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Archive for December, 2013

Airline complaint – Emirates – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day..” Deposit happiness into your day, instead of withdrawing sadness”.

We are now in the 21st century (at least according to the Julian calendar) and we are surrounded by technology.   Yet, despite all the technology, life is sometimes very trying.  I made a mistake and purchased an air ticket with Emirates Airlines.  I know now that it was a mistake, as I have experienced their customer ‘service’.   Customer service are not words that I would use to describe the treatment that I received, because the people that I have dealt with clearly do not know the meaning of the words.

The conditions of my ticket stated that I was allowed to change the dates of travel.  That is one reason that I bought that ticket, as the dates were very likely to change.   First problem was that online if you tried to change your booking, you first had to cancel your current booking, not a wise thing to do until you are sure that there is another flight available.     So the next step was to contact the online chat section to ask for help.    There I was met by the most unhelpful staff ever.   The first assistant (‘Mary’) refused to discuss or do anything with the booking, and kept saying that I should telephone in.  Not only that, but she ended the conversation without warning as well.   Tried again, but the next assistant was equally unhelpful.  So what is the point of having ‘online chat’ if the people there are not actually going to do anything???

So reluctantly, I telephone in.  Not just once or twice, but many times during the day, each time trying to get someone at EMIRATES airline to change my ticket.   Usual story, nobody would do it, and I was passed from department to department.   The end result was that a large part of the morning and afternoon were wasted on long (and for that read very long) telephone calls.   Useless customer ‘service’ department.     And to make matters worse, different people gave me different excuses.   They just did not want to change the DATE of travel as I asked for.  And remember, the ticket conditions said that I could change the date of travel.

So the next stage was to try email.   21st century, so of course, emails will make matters easy.  WRONG.    Emirates do not publish their email addresses, and when you ask their staff, they will tell you that Emirates does not have email addresses for Customer Service.    And when you try and send emails to the addresses that you have already had messages from, they STUPIDLY send you a message back saying that the email address is no longer valid.   It is just their way of telling you to get lost.    If you want to pay for a ticket, then of course, no problems there, and they are delighted to make it all very easy online, but when you want to email them, then that is a different story.  Any airline that hides its email addresses is a bad airline.   An honest, open airline will not make it difficult for customers to contact it.

So having wasted a LOT of time on calls, online chats and trying to email, I am stuck with travel date that I do not want.    What is the end result of this?    Emirates have now guaranteed that I will NEVER make another booking with them.  I know that there are decent, open and honest companies out there, and Emirates has proved that their customer ‘service’ is appalling.    So Emirates have lost out in the long run.   I have asked them for a full refund so that I can go and book with a quality airline (such as Qatar) but I guess that I will never hear from Emirates again.  They have got my money already, and that is probably the end of story.  But for me, it was the end of bookings with Emirates.

On the subject of customer service, I will quote some good words written by Mike Michalowicz.  What he writes is very true, and the staff at Emirates should read these.  Thanks to  Mike Michalowicz  for these words –

“The Four Phrases of Amazing Customer Service……..Want your customers to spread the word about your hotel or Restaurant? …….Start by surprising them with the best customer service they’ve ever gotten:

1. “I don’t know, but this is what I’m going to do.” You’re not always going to have the answer to every question at your fingertips, and your customers will understand that. What they expect in exchange, though, is honesty and follow-up. The key here is to make a clear commitment like, “I’ll call you by 5 p.m. with the answer,” and then keep that commitment.

2. “I am very sorry.”  When you or your company make a mistake, the customer wants to hear you accept responsibility and apologize. Too many customer service reps have been trained not to accept responsibility, in some cases because they fear the legal record of having admitted failure.

3. “Yes.” “Yes” is what your customer wants to hear, and your goal should be to say that word whenever possible, especially if you’re working through a problem. Customers want progress.

4. “Is there anything else I can do for you?” Here’s your perfect wrap-up. Not only does this question give your customers the opportunity to bring up additional concerns, but it also lets them feel as if they’re in control. They can ask for additional information or can thank you for your spectacular service. Giving your customers the opportunity to raise additional concerns lets them know you value them enough to spend time ensuring they’re satisfied. Even if the customer called with a problem, if your customer service team can work through a resolution and end on a positive note, you can earn and keep those customers for life.
Source: Mike Michalowicz”

And today’s photo comes from the Korean capital of Seoul.   Nothing to do with airlines, but a nice photo!

LOW-RES-telephone

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Early morning lift off – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” To be blind is bad, but it is worse to have eyes and not see”

” Success is the marriage of opportunity and preparation”.

1783 was the date of the first passenger-carrying flights in a hot air balloon, although the ‘passengers’ were actually a duck,sheep and a rooster.  It was the Montgolfier brothers in France who were the first human passengers, flying over Paris for 20 minutes.    Compare this to the world record flight of the balloon, Breitling 3, which flew around the world in 1999.   And a balloon piloted by Vijaypat Singhania (India) in 2005 flew to over 68 000 feet/21 000 m.    Today’s photo comes from Cappadocia in Turkey, showing one of the many balloons that fly over some very unusual landscapes.  If you are in Turkey then the balloon flights at Goreme are a must, highly recommended.

WORDPRESS-Turkey-balloon

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Smile X Three – Not the Quality Spa Resort, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” It is a mistake to look too far ahead.  The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time” (Winston Churchill).

“The road to success is always under construction”.

Did you see the alarming story in the news about scientists who have now managed to make an artificial worm that can wriggle?   Computer modelling of cells is being used to make an artificial creature that mimics a real worm.  The beginnings of Frankenstein perhaps???   Add artificial intelligence to artificial creatures and something very bad can be made.   Already in the USA, the FDA is approving certain genetically modified animals.  Back in 2007 there was the story about the South Korean scientists who had genetically modified some cats so that they glowed in the dark.   The most famous example though was ‘Dolly the Sheep’, the first mammal to have been successfully cloned.   Dolly the Sheep got her name after the famous singer Dolly Parton, as apparently cells from mamary glands were used to clone the sheep!!

Smile times three for the photo today.  Despite all the economic problems, run-down buildings, broken infrastructure and few facilities for children, these Albanian boys certainly look very happy.  Not a care in the world !  And certainly not cloned.

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Cape Verde Islands – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…”  They talk about the speed of light, but what is the speed of darkness?

“The cure for love at first sight is often to take a sober look”.

I sometimes wonder if airlines are playing games.  I have been looking for air tickets, and also looking for the cheap offers.   Saw some good prices, but of course, when you try to book they are not available.   Then I tried one of the online websites that collects and compares airfares, found some prices that were ok, but between looking and going to the next stage, the prices had gone up by about 60 euros.    Not only that, but there were huge differences in the prices depending on what day of the week that you flew.   I cannot see the logic when the airlines are using the same aircraft on the same route why the prices should be SO different.   And I cannot understand why the price of the ticket depends on what time I look at the website and also which browser I am using.   I am tired of these games.  Clear, simple pricing would be much better.   And those airlines that are now charging for CARRY-ON baggage (as well as all the other extra charges) will not see me onboard either.

Off to the Cape Verde islands for the photo today…a group of 10 main  islands in the Atlantic Ocean about 575 km of the coast of Africa.   They were originally a Portuguese colony, and were an important stopover on the slave trade routes.   Around 500 000 people live in Cape Verde, with about a quarter of them living in the capital, Praia.   About a half million tourists visit every year outnumbering the number of locals.   The photo is of the harbour in Mindelo, on the island of Sao Vincente.

LOW-RES-CAPE-VERDE-Mindelo-harbour-views-(13)

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An excellent idea to encourage politeness – Not the Quality Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day..” Motivation is like food for the brain.  You cannot get enough in one sitting.  It needs continual and regular top-ups”.

I saw an interesting story in the news about a cafe owner in  Nice,Cote D’Azur, France who is offering cheaper prices customers who are polite when ordering.  A cup of coffee is 7 euros, but if customers say “good morning”  and also “please” then the price is only 1.40 euros.  The idea is to make customers more polite and considerate.   An excellent idea!   Just look around the next time you are in a shop or cafe and see just how rude and unpleasant many customers can be.     And even worse is when the continue to talk to somebody else on a mobile phone whilst making a purchase.   Charge them more I say !!!   Great idea by the French cafe owner, and one which I hope catches on.

A summer’s day in Croatia and the fishing village of Cavtat (southern Croatia) for the photo today.  Croatia is also known as Hrvatska, and has a population of around 4.2 million.  Tourism accounts for about 20% of the GDP, but unemployment is over 20% as well.     It was formerly part of Yugoslavia, but became independent in 1991.  It is now a member of the European Union.  Interestingly, the money, called ‘Kuna’ was named after a small rodent!!    The town in the photo today got its name from the latin language, Cavtat, or old city (civitas vetus).   It is now a popular day trip destination for tourists.

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Rag & Bone man – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Nature gave man two ends, one to think with and the other to sit on.  Ever since then, man’s success or failure has depended on the one he uses the most”.

“To see yourself, do not look into the mirror.  Look into the eyes of other people.”

Sometimes posed people photos can work well.    The photo today is from a small town in Albania, and shows a rag-and-bone man who was going around the city streets with a horse and cart collecting items.   After taking a few candid photos, the guy actually stood and posed for the photo, and the final photo was actually the best one.    Although it was taken in colour, it works very well in black & white.  Albania has a population of around 3.3 million people, and is one of the poorest countries in Europe.   Mountains in the country rise up to 2753 metres.   In Albania, nodding the head means no, and shaking the head means yes.

LOW-RES-Albania

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The fun stops now – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” You cannot have what you do not want”.

“Take time to recharge your batteries.  It is hard to see where you are going when the lights are dim”.

The fun stops now !    Just imagine being out in your Ferrari on a Sunday afternoon.  You just HAVE to drive a Ferrari fast.   Today’s photo was taken Stockholm, Sweden.   The driver of the Ferrari had been driving up and down Strandvagen (an expensive waterfront street in the Swedish capital), a street where a Ferrari does not look out of place.   Clearly he was enjoying the drive UNTIL the flashing blue lights came on behind him.   The famous prancing horse on the badge of Ferraris was originally a symbol of Count Francesco Baracca, who was a pilot in the Italian Air Force.  A Swiss motorist who was caught in 2010 driving his Ferrari near St. Gallen at 137 km/h in a 50 km/h zone received a speeding ticket of USD 290 000.  The fine had been increased because he was a repeat offender.

Wordpress-Ferrari

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Ice gazing in Iceland – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell

Thought for the day…” A smile is a curve that sets everything straight”.

Did you read that story on the net about the Israeli restaurant owner near Jerusalem who is offering a 50% discount on your bill if you turn off your mobile phone whilst eating?   Apparently the offer has been extremely popular, and I hope that it spreads to other places.  Not good to read that soon people will be allowed to use their mobile phones whilst onboard aircraft, so presumably future trips will be marred by people talking too loud and too long.    Why do so many people feel the need to constantly use a mobile phone?

Off to Iceland for the photo and a picture of the ice flows from a glacier.   As the day was overcast then the picture was changed into black & white.  The glacier is visible in the background, and the two people on the right give an idea of the scale.

WORDPRESS-ICE

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