.

 

Hope you get sorted .

 

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47 minutes ago, wowzz said:

Another post showing why I always use a TA!

Yes I do to but as she said I needed to book transport ,drinks package and she couldn’t confirm a cabin number I didn’t see the point .I thought if any issues arose booking direct May be better silly me .

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1 hour ago, Ataraxia said:

You don't say when your cruise is.

 

Hi the 14th august if they can get their act together been in queue 1hr 13 minutes now stubborn aren’t I .

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5 minutes ago, margo2011 said:

Yes I do to but as she said I needed to book transport ,drinks package and she couldn’t confirm a cabin number I didn’t see the point .I thought if any issues arose booking direct May be better silly me .

Not sure about transport but you definitely don't need your cabin number assigned to book a drinks package, we've done exactly that.  Just login to your booking and you can do it all there. 👍

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17 minutes ago, margo2011 said:

Hi the 14th august if they can get their act together been in queue 1hr 13 minutes now stubborn aren’t I .

Ok I’m not as stubborn as I thought give up 1hr 28 mins 

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19 minutes ago, margo2011 said:

Yes I do to but as she said I needed to book transport ,drinks package and she couldn’t confirm a cabin number I didn’t see the point .I thought if any issues arose booking direct May be better silly me .

 

13 minutes ago, sammyh25 said:

Not sure about transport but you definitely don't need your cabin number assigned to book a drinks package, we've done exactly that.  Just login to your booking and you can do it all there. 👍

 

Yep. I've done the same for my trip in December. Won't get my cabin number until closer to the holiday, but I've booked a wine package, a shore excursion, and  a welcome on board package... they just link it to your booking reference.

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Another vote here for using a good cruise TA.

 

I suspect that the company are not fully staffed yet and the announcement yesterday has caused extra phone traffic.

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46 minutes ago, daiB said:

Another vote here for using a good cruise TA.

 

I suspect that the company are not fully staffed yet and the announcement yesterday has caused extra phone traffic.

Poor excuse P&O have been very poor at answering their phones for a few years and long before Covid and before they made load redundant last year. They have used every excuse available to try and cover for very poor customer service but I honestly believe that senior management think that however bad their customer service is people will still stay loyal to P&O and book with them.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, daiB said:

I suspect that the company are not fully staffed yet and the announcement yesterday has caused extra phone traffic.

 

I had been trying to get through to them for several days before the announcement, each time having to give up because I would have run over my break period, or receiving the "we're busy right now so please don't wait on the line, bye!" message before being hung up on.

 

I don't think this has anything to do with Covid.

 

However I should say that when I did get through, the reps have been incredibly helpful.. it just takes a bit of stubbornness to get there.

 

As is often the case, I don't blame the staff taking the calls. I would be interested to see their stats on average wait times and numbers of calls dropped however.

 

(edited for clarity)

Edited by HikingPete
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17 minutes ago, majortom10 said:

Poor excuse P&O have been very poor at answering their phones for a few years and long before Covid and before they made load redundant last year. They have used every excuse available to try and cover for very poor customer service but I honestly believe that senior management think that however bad their customer service is people will still stay loyal to P&O and book with them.

I’d agree. Early experiences with my first booking direct with P&O taught me never to book direct again, and I’ve stayed with the same excellent TA ever since. Faultless service - the one most people here use, but the name of which cannot be mentioned.

 

Obviously too late now for the OP, but I’ve felt for some time now that this is part of a deliberate plan by P&O to drive people into the hands of agents with a view to substantially reducing their staffing. There’s a commission cost, of course, but it’s perhaps lower than the cost of maintaining a reservations department.

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2 hours ago, Harry Peterson said:

I’d agree. Early experiences with my first booking direct with P&O taught me never to book direct again, and I’ve stayed with the same excellent TA ever since. Faultless service - the one most people here use, but the name of which cannot be mentioned.

 

Obviously too late now for the OP, but I’ve felt for some time now that this is part of a deliberate plan by P&O to drive people into the hands of agents with a view to substantially reducing their staffing. There’s a commission cost, of course, but it’s perhaps lower than the cost of maintaining a reservations department.

Unfortunately it is not working as people are still booking direct.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, daiB said:

Unfortunately it is not working as people are still booking direct.

I wonder if people book direct because specialist cruise companies seem to have, understandably,  reduced their marketing spend,  and the occasional  cruiser is not aware of their presence.

For example,  I can't recall the last time I saw any type of advertising for the TA that many of us here use.  

Edited by wowzz
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9 minutes ago, wowzz said:

I wonder if people book direct because specialist cruise companies seem to have, understandably,  reduced their marketing spend,  and the occasional  cruiser is not aware of their presence.

For example,  I can't recall the last time I saw any type of advertising for the TA that many of us here use.  

Not sure if that is a factor but with all the uncertainty I see no need for a TA to look for more customers. 
 

We are not living in normal times, at least not as far as cruising is concerned.

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I have never experienced such long waits. Are you using the freephone number (08000523840)? This is the number I tend to use on the basis that if they are paying for the call, they may answer sooner.

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38 minutes ago, daiB said:

Unfortunately it is not working as people are still booking direct.

Yes and many regretting it later because of the appalling customer service of P&O.

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Sometimes to get a certain benefit(usually OBC) you have to book direct in order for it to be applied.I think also due to the delay in refunds and having to pay the balance  to a TA early it has encouraged people to book direct.In fact we booked direct with Princess for our latest cruise but shall probably use a TA for future cruises if the discount is worth it.

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Thank you all for your kind help ,I have tried pressing the option for sales thinking they would give priority to income generating calls but apparently not .I have now called on the free phone number .I have left a review on trust pilot and will on Facebook ,I noticed there are lots of disgruntled customers on Twitter  so obviously they aren’t concerned about customer retention or business service level .Tomorrow is another day I have spent to much time on this today ,thanks again .

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