Expedia Sucks

This could end up being very long, and if you don’t really want to hear about it, please feel free to not read ahead.  Please don’t read to the end and then leave a comment telling me what I should have done.  It’s clearly too late for that.   I am pretty much throwing this out there as a last ditch effort, as I have been told by several people that throwing a hissy fit on some social media is a really good way of getting the attention of a company that doesn’t want to pay attention to you, or is trying to avoid your issue as hard as they fucking can.  At this point, that’s where I stand with Expedia.

So, as you may know, if you read this blog regularly or follow me on twitter or instagram, I broke my leg in March.   It was a massively unfortunate accident, and it derailed several plans about how I was hoping to spend my summer.   Initially I had hoped to spend two weeks or so in Portugal over the summer.  I have never been to Portugal, and it would have been my second ever trip to “The Continent”, the first being in Paris over New Years.  One of the things I was looking forward to doing in Portugal was spending time at the sea, and of course, surfing.  When I broke my leg, I knew that a big summer trip was out, and that if I did go anywhere, it would be nowhere near any ocean, so that I would not have to sit and look at it, knowing I couldn’t enjoy it.  I did that once before in Kauai.  It sucked.

But I did want something to look forward to over the summer, for “after” the injury, when I could walk again.  Not something overly taxing, and I didn’t want to be away from home for too long.  I decided to look for some place that I had never been, in the United States, where I could I stay in a really nice place, and just kind of be away.   In April, I hopped on Expedia, and looked at several cities that I had been curious about, and found a lovely hotel that I was really excited to visit, and so I booked my airfare and hotel for a long weekend in June in Nashville.    And at that time, I opted for Expedia’s trip insurance, just in case my leg wasn’t good enough to go.

As the time drew near, I realized that I would be able to make the trip, and I was looking forward to it.  I knew it would be a little bit difficult with my leg, but I thought it would a great idea to sit in a beautiful hotel, with my leg up, writing and reading, and whatnot.  I bought a ticket to the Grand Ole Opry, just because “when in Rome.”

The only downside of the trip that I booked was that a non-stop wasn’t available, and so in order to make the timing work the way I wanted it to, I booked a red-eye out of San Francisco.

Fast forward to the day of my departure in June.  I was mostly packed, just throwing the last of my stuff in my bag, and about to head out the door around 8:30 or so for an 11:30 flight.  I was going to get a ride to the train station, and take the BART into the airport, which takes awhile.  Just as I was throwing my toothbrush into my bag, double checking my packing list, and putting on my shoes, I got an alert that my flight was cancelled.    Thankfully, I hadn’t already left.

I got on the phone, and called the airline.  I sat on hold with them for over an hour.  At that point, it was getting really late, and I was tired.   As I was sitting on hold, I got an email from Expedia saying that I had been rebooked on a flight in the morning, and to call immediately to confirm.  I hung up on the airline, and called the number in the email.

When I spoke to the representative over the phone, she said that the airline had booked me already for the 6:00 am flight, which would connect through Dallas, and I wouldn’t get to Nashville until about 6:30 that evening.  This meant I would lose a day of my long weekend, I would miss the show at the Grand Ole Opry, and oh yeah, I had no way of getting to the airport by six in the morning, since the BART doesn’t run that early, and it was too late to call for a shuttle to pick me up.  I was already exhausted, so I asked about the trip insurance.   The representative told me that since it was before the time i had booked the flight to leave, and since the cancellation would be due to the airline (American Airlines, for the record) that I would qualify for a full refund of the hotel and the airfare.  I told her that I would like to cancel.

She explained that I would have to wait on the line, because she would have to contact the airline with me on the call to cancel since they had already booked me on the 6 o’clock flight.  She put me on hold, and I continued to hold for over an hour, again.

And then I was disconnected.

I called back, and explained my whole situation again, and the person I spoke to said that they would continue to try to get in touch with the airline, and that someone from Expedia would call me back once the airline was on the phone, so that we could complete my cancellation, and get my refund.  Meanwhile, they had already processed the hotel cancellation, and I should expect that refund in a few days.

It was close to midnight when I got off the phone.  I tried to stay up for a little while, expecting someone from Expedia to call me   back.  At some point, I fell asleep.   They never called me back.

The next morning, I called again. I was placed on hold again.  I was disconnected after a long period on hold again.   I called back.  I was told again that someone would try to get through to the airline, and then call me back, and that I didn’t have to wait on the line, as long as I would be available to take their call.   I hung around my apartment all day, waiting for them to call me back.  My vacation turned into a staycation, and then it turned into being stuck in my apartment, waiting for a call back.  Yes, I could have taken my phone and left the house, but I didn’t want to risk missing the call, so I thought it was best to stay home where I knew I would hear it ring.   They never called.

Over the next several days, this cycle repeated.  I would call Expedia whenever I knew I had a couple of hours to spare, be put on hold, put the phone on speaker, try to relax and enjoy my time off, eventually get dropped from hold without resolution.  I was told almost every day that if I got dropped off the call, they would call me back as soon as they got American Airlines on the phone.  That never happened.   Finally, a day or two before I had to go back to work, I was told by a supervisor at the call center not to worry about the refund, they would take care of it, I didn’t have to call anymore, I would just get an email in a couple of days to confirm my cancellation and refund.

I waited five business days, and I didn’t hear anything back from Expedia.  No phone call.  No email.  No refund.    I called them again from work.

This time I was told something completely different.  I was told I would have file a claim with the travel insurance company.  This is the first I had heard of another company being responsible.   The person I spoke to from Expedia transferred me to the  insurance company – Aon Affinity/Berkely Travel.

The representative from the insurance company, after I explained the whole situation, told me that I would not qualify for a refund, based on the policy I had purchased, and that all I could get was a credit from the airline.  I was so angry and flustered, and I explained that I had been told exactly the opposite by Expedia.  He said I would have to file a claim, and that I would find out what I was eligible for.

I thought that the phone call was what was needed to process the claim.   I got an email from the insurance company a few days later, and because I was irritated, I didn’t read it closely.  A few weeks later (admittedly, I’m not sure exactly how many weeks), I double-checked the email, and realized that I had been mistaken.  I still had to file paperwork in order to get a refund or credit.   If someone had said that first night that I had to fill out paperwork, I would have done it then, but at this point, I was tired of dealing with it, and for some reason, kind of embarrassed that it hadn’t been resolved.  I shouldn’t have been embarrassed, though.  None of this was my fault.  I did the responsible thing by purchasing the insurance.

So, it took me awhile to get over all that and fill it out, but I finally did, and I submitted it.

Last week I got a letter from them.  According to the letter, the type of  travel insurance that I purchased from Expedia at the time that I booked my trip was not provided by their company.  The policy I had purchased was Expedia’s own, and they were the responsible party for dealing with my cancellation and refund, and that I should contact Expedia.

I have not tried to contact Expedia.   I dread dealing with Expedia.  I don’t ever want to deal with them again.  Their customer service is a nightmare.

I know now that I should have been taking better notes, getting the names and IDs of all the people I spoke to, and logging the dates and times.  I should have stayed more on top of it, instead of putting off dealing with it.   I should emailed them, and called them more.

But I already missed my trip.  And spent hours of my time dealing with this.  I didn’t want to give them any more of my time.    I missed my trip, but I thought it would be alright, because at least I could spend the money on something nice for myself.

So, Expedia sucks.  American Airlines probably sucks, too.  If I could have gotten in touch with them in the first place, I might not have had to cancel my trip at all.  I wouldn’t have had to call Expedia at all.

But I’d rather know that Expedia sucks.

Aon Affinity / Berkely Travel isn’t all that great, either, since they could have told me at the beginning that they weren’t the ones who I had purchased the insurance from.  How hard could it have been to look that up?

Has anyone else out there had a horrible experience dealing with Expedia and trip cancellations?   Or any bad experience with them at all?   Let me know about it down in the comments.  Let’s vent.

 

Oh, and for my trip to New Zealand in a few months, I’m booking the hotels and stuff myself.  No more Expedia.

Pleasing People

There’s not a whole lot of people in this world that I concern myself with pleasing.   I would love for my parents to be proud of me, but I don’t live for it.   If they are, great, but for the most part, I have to make my own way.   I know I do a lot of things that they’re not happy about.  I’m sure they’d rather I’d still never been to Tijuana.   My dad would like for me to spend far less time in bars.   My mom would prefer if I would listen to her dating advice.   (How does she always know that they’re bums long before I do?)

There’s a short list of people who I’d like to see at a show I’m playing, as I look out into the crowd, beaming at me the way I’ve beamed at them so many times.  And if everyone else says we suck, well, I can live with that just fine.  In fact, I’m looking forward to people hating my band.  That’s just another part of being in a band, from what I can tell.

But for the most part, this life of mine is not about what’s going to make anyone else happy.  I hope you’ll understand, and you won’t take it personally.   Sometimes I’ve just got to do what I’ve got to do, and sometimes that means going my own way or doing it alone.    I just can’t always be around people.   That’s just not who I am.  I can’t be that woman.    I have to breath, and I have to feel like I can cut and run at any time.  I probably never will, but when I’m tied down, I start to get nervous.   I have to have an exit strategy and a contingency plan at all times.   

Like I said, none of this is personal.   It’s not like I’m running away from someone in a particular.  I just have to know that I could.  I have to check my bank balance three times per day and calculate how far and how long it will take me.  I just have to .   

I know this could come as a shock to those have been reading about my non-stop escapades, constantly going out and needing to not be alone.   I did, however, say that the day would come when I would swing in the opposite direction, and it seems that that day has come.

And this doesn’t mean I’m depressed, or that something is wrong.  I hate it when people jump to that conclusion.   Just because I want some time to myself does not mean that anything is wrong with me.  If anything, this is a sign that I’m one step closer to my own version of normal.   I need to be independent.

And if you don’t like it, well, there’s not a damn thing I can do about it, and even if there was, I probably wouldn’t do it anyway.   It’s not that I don’t care, but if I have to chose between making myself happy and someone else, I just have to chose myself.  

Just sayin’.

Crazy Single Girl Life – Personal Questions Editions

It seems that since I’m single, people (friends, acquaintances, family members, etc.) think that my personal life is fair territory, and I’ve found myself on the receiving end of some very odd questions, statements, advice. Lemme just save us both some time and go over some fine points for you.

  • If I don’t bring it up, you don’t bring it up. If I don’t tell you that I’m seeing someone, going on a date, met somebody, etc., then the topic is off limits. If you have to ask, you’re prying. Period. End of discussion. Don’t get all indignant and pissy with me when I point it out to you, either.
  • If I respond to your prying question with some sort of cagey answer, you should drop it. This is my way of subtly saying that I don’t really have a desire to share. If you don’t pick up on the hint, don’t get all indignant when I go the blunt route and point out that you’re prying.
  • Until such time as I tell you that I’m not single anymore, you can go ahead and assume that I still am. What kind of fucked up question is, “Are you still single?” This will be responded to with either the afore mentioned cagey answer and/or the blunt pointing out of how rude you are and/or sarcasm. Are you still not minding your own damn business?
  • Don’t you dare judge me for behaving like a single person. If, as a result of your prying or because I have actually decided to confide in you on my own, I allude to or flat out state that I may or may not be going on dates with one or more person, don’t get all flushed by the plural. Just ’cause I went out with John on Sunday, and Dick on Tuesday, that does not make me some kind of tramp. And did it ever occur to you that I’m making it all up just to throw you off?
  • What’s up with So-And-So? As far as I’m concerned, the only appropriate answer to this question is: I don’t know. What is up with So-and-So? I’m sure you’ve heard some bit of gossip about me and So-And-So, and I’m also fairly sure that it’s all poppycock. Until you hear it from me directly, you should also assume it’s poppycock. Asking about it is prying. See above.

So, in summation, there’s nothing going on, and even if there is something going on, I’m not talking about it, so you don’t need to know, and at such time that it becomes pertinent for you to know what’s happening with my personal life, I will be sure to fill you in, and until I do that, it’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

Oh, and the more you pry, the less likely I am to be comfortable sharing with you. Gaining trust takes patience. No patience = no juicy details.

As if I have juicy details.

I totally have juicy details.

Or do I?

Just sayin’.

cat
more cat pictures

I’m So Bloody Bored

I am so bored.  Totally bored.  Completely bored.  Losing my mind bored.  Claustrophobic bored.   Shoot me bored.  Screaming bored.  I guess I’ll go to bed now bored.   

I guess I could watch some Netflix or read a book, but like, I am just not in the mood.  Plus, I’m just used to being on the go.   I mean, sitting here in my apartment by myself is something I just don’t do anymore, right.  

It’s not like I don’t have things to do.  I still need to fill out the forms for my new job benefits.  I could be doing laundry.   There’s a baby shower I’m helping to throw.   There’s a wedding coming up that I’m in.   I’m going on a road trip next week.   I have a pirate party to go tomorrow.   There’s some dishes in the sink.  So, there’s stuff I could be doing and preparing for.   

But I’d rather somebody call me and say, “Come hang out with us.”

And at the same time, I’m exhausted.  

Maybe I should just put on a Netflix and fall asleep. 

What I really should stop doing is messing around on the Intertubes.   PeggyLu!!!  Put down the MacBook, and back away slowly.   

I think boredom is giving me heartburn.  

What’s With That?

There’s a trend I’ve noticed lately.   See if you can pick up on it from these two true stories.

Anecdote #1: A few weeks ago, The Slackers and Deal’s Gone Bad were playing at Slim’s.   I hung out until the bitter end, ’cause you know, that’s what I do.  Finally it was time to go, and since it’s a reasonable neighborhood, I walked myself to my car.  I was rounding the corner and ran head-on into this older gentleman.  We startled each other pretty well, and he said, “you startled me!”  I assured him that he had also startled me, apologized, and continued on my way.  I guess he turned to watch me walk away, because this 80-year-old man then hollered after me, “Damn, baby, you got back!”    When I didn’t respond, and he followed up with, “Shake that thing!”    Finally, he called out, “Have a nice evening!”  I hollered, “you have a nice evening, too,” over my shoulder.

Anecdote #2: Sunday, on my way back from Iowa, I scored the middle seat on my flight from Chicago to SF.   I was seated between a pair of gentleman, a bigger guy to my left in the window seat, and a 70-year-old Indian man to my right on the aisle.   The fella in the aisle seat was sitting across from his family, and obviously didn’t speak English very well.  His family was translating to the flight attendants for him.   I tried to make myself as small as possible to not disturb either of my new companions, but finally I just couldn’t take it any more, and I had to get up.   I had to use the loo.  So, I tapped the fella to my right to get his attention and indicate through charades that I needed to get out.  His son leaned across the aisle and explained that I wanted to get out.   Rather than stand up, he sat up and squeezed back into my seat so I could scoot by.  I had to make a choice, give him the hiney or the ‘giney.   I went with the bum.   And as I was stepping past him, this guy reached up and slapped my ass.

Did you pick up on the theme?    The old guys, they love my booty.   They love my ass so much that they forgo all manners and courtesy. What’s with that?

 

Just sayin’.   

April Schmapril

I hate April. April, historically speaking, pretty much blows. And then there’s that whole spring thing.

The only season I hate worse than spring is winter. I hate being cold, but what’s going on with my eyes and nose right now is almost as bad. Everything is either running, itching or crusted over right now, and I don’t think I can take much more of this.

I know everyone loves spring. The sun has come out. The flowers are blooming. Baby animals abound. I know. I hear you on the April showers and May flowers. Seriously, though, enough with the bloody flowers.

I realize that I am a total freak. I’ve said this every year, I’m saying it now, and I’ll probably say it again next year – I can’t wait for summer so everything can just go ahead and die, and I can breath again.

Not to mention that whole not cold thing.

Just sayin’.