Karen Coy-Romano books a nonrefundable hotel reservation using the travel website Amoma.com. A day after she receives her reservation confirmation, she notices it’s incorrect. After unsuccessfully trying to contact Amoma.com to change her booking, she calls the hotel directly and makes a reservation. She wants a refund. Will our advocates help her get it? “I made a mistake booking a nonrefundable hotel. Why won’t Amoma fix it?”
Wherever you go these days you see people looking intently at their smartphone screens. They’re very absorbed in what they’re reading on those small screens while ignoring distractions such as traffic. If more people paid as much attention to the screens that display the contracts at car rental counters, we would have far fewer complaints about surprise rental car charges. “Hey Thrifty — I didn’t want this insurance or this toll transponder”
Peter Kuhmerker was set for the vacation of a lifetime — a nine-day Ireland tour from Dublin to Killarney booked through Great Value Vacations. As a precaution, he even purchased a “cancel for any reason” travel insurance policy through the company. “5 things you must do before you file your travel insurance claim”
Reading comprehension is one of the foundations of primary education. (I ought to know. My eight-year-old struggles with his reading assignments from time to time.) But you’d expect a full-grown employee to actually take the time to read and understand something like a complaint email, right?
So would Ned Uyeno, who recently tried to cancel his Hotels.com room in Japan. When the site refunded only one of his rooms, it set off a chain of events that Uyeno is having a hard time comprehending.
All this recent talk of cookies and computer algorithms would have you believe an airline website can read your mind. That’s apparently what Christine Fernandez thought when she clicked on the Swiss site a few weeks ago.
But the sites aren’t that sophisticated yet. Her experience has a valuable lesson for the rest of us: Unlike human reservations agents, websites can’t divine your intent. Don’t do anything you aren’t absolutely certain of.
“Warning: Airline sites can’t read your mind, no matter what they say”