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DiMono Site Admin
DiMono Site Admin
Why Travelocity sucks asscock - part 2As I ended with in my last journal, emails with Travelocity told me it was Northwest Airlines' responsibility to update the prices on their site. Just for kicks I decided to look at the same flights on Expedia and Orbitz, and on those sites the prices were displaying correctly. Odd that they'd update two sites but not the third. I began an email correspondance with them:
From me

I am interested in flying from Buffalo to Austin for the dates specified. My first choice was Travelocity.ca, especially when I saw there were round-trip tickets available for the dates I wanted starting at $203CAN per person.

I selected a reasonable departure schedule (Flight 1129 / 283 / Flight 5742 operated by Northwest Airlink) and found several return flights available at $208CAN per person. When I selected any return flight, however, the price was elevated to as high as $1000CAN per person.

Considering the advertized price when looking for tickets was $208CAN, I'm sure you'll agree this was quite the price increase. When I then returned to the booking process, the prices were again displayed at $208CAN, which is the source of my concern: if the updated prices are known, why are the low prices still being advertized?

I contacted Travelocity about this, and after pushing my way through the standard form-letter response was told it is the airline's responsibility, not Travelocity's, to make sure ticket prices are kept up to date. Why are the apparently unavailable $208CAN seats still being offered on Travelocity.ca when they are not available?

Chris
From NWA

Thank you for contacting nwa.com Customer Service.

Chris, when fares are viewed using the nwa.com Reservation system, the current fare is given at that exact time.

These fares are available on a first purchased basis and no fare is guaranteed until purchase.

Since we handle many requests simultaneously on several reservations systems, occasionally, the fare will change before you get through the entire purchase process.

When this happens, the next best available fare will be displayed.

Please be assured the final purchase option will always display the applicable fare.

I trust this explains why the fare increased during booking.

Thank you again for using nwa.com Customer Service. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you, our customer.

Sincerely,

Johnny Couch
nwa.com Customer Service
From me

Thank you for your prompt response to my inquiry, but it does not actually satisfy my question.

If the fare prices across the Travelocity site increased upon checkout, I would accept this as the reason and move on. However, after being told on the site that the fare price has increased, the less expensive fare remains on the Travelocity site. It seems the "cheap" tickets have long since sold out, but on Travelocity (and only on Travelocity from what I've seen) they are still being offered despite being unavailable. It's not that they sold out during my checkout procedure, it's that they have long since sold out but are still being offered.

Why do the "cheap" tickets continue to be advertized on Travelocity when they are no longer available?

Chris
From NWA

Dear Chris Marks,

Thank you for contacting nwa.com Customer Service.

I apologize, our fares from NWA.com are live. Our site is constantly updating. If you are seeing differences on Travelocity, please contact their website administrators. They can be reached at 1-888-709-5983. If you would like assistance booking on NWA.com, please contact Internet Support at 1-800-692-6955.

I trust that once you have contacted the proper place, they will be able to assist you further.

Thank you again for using nwa.com Customer Service. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you, our customer.

Sincerely,

Katy Sisson
nwa.com Customer Service
From me

I emailed Travelocity customer service first, and they said it was NWA's responsibility to keep the prices current. It sounds like you and them need to get together and figure out who's supposed to do what. Since the problem does seem to only exist on Travelocity, I will contact them again regarding it.

Thank you for your assistance.

Chris Marks

It seemed to me that NWA was on the ball, and Travelocity was the only place where the prices weren't current. Considering NWA was the one whose product is for sale, it seemed to me that the only reasonable explanation for anything wrong on the Travelocity site was Travelocity error; why would NWA update their prices and ticket availability everywhere else and leave Travelocity wanting? I contacted them again:
From me

I just talked to Northwest Airlines customer support, and they specifically said I should contact Travelocity about the mistaken ticket prices. The other travel booking websites (Expedia, Orbitz) and nwa.com all had current booking information, the only site without it was Travelocity.ca. You say they're responsible, and they say you're responsible. Does anyone actually know what's going on?

Thanks,
Chris
From Travelocity

Dear Chris

Unfortunately the agent at NWA gave you the wrong information, all airlines are responsible for the inventory and fares on our website.

Thank You
Jennifer
Travelocity.ca

Clearly one of two things was happening: either Travelocity has committed an error and won't own up to it, or their support staff is totally incompetent. Either way, I'm booking my trip with Expedia this time. More on that in the next and final (and shorter) part of the story.
7 years ago  |  Comments (20)  |  + 1 Ditto
DiMono Site Admin
Why Travelocity sucks asscock - part 1I'm sure everyone is familiar with the famous Orbitz story of Maddox. Orbitz sold him an unkeepable itinerary, he asked them for the $95 or so their mistake cost him, they refused, and Orbitz lost millions of dollars in business because that's just how much sway Maddox has over the general population. Nat and I decided not to use Orbitz not because of the itinerary they sold Maddox, but because they released his itinerary (which is confidential) without his permission or knowledge, which draws out a doubt in their privacy policy. We booked our last trip to Austin with Travelocity, and we were happy with it. So happy, in fact, that we figured we'd book our next trip to Austin through them as well.

At the beginning of June I started looking at flights to Austin for the weekend of October 14. Airfare from Toronto was already $600, so I started looking at nearby airports. Imagine my surprise when I found a NorthWest Airlines (NWA) return flight for C$208! I didn't even bother to look anywhere else, this was a cheaper fare than I was ever expecting to find, so I went through the booking process. Then I got to checkout, and received a daunting message:
We're sorry, the price for this trip has changed
Usually this means there's a few extra dollars that have to be tacked on, so I look rather calmly at the new amount... C$520/person.

What?

I figure the cheap seats merely sold out and go back to the trip selections, only to discover that it's still listed at C$208. There are a variety of combinations that come in at less than C$220, and I try most of them. All come in over C$500 at checkout, some as high as C$1100, but reset to ~C$200 when returning to the flight list. I haven't done a lot of flying, but I've done enough business to know there's something seriously wrong here. So I send them an email. Here are the first five messages between us:
From me

Message : I am currently browsing prices for airfair between Buffalo (BUF) and Austin (AUS) leaving on October 12, 2006 ( Northwest Airlines
Flight 1129 / 283 / Flight 5742 operated by Northwest Airlink) and returning October 16, 2006. The schedule I selected was listed at a cost of $208CAN, but when I select any return flight your results page says "We're sorry, the price for this trip has changed" and the new price is more than $500CAN. Why are flights listed at $208 being sold at more than $500?
From Travelocity

Thank you for using Travelocity.ca .

Unfortunately, due to the website pricing offers by all airlines being live. No fare is guaranteed until the ticket is issued. The airlines fare offers are based upon class of service availability. Once the fare sells out the airline offers the next available fare. Travelocity cannot control this detail. However, once the fare has been submitted for purchase request, if the airlines changes the price offer the original offer is not affected unless your credit card declines. From that point no fare is guaranteed until the
ticket is issued.

Thank You for your interest,

Paula
From me

Thank you for your reply, but it has nothing to do with my question. Please go to your website and select the flights I have indicated, which will show on your site as costing $208. As soon as you select the return flight, the price is raised to as high as 5x the original price. This is not a case of fares going up, this is either a case of a bad database entry, or unethical practices. Please send me a reply that is not a form letter.
From Travelocity

The airlines are responsible for all inventory and prices on our website. If the fare sells out that's when you will receive the message that the fare has gone up. The airlines have to update the website with the accurate information.

Thank you
Jennifer
From me

So the initial price shown ($208) and the final price shown ($1159 for 2) are coming from two different places? Because even after I receive the price update message the prices still appear as they initially did. If the prices updated everywhere after that happened it wouldn't be a problem; my concern is that they always show $208 when browsing, and only change to the higher price after you select your flights. This is putting a bad face on your service, and it concerns me enough that I'm considering switching all my online ticket purchases to expedia.ca because their prices appear to be more up-to-date.

No reply ever came to that email. Nonetheless, taking the bull by the horns I sent an email to NWA customer service. If it's their responsibility, I'm going to find out what's going on straight from them. More on this next time.
7 years ago  |  Comments (20)  |  + 1 Cool
DiMono Site Admin
RvBTOAugust 11-13 in Toronto

Some information that isn't up on the website yet, that you get a sneak peek at for visiting my journal:

Guests: Jason, Kathleen, Dan, Nico and Luke McKay (I hope that's how his name is spelled). Note: All guests' attendance dependant on their individual schedules and professional commitments.

Prizes include 9 RT shirts, 1 RT sweater, and no less than 7 SIGNED RvB and Strangerhood DVDs. There are other prizes too, but I don't want to spoil everything for you here, do I?

...What the fuck are you still here for, go buy some tickets! This information will be updated on the website tonight.
7 years ago  |  Comments (13)  |  + 1 Cool
DiMono Site Admin
The jobToday was the first weekday after Canada Day, which means we're supposed to have it off from work. I went in for a half day because there was stuff that needed doing and I was promised two days off later in the week for it, which seemed like a pretty good trade to me. The company is starting to make a concerted effort to ramp everything up in preparation of some nice large projects that look to be coming our way later this month (including a project that nicely mimics a site I've been planning on my own time), which has the unexpected side-effect of taking away most of what I have to do for now.

Here's how this works: I'm currently working on plugging in content to a website that's basically been built already by myself and two other people. Once that's done I work on the next available website. The fun fact is that the next available website hasn't been landed yet, because everyone is very focused on bringing in the big fish that's been dangling on the line for the last two weeks and will hopefully be signed within the next two weeks. All other projects are either in pre-production and not my concern, or haven't yet been signed. I only have two items of business that I can really work on once the current site is done:

1) Create a Best Practices document for the company to standardize website production in to what I've found is the most efficient method of construction.
2) Work on the proposal presentation for the company's website, which is being treated as an external project to aid in the project management training of one of my coworkers and me.

The first isn't as much work as it seems, and the second relies on my coworker having the same time available as I do to work on it. So it seems I could have a nice short week ahead of me.

In other news, I found out what my salary will be when I get hired full-time. It's almost a 100% increase from what I'm getting now, and it comes with performance bonuses which, depending on the sites and how quickly I bring them in, could potentially double my income again. Call me crazy, but I think I'm doing okay for someone who hasn't actually been hired yet.
7 years ago  |  Comments (17)  |  + 3 Cool
DiMono Site Admin
Bad contest ideas1) Whoever mods me the most between 9 and 10 this morning wins!

2) Whoever makes post 186,678 in this journal wins, as long as it takes less than five hours to get there

3) Mod me some amount, and tell me why that number is special to you. Whoever gives the most compelling reason wins

4) First person to post "You are a chicken, now suck my egg" in 100 different people's personal comments wins

5) Whoever gives me the mod point that puts me to my next level gets all my mod points

6) First person to get me a copy of Flash MX wins all my mods

By the way, if I see anyone holding a contest along the lines of any of those, I'll ban them, and in some cases everyone who participated. Of course, anyone who reports such contests to me will be rewarded. Please only report contests that started within the last couple weeks though, it's not really fair to hit someone for a contest they held in 2004.
7 years ago  |  Comments (27)  |  + 8 Funny
DiMono Site Admin
I don't know why I watch peopleLet's see, count them up...

197 journal entry alerts
54 image alerts

Once upon a time I had enough time to keep up with all my friends on this site, but I just don't any more. I'm on this site an average of less than half an hour a day now, where I used to be on for many hours at a time. It's time to take people off my watchlist. This doesn't mean I like you any less, I just get depressed from having so many alerts and never the time to get to them. What's the point in watching someone if you never have time to see what they're doing?

...working...

There, down to 17 people. 9 are staff, 1 is RvBTO, 4 are girls and 3 are guys... so I guess that means I'm really watching 16 people and an event.

Speaking of RvBTO, there is news: Anyone with a penchant for making machinima should check out our Machinima festival submission page. Make a machinima video and submit it to us, and it could end up being viewed by 400 people including members of the media! Also, tickets are now available, so free up August 11-13 on your calendar and come to Toronto, it's going to be fun!
7 years ago  |  Comments (17)
DiMono Site Admin
Heat stroke be damned!Alright, so I'm still basically incapacitated from my heat stroke. However, I chose to use my incapacitation time today by sitting in front of my computer and catching up on stuff that should have been done months ago. I just finished uploading and setting up all the missing transcripts on Rooster Tooths. What did I add, you ask?

1. Strangerhood Cast Info - Updated the names, added the voice of the Gnome.
2. Strangerhood Episode 17 Transcript
3. Red vs Blue Episode 76 Transcript
4. Red vs Blue Episode 76 Spanish
5. Red vs Blue Episode 77 Transcript
6. Red vs Blue PSA 12: Lethargy Crisis Transcript

Now if you'll excuse me, there's a Stanley Cup Finals Game 7 that needs watching. Who knows, maybe I'll even stay awake beyond the second period.
7 years ago  |  Comments (13)
DiMono Site Admin
Heat stroke sucksFuck.

Saturday, I went to my cousin's wedding... My cousin's outdoor wedding in 32C (90F) 60% humidity in a suit. I figured everything was okay when I got home, but this morning (Sunday) I woke up with a fever, a headache, and nausea. Of course, waking up would imply that I got some amount of real sleep last night. I dozed off and on between 2:30 and 7 this afternoon in front of the golf, and spent my waking hours alternating between feeling way too hot and way too cold. I've lost track of how much liquid I've taken in to try and rehydrate myself.

Heat stroke sucks. I don't recommend it.
7 years ago  |  Comments (25)  |  + 1 Zing!
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