Written on: 06/09/2008
Given how many offices there are, maybe you'll find a couple of helpful staff somewhere in the country?!
Found some members of staff to be unhelpful and rude, don't know much!
My first encounter was a few years ago when they sold me an International Student Card that actually expired in 2 months, when if I'd been told to wait another week, I'd have got it for the next year. When I went in to complain, I ended up being the one shouted at and told that my complaint was invalid, even though it had happened to several people I knew.
We used them again last year to book a RTW trip, although used another branch incase I came across the member of staff I dealt with previously. All was fine until we'd booked, and as other reviews have said you're on your own after that! They kept pushing hostel bookings and campervans on us, which would've been fine if they'd got the rest right. Here are the main reasons I'd never use them again:
-Our contact assured us we didn't need a certain visa, although I worried as we didn't have proof we were leaving the country. As I went to sort another mistake (my Int Travel card had wrong details printed), another worker told me I did need one. He phoned up and made sure with the consulate, which in the end resulted in an emergency appointment with the consulate 4 days before we left. Fair enough, we should have checked again maybe, we just expected them to know what they're talking about.
-A month into our 6 month trip we got an email saying our itinerary had changed. I checked the one they had attached and it seemed the exact same as the original. I replied saying so and the reply was not to worry, that it must just be flight numbers that had changed. Actually, they'd sent us the same one and 3 flight times had changed. We found this out ourselves, thankfully in time.
-This happened again towards the end of our trip, although this time they didn't let us know the flight had changed until we had realised on our BA page. Got them to email out our STA thing we had to show at airport. Again they sent the old one, so I emailed back and asked for the new one. At this stage, the a member of staff passed the buck on who'd acted in error.
I really didn't care, they're all the same...
These are all relatively minor, I mean you're meant to doublecheck things yourself. Just, if you have to deal with them, accept their customer service can be utter rubbish. A lot of people we met on our travels had similar complaints.
To work there you have to have been to two other continents outside Europe. Our contact person was apparently well-versed in SE Asia and Australasia travel, but some of the timespans and airport connections suggested were absolutely insane. I'll be using Flight Centre from now on!