Written communication is different from a telephone conversationor dealing with someone in person; you don’t have the luxury of reading the body language or hearing the intonation in the voice. There are times, such as in this assignment, when it is appropriate to express your frustration without being rude. You must be very precise in this letter.
Project 3.5: Mis-ticketed for Flights
As an independent consultant you find yourself traveling frequently to different client sites. Most of your work is done remotely, from your home office, but sometimes an important meeting or presentation requires that you see people in person. You realize the value of developing a relationship with your clients. Even with all of today?s technology you find the best way is still face-to-face.
Since you just recently established your own company, Pro-Active Consultants Inc., you don?t have the resources or luxury of having a secretary to make your travel arrangements so you have to do it yourself.
When you called Jet Express Airlines (you called them directly because you thought you might get a better price than if you used a travel agent) you spoke with a friendly representative named Joyce. You explained to her that you want to fly to St. Louis, Missouri, on Sunday, June 7, because you have a business meeting at the new site June 8 to 10, and then on Thursday, June 11, you want to fly from St. Louis to Nashville, Tenn., to visit a friend, returning to your city on Sunday, June 14.
The first step?booking the flights?was easy?
?Wow,? Joyce said. ?Have I got a deal for you. I can get you to where you want to go for a total of $790.00. That?s a great price considering it?s not a straight, round-trip ticket but what we in the airline industry call an open-jaw ticket.?
You said you needed to confirm your plans with the site manager and talk to your friend in Nashville, to make sure she is going to be available, before you give the agent your credit card number and pay for the flights.
?No problem,? Joyce said. ?I can hold these flights for 24 hours. Just call back before midnight tomorrow.?
After a series of answering machine messages back and forth, you finally got in touch with the site manager and your friend: the dates and times you discussed with Joyce at JE Airlines were fine. When you called the airline to provide your credit card details and secure the flights, you were connected with a different representative named Jonathan.
?I?m sorry, but I can?t find your reservations,? he replied. ?Are you sure you phoned back within 24 hours??
?Yes, I?m sure,? you said. ?This is all I?ve spent my time on in the past 24 hours!? At this point you were getting a little annoyed. Every phone call seemed to eat away 30 to 40 minutes of your time.
?Oh, wait a minute. There it is. It appears your reservations have been canceled,? Jonathan said. ?I don?t know why, but they have gone.? Luckily you wrote down the exact dates and flights that Joyce quoted. Here?s what she had found:
?then frustration set in, one telephone call at a time
Sunday, June 7
LV your city
1:00 p.m.
Flt. 832

AR Chicago, IL
3:00 p.m.

LV Chicago, IL
4:26 p.m.
Flt. 808

AR St. Louis, MO
6:18 p.m.

Thursday, June 11
LV St. Louis, MO
6:30 p.m.
Flt. 2430

AR Nashville, TN
8:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 14
LV Nashville, TN
3:41 p.m.
Flt. 81

AR Chicago, IL
5:13 p.m.

LV Chicago, IL
7:02 p.m.
Flt. 2160

AR your city
9:17 p.m.

Jonathan was patient and, although he couldn?t get you the great deal Joyce did, he was able to get you on the exact same flights for only $38.00 more.
?Fine,? you said, ?I?ll give you my credit card details to guarantee these flights. I?ll put them on my company VISA card number 4321 1238 7898 5000, expiration date 9/06.
?OK,? said Jonathan. ?I?ll email the confirmation to you today?.
Two hours later when you open the email you are shocked.
?Unbelievable!? you shout out loud. ?JE hasn?t included the June 11 leg from St. Louis to Nashville!?
So, you make another phone call to the airline (another hour of your time) and speak with a representative called Ashley, who isn?t as friendly as the first two representatives. She explains that your only option is to purchase a one-way ticket from St. Louis to Nashville for $134.50.
?But that?s $172.50 more than my original quote!?
?Well,? says Ashley with a tone of sarcasm, ?You could always take a bus from St. Louis to Nashville, couldn?t you??
With little choice you agree to purchase the additional ticket but you are not very pleased or impressed. So you decide to write to the airline and express your dissatisfaction, and ask Ashley for a name and address to write to. Here?s the information she gives you:
Donavan Johnson
Director of Consumer Affairs
Jet Express Airlines
6001 Airport Highway
Raleigh, NC 27134
Now it?s time to write for an adjustment
Write the letter. Ask for compensation for the trouble you have experienced and the expenses you have incurred.