I worked for 2 seasons as a travel guide and 4 months as a travel agent. Let me tell you, there are actually crazy complaints I never thought I would hear.
As a travel agent
Important information: The travel agency sold excursions from a lot of different companies and was located in a pretty rich area.
Way too expensive!
I had a family come in to book a holiday. 8 adults, 3 weeks, ultra-all inclusive in a 5* hotel, Turkey. High Season.
Turkey is pretty cheap. I found two great options with everything they wanted. The price was around the €4.500,-. So this was a really, really cheap deal. They complained it was way too expensive. I could and would find them a holiday under €2.500,- for them.
Come on! That would be €315.- a person. This is really impossible with all the things I wanted. They actually did not agree with me, even as my colleagues double checked and everything.
We did not book the trip. They came back 3 weeks later for the deal, but it was gone. Now the trip was €5.500,- and they booked it while being so mean to me and screaming and everything!
Waiting for 10 minutes
Two girls around the 25 years old complained that they had a delay of 10 minutes. This was because they were late at the gate. So they were the reason for the delay!
They did not want to leave before they got compensation for this. We actually called the airport and the company and everything and they all said it was their fault and only 10 minutes.
The girls promised me that they would never book with us again.
As a travel guide on Crete
Important information: I worked as a guide. I would pick the guests up at the airport, talk in the transfer bus, give an information meeting the same or the next morning. They could book excursions with me, ask about the island, come with complaints. At the end of the holiday, I would pick them up at the hotel, gave information about the flight/check-in on the bus and helped with the check-in. They could call us 24/7 with emergency things.
Waiting is not our thing
This one I heard a lot of times. The guests had to be at the pickup place (max 400 meters from the hotel) 10 minutes before the pickup time. This is to make sure they are there and we don’t have to go to the hotel to get them.
So I arrived with the bus and saw them just walking to the bus stop. We were 5 minutes early. They actually complained that they had to wait for 20 minutes and that we were late. I SAW them walking up and we were early!
Alright, so it happens a lot that people get the wrong room and it is fixed easily. This younger couple complained that they got the wrong room. I went with them to the room to see. They had the right room, but the couch was on the left instead of on the right. So they did not get the room that they booked or the one from the pictures.
Like, come on?
We sold a few excursions with a pickup time around 7 am. These excursions were on the same days, 2 times a week. I automatically woke up enough to hear my phone if necessary.
I got a call around 6.45 pm on a day there was NO excursion this early. They were already waiting for 10 minutes and they did not see a bus yet. When I told them that the excursion was the day after, they did not believe me.
Even after looking at their ticket and double checking the date, it had to be today. After 20 minutes of explaining, they finally gave up and went back to back.
I visited them in the hotel to explain again and fix the complaint. Told them to stand there tomorrow morning again at the same time. The next morning I get a call from the excursion guide. ‘We are missing this couple’.
So I actually had to call the guests to ask where they were. I called them awake and they got mad because I woke them up. They still wanted to join the excursion, even though it is way too late to get ready and join. (the bus can stand there 5 minutes maximum, maybe 10 if we know the guest are running)
Finally, they missed the excursion and could not get money back. They filled a complaint about me, that I did not help them enough and fixed it.
As a guide at the Costa del Sol
important information: the work was the same as the guide on Crete. Just another location. Some hotels did not get visits from us but could call us for problems. These guests all had a car and the hotel was a 2-hour drive. When they pick up the rental car at the airport, they get an envelope with information and the phone numbers.
I got a call from the head office (in Holland!) that I had to call these people. They did not get any information and they wanted some. When I called the guests, I asked why they did not call the number in the envelope (mine).
They literally said: ‘Oh, we got the envelope but we haven’t opened it yet. We just called the number from the website.’
If you get an envelope that says: Information and numbers inside! you open it right? Or am I crazy?
Then they complain that there is no one coming to the hotel to give them information and over the phone is not acceptable. This is stated on the website and repeated in the tickets.
In Torremolinos, there is one neighborhood that is very very Dutch. This older couple booked a hotel in the middle of this place. A hotel with a Dutch owner.
Torremolinos is known for the Dutch and you find that information everywhere! They complained that there are too many Dutch people and that they came here to escape Holland.
Eventually, we moved them to another town and hotel, but there were also some Dutch people. It was still not enough!
I am sorry, but I can not let all the Dutch people disappear?
Complaints and more complaints
Of course, there are way more complaints. Most of them are easy to fix. A listening ear is enough most of the time. But sometimes you have people that want everything for the price of nothing.
I actually love handling complaints, because when you fix it you can see their faces light up. They are very happy when something gets fixed and they can enjoy their holiday.
Let me know if you want other complaints!
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