Customer support is there to support, assist, service, advice, help, care and sustain clients. But that’s not the case all the time.
And when things go wrong the person in the customer support you reach is the one who can make or ruin your day.
In the past week, I had to contact 2 different customer support teams regarding some services in different countries.
I booked a room through Airbnb in Budapest as I had to spend the night there. It was my first guest experience. Found a parking spot right in front of the building which is like winning a lottery. Called the host. Phone switched off. Sent a note in application. No answer. Kept calling. Nothing. Went to the building and trying to find the bell with her name. No luck. Kept calling. Phone busy. Sent a text. No reply, phone switched off. After an hour and half of trying to get a hold of her, I had enough. Decided to cancel the booking and get another one. The only way to do it is to call the Airbnb support center. Great. So I did. After almost 15 min of roaming from Hungarian network calling USA I switched to UK support center and the Italian one. Couldn’t get through. I guess they are pretty busy. SO as I had no luck canceling the booking I went on booking.com and booked the closest and not the most expensive hotel nearby. Once I reached the hotel I went online and contacted the Airbnb customer support in writing explaining my situation and requesting the cancellation of my booking and refund.
To make the story short – the next day I had this email from them
I can only saw wow. Not only was I refunded, they offered to reimburse me for my stay at the hotel which I never expected. Way to go Airbnb. And when I submitted the invoice the reimbursement was done the same day.
The second customer support turned out to be a total disaster, the whole experience from the first contact.
I had to rent a car. I used the internet site HolidayCars and got a good deal on a car. I also choose to get the coverage of the excess with their NoRisk Warranty Plus+. I was to quick and submitted the form before correcting the dates to 2-day rental so I made 2 1 day rentals. The company I was supposed to rent from is Ljubljana based company Avant Car. In order to secure me the same car for 2 days, I called their customer support number explained the situation and asked if they could combine both rentals into 1 2 day rental. Sure, the lady on the other side said ‘no problem’, she’d deal with it and call me back. I am still waiting for that call.
I went to the outlet to pick up the car and of course there was nothing about the subject I spoke with the lady in customer support. Anyway they gave me the same car for 2 days just they had to make 2 contracts…The thing that surprised me most was that they demanded to reserve 1.200 € on my credit card. I have purchased all the possible insurances with online rental so based on my experiences with previous rentals the amount for reservation on your credit card is from 300-500 €. They explained it’s for insurance if something happens to the car they use this money…OK, but I have purchased extra insurance?!?!
Sure I did, but not with them. OK, so if I purchase the insurance with my rental on internet the car is not insured and I had to buy additional insurance or get them to reserve 1.200 € on my card which, and thet’s the most interesting point THE BANK NEEDS UP TO 30 DAYS once I return the car TO RELEASE BACK TO MY CREDIT CARD?!?!? Ok, I ask if they need that long, as the bank usually releases the funds to my card within 2 days. Noo, they do it immediately, the bank needs all this time.
OK, I take the car, which I must admitt was a heaven to drive and I return it 2 days later. A few days later I rent a car with another company and I return it 3 days later. A week later at home I go to my bank to ask the balance on my credit card and the lady shows it to me and I see that I have received the funds from the 2nd rental released back to my card whereas the Avant Car is still blocked.
And I go again, calling their customer support number. The lady I reach goes on with the bank holding the funds story. And I explain her that I’ve just come from the bank and the funds result blocked from their side…And the line drops. Ok, here we go again, this time reaching Karolina. I repeat my story and she repeats the same as the other person already did adding that bank just says that they keep the money blocked but that’s not the case…Then I explain that I do rentals in different countries on a weekly basis and so far it has never happened that the bank would hold my money.
‘Yes, but these are other companies’, she adds.
‘OK, so you are saying that your company holds my money for up to a month?’
‘No, it’s the bank.’
After 10 min on the phone with her and my pressure at the boiling point I said that we are humans and if it would be such a problem for her to check if it might have happened that someone at their company forgot to release the money back to my card and if they did could she be so nice to send me the proof of the release so I can go and confront my bank with it.
She asks me to make an official request by mail so nothing is wrong?!?! Darling there’s already something wrong, you are keeping my money.
So she finally asks for my email address. And this time I get an email, which is a point for them.
And in this email she sais she is sending me the invoices with which I can go to the bank to have my moner released. And I open the attachments and there are 2 invoices for the amount of 16,8€ which was the additional insurance cost I had to pay them in order to lower the amount for reservation.
REALLY?!?! Are you making fun of me or what?!?! Send me the proof of releasement of the funds not the invoices for the services I paid for and I already have…And no sign from them. They certainly have no clue what customer support is all about and from my experience they certainly don’t work on keeping the clients.
I am just a really unsatisfied client who still didn’t get the money back…And I advise anyone who needs to rent a car in Slovenia not to do it with Avant Car.