Lesson #1 – belittle the concerns of the caller.
Lesson #2 – don’t forget the snarky attitude. It’s key to really being nasty and providing the ultimate customer disservice.

It was clear that the booking-site phone bank genius I drew in the Voicemail Hell Lottery excelled at these lessons. Reviewing my hotel bookings in Italy after a long day of work, I found their cancellation policies unclear at best, and obscure at worst. I had already checked the two other competing vacation booking sites, and both companies were waiving cancellation fees for Ash Cloud victims.

Then I got this mental giant on the phone. What an idiot. When I asked if they were going to be waiving the 20% cancellation fee for the hotel I had booked on their site  in the light of the “I can’t get there” crisis, he told me that they had to make money too and had no intention of waiving any fees. Then came the snarky – “that’s what trip insurance is for, ma’am, and if you didn’t think ahead enough to purchase it, you just have to pay the fee and not complain”.

To quote my fave philosopher, Bugs Bunny, “Them’s fightin’ words”. Never say something like that to a woman going through menopause.  I happily informed the genius that their trip insurance didn’t cover Acts of God, hence my question.  I had a great time hearing him fizzle before I hung up.  It’s the little things that make a call worthwhile, and making jerks admit they’re wrong is one of the nice ones.

Fortunately, my kid brother is also a very good attorney. He told me he’ll get my money back if it came to that. Gee, I’m glad I didn’t do anything of a permanent nature to him when we were kids.