- Jan 3, 2019
Yes you are right. I should not have put that. There just wasn’t any time to waste because the first ship swap was looming. I should have had more tact.That email certainly would not persuade me to do anything for you that I was not legally required to do.
Since when can an "elderly" person not "stand up for themselves"? Unless they are mentally diminished.
Being elderly does not mean being unable to advocate for themselves unless there are medical conditions prohibiting such and I would be surprised if someone with such serious medical issues would be taking a river cruise - but, you never know.
Demanding they contact you "immediately" - well, there is a reason there is the old saying "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar" - putting aside the flies, of course, your approach is very hostile rather strongly indicating you would never book with them again which makes it even more unlikely they might want to make some sort of gesture - which they are not legally (per the contract you entered into) required to do.
Yes you are right I should have done approached it that way. I was definitely surprised and then I got mad because I found out how long this had been going on . I was not very good with my words here. This is helpful. Because my approach definitely did not work. And I would like to learn to do this better.When travel agents sell river cruises, they do warn their clients of possible water levels issues, both too low and too high. When travelers book themselves, they don't have someone to advise them and it is up to the traveler to understand all the risks. The water levels in Europe for half of the year were very low. Many river cruise lines face the same low water problem. I venture that those many passengers "that had no idea" of the low water levels were those that booked directly with Viking.
Should Viking have warned them? Sure, but how much difference would it have made? Full, non refundable payment had been made, expensive airline tickets purchased, transfers, hotels, etc. So the traveler gets a call three days before the cruise, "hey, water levels are low, but it could rain and then we might make it through. Do you want to still come, or would you like to forfeit all your non-refundable costs?" Most people would still come, especially since a couple of days of rain could "top up" the levels enough to continue the scheduled itinerary.
Should Viking have to refund hundreds of people when the water level, that they do not control, necessitates changes? What about ski lodges when it hasn't snowed?
You say that Viking hasn't responded to you. Well, if you sent an email as angry and aggressive as your second post, then I am not surprised. A more concerned tone, expressing surprise that so many guests did not understand the impact of the low water, and gently pointing out that so many of them found the new bus tour to be inconvenient, tiring, and demanding--this would be a better approach.
Should they?Should Viking have to refund hundreds of people when the water level, that they do not control, necessitates changes? What about ski lodges when it hasn't snowed?
I am realizing I am pretty bad at being polite with tegards to this situation. But I can definitely have several people read my drafts before I send them to help me be less rude in my approach. Man, this has been kinda tough to hear. But I can definitely see that I gotta change how I am approaching this.got it. I will give that a try.
Here's the difference... Viking specifically deals with this very situation in their contract ... Its not buried or hard to find ... (https://www.vikingcruises.com/terms-conditions/index.html )Should they?
As a consumer, I am told hundreds of times, I must buy travel insurance if I have to cancel. These businesses advertise a certain product, and if they can't provide that product -- let them have it insured so that a consumer who bought the product can cancel with a full refund.
This is very very helpful. ThankyouI suggest you speak just about your own personal experience, not some other elder person(s) who may have had problems; many people who are not elderly have issues due to a myriad of health problems - so, as it is irrelevant, I'd leave it out.
I'd also, with all due respect, leave out all the stuff about how he purportedly mastered the "art" of creating certain types of holidays or that you have been told he would never read it, etc - again, irrelevant to highlight such issues which may or may not be accurate in any case and take up precious time for the recipient to read.
Stick to the facts and as suggested above, use bullet points. It works. I've used Elliott's contacts a few times, each time with success. There are no guarantees, of course, but they routinely emphasize here to use their suggested method of communication because it has yielded successful outcomes.
I always write succinct factual emails only, make no demands, only ask they consider my request (which I make as fair as possible) - (and minus emotional declarations) but as a consumer advocate, I know when that works and when it doesn't. (Works well when meeting face to face with your personal legislative representative, for example; not so much in the situation you are writing about).
I did speak that way because it was my mom who purchased the cruise. I didn’t even know the itinerary. So my perspective was slightly different in that I was ambivalent to the the vacation she chose. I just wanted it to be what she had wanted. So that might explain my wording.This is very very helpful. Thankyou
Ok! I think I may have burned a bridge with Viking(for myself) at this point because I was tough as nails on them. but I will pass this on to the other passengers in my cruise. They have looked to me for help and the majority of them are senior citizens.Here is what you can do and we can help once you do that-
Make a chronological bullet list of each issue you had. For instance:
- On xx/xx we were supposed to port in xxxxx. We could not port and had to be bussed from xxxxx to xxxx.
- This required us to pack all our bags and remove them from the ship (if this is what actually happened)
- On xx/xx we were supposed to port in xxxxx. Again, we had to be bussed from xx/xx
If you give us a list of each separate thing that happened that wasn't supposed to, we can help you draft a letter.
Make sure you pass on the fact that the terms of the cruise that they agreed to do not obligate Viking to make any restitution or other actions at all. Do not give them a false sense of any positive outcome. The water level issues are not in any way new, and if the persons signing up for the cruise did not read the terms or look at the river cruising conditions, it is not Viking's fault.Ok! I think I may have burned a bridge with Viking(for myself) at this point because I was tough as nails on them. but I will pass this on to the other passengers in my cruise. They have looked to me for help and the majority of them are senior citizens.
Yes you are probably right. It is hard to believe that this happened and there is nothing to be done about it. But you have far more experience in these matters and although I wish there was more that I could do to help the paying passengers on my cruise. This has definitely been a learning process for me.Unfortunately, I don't see a successful outcome because, as John posted - the terms are there that this can happen. In the future, I would really suggest that they use a travel agent who is experienced in river cruises - they can advise what lines are better options to use thanks to the river levels that Europe is experiencing. Sometimes you just pick the wrong line and are stuck with your choice. Other lines aren't having such severe problems.
Good advice. I won’t. I think they are all aware of this. But I will certainly make sure I make that clear.Make sure you pass on the fact that the terms of the cruise that they agreed to do not obligate Viking to make any restitution or other actions at all. Do not give them a false sense of any positive outcome. The water level issues are not in any way new, and if the persons signing up for the cruise did not read the terms or look at the river cruising conditions, it is not Viking's fault.
You are right the water levels have never been Vikings fault. I took issue with them not letting the passengers know what they knew about how the water levels were currently being handled. And that was the hardest part for all of the passengers who have confided in me. I believe that Viking can do better in the future with this regard. But ultimately that will be up to them.Make sure you pass on the fact that the terms of the cruise that they agreed to do not obligate Viking to make any restitution or other actions at all. Do not give them a false sense of any positive outcome. The water level issues are not in any way new, and if the persons signing up for the cruise did not read the terms or look at the river cruising conditions, it is not Viking's fault.
Even if consumers can learn from my mistake of being very harsh with the company. It will all benefit consumers to learn from the mistakes I made and how they can go about dealing with a similar situation in a more effective manner that brings about a better income. My efforts brought about 25% cash refund offer toward the cost of the cruise. They may be more successful. If they learn from my mistakes.I am going to consider trying again. And I would like this post to remain open for input