Archive for April 30th, 2008

Apr 30 2008

Do Not Pass Go

Published by under Uncategorized

I tried to open the comments again, but not surprisingly (given my complete and total lack of any kind of techperstise whatsoever), it didn’t work. I’ll have to call Movable Type and/or find some tech savvy kindergartener to fix it for me.

I can’t stand the thought of calling MT, because I’ve spent most of the day on the phone with faceless corporations, unmaking and remaking reservations to go to Florida against my will. Against my will, because it’s for a conference, and it’s on the other side of the country. Before you get all excited about the Florida thing, remember that I already have sun and ocean, and I’d have to travel 3,500 miles for more of the same. Plus uncomfortable work clothes and, you know, work.

The whole thing started when I foolishly booked my tickets on Expedia. The confirmation I received from them showed me leaving Oakland at 2 pm on May 4, and arriving in Tampa at 12:30 AM on May 4. Not humanly possible, I think most of us would agree, unless I have secret (even to me) powers over the space-time continuum. The reservation should have been leaving May 3, arriving 4. Given that the conference starts on May 4, there’s no way I would have booked the tickets to arrive the day after it starts. Clearly, the problem here is not my lack of techpertise, but a problem with Expedia’s system, which allows hapless travellers to reserve tickets that have him/her arriving 14 hours before s/he leaves.

Quite a trick.

Another good one is the choices you get.

  1. Change ticket to the originally requested dates. This costs $150, plus a $30 Expedia-induced processing fee, plus the difference in fare, if there is any after all those fees. The value of the ticket is $295.
  2. Get a “credit” for the ticket, which must be used within one year. Oh, and when you use it, there’s a $100 fee, or approximately one third the value of the ticket.

I selected option 2 as the marginally less painful of the two screwings offered. In both scenarios, Expedia/United have been paid for a service they failed to provide, because of their error. They each blame each other, by the way. And I get to pay $100 not to go to Florida.

Or so I thought.

I cancelled everything, and the guy actually giving the conference, a Fromage Grand in this tiny business world, called me personally and begged me to come. He even said he was a close personal friend of my boss, etc., etc. and agreed to pay all expenses. Even he could do nothing about the greedheads at Expedia and United, but presumably he also suffers from being only human. In return, I have to bring him a box of See’s chocolates, specifically, “the good ones”, Nuts & Chews. I have the nuts part covered.

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