Poor customer service

Old Feb 7th, 2009, 04:37 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,239
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Poor customer service

We went on a Med cruise with Costa last year on the Costa Fortuna, from Venice to Bari, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Dubrovnik.

In the main, although the boat is way too big (3500 people) for any future cruise that we may do, the staff are really helpful. The waiters are fantastic and could not do enough for us.

Our problem started with the shore trip to Dubrovnik. Having paid in advance(of course), the trip was poorly planned, the guide was inaudible, despite asking him to speak up and we missed most of the history of the place because of it. It turned out that he was a student filling in for the real guide, who couldn't make it. The Costa rep who accompanied us agreed that it was poor and of the 45 people who started the trip, we understand that 10 finished it.

We complained on board and were basically fobbed off until we got back to Venice and of course it was then too late to continue with Customer Services on board. I contacted Costa in London, was fobbed off to the Florida office who fobbed me off over the course of 5/6 complaining e-mails and then said that they wouldn't answer any further e-mails from me as THEY considered the matter closed.

So having ignored all the comments I made and decided that they couldn't be bothered to address the problem, they hoped that I would enjoy my next Costa cruise. I wouldn't use them again even if they were the last cruise line in existence!!

Beware, future Costa travellers, once they've got your cash, they don't care. And be careful of the 15% service charge they add to absolutely everything, even a bar of chocolate in the shop!

There will be those amongst you who have had enjoyable cruises with them, but be aware if things do go wrong.
Lifeman is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2009, 06:00 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 10,038
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the warning. Its a test of a companies mettle to see what they do when things go wrong. So far I have seen nothing to indicate taking Costa is worth my time and money.
jacketwatch is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2009, 08:05 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,121
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi lifeman:

I'm a little bit confused. What did you want Costa to do? Apologise? Give you a refund? Have the guide killed? It's clear you achieved nothing but not so clear what you were trying to achieve.

Can you help me? I don't understand why this is going on for so long. You had a good cruise, so you say - helpful staff, fantastic waiters. But now - 'I wouldn't use them again even if they were the last cruise line in existence!!'

All because of a crap tour in Dubrovnic which has somehow escalated into a Middle-Eastern crisis. So please tell me just what it was that you were trying to achieve.

Then I might understand your rage, months later, over something that doesn't seem all THAT important to me.
dogster is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2009, 03:44 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,239
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ah, a Costa employee! Let me ask this: if something goes demonstrably wrong when you are charging someone for a service, what would you expect to happen? An apology as minimum? Never got one! Some recompense for the good money spent that I work hard to produce? Yes , I think so! Some acknowledgement that something needed to be done? Never came!

I can't believe that you or anyone with any respect for the income they make would sit back and say "It's OK-we were ripped off, but c'est la vie".

And yes, it does fester every time I think about it when we're planning holidays and isn't that what this board is for--to share experiences, both good and bad?

Maybe you can now understand?! If not, your income comes way too easy!
Lifeman is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2009, 04:27 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,121
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lifeman - oh dear, is this the way you've been raging up till now? This is bordering on paranoia. No wonder you don't get a suitable response.

Now, I can't really be bothered getting too close to your unpleasantness because I find it rather distasteful, but I will just take issue with your claim that I'm a Costa employee. No, I'm not.

I'm a guy who looks at your post and sees a sad soul in some unnecessary torment about a minor problem that you have obviously exascerbated by your own behavior.

It occurs to me that you've spent more time complaining than you ever spent on the actual tour. Where, please, is the value in that? How much is your time worth? Not much, obviously - you've just wasted a great deal of it 'festering'... sitting, stewing, hating, angry, like a coiled spring of vitriol just waiting for someone to take your bait.

So, do you feel better now you've had a chance to lash out at a total stranger? I hope so. It's no fun living with a gut-full of rage.
dogster is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2009, 04:54 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,239
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Please do the following:

Wait for a breezy day
Take your ATM Card
Withdraw $200
Tear up the bills into small pieces
Release the pieces into the breeze
Stand and wonder what you got for the $200

Now you know how I feel.

I find it strange that you try to make light of a situation where a rip off occurs. I can only conclude that you are one of the people employed by the Cruise companies/tour operators to read these boards and try to make fun of complaints, in order to divert attention from the problem itself, despite what you assert regarding employment.

However, no doubt you'll continue to do this, in some way condoning the behaviour of big companies who provide crap (your word) goods and services.

It can't be fun living with a gutful of indifference towards others and an equal measure of stupidity all rolled up.

Lifeman is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2009, 09:29 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,281
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
brb, getting the popcorn..
Mango7 is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2009, 09:46 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 596
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am sure you should probably expect this all to be deleted. I posted a complaint against a major company a while back and the whole thing including responses (some which were not so nice) disappeared.
Louise is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2009, 02:03 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,087
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have been on dozens of cruises but never on Costa - reason being I have heard nothing but bad reports about their customer service among other things. So Lifeman I understand what you are saying. It would be nice if you received an apology and perhaps some small gesture on their part. There are too many good cruise lines out there and right now they can't afford such bad publicity. Also - we always use private tour companies arranged ahead (usually through cruise critic posters). We did Dubrovnik on a private tour last Sept. at half the cost of the ship's tour and saw twice as much. So rant away - I'm with you!!!!
traveller69 is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2009, 04:45 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 10,038
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dogster does NOT work for Costa. He's retired. My bet is this post will stay. We'll see.
I too place a high value on CS. The very least Costa should have done is to recognize that people did not get what were charged for and compensate them for that. I mean if you pay to rent a Mercedes and end up with a VW the price should be adjusted. They should have done something like a future cruise credit or adjusted the price of this excursion. Stonewalling the complaint is the worst you can do. Its penny wise and pound foolish.
jacketwatch is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2009, 02:32 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 351
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We had a similar problem this past summer with an inadequate tour of Athens - Plaka and Acropolis - on HAL. I was a bit upset and went to the tour desk and filed an official complaint - on their form. I received a 20% discount. Not great, but some recognition at least.
Aristotle is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2009, 09:45 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 31
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Our family of five, including three kids, is going on this same cruise in two weeks with my mother-in-law. I've never lusted to go on a cruise, preferring to have time to wander around neighborhoods and to find my/our own restaurants, so have been reading the complaints over issues such as this in order to have realistic expectations.
A botched outing rankles for the expenditure alone. But the loss of enjoyment, the missed engagement with a place and the wasted chance to efficiently learn something make it even more upsetting. Nobody likes to feel yanked around.
It sounds like Costa has made some gains. Your post may help them realize they must at least respond to/acknowledge your dissatisfaction. I'll take a printed copy of it with me.
I think your post ought to stay....and will add an update on our experiences when we get back. (We booked several of their excursions, as there were older posts about difficulties getting off the ship expeditiously for non-Costa trips.)
Thanks for posting--Penny
beeze is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2009, 02:43 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 10,038
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would check into that getting off business first. Unless you are tendering in you should be able to get off once the port authority clears the ship and then as you please. All the ships we've been on do it this way. Then you can easily do a tour on your own. With three kids it would be alot less money and you would be on your own time which is a great advantage with children in tow. Our first ever cruise was the western Med. and we just did the tours on our own. You can find private tour operators ahead of time or just get one as you get off. There will be plenty of them there. Try going to www.cruisecritic.com and ask this on the Costa board. Reg. is free if you haven't done so already. Good luck. Larry
jacketwatch is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2009, 03:52 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,739
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lower your expectation. It's only money. you can't take it with you. Don't let one person or one incident ruin your entire vacation. The whole trip probably cost you well over 5 or 6 Gs and you let the entire experience get ruined for a $200 excursion? Get over it.

This reminds me of the person who called the captain of a cruise ship a chicken for not navigating the ship through dangerous water to Tracy Arm. Just because the ship missed Tracy Arm, the whole trip is ruined?

If I get upset over every little thing that went wrong, I will be constantly compaining every minute every hour every day. Who has control over your own happiness? You or someone else? I have had many shore excursions with crappy guides who can't even speak the language. Here is a hint ... English is not their first langauge, may not even be their second language either. I bet you also blame the airline for a cancelled flight because of a snow storm.
Eschew is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 03:38 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 33
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Why would you lower your expectations on a trip costing $5/6 G's? I'd complain if the food in a £100 meal wasn't good! I totally agree with expecting full value for money. There's no excuse for poor service, especially the type of Cruise Lines that send you on a shore excursion using poor or none English speaking guides for an English speaking group. That means only one thing to me...they don't give a damn and just want your money.

The people who seem to think it's OK must come by their cash very easily to take the same attitude as it goes. I agree with the ATM scenario, I wouldn't do it, or expect someone to disrespect me and my hard earned in that way.

If you accept the worst, then that's what you'll probably get next time, not just you, but everyone that comes after you and that might be me!
Lets_do_it is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 10:15 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,739
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It is a life philosophy. Do you want to be a happy person or be miserable and unhappy all the time because nothing meets your expectation.

Lower you expectation on everything and you will always be plesantly surprised. You will be a much happier person and enjoy life so much more.
Eschew is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 02:16 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 33
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I guess that your philosophy could also be viewed as "Eat s**t and die".
Lets_do_it is offline  
Old Sep 4th, 2009, 03:38 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 6
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I wish I had investigated Costa more before booking for a cruise from HK in Feb. next year. They have changed the ports of call from Sanya (china) and Halong Bay (viet) to two obscure places in Taiwan - I am not happy about this. I emailed them to ask why and they said they felt Taiwan was the next hot spot and that's why they changed the itinerary and that all agents in the Pacific region had been notified. On calling my travel agent, no one in the South Pacific region has heard about it. I think its a bit of a con - get people in with the interesting ports of call and once the cruise is full, change the itinerary!! We are going to try and get our money back and do something else - its not what we paid for and why should be tolerate it.... I wouldn't mind betting that the other passengers on this cruise don't know about the changes. I hope when they find out they boycott the cruise.....

What do others think?

Jenny
amyjen is offline  
Old Sep 4th, 2009, 04:15 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 309
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jenny,
Sorry you missed ports you wanted but I doubt there is anything you can do or get your money back. If Costa acts nice, they may give you some credit for future cruise as a courtesy but they don't have to. Cruise lines can change ports for many reasons: weather, technical problems, safety etc. They do let passengers know about in contract which I am pretty sure you had signed. If you didn't read it, I don't blame you, I don't read it either. But if you do, it would be pretty scary to learn that you as passenger have almost no rights (they call it maritime law or something).
spurs is offline  
Old Sep 4th, 2009, 05:30 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 6
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I did read the small print (but have not signed anything) and it only said that itineraries can be changed due to weather, navigational, passenger safety, etc not because they just decided somewhere else would be better - they should not be able to make this decision on behalf of all the other PAYING passengers who pick cruises on ports of call. The ports they are going to in Taiwan are Keelung and Taichung - which don't seem to have any outstanding attractions at all that I can see from the web...?? I don't want to be apathetic like people are most of the time... I want to stand up and say I am not happy about it..

Anyway we will see what happens - I am seeing my travel agent next week re options...if there re any..

Thanks for your reply..
Jenny
amyjen is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Suzie2
Mexico & Central America
37
Aug 30th, 2007 07:01 AM
tinamidon
Mexico & Central America
20
Jan 3rd, 2007 04:29 PM
onthegogo
Cruises
16
Feb 13th, 2006 06:11 AM
S_S
Mexico & Central America
5
Dec 24th, 2005 10:07 AM
FSUFan
Cruises
8
Dec 27th, 2002 01:12 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:19 AM.