Saturday, February 28, 2015

Quality Service

Quality Service

This blog is a shoutout to Visa Concierge.

We would like to give an update on our ticket situation that happened on our first day at New York Fashion Week.
"In the Product Purchaser System the people are represented by two separate, but equally but important groups. The eager, helpless purchaser and the mighty controlling suppliers. These are their stories:" ( said to the voice of Law and Order SVU intro)
My bestie and I has both just landed at LaGuardia airport, Dr Style around 6:30 and Dr Comfort at 7:00 pm. Usually one of us would have waited for the other to share the cab to the hotel which we could say was for being green and saving fuel but in reality to save money. But on that day we had decided to splurge and take separate cabs because a) we were pampering ourselves with our lifelong dream to attend fashion week  and b) we were on a time crunch. Our first event was supposed to be at 9 pm. So according to the plan the first person  was to reach the hotel would collect tickets and check in by 8 pm. And that would leave us at least an hour of valuable time to invest in getting ourselves red carpet ready for the actual event.
Dr Style reached the hotel by 7:30 pm and everything was going per plan. I wish life would have read the memo on how things should have progressed from there.
So she checked in around 7:30 pm and asked if we had our tickets for the show delivered to  either one of us who were both registered on the room. She was told no. No worries we still had a while to go (hour and half) before we had to be there. She got our room and ordered our room service and waited. I called visa concierge and waited. I reached the hotel room and waited. We ate our dinner and waited. Visa said they had delivered the tickets and to check with hotel. Hotel said they don’t have the tickets. Visa said they had delivered the tickets but could not get hold of delivery person to confirm when and to whom. The hotel said they don’t have our tickets.
So we waited. All this time with all the anxiety and being on the phone, obviously we are not painting our faces for the event. Finally around 8:35 pm a manager on duty intervenes at the hotel, actually takes time to look through the mail (unlike the front desk lady who kept assuring us that she had looked at the mail, but totally had not) and miraculously finds our tickets in the box. Cool. No worries.

So finally we get ready in about 30-40 min and make our way to The Lincoln Center. We felt like a little kid walking to Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. It takes some time to figure exactly where to be in the Lincoln center. Being the Midwestern simpletons we expected signs pointing us to where we needed to be and people escorting us to it. In reality, in true new york ways, everyone already knew where to be except us. No worries, we made it to the front doors of The Mecca of fashion.
But lo and behold it is about 10 pm and we get turned away because the show is almost finished.
We make our way back almost fighting back our tears and hoping that it is not a preview of the next few days. Not to mention those tickets are expensive. We thought we could talk about it to the hotel manager and we were sure they would figure out a way to make up for the fact that they did not give us our tickets on time and just crushed our dreams.
Turns out we were again Midwestern simpletons. We were told that we had not read their policy on the right way to gather a delivery for us, which was to have gone to the concierge at the hotel before 8 pm and asked them about it. Obviously in their fancy hotel service the front desk person who had been contacted at 7:30 pm had no obligation to inform us of the process and we should just know about it. And so in conclusion according to them it was our fault and so they did not owe us anything.

We moved on decided not to let it bother us but did mention to visa concierge about it and asked if there was anything they could do to help and tried to contact the hotel manager about it. It took us few days and few attempts to have somebody at the hotel to find time to talk to us. When we did have somebody from the hotel talk to us they offered us about a 10% of the actual price of the tickets. So obviously we declined.
The situation was then placed away in our minds to the special place that it reserved for all similar situations that need to be forgotten (you know: the contest that you thought you will win and don’t or like an exam you thought were gonna ace but actually bombed). We continued on with our night and with our fabulous next few days. 

But thankfully visa concierge did not give up on our behalf. Katie from visa concierge who took a note of the whole details worked on contacting and trying to work with the hotel to try to rectify the situation. She would give me daily updates about any progress on it. She tried for about 2 weeks and the only success  from the hotel was a free one night stay for us( about 15% of the actual ticket price). And I am glad Katie took the liberty to decline that offer on our behalf.
And then Katie called and said that they will refund our full amount for the tickets and keep dealing with the hotel on their time and meanwhile blacklist them from their services.
And which they did. As I see the amount reimbursed to my account I feel owe visa a big grateful note of the account and expose The Empire hotel to my friends so that they do not ever have to face a situation like us.

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