Posts Tagged With: Delta

Losing Favor Over a Promotional Sweepstakes

When I am asked what I write about in my blog, I have usually listed politics, religion, social issues, travel, and whatever is on my mind. Now I have had over 50,000 Let's Let Al Unser, Sr. Answer Thatpeople view my posts here, I see the posts that are about businesses or services that I have written about are just as popular. So now I add consumer advocacy to my list of topics. This post describes how a product/business that I liked A LOT has lost favor with me over a sweepstakes. There was a time that entering my sweepstakes was an easy and pleasant way to pass my time whether I am down because of my Multiple Sclerosis or just passing some time with the hopes I could win something. Winning “The Fastest Seat In Sports” sweepstakes from http://www.shophonda.com last year was a highlight that has kept me motivated to keep entering sweeps. But now I know that little thought is put into how some sweepstakes are set up and designed. It makes me wonder, have sweepstakes designers ever consulted with a “sweeper” (a name I call people like me that enter lots of sweepstakes) about the sweeps they are designing?

An example of a poorly designed sweeps and prize, I highlight the “Take Off With Biscoff” sweepstakes (http://takeoff.votigo.com/takeoff). This is a sweeps that checks off Biscoff Sweepsmany of my bad sweeps pet peeves. Peeve 1 – Making it seem simple, but it is not! It says, “You can WIN A TRIP by Biscoff Photo Rulesuploading a photo. Tell us how Biscoff Cookies – The Airline Cookie – elevates your day! Upload a photo showing how you enjoy Biscoff Cookies, for a chance to win a Trip for two to Europe and more prizes“. This seems simple enough… but check out the photo of the entry requirements for the photo – WAY too many to mention! All of this just to enter. Yes it is best to “study” ALL of the rules so you can enjoy their promotion!  lol

Peeve 2 – “Public  voting”. After someone jumps the hoop to get entered… then you only think Biscoff Determinationyou are at the mercy of the public to vote if your entry even makes the gallery. Then it is only a competition for people who have skills that make their entry more interesting than the others, not something most will, can, or have time to do for ONLY A CHANCE to win a prize. But guess what… even if your entry gets the most “votes” does not mean you win. The public “vote is only 40% of how a winner is determined. The other 60% is from a “Sponsor-selected panel of judges”. I include a photo of how the winner is determined and see if you understand it with a simple reading or do you have to reread and calculate in your head what they are saying!  Study a little more! lol

Peeve 3 – The prize! Yes, I even have issue with the prize. Why would I have issue with the prize? A 3 day/2 night trip to Europe. What do you actually get with this trip? JetlagFirst let’s pretend you are healthy (I have MS and eliminate myself from this scenario), you spend day 1 basically flying to the sponsor determined destination in Europe… that’s right, the sweeps does not even tell you where you are going!  lol Now to me, destination unknown would be fun. But after spending pretty much a day getting there and spending night 1 in bed exhausted and jet-lagged after flying over several time zones, you have day 2 to drag though. So on day 2 of a 3 day trip, you do as much as you can before having to get back to the hotel so you can spend night 2  to get ready for day 3… flying home!  lol Sweepstakes in the US with US destinations that have a 3 day/2 night trips is really silly… so why did anyone think a 3 day/2 night international trip would be a good idea? Sounds penny-pincher to me and we know penny-pincher trips are so much fun!!! So, the only real option for most would be to take the alternate $4,000 gift card – which is what I would HAVE to do.

Now with all the sweeps in enter, why has this one set me off and inspired me to write a post about it? See the vague e-Biscoff Rejectionmail I got after trying to jump their hopes to enter this sweeps! I had posted this photo of clouds out my window flying. DSC00016Even after being rejected and studying the rules again… I do not see any violations of the rules.  I told a sap story of asking for extra Biscoff Cookies from flight attendants so I could share them with my Mom after my flights, Cookies with my Mom elevates my day. There is a very small chance the hashtag  #takeoffwithbiscoff may not have pasted when I copied and pasted it into my comment. But still, and e-mail that does not say what I did wrong does not inspire me to take (waste) the time to try again for a minuscule CHANCE to win a trip that would be challenging at the least for someone with MS. So I chose to take (waste) my time writing this post.

The alternate $4,000 gift card would be life changing for someone in my situation, just as would winning the First Prize of 50,000 Delta SkyMiles would be GREAT. But now, even winning the Second Prize, a years worth of Biscoff Cookies, would only leave a bad taste in my mouth! I see in the gallery of the sweepstakes that many others must have studied the rules better than me and entered successfully and I wish them luck! So if I accomplish anything in a sense of advocacy with this post… it would be that ANY company using sweepstakes consider that you want your sweeps to be simple and FUN and Biscoff Cookies (Lotus Bakeries North America) missed the mark with me on this promotion and caught me in the right mood that rejecting my entry just pissed me off! I think you can also guess that The Biscoff Coffee Corner is off my itinerary during my August trip to San Francisco.

 

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Delta Airlines Needs Customer Service Training!

Delta Airlines has been my airline of choice for many years – until now!  I am questioning if I will EVER fly Delta again!  Miss Bass in Claims Services has pretty much ended my great, long time relationship with Delta.  Delta SkyMiles was the very first frequent flier program I joined around 30 years ago.  I even chose SunTrust bank so that my debit card could earn me SkyMiles.  While I have had many enjoyable trips one mistake has now challenged my love and respect for Delta!

My father is dying from Asbestosis and also has Dementia; I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  Friends in Las Vegas used their SkyMiles to get me a ticket to visit so I could have a break from this high stress situation!  While the visit went fine, the return home became much more complicated.  I had a 2 hour layover in Memphis and found the flight was also delayed an additional 2 hours.  Gate agents were able to assist me getting a flight to Jackson, MS with less wait.  This was a relief to my sister/chauffeur and our anxious patient/father.

The flight was fast, no need for beverage service because the 28 passengers did not need a beverage in the 1 hour gate to gate flight.  With my MS being active, I was having to use my crutch and was the very last to arrive at baggage claim.  But as the last passenger left and the baggage carousel stopped, my bag was nowhere to be seen.   The girl at baggage claim told me my bag had gone to Jacksonville, FL instead of Jackson, MS; it would be delivered to me the next day and assigned me a claim number.  This was Saturday.

Late Tuesday afternoon my bag had not arrived and the website showed that it should have already been delivered. I had been quite and patient for these 3 days waiting for the process to take care of itself, but with the website not equaling reality, I made a call.  Miss Bass began as a cooperative person making a call to the delivery company to check on my bag then telling me it was in route and would arrive in minutes.  This is where things turned!  I asked for information about compensation for the inconvenience and she told me to send my receipts somewhere. I told her I did not have receipts because since arriving back in Mississippi I was with my sick father, giving a deposition to my lawyer, and making an 8 hour round trip car ride – all while having the same clothes on (my Mom had washed them at least) and suffering great pains because of my MS. When did I have the time or ability to get new clothes or shop to have receipts for anything?

I then asked Miss Bass to transfer me to customer service.  She then told me she no, she would not.  So I asked for the number, she refused to give it to me.  At this point I was IRATE!  I screamed and hollered and she then told me I could go to the website to report a complaint – and I did! In this position, she should have much better customer service skills or at least have someone to refer an unhappy customer to!  This way someone at Delta does not have to deal with a customer while they are irate, but also the customer also has time to write a blog about it.  Even as much time as this took me because of my MS… I still had time to blog about it and still heard nothing from Delta!!  Solving problems quickly should be a customer service goal.

At the beginning of the call, it said the call may be recorded and I hope it was. Better yet, I hope someone from Delta reads the complaint I did send via the website. Few times in my life have I been treated as callously.  Dismissed with no regard. In my complaint I remarked that they could compensate me something for the inconvenience of my bag being delayed 3 days or just to see a copy of Miss Bass’s termination paperwork would also satisfy me!

If this is the new Delta after the merger with NWA, I will surrender my SkyMiles card and even change banks!  It is time for Delta (and other airlines as well) to acknowledge that inconvenience has a price even without a receipt!  Customer service should be given – not asked for!  If Delta does contact me and finds a resolution for this unhappy – now irate customer, I will blog about that also, but to all my readers, let’s not hold our breath for that blog!  In the mean time, I will avoid any business with Delta until they offer some form of apology, but without Miss Bass’s pink slip, flight vouchers or a check, I will not take them seriously!

CUSTOMER SERVICE IS DEAD!

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

500 Days Without Snow

This is the story of boy meets boy…but you should know up front….this is not a love story!  That is a variation of a line in the movie “500 Days of Summer”.  Some movies should NEVER be viewed on an airplane.  “Secondhand Lions” was a mistake to view on the plane…. but not for me.  I had my headphones on watching “Secondhand Lions” on a Delta cross-country flight and the passenger next to me did not have headphones.  As I watched the movie (plot spoiler if you have not seen “Secondhand Lions”) the Lion gets shot.  I am watching the movie and thoroughly enjoying it, when the passenger next to me taps me on the shoulder and asks with a tear in his eye, “Is the lion dead?”  The man was watching the movie with no audio and was moved to tears at the scene.  I watched “500 Days of Summer” on my return flight from Bogotá after ending a relationship there. For me… “500 Days of Summer” was another movie NOT to be viewed on a plane!

It is a great movie, do not get me wrong, but in “500 Days of Summer” even the main character’s name is Thomas; making it an even more personal experience for me.  But as the movie begins, viewers are warned….”This is not a love story”.  As I watch the movie, I am thinking this is a great love story!  I even see parallels in my own “love” story.  This movie did not speak to me about my recent Colombian break up, but the love I have for someone in Las Vegas and this current breakup was a reminder how difficult it will be for me to love someone as much as I do my ex in Vegas.  Then as the movie turns darker (not violent or horror), I see even more parallels.  I see a man named Thomas pining for his lover that does not return his love.  Even as we learn that she had been honest and up-front about the situation from the beginning, “I do not want anything serious” she had said.  I see Thomas in me – Thomas.  We root for Thomas to have his love and as the movie progresses and ends… we begin to understand why.  He remembers things only the way he wants to remember them… not as they ACTUALLY were.  For the real life Thomas…. he still does not know why and is crying on the airplane (and blogging) for the world to see his lonely pain of love rejected!

As the movie counts the 500 days with Summer (the girl’s name is Summer), I realize to look at my calendar.  As I do… I come to a painful truth… the day I started this blog was day 500 from the last time I saw my love… my ex.  It snowed that day , the last day I saw my love… my ex…in Las Vegas and it was a record-breaking snow.  As I cried on the airplane and even now as I watch again and again on dvd – some movies should not be viewed on an airplane.  The last time I saw my ex, it snowed … so for me… it has been 500 Days Without Snow.  My personal movie still has not had its happy ending, but I did begin by telling you…. “This is not a love story!”

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Up in the Air and a Few Miles Short! (Seeing My Life In Movies)

Recently I watched the movie “Up in the Air”…. ok actually, I just watched it!  Clooney’s character is striving for the recognition of American Airlines by achieving 10,000,000 air miles.  I understand his quest like few can.  I am a former Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite member.  I know the thrill I had opening the letter from Marriott and seeing that card.  I was always looking at the Sony LCD flat screen tv that could be purchased using the points – but I was always a few points short.  Forget the fact I worked for Sony!  I wanted the miles to buy me something because I felt so alone and had no one to buy me things I wanted.  Actually, there are few people who even knew what I wanted.

In the movie Ryan Bingham (George Clooney’s character) flies around the U.S. firing people.  Ryan is a likeable guy, but he does not seem missed when he is gone and the few that do miss him begin to accept their place in his life – at a distance.  His ambition to meet what most see as a shallow goal is what brings him comfort in the absence of real connections with people.  It is easier for him live “up in the air” and away from actual connections with people who may get close.  The acknowledgement of American Airlines is more important than appreciation of other people.  I so relate!  Except I always connected with Delta.

Most people booked their air travel with Orbiz, Epedia, or even travelzoo.com to get a deal on flights.  I actually went directly to delta.com and searched and searched to find the flight that would meet Sony’s travel & expense guidelines so I could get my SkyMiles.  Many co-workers booked through the company travel group and just took whatever flight they gave them – but I worked at finding a Delta flight.  I then asked the travel group to purchase the ticket for me.  I had flight numbers and times ready along with information showing Delta had a lower price than the Sony “prefered” airlines.  Such dedication for loyalty.  As I looked at the Sony tv in the SkyMiles catalog …. I found I was always a few miles short.

Mr. Bingham had a crap job, but he liked it.  There are few that would have enjoyed my job like I did.  Do you remember Del Griffith, John Candy’s character in the movie “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”?  The guy sold shower curtain rings and traveled constantly… but he LOVED his job and his customers loved him.  His job was a thankless job like mine.  No matter how good a job a did…. no one noticed other than my customers.  I had a a bitch of a boss that did not like me and NO ONE liked her but she has now even been promoted.  Why can’t a company as great as Sony see what useless crap she is!  I helped the company, my customers loved me, but I was held back because she was simply a bitch.  But despite all the reasons for me NOT to like my job I loved it and was good at it.  But when it came to the big money…. I was a few dollars short.

As I mentioned, with Marriott I had achieved the highest honor for Marriott Reward members – Platinum status.  It took staying 75 nights to reach this level of achievement.  I will say that I was staying at the Courtyard by Marriott… not actual J.W. Marriott or Marriott hotels.  Courtyard was great and designed for the business traveler – which I was.  I stayed most often at the downtown Courtyard in Salt Lake City.  The guys and girls at the front counter got to know me quick.  As a Platinum member I would get upgraded to a suite if one was available and often one was available.  A big suite for a lonely traveler filled the void that was missing because of no personal connections.  I received welcome gifts of cookies and bottled water; and yes that little shit meant a lot to me – for some reason!  As I would look in the Marriott Rewards catalog …. I also found I was a few points short.

My Multiple Sclerosis has grounded me from earning my SkyMiles and I stay few nights at a Marriott brand hotel.  But no one has noticed.  I go from being a 5 year Platinum Elite Marriott Rewards member to nothing and no card, letter of gift bag asking where did our loyal customer go?  I book my flights now on travel.com because I know my one or two trips a year will not add up to my seeing status with Delta again.  I still sometimes look longingly at the upgrade board to see if my name may be there – now it never makes the list.   But as with MANY things in my life….I have come up a little short, but I still like my shallow, self-indulgent and even sometimes lonely life.  I am an island…a small crappy one… but the views are great!  To be the big island everyone wants to visit…. my beach comes up a little bit short!

I actually felt I missed my friends when I was traveling and looked forward to seeing them when I returned home.  Now my trip is more permanent, I see I am “out of sight and out of mind”.  I hate that my Multiple Sclerosis robbed me of the life that made me comfortable.  Having lost my status makes me feel lost sometimes!  I still look for and desire that status I once had that no one noticed or cared about but me.  I now also belong to Jet Blue TrueBlue as well as remaining a SkyMiles and Marriott Reward member… but have no status with any of them.  Life for me is like working for Sony but wanting that Sony tv in the catalog …. I am always a few miles short!!  I look sometimes in the mirror and still see my inner Ryan Bingham, but I see I have no status anymore… I NEED to be UP IN THE AIR!!!

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