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Perhaps an Odd Problem - Dealing with Resolution Specialist - Need advice


Jim D
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I am mainly looking for advice on this subject and what to do and where to go from here. I am may be opening myself up to a lot of hate or criticism , but here goes. And sorry for such a long post. 

After I booked my cruise everything was going fine, I ended up booking a B2B - worked well with Customer Service it was great super excited!  I then called back with a question about something (not sure I remember what at this point), the customer service individual I was speaking to - was looking stuff up for me and was chatting and asked "so any special reason you are going on this cruise, or what made you think about doing a B2B" something along those lines - I replied that I was a little nervous but excited as this would be my first solo cruise and knowing that RCL has had good reviews with LGBT travel sites and that celebrity is owned by the same company and celebrity has lgbt single cruises - I thought since I havent been traveling like I used to now would be the time.  I received dead silence for a good 20 seconds and then the agent started to give me the answer to my question - but was down right nasty and rude.  I was taken aback for sure. Anyways the call ended and I went on my way passing it off.  A second time I called and asked if with covid protocols they were still doing LGBT meet-ups on board and if they would be listed in the compass as they used to - the answer was a phone hanging up.  At this point I was annoyed. However as things keep changing and evolving because of covid and changes in destinations I thought maybe I will just stick to the text messaging customer service - I dont remember the entire conversation but something LGBT related came up again - because frankly, why should I hide anything and this is customer service that I am talking to, just looking for answer - I received the following text back - which I include a picture of "I am not engaging with this person any longer."  This is the point where I decided to escalate things and spoke to a gentlemen in the resolution department (I guess the supervisors of customer service).  I told him what was going on and he was appalled - rightly so, we spent over an hour on the phone he was apologizing right and left- made me feel some much better.  And I told him I am not looking to get anyone in trouble (I have the agents first names) but all I was looking for was some solid answers.  He told me that if I had any questions  or concerns to email him. Great - problem solved.  Well that was more than two weeks ago - I emailed him with some minor questions and I also emailed him shortly after our first conversation that if he could let someone above him know what was going on - because I believe no one should be discriminated against or talked to in such a manner.  I have heard nothing in return - a similar incident happened on Sunday when I was discussing safety concerns if our cruise had to go to a different destination (such as Jamaica or Belize - as both countries it is a crime to be LGBT and people are sometimes kidnapped and killed) I said obvisouly I would stay on the ship and not go site seeing but my question was regarding how the ports were set up and if they had shops right there so that if I did get off the boat I could not go far if there was stuff right there.  I emailed him about this. Nothing.  This morning I asked a agent thru the text line how I would get in touch with a supervisor of the resolution team - I was asked well what is it regarding so I can direct you to the right place.  I told the agent a very brief statement about it. The agent stopped talking - I said hello? Still there?  That was 6 hours ago. 

I thought at first I was just imagining it - but after a few more times, unless I am loosing my marbles.  And I KNOW it is not everyone - and I know for certain the staff on the boat are the ones that make the trip and they are wonderful.  But its a little unfortunate that I have to go thru any of this just to get a simple answer to questions about Royal gifts, GTY rooms, ports of call.   

So I guess my point is - where do I go from here - who do I talk to?  Or do I just continue to try with customer service and hope I get a decent person.  But when I was told by the resolution specialist who was so kind about everything and wanted to do anything to make it up to me - and I email him as he stated to do and I hear nothing and since I hear nothing from him I have to have other incidents occur.  

Again sorry for the long post and I hope everyone is cool with me posting about this. 

 

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Hi Jim! While I don't really have any advice on how to proceed, I'm sorry you've had to deal with this type of discrimination. Maybe try getting in touch with another resolution specialist using the same method you used to reach the original specialist. With everything going on, you never know if the person you spoke with is at work right now. They could be out sick or even on vacation. 

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5 minutes ago, kadmgs said:

Hi Jim! While I don't really have any advice on how to proceed, I'm sorry you've had to deal with this type of discrimination. Maybe try getting in touch with another resolution specialist using the same method you used to reach the original specialist. With everything going on, you never know if the person you spoke with is at work right now. They could be out sick or even on vacation. 

That is very kind of you and much appreciated - we can only hope he is on vacation and will surprise me with an email later today. 

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Although I love Royal. They do not have a good customer call center. It's probably the main reason that people spend so much time on these boards. It sounds like your issues go beyond normal so I would escalate it up to the executive level, maybe email Michael Bailey.

I can say that I have seen LGBT meet up listed on the cruise planners and cruise compasses posted here. The Live Blog section has some from recent sailings. There are also plenty of experienced solo cruisers here that would happily answer and questions you have.

 

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Can't help you with who to speak with but I can say that the LGBT were still having scheduled meet ups-listed in the Cruise Compass- on both Adventure of the Seas (August) and Oasis (Sept).  Us solo sailers brought up to the cruise director that it was unfair there was nothing for single sailers.  The response-while very apologetic:   "they don't want us hooking up".   So I guess the LGBT community does not "hook up" during sailings.  

 

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11 minutes ago, Pattycruise said:

Can't help you with who to speak with but I can say that the LGBT were still having scheduled meet ups-listed in the Cruise Compass- on both Adventure of the Seas (August) and Oasis (Sept).  Us solo sailers brought up to the cruise director that it was unfair there was nothing for single sailers.  The response-while very apologetic:   "they don't want us hooking up".   So I guess the LGBT community does not "hook up" during sailings.  

 

I just think its fun to meet other solo cruisers - I doesnt mean you are single and looking to hook up.. Whats wrong with making friends?

 

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Cruising is clearly quite popular for the LGBT population and even if the rep disagreed with anything in that realm, that is obviously quite unprofessional to let it affect his job as a customer service rep.

It would suck to have to raise that to the CEO level, but if you send an email that's not accusatory (not that I'm suggesting you'd make it accusatory) just saying "I just wanted you to be aware..." it would likely get some attention.

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That is horrible. The CEO absolutely should be involved in this, as it is his job to ensure the culture of his company is appropriate. I am quite frankly disgusted that you have had to deal with this on multiple occasions. 

Does RCL outsource their customer service? I could see this being in part due to different cultures, but again, that is up to the company to resolve for their customers.

 

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59 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

Cruising is clearly quite popular for the LGBT population and even if the rep disagreed with anything in that realm, that is obviously quite unprofessional to let it affect his job as a customer service rep.

It would suck to have to raise that to the CEO level, but if you send an email that's not accusatory (not that I'm suggesting you'd make it accusatory) just saying "I just wanted you to be aware..." it would likely get some attention.

Agree with everything said here.

One more point, use a good travel agent. There's no reason you need to have to deal with any call center people. Let your TA deal with it, and let the TA that appreciates your business be your partner in the cruise booking and planning process, rather than a round-robin of random call center people.

I'm sorry you had to deal with any of this.

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3 minutes ago, Matt said:

Agree with everything said here.

One more point, use a good travel agent. There's no reason you need to have to deal with any call center people. Let your TA deal with it, and let the TA that appreciates your business be your partner in the cruise booking and planning process, rather than a round-robin of random call center people.

I'm sorry you had to deal with any of this.

Thank you matt and everyone so far for your words.  Next time I know that I should deal with a TA, you and others have suggested it.  Thank you! 

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It's awful you had to deal with something like this; it's really unacceptable.

I'd give it a few days, and if you do want to escalate it up, you could write a concise email to Michael Bayley, and someone from exec relations would likely get back to you about it.  I've complained about much lesser things, and gotten responses.

But I also agree that you are likely to get better service, in general, if you find a *good* TA for future bookings.  And you're likely to get better answers to most of your questions if you post them on message boards like this one.

I hope you have an awesome time on your B2B cruise on Jewel in December!

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So I hate that things like this happen, let alone in 2021. Bear in mind you might get reps from countries that still hold outdated and wrongs beliefs. So those reps will not be understanding.

As a solo traveler, and woman, I have had several reps be condescending and rude because of that. Getting a good TA is worth their weight in gold for things like this. Unfortunately, some times you might get better answers on this blog. I would escalate it, those reps need to get in trouble because they are denying information to a paying human being. 

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Hi Everyone, Just wanted to give a quick update - I did email Michael Bayley's office and another person higher up in guest relations, that was yesterday afternoon.  I received a call from a wonderful gentlemen today and we are working on getting me off the fence of whether or not to go on the cruises. 

Thanks for the advice everyone. I will provide you with the final resolution. 😉

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My 2 cents,,,, sorry this happened.  I do not know who you spoke with first of all, and this is by no means an excuse by any means. Any discrimination is wrong.

I have had times where on the phone I simply cannot understand the RCL employee there English is so terrible.  I actually tell them that I have to call back another time.  With that it is possible if they were from a 3rd world type setting which RCL does have that their society has not come around to ours on these matters.  AGAIN not excusing this by any means, and I hope that RCL does something for you here.

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3 minutes ago, Doak said:

My 2 cents,,,, sorry this happened.  I do not know who you spoke with first of all, and this is by no means an excuse by any means. Any discrimination is wrong.

I have had times where on the phone I simply cannot understand the RCL employee there English is so terrible.  I actually tell them that I have to call back another time.  With that it is possible if they were from a 3rd world type setting which RCL does have that their society has not come around to ours on these matters.  AGAIN not excusing this by any means, and I hope that RCL does something for you here.

But that is still an issue by corporate RCL. They need to ensure their call centers hire people who are respectful of their customer base. Some countries have laws or rules that do not mesh with typical American values. But if I were in a customer service role (and I have been), and someone for example, asked to speak to a man because they refused to talk to a woman, I wouldn't be rude and I would accommodate them. It's not about my personal beliefs, but how do I best represent the people that sign my paycheck, and I feel this needs to be made VERY clear to RCL employees.

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15 minutes ago, Doak said:

My 2 cents,,,, sorry this happened.  I do not know who you spoke with first of all, and this is by no means an excuse by any means. Any discrimination is wrong.

I have had times where on the phone I simply cannot understand the RCL employee there English is so terrible.  I actually tell them that I have to call back another time.  With that it is possible if they were from a 3rd world type setting which RCL does have that their society has not come around to ours on these matters.  AGAIN not excusing this by any means, and I hope that RCL does something for you here.

I get what you are trying to say.  Hopefully no one else has to deal with this and things get resolved.  

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Hello everyone;

 

just wanted to follow up.   I have been in contact with someone from the executive office.  Very nice guy.  He advised me that they would investigate the matter because of its serious nature and provide retraining or other options to individuals involved.  He wanted to know what they could do to make this right by me. I said I felt like I was being put on the spot and if he could email me with a list of suggestions that he thought appropriate.  I got an email back later that even thanking me for taking the time to speak to him and he would look into things that were available on my sailingS as I am doing a b2b and get back tome. 
 

Received an email last night with some very limited suggests.  The subject line only referenced my first sailing. Although in the email he seems to switch between stuff for sailing vs sailings.  And mentioned that if the very limited things he offered were not to my liking then he was open to suggestions.

So I am asking for a little help.  First do you think it’s wrong to ask for something and have it applied to both sailings instead of just one or do you think he may have misspoke?  But since I have never faced any homophobic discrimination in my life by a company, what are some things you think it would be appropriate to suggest or ask for, without sounding entitled.  My main thing yo him was I just had a bad taste in my mouth about this whole trip now and didn’t want to be on the fence about going or not going.  And not having that bad taste hang in my mouth throughout the vacation. I did not tell him this part but I also don’t want to let them offer something subpar for the situation and just skate on by like none of this occurred.  I haven’t cruised in such a long time and never been in his position so yes I believe they should make it right  but don’t know what’s offerable and what is appropriate   

 

thanks everyone 

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I don't know that I would expect anything more than a sincere apology and a promise to do better. There isn't really a way for them to prove to you that they are taking it seriously enough to effect the change needed to prevent this from happening to someone else in the future. 

They shouldn't be putting it on you to decide what's an acceptable token for the apology. They should have proactively offered you something specific for the trouble. 

My response would be that I expect them to push for more diversity training for the phone reps and I would accept OBC for the upcoming cruise(s). That way you can decide how/what you use it on. 

The OBC isn't what is going to make this right. Proving that they corrected their mistakes at the corporate and phone rep levels is what truly makes this right.

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14 minutes ago, AshleyDillo said:

I don't know that I would expect anything more than a sincere apology and a promise to do better. There isn't really a way for them to prove to you that they are taking it seriously enough to effect the change needed to prevent this from happening to someone else in the future. 

They shouldn't be putting it on you to decide what's an acceptable token for the apology. They should have proactively offered you something specific for the trouble. 

My response would be that I expect them to push for more diversity training for the phone reps and I would accept OBC for the upcoming cruise(s). That way you can decide how/what you use it on. 

The OBC isn't what is going to make this right. Proving that they corrected their mistakes at the corporate and phone rep levels is what truly makes this right.

Ashley. Thank you kindly for your input.  I agree that I will never know if taken seriously at an internal level.   And you are right.  How does one make anything like that right?  He did offer one or two suggestions but went on to say he is also open to more input from me. I don’t know what is appropriate.   Can’t very well say the grand suite and run of the boat, lol.  

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That's a hard question to answer because it feels like anything is placating. Ask for too much and you may be seen as exaggerating the interaction for personal gain. But, at the same time, they REALLY should be doing something substantial on behalf of you and I am sure others who have had to deal with this. Unfortunately, anything offered doesn't really fix the situation either, so I am at a loss.

I guess if  were you, I would ask myself "what would it take for me to actually WANT to cruise?" Not being in your situation, I can't even imagine what that would be, but maybe if there is something in particular that would make you want to look forward to your trips (besides the grand suite and run of the boat that is), what would it be? Maybe instead of something for you, it would be something like a substantial donation to an organization focused on LGBTQ+ awareness (kinda like what happened during a racist incident at Starbucks). But I don't know. I hope you find something that allows you to regain your joy and anticipation for your upcoming cruises though.

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@Jim D, thanks for sharing your experience. You said it yourself in your first post that the crew on the ship are the stars and make the cruises great. You'd still have a great time on the cruise IMO. This incident was clearly unacceptable in the management's eyes and you've already got the process started for an evaluation of this employee's standing at the company.

If I were you, I'd take it as an accomplishment that YOU were the person to bring this employee's unprofessionalism to the management's attention.

Depending on whether you're a foodie or a wine enthusiast, you should ask for a dining or drink package 😉 If they say no, then no harm no foul. If I were in the management's position, I would value the feedback that you provided much more than the cost of either of those.

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I feel like the “normal” apology for when something goes wrong on the ship is a bottle of wine/champagne in the stateroom, or some chocolate covered strawberries. Thinking of something more significant than that, but not outrageous… I’d say asking for a complementary dining experience or some onboard credit would not be out of the question. 

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