Patience is highly overrated
Leada Gore, Editor
I hear these words a lot. My boss, my husband, the customer service department I've been dealing with about the screw up with my credit card, they all seem to tell me to "be patient."
The truth is, I don't want to. I believe patience is highly overrated and often leads to complacency. Case in point is the aforementioned customer service department.
The screw up was simple. My credit card was used to book a trip but for some reason, the booking company's computer sent my information to another hotel, along with the correct one. When I received my bill, I had two night's cancellation charges for hotel I had not booked.
I called the hotel and the man on the phone – who was very nice and didn't ask me to be patient – explained the charges had come from the on-line travel company.
I called that company's customer service line, where I ended up going through a menu of "press one" or "press two" only to hear music in between messages that my call was important, blah, blah.
I was on hold forever. With each minute that passed, my frustration grew. By the time the nasally customer service person got on the line, I was loaded for bear.
I explained the problem and wanted to know how it was going to be fixed.
The company started with the excuses about how the hotel must have been booked and how the hotel would have to make the refund.
"Unacceptable," I snapped. "Let me speak to your supervisor."
And I did. And I spoke to their supervisor, too. In fact, I believe I spoke to everyone who works for this particular company, including some people they may have just been interviewing for a job.
I ranted. I raved. I wrote letters. This went on for weeks. With each call I became more irate with the litany of excuses I was receiving.
Then, someone made the mistake of giving me a manager's name and direct phone number. Bypassing press one and press two, I spoke to a real, live person. Amazingly, this person listened to what I had to say, apologized and credited my card back while we were on the phone.
I was speechless.
I've heard it said that patience is a virtue and I'm sure that's true. But sometimes, you have to take the bull – or the travel company – by the horns and get something done.
In fact, I think there are probably some nice patient people who are still on hold with that company, desperately pressing "one" to try and speak to someone. If you are, give me a call. I have someone's phone number for you.