Thursday, Apr 14, 2016

I’ve been listening to and watching my son for almost an hour try to book a round trip flight from Quito to Rio in July. He is meeting our son Chase to spend a month in Rio while the summer Olympics are happening. He was trying to book the tickets online with Avianca Airlines and when it came time to pay, the online site would not accept his credit card information. The error message told him to call Avianca customer service.

He did this, and after a good 30 minutes going over the reservation details with the agent on the phone, it came time to pay. The price for the flight was more now because he wasn’t doing it online. He explained to the Avianca rep that the website would not let him complete the transaction, and asked if he could get the online fare.

He was told no, and that he would have to speak with their web support people to get help with the website issue. After a couple more failed attempts to get someone to approve the online fare, his completed, but not yet paid for reservation, was canceled and he was transferred to web support.

After another 15 minutes of him repeating all the reservation details, he still is unable to make the reservation online. They then also tell him he could not get the online fare over the telephone.

I wonder what ever happened to customer service that appreciated and recognized the value of a customer? How easy would it have been to only say, “yes, since you are unable to complete your transaction on our website, we can honor the online price.”

Right now, after clearing his cache, calling his credit card company to verify that his card is good to go, and even trying to book the reservation on a different computer, he is still unable to complete the online transaction for his reservation.

What I am amazed at is how patient he is through this process. It makes me happy for him! I on the other hand I want to take the phone from him, and lay into the rep who can’t seem to fix something so obviously wrong. I admit…I still have a lot of work to do on myself. Sigh.

I went to the building in town today where one has to pay their monthly utility bill. In the next condo we rent I will need to be paying my electric, so Don took me to the utility office and showed me the ropes. It isn’t hard, but it does seem inefficient.

There is an online option to pay, but you must have an account at one specific bank in order to do it. I do not have an account there, and I’m not interested in getting one; setting up a bank account isn’t a quick or easy process either. So I am choosing the manual method.

What is also different is that you cannot pay your bill early. There is about a three day window to pay after your statement cuts. If you are late, they are quick to cut off the power. What this means is if you are going to be out of town during this three day window, you better have someone go to the utility office and pay your bill…or suffer the consequences.

The whole slow, manual process, however, reminded me of being a young boy in tow with my grandmother when she would go into town and pay her own utility bills…live and in person. Somehow I found my experience standing in line today rather soothing.

Heidi is making homemade pumpkin soup from a fresh picked pumpkin from Don and Donna’s farm. Last night she made a chicken-vegetable broth base from scratch, and today she is making the pumpkin soup. It smells good and I can’t wait to taste it!


Made the base…20160413_204139

To become this…20160414_190626

Mmmmm so delicious!