My Nightmare began with Cruise.com
I recently booked a 7 day Caribbean cruise through an agent with cruise.com. I asked the agent to give me the total price quotation, including all port charges, taxes and fuel surcharge. I was quoted a great price, at least that's what I thought. The Agent advised me that he would be able to hold the rooms for us for that price for 24 hours and he would email me the detailed information right away. I didn't receive the promised email. Based on the information I was quoted and compared cruise.com price to other curise agencies, I decided to go with cruise.com. I called the agent back the following morning to confirm the booking (within 24 hours) and asked that he emailed the confirmation to me once the booking was complete. I didn't receive any emails that day. I called the next day to ask for the confirmation. The agent gave reasons that the cruise lines was supposed to send me the confirmation and he's surprised I had not received the confirmation. He proceeded to say he would personally ask the cruise line to send the confirmation to him so that he in turn could forward it to us.
However, I waited for 2 days and did not receive nothing. I started to get worried. I left 3 phone messges for the agent but he didn't return my calls. I decided to speak to another agent. I was shocked to find out that my rooms were put on hold but not paid for. I told that agent that I gave my credit card to the first agent and he should have secured the rooms for us immediately. After speaking with his supervisor, the 2nd agent told me that he would get all paper work done and we were guaranteed the price quoted by the first agent. I received the booking confirmation via email within 10 minutes.
To my surprise, I was charged $250 more than the promised price. The real nightmare began, I went through 2 sales agents, 3 client support agents and 1 supervisor and I still get a run around. I heard many excuses such as the price quoted did not include taxes as they have no control of the gov't taxes, but they could not explain to me after factoring in all these extra charges, they still could not explain why the first agent quoted me the original price. The most recent reason they gave me today is that the holding period for my room expired 4 minutes before the Agent went on the cruise line to pay for my room. When I asked the time the Agent went on line to confirm my bookings, it was half an hour after I gave my credit card to him.
I was very upset about the whole incident. I received quotes from other cruise agencies for this trip and some of them told me to be careful about the low price cruise.com quoted me as they were suspicious about the price cruise.com offered me.
hroughout this incident, I have never received an apology from any staff or managers of cruise.com All they have told me are excuses to cover their unethical and unprofessional behavior. I believe that:
1) I have acted in good faith by booking my cruise trip within 24 hours after I requested the Agent to put the two rooms on hold. If he, the agent, couldn't secure the room with the guarantee price quote, either he had made a mistake in pricing or he is just incompetent, he should have advised me so that I could made a sound decision of choosing an alternate travel agent for booking. But I was not given that choice. Basically, the agent at cruise.com forced me into booking my cruise trip with him and charged me a higher price without my consent.
2) Cruise.com agent did not initiate nor return phone calls regarding price change. I was the one who had to contact them. It is not sound business practice and very poor customer service.
3) When I received my invoice, I was charged $250 over the quoted price. Once again, no one from cruise.com had a decency of notifying me of the price change and asked if I still wanted to book. I immediately emailed back to the second Agent and asked him to explain the charges. Guess what, he did not return my call as well.
4) Cruise.com has given excuse after excuse of why I was charged more on my bookings but cruise.com has not acted in good faith from their end to honor the original quote even if their agent has made a mistake. I would have accepted if they would have apologized and offered some kind of solution to resolve this matter. In fact, it has dragged into the 7 days from the first day of contact and I am still waiting for someone over cruise.com to call me back. Every time they told me someone would be calling me back but none happened. I am the one who has to contact them.
If you don't want a frustrated and cheated experience before you go on your dream cruise trip, don't book through cruise.com I will certainly tell my friends who tell their friends tonever book or trust the agents at this agency. They are a disgrace in the cruise industry. I have booked my previous cruise trips from other cruise and travel agencies and I received great service from them, until this time.