Just say the word “Corporation” these days and, let’s keep it real, many people react with suspicion and negativity.
Imagine my own predicament: sitting in St. Paul’s Hospital a few days after being admitted through the Emergency department, awaiting open heart surgery and realizing I would NOT be returning to Florida within a few days to take my booked trans-Atlantic cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Southampton.
My fully-paid, no-longer-even partially refundable, cruise fare; my fully-paid, non-refundable London hotel booking; and, my fully paid, non-refundable air fare from London to Vancouver!
Ugh! Enough to make someone sick!!!
But sitting in the cardiac ward for days with only my cell phone for amusement (I would NOT shell out $15 a day for TV) … I had lots of time between tests and needles and more tests while awaiting for The Big Cut … to cancel all my reservations and TRY to mitigate my losses.
And with a single-occupancy balcony cabin, hotel room and business class airfare to YVR … the potential loss could be thousands. (I did buy an annual Trip Cancellation Policy …but AFTER purchasing these trips, so I wasn’t sure if they would be covered.)
I needn’t have worried.
First, there was Celebrity Cruises … my favorite cruise line before, and even more now.
Upon hearing of my health predicament from my travel agent at Vacations to Go … and after receipt of a fax from St Paul’s that I had indeed been admitted to the cardiac unit … Celebrity agreed to cancel my too-late-to-cancel booking AND provide me a future CREDIT for 75% of the value of my cruise … good for a year!
Only days before the ship sailed! Even though I was then at the “100% non-refundable” booking status. Marvelous! Amazing!
And that was not all: I had also booked my Business Class airfare home on British Airways through Celebrity’s Choice Air program: they also refunded my non-refundable discounted airfare, less the small commission for the travel agency.
As for my London hotel … The Thistle Hotel’s Kingsley Holborn … they also came through … refunding my entire non-refundable pre-paid hotel charges after the booking agency I used, Expedia.ca , pursued my request up several levels to gain authorization to cancel without penalty … in light of the circumstances.
And it’s not as if I am a “regular” at the Kingsley: actually have never stayed there …hotel was chosen because a friend sailing on the same cruise recommended it. Will definitely now have to try it next trip!
The one snag: getting all this done took a lot of calls, answering many questions and speaking to several levels of corporate management at the various companies.
No problem, I thought. After all I have UNLIMITED Canada calling under my Koodo monthly phone plan.
Until I received my April phone bill: instead of the usual $61 phone/usage monthly bill … my statement totalled $299!!
Turned out my seldom-used phone had only 500 minutes included monthly … I had gone WAY over…sitting in St. Paul’s for 28 days … totally unaware of the limit … never having EVER come close before.
Koodo’s customer service agent offered a $20 reduction, but after hearing where I was and why I was there suggested ONLY a supervisor could provide any greater relief. I wasn’t expecting much, having often heard people complain about wireless phone companies…
Five minutes later, a Koodo supervisor came on the line, fully briefed by the Customer Service rep … and told me, in view of my circumstances, he would be WIPING OUT ENTIRE EXCESS MINUTES charges! The ENTIRE extra charge … more than $200!
And he, like ALL the other “CORPORATE” officials I dealt with wished me a speedy recovery.
Have to admit, the POSITIVE, CUSTOMER-FRIENDLY response to my situation from some pretty large usually faceless “CORPORATIONS” surprised even me.
Next time I hear some anti-corporate bigots maligning nasty capitalist profit-seeking corporations, I’ll think about how ALL these CORPORATIONS reacted to my situation humanely and compassionately …when they very rightly could have just taken their non-refundable revenues and added them to their own bottom lines.
Still recovering from my health crisis, but getting better ever day … and although it will be months before I can travel again, I’m already looking forward to plans for next fall … partially paid literally by the SILVER lining refunded my by several clearly responsive, quality travel corporations.
(Next … back to politics, where our “leaders” are often not nearly so pleasant and easy to complement! 🙂