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View Full Version : So our TA blew our surprise...:(


sullins5
01-15-2011, 10:27 PM
It's our 1st cruise, and our 1st time to use a TA. When we booked we told them repeatedly that we were booking 3 cabins, paying for them all, and that it was a gift for my inlaws. Long story short, they sent my inlaws an invoice yesterday. We were sick! My dh is not impressed. When we booked with them, they wanted my inlaws address ( I told them WE were paying the bill), but said they still needed it. So long story short, when we got our invoices yesterday, they got one too! I called today, shared my frustration and was told "Well, we still have to have it for customs"...and while she was apologetic, I think they missed the point that they totally blew our surprise, that we didn't want my inlaws knowing how much, or even the details yet.
Guess I learned my first hard lesson from my first TA today.

Still Celebrating our 1st Disney Cruise, but a little disappointed...

Kae
01-15-2011, 10:35 PM
That is horrible. Your TA dropped the ball big time & I am being nice. I am not one to put up a stink but I would ask to speak to the owner of the agency. Not for any freebies but they need to make sure it never happens again. :grouphug:

Kae

moomy-san
01-15-2011, 10:36 PM
Ugh... I am sorry to hear that! Hopefully the amazing trip totally makes up for the TA's mix-up.

clten
01-15-2011, 10:37 PM
As a TA, I'm going to tell you that they didn't need the address (I'm sure their policy is to get all addresses for marketing). Down the line, closer to sailing, DCL does need the in-laws address for customs but that is something that you can choose to do yourself or have your TA do. But at that point, the cruise would be all paid for and there would be no need to have invoices going to anyone's address.

While mistakes can happen, a good travel agent would have put your in-laws address in a note field rather than a field accessed by the invoice system so that they didn't ruin your surprise. And if a mistake did happen, they should have been very apologetic. This is not an uncommon thing in the world of travel. Sorry a TA did this to you. A great travel agent can be a great asset, sorry you didn't have a great agent. As a PP stated, I would let the agency owner know. They probably need a policy so this doesn't happen to others.

Hope your in-laws are thrilled about this wonderful gift and I'm sure you will all have a great time in spite of this disappointment.

smb6
01-15-2011, 10:38 PM
That is a bummer! We are planning our first cruise also, and are also paying for my dad to come.... While it is not a surprise, I would not want to share the amount spent with him, as it is just tacky.... So- I would also be upset if he were sent an invoice.... I was also asked for his address, but I don't *think* anything has been mailed to him.... I would surely be upset if it ruined and surprsie AND told them how much their gift cost!:headache:

sullins5
01-15-2011, 10:44 PM
The reason I posted this was to keep it from happening to any other 'newbie' like myself. My inlaws are thrilled, know a little TOO much now, and were quite confused when they got it in the mail.
I am glad to know the agency didn't HAVE to have the address yet. We wondered why and yet again, she said today they had to have it. I did reiterate that from NOW on, there is to be NO correspondence sent to the inlaws as we want to go over everything with them.
But, if other people are knew to using TA's like we were, (and in every other aspect this agency has been fine), I would definitely NOT give an additional address if you wanted it to be a surprise.
You know, for a 50th Anniv., we just wanted a BIG surprise!

Celebrating our 1st, my 50th Birthday, and Inlaws 50th Anniversary...

:yay::yay::yay:

mousejunkie98
01-15-2011, 10:52 PM
As a TA, I'm going to tell you that they didn't need the address (I'm sure their policy is to get all addresses for marketing). Down the line, closer to sailing, DCL does need the in-laws address for customs but that is something that you can choose to do yourself or have your TA do. But at that point, the cruise would be all paid for and there would be no need to have invoices going to anyone's address.

While mistakes can happen, a good travel agent would have put your in-laws address in a note field rather than a field accessed by the invoice system so that they didn't ruin your surprise. And if a mistake did happen, they should have been very apologetic. This is not an uncommon thing in the world of travel. Sorry a TA did this to you. A great travel agent can be a great asset, sorry you didn't have a great agent. As a PP stated, I would let the agency owner know. They probably need a policy so this doesn't happen to others.

Hope your in-laws are thrilled about this wonderful gift and I'm sure you will all have a great time in spite of this disappointment.

I agree, no way you NEED an address until it's time to begin the check-in process. If I did that to one of my clients, I would imagine they'd not be my clients for much longer!! That's not the kind of personalized service you use a TA for.

I hope the rest of your cruise is magical :wizard:

sullins5
01-15-2011, 11:02 PM
I did ask the inlaws NOT to look at the invoice further (we really didn't want them knowing price) and they are going to give it to me the next time we're together. However, I know that they went through everything!
Live and learn this time. And yes, our cruise is in Oct., and we'll have fun planning and preparing, we are disappointed. The surprise was ours to give...not an invoice to be seen. I don't know whether I'll call the owner or not, but I did share with the agent, she did apologize albeit I don't think she knew how disappointed we were, and how upset my husband was. So if this helps someone else stress to their TA's Please DON'T spoil a surprise!!!! Then it's worth 'venting'.

Thanks for helping me y'all! Hopefully, there will be no more further 'wrong' surprises!

MTmomma
01-15-2011, 11:05 PM
Honestly, this would tick me off enough to demand a new agent, (weather same company or different.) The travel agent is supposed to assist in making the experience as stress-free as possible, and frankly, them missing a SIMPLE REQUEST would be a huge huge huge red flag for me.

sullins5
01-15-2011, 11:16 PM
I don't think you have just '1' agent at this agency. And actually I had been pleased up until now. I've called them a couple of times, and they got me some different rooms when I called. However, this was a biggie, so we'll see. I've talked to 4 differing people every time I've called, so I don't know what would be next except to talk to the owner. And unfortunately, this being our 1st cruise, I really don't want anyone mad, especially since I don't know what's usual and what's not. Though I do know good service! But I've learned alot on this my first go 'round!

I've loved Disboards for years just because of the good advice of those who've gone before, so maybe I can spare some other 'newbie' and they'll know what's acceptable and what's not!

Thanks for the empathy...we'll still be celebrating!

MODisneyfan
01-15-2011, 11:17 PM
As a TA, I'm going to tell you that they didn't need the address (I'm sure their policy is to get all addresses for marketing). Down the line, closer to sailing, DCL does need the in-laws address for customs but that is something that you can choose to do yourself or have your TA do. But at that point, the cruise would be all paid for and there would be no need to have invoices going to anyone's address.

While mistakes can happen, a good travel agent would have put your in-laws address in a note field rather than a field accessed by the invoice system so that they didn't ruin your surprise. And if a mistake did happen, they should have been very apologetic. This is not an uncommon thing in the world of travel. Sorry a TA did this to you. A great travel agent can be a great asset, sorry you didn't have a great agent. As a PP stated, I would let the agency owner know. They probably need a policy so this doesn't happen to others.

Hope your in-laws are thrilled about this wonderful gift and I'm sure you will all have a great time in spite of this disappointment.

I'm a TA too and I can't believe that they would need anything like that. I have booked surprises for my clients in the past and it is not that hard to make sure that the right people get the paper work. As long as it is paid for and the names are all spelt correctly it is not up to the TA to mail anything to anyone who is not on the credit card. That has always been my policy. If the name isn't on the credit card then you don't need an invoice or information unless advised so by the party paying.

I'm so sorry that you had such a horrible first experience but I hope that you have a wonderful cuise!

sullins5
01-15-2011, 11:26 PM
That's exactly what my dh said. "If we are paying, have given our credit card for all 3 rooms, have paid the insurance on all three rooms, why would they even think to send them the invoice?"
They were apologetic today, but damage was done, and we've got along way to go, so I guess we'll see what the next few months hold.

Thanks everyone for letting me know what is standard in the industry. I'll know next time for sure!



Celebrating our 1st Disney Cruise, my 50th Birthday, and Inlaws 50th Anniversary

kimberleeJohnston
01-15-2011, 11:38 PM
Awwwww, I would be so upset just like you are! We plan on doing a surpirse trip for our inlwas next year. Thank you for sharing!!!!

dopeyfanatic
01-15-2011, 11:41 PM
Oh how disappointing. So sorry that happened. Take a deep breath, be excited knowing they KNOW they're going and are excited, but have no idea what they'll be doing. That would drive people crazy! lol What cruise are you doing?

figment52
01-15-2011, 11:52 PM
I completely understand your disappointment. I would make certain that each and every time I communicated with them from here on out I would remind them that this crusie IS A GIFT and to please communicate everything through you. They may have ruined the initial surprise but hopefully you can still arrange a small surprise or two for once you get on board. Conside speaking with the owner so it doesn't happen to someone else in the future.

Was this an online agency or a local agency?

sullins5
01-15-2011, 11:55 PM
:yay: We are doing our 1st ever Disney Cruise...Magic Oct 8-15th! So, I have alot of learning to do on here, from deciding dining, excursions, what to bring, what not to bring, and all the other how-to's!!!

No longer a surprise, but I figure they won't need to know everything else until it gets closer to time!

Thanks y'all again for all the helps along the way!


:yay::yay::yay:

sayhello
01-15-2011, 11:56 PM
I did ask the inlaws NOT to look at the invoice further (we really didn't want them knowing price) and they are going to give it to me the next time we're together. However, I know that they went through everything!
Live and learn this time. And yes, our cruise is in Oct., and we'll have fun planning and preparing, we are disappointed. The surprise was ours to give...not an invoice to be seen. I don't know whether I'll call the owner or not, but I did share with the agent, she did apologize albeit I don't think she knew how disappointed we were, and how upset my husband was. So if this helps someone else stress to their TA's Please DON'T spoil a surprise!!!! Then it's worth 'venting'.

Thanks for helping me y'all! Hopefully, there will be no more further 'wrong' surprises!I really think if you want to help others not have their surprises spoiled like yours was, then you owe it to this TA's other clients to call the owner and say something. You might keep them from spoiling a LOT of other surprises!

Sayhello

woody73
01-16-2011, 12:07 AM
. . . we told them repeatedly that we were booking 3 cabins, paying for them all, and that it was a gift for my inlaws. Long story short, they sent my inlaws an invoice yesterday. We were sick!
Ouch! Thanks for sharing.

After hearing this, if I were to do a surprise, I would just use MY address on all reservations until we told everyone. Then I would call the TA to update the records.

Woody

sullins5
01-16-2011, 12:08 AM
I guess I'll think about that the next time I call. I have had to call several times with questions, so the next time perhaps I will mention it to him.
And I was asked if it was an online TA...I believe it is, but they may have a physical property also. And they came highly recommended. I do think this may be one of those times where you need just ONE agent so that whoever handles your paperwork would've seen that we had paid for all 3, and would have known. But....oh well. One agent knows now. And the next time I call, I will reinforce that WE are footing the bill and that up until time (which is July I think) all correspondence should be with us.

Time does heal...I was VERY upset this morning as was my husband. And then when we talked to the inlaws, they said not to worry about it. They were excited but knew they weren't supposed to get an invoice when they opened it. We'll have a great time and hopefully there will be add'tl pixie dust along the way!

:yay::yay:

sullins5
01-16-2011, 12:10 AM
And just so you know...we did ask for just our addresses, but the first agent said they HAD to have theirs since they didn't live with us, and I DID tell him again, "We are paying for it". But he said they had to have their address.

GreatDaneMom
01-16-2011, 08:39 AM
If it's any consolation (misery loves company!) DCL did the same thing to me. I've booked 3 rooms for family members in 2012 for a surpise. I did all of the booking, paid the deposits, etc. directly with DCL. I wanted to list everyone at my home address but the agent at DCL insisted that separate households be listed with their own addresses. She said they'd make a note that I was to receive all info as the holder of the reservations. Well it wasn't a month and they sent one of their "Welcome" mailing to every household in the reservations. So much for surprising my gang....:confused3

NancyIL
01-16-2011, 08:50 AM
You could cancel your reservations with the current travel agency and rebook with another. THAT would show them how displeased you are!

pops711
01-16-2011, 08:50 AM
That is why I stopped using TAs. I just do it myself and book it through DCL myself. its not that hard and you have more control over your reservation.

I-Bike
01-16-2011, 08:58 AM
That really stinks! I've never used a travel agent for any of my Disney trips.

I just booked my first Disney cruise online but conferred with AAA just to compare and they had the same pricing. Is there actually a benefit to booking Disney with a TA anyway? :confused3 Just seems like a middle man to me.

Mindibellcm
01-16-2011, 09:07 AM
You could cancel your reservations with the current travel agency and rebook with another. THAT would show them how displeased you are!

This is exactly what I was going to say. I would re-price my cruise with another travel agent and then cancel and re-book if there wasn't much of a price difference. You might even be able to swing a better onboard credit.

dsnydaddy
01-16-2011, 09:14 AM
It's our 1st cruise, and our 1st time to use a TA. When we booked we told them repeatedly that we were booking 3 cabins, paying for them all, and that it was a gift for my inlaws. Long story short, they sent my inlaws an invoice yesterday. We were sick! My dh is not impressed. When we booked with them, they wanted my inlaws address ( I told them WE were paying the bill), but said they still needed it. So long story short, when we got our invoices yesterday, they got one too! I called today, shared my frustration and was told "Well, we still have to have it for customs"...and while she was apologetic, I think they missed the point that they totally blew our surprise, that we didn't want my inlaws knowing how much, or even the details yet.
Guess I learned my first hard lesson from my first TA today.

Still Celebrating our 1st Disney Cruise, but a little disappointed...

I did this myself for our upcoming cruise. Stupidly entered my In-Laws address and before I could fix it, they got an invoice. (Only realized my mistake when my invoice came in.) I was bummed but had no one to blame but myself.

ppiew
01-16-2011, 09:35 AM
hate to burst the bubble, but i have had this happen on 3 cruises - twice with 2 different TA's and once with DCL. Somewhere, somehow, there is a glitch in the software that doesn't easily allow gifting of the cruise. i was so disappointed when it happened to us. we are actually trying it again this year (4th attempt) and lo and behold the invoice WAS sent to our daughter in law despite my INSISTING it NOT be sent to them. i sure don't know the answer, but TA's really need to address this situation.

smb6
01-16-2011, 09:35 AM
That really stinks! I've never used a travel agent for any of my Disney trips.

I just booked my first Disney cruise online but conferred with AAA just to compare and they had the same pricing. Is there actually a benefit to booking Disney with a TA anyway? :confused3 Just seems like a middle man to me.

I think the benefit that draws most folks in (including me) is onboard credit.... it can sometimes be a pretty signifigant amount.... For us, it is close to $500...

OrangeCountyCommuter
01-16-2011, 09:54 AM
Find a new TA for your next trips... if she can't follow BASIC instructions she is in the wrong field!

And then ONLY give your addresss. They do NOT have to have the address to do anything else REGARDLESS of the whining. I book all my family's international travel. Everything comes to me. No one has any other addresses to mail stuff to! If they act put out I just tell them "yes my family lives here with me" (What are they going to d, send the cops to check?)

sullins5
01-16-2011, 10:33 AM
:) Thanks everyone! Yes, this disneychik has learned alot her 1st TA usage!!
I ALWAYS book our WDW trips, get codes, pins, discounts, etc. And believe it or not, have been able to help many friends with their trips.
I just assumed when you told someone something on the front end, they would follow through. And perhaps it is in their system for the addressing, but I would still think all invoicing could go to the one paying the bill!
We went the TA route this time because of the OBC which for us was almost $500, and the price of the cruise was the same as DCL. So it was an added bonus.
However, I have learned alot this time, so I don't know that I'll use one again in the forseeable future. I do wonder by the time we get on the ship IF we'll get the OBC, IF everything will be as it should. Hopefully, this is a one-time mistake for them. Like I said in one of my other post, in everything else they've been fine. So we'll see.

Here's hoping all our cruises go MAGICALLY!!!

:yay::yay::yay:

S'sMom
01-16-2011, 10:53 AM
The reason I posted this was to keep it from happening to any other 'newbie' like myself. My inlaws are thrilled, know a little TOO much now, and were quite confused when they got it in the mail.
I am glad to know the agency didn't HAVE to have the address yet. We wondered why and yet again, she said today they had to have it. I did reiterate that from NOW on, there is to be NO correspondence sent to the inlaws as we want to go over everything with them.
But, if other people are knew to using TA's like we were, (and in every other aspect this agency has been fine), I would definitely NOT give an additional address if you wanted it to be a surprise.
You know, for a 50th Anniv., we just wanted a BIG surprise!

Celebrating our 1st, my 50th Birthday, and Inlaws 50th Anniversary...

:yay::yay::yay:

Either way it is an awesome gift!! I am sure that they are thrilled, I would be :goodvibes

On the other hand, my in-laws would cancel because they despise Disney or me (One of the two) :rotfl2::rotfl::lmao: I am laughing but it coudl very well be both.

Congrats to all of you guys!!:thumbsup2