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January 30th 2014

Below is a recap of recent interactions I had with
AVOYA TRAVEL while trying to book a vacation.
Here's a screen shot from their website. In particular,
I draw you attention to two statements on the website.
First "Get the best price for your vacation" and second
"Low Price Guarantee".

After a series of interactions with this firm I got a request for feedback on my experience.

January 22nd 2014
Because we really do mean it when we talk about improving your vacation
experience from the first time you call us to returning home from your vacation,
we'd appreciate it if you told us about your Avoya Travel Experience.

They asked, so I told them. Here's what I said:

January 23rd 2014
In 2 words: not impressed. Doubtful that I would EVER consider using you again.

For a start I don't like a firm that uses false advertising to lure in customers.
Your site says to use you in order to "get the best price on your vacation",
which I did NOT get, and you admit it.

It also says "low price guarantee", yet you refused to match a competitor's
published on-line price. What kind of guarantee is that?

I didn't appreciate the first 'expert' you referred me to calling me a liar when
I quoted your competitor's offer and she said "That's not possible". When I gave her
the website info she finally said "I can see it but I can't do that". Not even an apology
for calling me a liar.

I didn't appreciate that her initial reception was to quote me the full CIE price and
she 'forgot' to mention that she could give me a 5% discount until AFTER I mentioned
the competitor's 10% discount.

The next day I talked to a different 'expert' and went through the whole process again.
This time, after viewing the competitor's offer, I was assured that you could match it,
but not until "tomorrow" because it's the weekend and the person who has to process
this is not in until Monday morning. Of course you know how impressed I was to get a call
on Monday morning to say "NO, I can't offer that discount after all".

Need I go on? .....

January 29th 2014

I received a phone call in response to my survey submission.
It was every bit as unsatisfactory as the entire situation so far.

The call was from AVOYA Customer Service, but apparently was
all "PR" with no intention of actually adressing the problem.

The Rep had all the makings of the stereotypical 'used-car salesman'.
The conversation was approximately 20 minutes. I have recapped
the 'gist' of the discussion below. Although I had covered the situation
in detail in the Survey, he called because he "wanted to hear it from you".

First he reiterated that "we really do mean it when we talk about improving your vacation"
and then proceeded to pass the blame to others and proclaim Avoya's innocence.
He did nothing to improve things nor to honour the promises on their website,
other than his lame, offer detailed below. His attitude indicated that breaking
the promises basically wasn't worth discussing.

From his description of the firm, they're more 'smoke and mirrors' than
a real business. Apparently the so-called 'experts' that they referred me to
throughout the early stages of all this are merely independent firms that
he referred to as 'affiliates'. He said that HE couldn't do ANYTHING for me
in terms of honouring their stated website promises.
That was up to the affiliates to handle, he said.

Like both of their 'experts' he admitted that they had failed to offer
the lowest price, and apparently their guarantee means nothing.

I pointed out that it was THEIR website and whether or not they were
dealing with me directly or through sub-contractors that 'the buck stops with them'.
I said that based on the two promises on their website, one being a promise
of best price and the other being a guarantee of it, he ought to be issuing me
credit for the difference between their price and the documented better price
of their competitor.

Anything less is, in my opinion, false advertising and very unethical.
Heck, most firms with a price guarantee usually offer to BEAT the competitor's
price, not just match it.

I reminded him that it was a documented fact that they had failed
to honour either of their commitments. His response, which he kept repeating,
was that my information would be helpful to them in evaluating their affiliates
and whether or not to renew their contracts when they run out.

He could not or would not address the issue of the FRAUD
being perprated on their website.

I used the word 'fraud' based on the common definition of
"1) a person who makes deceitful pretenses;
2) deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage".

The ONLY thing he offered to do was to put me in touch with
a different affiliate to sort it out. Of course since the competitor's
offer has now expired, there is no longer even an offer to match.
But there was a published valid offer 'on the table' and both of their
'experts' saw it with their own eyes but could not or would not match it.
I told him his offer was 'too little, too late' ...

... and that it did NOT negate the fraud they've commited.

I added, if they are an ethical company they need to remove those promises
from their website. And then I hung up. What a waste of my time.

It seems to me that, in an economy where Customer Service should be
more important than ever, it has fallen by the wayside.

More and more I'm finding that companies seem to have little regard
for the Customer once the sale has been made.

To quote from the movie Network:
"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore",
which is the reason for this website.

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