Miscellaneous Rumbles

A reminder that Customer Service can still fall off the rails….


Karen and I are taking a cruise (on a well-known line which I won't name for the moment) in late September. This will be our ninth voyage on this line and we have always been well-treated.

But the cruise line itself seems to have forgotten utterly that a chunk of their business comes from outside the US. As a result, there are large-ish gaps in the services offered to foreigners as opposed to US residents. Some actually make sense, but some defy understanding..

We just spent a frustrating afternoon fighting with a "get ready" app which the line insists we must register using our phones in order to obtain our new, high-falutin' "medallion service".

So, after much annoyance, we uploaded our passport info, ID photos, and other information. Next, we were asked to confirm our location so that some related hardware could be mailed to us in time to make it to the wharf. However, the only locations available to confirm were USA, Guam and Puerto Rico, and there was no "enter your country here" box. Canada, it seems, does not exist. Nor does France, Great Britain, Australia and at least a hundred others.

So the hardware will be sent to our departure point, according to the app. Okay, I can live with that- barely. But some of what we must do requires advance payment, and while the application will happily take my credit card (and now has custody of two of 'em) for "future purchases", it simply will not use those same numbers to pay for the items I am hoping will meet us in New York on the appropriate day.

All the line needed to do way insert a "may not be available to non-US residents" disclaimer and I would not have wasted nearly five hours today on this mess, which I was led to beleive was a mandatory pre-cruise duty.

I have renamed the app "Hal". I have also dispatched a much more vitriolic note to the cruise line in hopes of getting all the pieces to come together in time for our departure.

We shall see.


Doubt it. The whole stuffies incident had nothing to do with the trip, but ran afoul of the whole 49th parallel thing anyway.

Good thought, though.


And, was it different the first 8 times?


I feel your frustration. I spent 2 hours trying to buy tickets online with Ticketmaster for the BSO Christmas Concert in Seattle. I input all the required information, seats, payment details, home address etc. Then I went to confirm the purchase it was rejected saying "Online sales were only available to residents of Washington State, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia". Well I live in British Columbia and I had input my correct address. I know this is a sign in insanity (ie trying the same thing over and over expecting a different result), but I kept trying anyway. I even tried 3 different credit cards. Finally out of frustration I phoned long distance and got a live person. She was very helpful and I finally got my tickets. Finally seeing this show will knock one item off my bucket list.


And, was it different the first 8 times?

– Thomas

Yeah, for me it was, actually. They didn't have HAL for those previous times. HAL is now a "feature" that seems to have replaced who knows how many Customer Service reps.

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