The Elmdale Tavern – End of an Era

I was sitting at the Bridgehead on Wellington when I read the news on Facebook that the Elmdale Tavern would be changing hands and that the last show would be on December 28th. I shared Nat Myles’ status with my friends on Facebook. Nat is the current owner of The Elmdale, so this news was coming straight from the horse’s mouth – so to speak :)

Having plans to meet a friend at the Wellington Gastropub, The Elmdale was on my way. As I walked passed the beloved tavern, I snapped a picture on my phone and posted it to Twitter & Facebook.

The post got retweeted multiple times and received upwards of 15,000 impressions… Many people asked questions – having included the official account for the Elmdale on the original tweet, they handled a lot of the questions.

Eventually, it was made clear that Whalesbone would be taking over the Elmdale in the new year.

Now let me be very clear. I have had the good fortune to eat at Whalesbone & to enjoy some of their catered affairs. I also happen to know that they are big local music supporters as some of my good friends have played there.

But The Elmdale will never be the same. And *that* is what saddens many of us. And I think that is a valid emotion.

Bruce & Nat have been an integral part of The Elmdale – that will change. Though I have to say, I am very happy for them that they will get to enjoy the music from the other side of the bar.

Steph Montreuil at The ElmdaleThe picture I use for all of my on-line profiles was purposely taken at The Elmdale, as I have enjoyed many a show there… I wrote about that experience and the 100 Strangers project in an earlier post.

The current owners have also been able to bring some incredible acts to our sleepy town, when most larger acts decide to skip Ottawa all together… In 2009, they were able to get Hall of Famer Wanda Jackson to play 2 dates at The Elmdale. I was lucky enough to get my acoustic guitar signed by her.

Later that year, one of my pictures was published for the first time ever – and it was for an ad for The Elmdale. (Coincidentally, it was taken during the Wanda Jackson show…) Needless to say, that one of my pictures was published was incredibly exciting. That it was taken at The Elmdale Tavern, during an awesome live show was just icing on the cake…

Elmdale Tavern Ad

In the winter, a few friends and I have been known to get together at The Elmdale with our knitting and to do more beer drinking than knitting ;) My friend Amy has organized book swaps there and last year, there was a very special Christmas get together there for all of us who work from home and wouldn’t have a corporate Christmas party to go to…

Am I sad that The Elmdale is changing hands and that yet another “official” (or designated – whatever you want to call it) music venue is biting the dust. Unequivocally: yes. Do I have anything against The Whalesbone taking over? Unequivocally: no.

At one point during the evening, someone tweeted from the The Whalesbone account that it felt like it was a lynching (realizing how harsh that may have sounded, they apologized…). The truth of the matter is that everyone is uncomfortable with change and they were not willing to give an official word at the time…

Wishing the best of luck to Nat & Bruce who have done so much to support live music over the last 5 years – their last show is currently scheduled for December 28, 2012. And best of luck to The Whalesbone with this new endeavour – whatever that will be is still unclear – but I know that Hintonburg will welcome you with open arms. I can’t wait to catch a live show there!

What is your favourite memory at The Elmdale?

UPDATE

Josh, the owner of The Whalesbone was on CBC All In A Day today and said the following:

- “we will maintain the Elmdale name in a large capacity”

- “live music, we are thinking along the lines of weekend shows”. “What we plan for and what happens may be different”

- “we have to add a kitchen so there will be less capacity. From 165, down to 95 seats. The west side (stage side) will remain largely the same”

- “it will be called The Elmdale”

My sense is that they will be dropping the work “Tavern” or were at least hoping to, but may not based on feedback.

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Finding your WHY

I’ve been back from SOBCon NW, a conference held in Portland, for 12 days now. To say that my experience there was life changing is almost an understatement. It moved things inside of me that hadn’t been disturbed in years, it challenged core beliefs I have had about my life for way too long and it reminded me that all you have to do to change the world is “something”. Changing the world is never about undertaking that goal all by yourself, it’s about taking small actions that change the lives of others. No matter how small the action, you never know when you could be the person who changes someone else’s life for the better.

One of the main themes of SOBCon, which emerged very early on, and in a very grateful quote from Liz Strauss (in reference to conference co-founder Terry Starbucker) is that you need to “surround yourself with people who will not let you fail”. And I was lucky enough to walk away from the conference with a few such angels (you know who you are). Part accountability partners, part task drivers, part therapists, we vouched we would be there for each other.

So I left Portland inspired & with a built-in support system, not to mention a very long to-do list. I felt empowered. And almost as soon as I got home, I was terrified…

What if, despite all the tools I got and all the support I have, what if I still failed. Wouldn’t it feel like I was failing more than one person, wouldn’t it feel like I was failing everyone? These are friends and colleagues I have a lot of respect for, somehow failing them seemed worse than failing just myself…

So I procrastinated. Oh, I’ve “accomplished” a lot in the last 12 days, cleaned, de-cluttered, even got rid of all the clothes Em and I don’t wear anymore, all things that I could justify as being worthy of not getting started on my post SOBCon plan… That brain of mine is awesome at convincing me I am being “productive”…

And then my grand-mother passed away. The passing of a loved one has has a way of making you stop for a moment and evaluate your life and your priorities and your legacy…

Today is my grandmother’s funeral. We were very close. When I was a child we used to visit every weekend. In the summer I would often visit for a week or two… My grandfather, who passed away years ago, worked as a postman his whole life, but had always wanted to be a teacher, since I spent so much time there I was his student… He taught me how to play chess when I was 5, and to read and write at much more advanced level than whatever grade I was in school… My grandmother always said I was his favourite. I will miss them both very much. And again, I am back to thinking about what kind of legacy I will leave for my daughter and perhaps her children… And as I procrastinate away, the answer is not much (don’t get me wrong, I know I am a good mom and that we have lots of amazing memories together already, but I really feel like the people I met, the tools I got and the support I walked away with at SOBcon put me in a prime position to move forward and accomplish the goals I set out for myself, *those* are not being acted on…)

As I scanned Facebook this morning, I saw this post by my friend Barbara:

I’ve never run a marathon before, but I’ve run many half marathons. And the best piece if advice I ever got was this: before you start: “know your why, and make sure it’s the why at your core,  because when your legs are killing you and it’s too hot or too cold and maybe you lost your pace bunny, reminding yourself that you have 5 kilometers to go because you wanted to lose that 5 pounds 18 weeks ago when you started training just won’t cut it. Plus you’ll more than likely have lost more than 5 pounds by race time, so now what?” (I wish I remember who this was, it was a guest speaker at the Running Room…)

What fantastic advice for any endeavor that will take you out of your comfort zone. To find the core reason you are embarking on that journey in the first place, that one thing that you can use to motivate you when things get tough, that one goal that will make you work your butt off so you don’t fail.

Because if you do that, even if you do fail, the miracle, as Barbara would say,  is that you will have had the courage to start… Do you know what your why is?

 

 

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Social Media Etiquette

I recently had a client ask me if I had some tips or a good resource to point her to in terms of etiquette for social media.

My first reflex was to share an analogy that someone shared with me a long time ago. “Social networks are like a 24/7, international, networking event, you should behave accordingly. If you wouldn’t do something at a networking event live, don’t do it on line.”

So as an example, you would (hopefully) not just walk around and start telling everyone about the services you offer and just walk away. When you just broadcast your services online, without engaging in any meaningful conversation with anyone, that is roughly the equivalent. Using social network platforms to broadcast your services or constantly push special offers is unlikely to get you any results as they go against the basic premise of those platforms, which is to be social (what a concept!). That means exchanging with others, offering help where you can, answering questions, introducing people who may need each others services., etc.

While the analogy above is still good advice, I also saw answering my client’s question, as an opportunity to use List.ly, a new list service I was recently introduced to, to get more input on the matter.

As you can see below, I’ve gone ahead and made a short list of the resources I think are worth having a look at for people wanting to start using social media. I’m sure there are many more that are just as good and I would love your help to complete the list! All you need to do is create your own List.ly account (very quick & easy using your social platform of choice) and then add your chosen resource away!

So do you have one go-to source of advice for social media etiquette or are there a few places you rely on for advice? Looking forward to what we can come up with together!

References for Social Media Etiquette

References for Social Media Etiquette

A client recently asked for a some good articles on social media etiquette. Here are a few I came up with - do you have any more to add?

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    The 10 Commandments of Social Media Etiquette | PCWorld

    The 10 Commandments of Social Media Etiquette | PCWorld

    Are you a social media sinner? If you regularly violate any of these commandments, the answer is probably yes.

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    Social Media Etiquette: 15 do's and don'ts | Social Media Today

    Social Media Etiquette: 15 do's and don'ts | Social Media Today

    Whether you are a first time social media user, or you Image have regularly been signing into these networks for some time, it is essential to understand how to conduct yourself online. Not following appropriate etiquette could have devastating consequences for your attempt to make an impact through social media.

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    Reuters Editor Discusses Social Media Etiquette For Professionals - Business Insider

    Reuters Editor Discusses Social Media Etiquette For Professionals - Business Insider

    Great Q & A on a variety of potential & actual scenarios on various social media platforms - Steph

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    An Insider’s Guide to Social Media Etiquette

    An Insider’s Guide to Social Media Etiquette

    Chris Brogan's take on Social Media Etiquette - Steph

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    1 Voting...
    Social Media Netiquette | It's easy if you know what to do!

    Social Media Netiquette | It's easy if you know what to do!

    The term ‘Netiquette’ is short for ‘network etiquette’ or ‘internet etiquette’. It is a set of commonly agreed upon social conventions that facilitate interaction over the World Wide Web. This interaction ranges from social networks, blogs, mailing lists, and forums.

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School trip to MacSkimming, Ottawa

School Bus

Aw yellow school buses. Definitely conjures memories of school trips past!

I went on a school trip with my daughter today. (And by today I mean last spring – wrote this and it got lost and just found again – oops!) That has got to be one of the most enlightening experiences as a parent. First, and I don’t say this enough, how amazing are teachers? The amount of patience they have is unbelievable.

But how things have changed… A few of the kids on this particular trip were quite disrespectful and it didn’t seem like the consequences matched their level of insolence… I have to say I have an immense level of respect for the two young ladies who ran the groups today. We were at MacSkimming, an outdoor education centre on the outskirts of Ottawa, experiencing what it would have been like to be coureurs des bois in the early 1800’s.

The accompanying parents, including me, were free agents and the children were employees of the North West Trading company and traveled in small groups. As free agents, the parents and teachers were allowed to intercept the kids and steal their furs and trading currency. This involved a lot of running in the woods and was actually quite fun. I have to say, it is very nice to listen to your child convince the boys in the class that they should, in fact, run away from their mom because: “she is really fast and she runs half-marathons” :)

It is interesting observing a class of seventh graders and figuring out who the trouble makers are (it takes about 2 minutes after entering any classrooms) and then trying to manage all the children. As a visiting adult and not a regular fixture, it is very hard to establish a level of respect very quickly. I do have to say, having purple hair does make you seem like the coolest adult there and the kids do somehow respect you a bit more for it, I did use that to my advantage! My favourite part is realizing you were very wrong about a particular child or witnessing the children helping each other out and/or supporting each other.

Another one of the activities involved the children re-writing the lyrics to a popular song (so they could all follow the tune) so that it told the tale of the fur traders. Some of the songs chosen: “I’m Sexy & I Know It” and “I Like Big Butts”. I wish I had a clear statement on how that made me feel, but I guess the way to put it is “conflicted”.

These kids are good kids, and funny too. The songs they came up with were entertaining and actually did tell the story of what it would have been like to canoe and hunt and trade your wares. Also, when asked what fashion trends were currently popular at their school, one little boy said: “mismatched socks” while another quickly followed up with “ridiculously tight pants”. This made the adults laugh and the educator wonder aloud how the pants could be so tight and yet still be falling down. How *IS* that possible??

I always seem to see the same parents at these outings, I think it really is a great opportunity to observe your child in their “natural environment” and at the very least get a glimpse of what they go through in their class setting.

What is the favourite class trip you have done with your kids? Davis Moten Charlie real revelations occur say the day your company One

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Accidental Simplicity

A while back I stumbled onto Rachel’s blog The Minimalist Mom. I didn’t have any real desire to commit to a minimalist lifestyle, but I definitely longed for a simpler, more conscientious and deliberate way of life. Rachel is a no non-sense and interesting person (she’s an “almost” Olympian even!) and her blog is packed full of practical information. Her & her husband have made a commitment to the minimalist lifestyle, and she can help you navigate your way to less: less crap, less debt, less stress. She’s not fanatical and she does spend money & do stuff, it’s not about not living, it’s about living purposefully & sustainably.

When I think about it, I don’t think I have that much “stuff”. I usually prefer experiences over physical things: a fantastic dinner with friends, a great trip with my daughter, attending live music events… But when I do look around my house, which is small by the way – I share a 1000 square foot condo with my daughter – it *is* full of stuff. I bought the condo almost 10 years ago, and it seems a lot has accumulated over that time… For the most part, I don’t or rarely use that stuff & I don’t even really see it anymore, it’s part of the decor. But you still need to walk around that stuff, clean around it, live without the extra space. And my brain knows it’s there and more importantly, it knows it doesn’t need to be there.

Back in April, the lease for my car was coming up. Having had a ridiculously painful sales experience when I signed it, I procrastinated so much that by the time the lease expired, I still hadn’t even looked at another car. That’s when I decided I would just not get a new car… yet. We’d had a warm and dry spring, summer was upon us an dI knew I’d be away part of the summer: perfect timing!

So since then, we have used the bus, cabbed & walked. And there have been so many fabulous and unexpected side effects:

- I am more organized: I need to know where I need to be and when to plan for how I will get there. When possible, I plan to do things that are located in close proximity at the same time.

- I am more deliberate: no more eating at the restaurant on a spur of the moment decision – ok, let’s be honest: it happens less ;)

- I save money: no more car payments, insurance payments, gas expenses, sticker renewals, etc… Even if we take a cab a few times a month, it’s still much cheaper.

- I waste less food: I know, I wasn’t expecting this either. But I take the bus to do groceries: that means careful meal planning so I don’t have to carry more than I can/need, which means less waste. Incidentally, my grocery bill is also much smaller. as I am much less inclined to go for impulse buys.

I always assumed I’d get a new car for winter, but now I’m not so sure. I think I might just sign up for a car sharing program. I’m happy, my wallet is happy and my fridge is happy. Why ruin a good thing.

I still don’t think I’ll ever be a minimalist, but I like the idea of simpler living.

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Through Another’s Eyes

In the fall of 2010, I was lucky enough to be chosen to participate in a 100 strangers project here in Ottawa. The photographer in this case was Kym Shumsky. She eventually turned all the photographs into a book to raise funds for Operation Rainbow Canada - She even had a little get together where a lot of the strangers got together – it was awesome to become strangers no more. You can see the pictures at Le Mien & if you’re looking for my pictures, I was #31. At the end of my shoot, I had the opportunity to sit & chat with Kym & our conversation resulted in a bit of an “a-ha moment” for me. A realization that being our own worst critic really doesn’t do us any good. You can read my thoughts on that in a previous blog post; 100 Strangers.

Though the wisdom from that experience stays with me most of the time, I sometimes often have to remind myself of what I learned.

O'Brien Beach

O’Brien Beach on Meech Lake in the Gatineaus

This past weekend was one of those moments. A boy asked me to the beach. A very attractive & fit boy even… Though he had to do a bit of arm twisting, I said yes. We’ve been on a few outings already and always enjoy each other’s company, I kind of figured if something was going to make him run away screaming, surely this would be it ;) And yes, I am mostly being self-deprecating here, but there genuinely is a tiny part of me that thinks that some people would just reduce the essence of who I am to what I look like in a bathing suit…

A funny thing happened though. Not only did he not run away, he thought I looked great, and wondered what I was worried about. (And yes he earned bonus points for that…) But it made me wonder about why we put so much more value into what others think versus what we think/see/perceive… Recently my friend Candace over at Life in Pleasantville blogged about what she called a Reality Check after someone posted AN AMAZING picture of her from an event in New York City. I actually 100% recall seeing this photo being posted by the photographer (Cherie-Lynn Buchanan) and thinking “Man, Candace looks awesome in this picture!” So what a shock it was to read that she goes through the same insecurities I do – and I suspect most of us do.

I worry about what message I am sending to my daughter if/when she sees me not being comfortable in my skin, worrying about what other people think or talking out loud about some flaw I perceive that I may have. And don’t even get me started about what we see in the media, that’s enough to make me want to put her in a convent until she’s 35 :)

But you know what happened the day I pushed though my insecurities and I went to the beach? I had a great time. Discovered a new beach, by just deciding to throw caution to the wind and just going where the GPS decided to take us. And we capped off the day with a great dinner & I discovered The Newsroom (I am SO hooked – and yes, late to the party!)

Maybe that’s partly the solution (and definitely the part that we can control), we can have those small moments of insecurities, but we need to push trough them, need to remember that society and the media and the expectations we feel are manufactured and self-imposed…. And next time *your* inner critic speaks up – just tell it to shut up. Ignore it and see yourself as though you were seeing yourself through another’s eyes. I promise you’ll be much gentler. And you know what, you may even just have a little fun! produced 20 Reveals Derulo Jennifer Lopez visibility audience helps High quality mp3s

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My Expedia Customer Service Nightmare

This is a long one – so hold on to your hats.

On Feb 3rd, I accidentally booked a flight to the wrong city – it was almost 3am, do not make travel arrangements when tired! I immediately phoned Expedia to see what could be done. Expedia has a policy of cancelling arrangements without any fees if said cancellation is done within the same calendar day. When I phoned, it was 8 minutes to midnight and the customer service rep was very frazzled because he felt like he needed to process the cancellation ASAP so that it would go through. I explained that since I had placed the call within the calendar day, even if we ended the call after midnight, their policy should be enforced. He disagreed. This resulted in me agreeing to cancel the flight vs calmly reviewing all possible options.

While he processed the cancellation, I got onto the internet and found the correct flight for about $150 more than the flight I had mistakenly booked.

Let’s pause for a second to note that if the customer service rep had not been freaking out about the midnight deadline and had been empowered to extend the cancellation deadline, we would have had time to look at all possible options before *having to cancel before midnight*. Had we been able to do so – we would have realized that the city I booked the wrong flight to is about 45 minutes away from the city I actually wanted to end up in and that there is bus service (think Greyhound) between the 2 cities for about $30/per person. But nevermind that. The rep was intent on “helping me cancel my flight” when he should have been intent on me ending up with the best possible travel option.

He finally returns to the line and tells me the first flight is cancelled. What followed was a very frustrating exchanging during which he got confused about the dates & the number of passengers, even though I wanted the exact same thing as the initial flight, with the only difference being the destination city. Frustrated I end up hanging up the phone and decide to book the flight myself.

Let’s pause a second time to note that the flight I had found while the rep was cancelling the first one is now unavailable, sold out. The next flight that works for us is now $75-100 more. Annoying, but now I have no other options as he’s cancelled the initial flight.

At this point I still have the second portion of the trip to book – the above being for the flights only – but seeing how successful that whole ordeal is, I decide to go to bed instead and make the rest of the arrangements after a good night’s sleep…

Now let me mention that I only get my daughter for March break every second year and that we absolutely cherish our time together. The last year having been tumultuous at best, we are especially looking forward to a getaway.

The next day, I get online to book the second portion of my trip and I am told my card is declined. Odd, I think, as I know exactly what I have been spending on. I log on to my VISA account and see that there are “transactions pending” in the amount of $6171, but because they haven’t been processed I can’t see the individual amounts or the merchant.

I get on the phone and am told that there are transactions pending for 6 airplane tickets. The 2 I cancelled, the 2 I purchased and an additional, mystery 2 tickets. I immediately think to myself that the customer service rep in the previous evening’s attempts to help must have mistakenly put a hold on 2 tickets…

I call Expedia and point this out and at this point they agree that this must be what has happened… I stay on the phone for a really long time, I argue with many CSRs before eventually being transferred to someone in North America who has any authority to do anything about this issue. At first, they suggest calling the airline & my bank to get the “hold” lifted on this third mystery flight. Of course nothing works. I eventually have to point out that this error is hindering my ability to book our Spring Break vacation and I will admit that at one point I broke down. When I get really angry & frustrated, it unfortunately often turns to tears. Nevermind that in the back of my mind I am now thinking that the cruise might sell out and we may not get to go on vacation at all…

Eventually I get someone who understands my frustration and tells me she is doing the best she can and I believe her. So she tells me to hang tight and she will get back to me at the end of the day. And she does. To tell me she has done everything she can and that there is in fact nothing she can do because the bank is holding the funds for Continental and that Expedia, as the middleman, does not appear anywhere in the transaction so they can’t do anything. I point out that by the time this is resolved I will expect compensation and that having just checked, the category of cabin that I had wished to book is now sold out – so another $167/per person out the window. She tells me that she will put in a request, but that unfortunately she will be away for the next three days, so she will get back to me then.

Hm, no. That is just not acceptable, so I get a number from her and resolve to call back the next day and get a new CSR to be my advocate. At the end of the day, we have spent between 3 & 4 hours on the phone together…

When I call back, I suggest that what they should do for me is hold the cruise I want and apply the compensation amount to that and when the hold is lifted on my card I can pay the balance. I get a lovely CSR who is sympathetic, understanding and promises to stay on the case of the department in charge of compensation and to give me an update every day as to what is going on – even if there is no resolution. Unfortunately, she explains, Expedia.ca & Expedia Cruise Centre are two different entities; she will see what she can do. She explains that her authorization level is $1000 and that she would have no problem applying that to my travels but that since this is for a cruise, it’s not that simple. (Add a significant amount of time spent on the phone here and some tweets pleading for help. The tweets only result in the typical canned answer “please provide us with your itinerary number and we will try to help” but of course there is no itinerary number and as far as everyone is concerned it doesn’t even exist really because no transaction number was ever assigned to it).

To say that this is all very frustrating is a gross understatement. I tweet out my frustration. In a very calm fashion, more than amply leaving the door open for a smart executive at Expedia to do the right thing.

My bubbly CSR gives me a report at the end of the day Thursday: “I still don’t have an answer, but I am keeping on top of them!” And I want to believe her… On Friday evening, I get another status report: “I am sorry, but it looks like you said something on the tweeter or twitter or something? This has now been taken out of my hands and will now be looked at by a VP because of the exposure.” Honestly at this point I think three things: Wow – Expedia needs to do social media training to their employees, I can’t believe they treat customer complaints differently depending on which channel they came in and man, I wish my name was Scott Stratten (or Lady Gaga, whatever :), just someone with more clout/klout) I am shocked at that response and tell her so, but it really is out of both our hands at this point so there isn’t much I can do. She does mention that while she will be working on Saturday, she is off Sunday/Monday, but assures me, she will get in touch first thing Tuesday… Great, more delays… Saturday comes and goes and by now even my bubbly CSR doesn’t call with my daily report…

On Friday, I notice that the hold has been lifted on my card, so I am now free to book my cruise, except that I am still waiting to hear about the amount for the compensation and hoping that it can be applied to the cruise, so I hold off on booking anything.

Sunday & Monday are very busy days for me so I don’t have time to worry about this too much, and I actually do hold some hope that bubbly CSR’s efforts and perseverance will pay off. I do attend a panel at Social Media Week Toronto #SMWTO where I ask the question: Should brands respond to customer complaints differently depending on if the complaint was made in social media vs a 1-800 number (for example) and if the person’s influence should affect the way the brand approaches resolution.”

Sean Moffitt, author of Wikibrands, suggests that it shouldn’t matter, but that if we are honest with ourselves, treating influencers preferentially, especially if they are using visible channels, inevitably does happen. Someone points out that we would all, in most situations, get a response different than Peter Mansbridge might when launching a complaint. For my American friends, Peter is a well known news anchor.

Sam Fiorella, Chief Marketing Sensei at Sensei Marketing thinks that conflict resolution is an awesome opportunity for a brand to make amends and turn a critic into a brand advocate. And especially in this case. I completely agree. I travel a lot and Expedia can see this by looking at my file as I book most of my travel through them. What a great opportunity to just knock my socks off and turn me into a brand evangelist.

When Liz Strauss, founder of SOBCon and recently named the second most influential social media woman by Forbes Magazine answers, I add that a VP is now involved because I mentioned the issue on twitter and she suggests that I ask “the brand” (I did not mention them by name during the session) if they have heard about “United Breaks Guitars” (a video by Dave Carroll that went viral and which currently has over 11 000 000 views on Youtube) – which is a good point – I immediately start writing lyrics in my head.

I send out a few more tweets, and point out that what I want is fair resolution – could someone please just call me back.

Tuesday morning. I have not heard anything since Friday. I send an email through Expedia’s website…

Tuesday afternoon, I finally get a phone call back!! Woohoo I think. And this is yet another new person on the end of the line.

Frustration

So much wasted time and energy! Photo by Andrew Mccluskey

At this point I am told that it looks like something I did at my end caused their computer system to experience an error and that is what resulted in Expedia telling Continental that I wanted to fly with them… Frankly – I don’t care. The important part of this sentence is “caused OUR system to experience an error” and for the record, I am not convinced that this is the case anyway… I am told that in fact this is very important and that it demonstrates that the problem was between Continental & my bank NOT Expedia, and that in fact Expedia was acting as my advocate. #HEADDESK I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t need this kind of “helpful” advocating!

I decide to stop trying to explain why this is not the case, how much stress, frustration & worry this has caused, not to mention the fact that I have lost money because of the time that has gone by and that as a loyal customer I never expected that I would be treated this way. And then I ask, what the compensation will be so that we can get this over with.

“Well as I have told you this was not Expedia’s fault.” Seriously? I ask if we both agree that the hold was caused because of an error in their system and she agrees… So where’s the problem is what I want to scream at this point!!!!

I point out the incremental cost for the flights, the incremental cost for the cabins and the frustration factor. At which point she says she is prepared to give me a $200 credit because I did miss out on the cheaper flights. Then it dawns on me, they record customer service calls. So I tell her to go listen to the recording of my bubbly CSR telling me should has no problem issuing a $1000 credit. She doesn’t readily agree, at first telling me that her notes say something different. I tell her to go listen and that she will agree with me once she has. She finally agrees and tells me she will call me back with the next 60 to 90 minutes. And by the time she calls back 2 hours and 45 minutes has passed… Over promising and under delivering not a good strategy at this point in the game.

(Let me mention here that the tone is civil during the whole previous exchange but that she does talk over me instead of letting me vent. I do point out that there were many opportunities to ease the frustration along the way and that they were not taken and that if the first rep had been empowered to make a decision that had me in mind in te first place, this whole situation could have been avoided.)

As it stands: No recording of the telephone call can be located so the request for compensation has once again been forwarded to the executive team… I have been told I should have an answer in 24 hours, but as you can imagine, I am not holding my breath.

What is your worst customer service experience? And should I start taking bets as to how this will turn out?

P.S. I am sure some of you are wondering if I will ever use Expedia ever again regardless of how this turns out – and my response to that would be: therein lies the opportunity for Expedia. So we shall see. woocommerce-page input button joomla extensions for free what would feel

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