Orbitz Informative - Orbitz - A Guide To Managing Your Losses
If you are reading this basically you like me were suckered into a deal with Orbitz. I feel for you. You have two options now - you can rant and rave into the void (I have nothing against that) or you can get the most you can out of Orbitz with the least (but still considerable) effort.
Basically the way the operate is with very poor trained, very low-pay workers in call centers in emerging markets. They are clueless and cannot really assist you. Getting cross, shouting, asking to speak to a supervisor - its all useless. They only give first names, so there is no come back. So in short realize before you call that you are speaking to someone paid way less than a dollar an hour, who speaks okayish English, has probably never stayed in hotel or flown in plane in their lives, doesn't know anything about the travel business AND has their finger on the hang-up button.
The way the call center workers operate is the moment anything gets confusing or complicated, or the caller is irate they simply drop the call. Its no skin off their back, Orbitz (or its sub-contractors) designed the system to not be accountable. There is no follow up to the caller that you last spoke to i.e. you cannot actually get them again. So basically what I did, after about 10 hours of exasperated calls, was as follows. I worked out exactly what the solution to my problem was. Basically the person needed to call KLM and change the reservation. I got her the KLM reservation number in Holland, told her what buttons to press, phoned KLM in Holland (who said only the travel agent can do the change), asked them to make a note of what needed to change. And the talked the Orbitz call center staff through the process step by step. It worked.
Anyway here are some tips for how to manage your losses with Orbitz:
1) See if you can sort it out yourself first. You will have to do this anyway to "train" the Orbitz call center staff.
2) If its a small amount of money at stake ask yourself "is it worth 10 hours on the phone to staff who know nothings and can do little?"
3) If it is not a small amount of money or you are stuck here is what to do:
a) Find out exactly what the call center staff will need to do, who they need to phone, phone the people they need to phone and prepare them, give Orbitz staff as detailed a description as you can of what they need to do.
b) Do not get angry or they will punish you by keeping you on hold for 45 minutes and then cut you off.
Important - allocate time to this. Its not a quick call. Set yourself down, get coffee notepads, get in a comfortable chair and prepare to spend much of the day on the task.