And Miles To Go Before I Sleep
Oh, the joys of trying something new! I came home from work and my husband said, “Here’s what you need to do tonight.” He’s big on giving me homework assignments. He’s trying to get me ready for my big traveldocfest that I’m embarking on. My assignment? To get on Delta, United, Hertz and Hilton websites and register for frequent flyer (driver, sleeper?) miles. Then I needed to get them to link my current itinerary for my three weeks travel to North Dakota so I get points for all those miles and days and nights.
Sounds easy enough? Hah! The Delta site wasn’t too bad. I put in my info, got my SkyMiles number, and got out. United, not so much. Their website was designed by half stoned river rats. You can’t find anything. Oh, they like to talk and talk about all the great miles benefits, and what you can do with them (I’d like to tell them what they can do with them), but the actual link to sign up for the miles was notably absent. A dreaded noninuitive website. I’d like to have a word with the web designers. I finally found where to put my info, and they finally gave me an account. Then it was time to link to my existing United reservation. I couldn’t find any way to put in the reservation that let the website pull it up. So I decided to call United and talk to a representative. Nightmare voice mail system. There was this infuriatingly rational guy’s voice saying “OK” in a soothing manner every sentence or two. I HATE being soothed. I got trotted through the choices, none of which was actually what I wanted. I finally, FINALLY got to a place where speaking to a representative was offered. When I said, “Representative,” the soothing man’s voice said, “OK. But let me direct you to this option menu first,” and gave me right back to the first set of choices I was given. He is evidently programmed to allow customers access to a live person over his dead body. “Why is Mommy yelling at the phone?” my daughter wanted to know. I finally got to a live person, and he was the Stupidest. Person. Ever. EVER!! Seriously. Ever. He asked for the date of my flight. Not my name, the flight number, or the place of departure. Just the date of my flight. I could hear keys clicking and he was muttering to himself. There was a long pause. “Excuse me,” I said sarcastically, “Do you think it might help if you had my name or flight number?” Long pause. “Errmmph! Mmmm. Sure. Name?” I really think he was sitting there hallucinating on mushrooms. He made that much sense. I assumed he was some bigwig’s idiot nephew; I really couldn’t think of any reason that someone hired him. He finally informed me that he couldn’t link anything to anything; the locums company had not yet finalized the reservations. After all that work.
The Hertz website was a bit invasive. They insisted on having a company name to register for miles. I’m not a company. I’m a person. So I just made something up. They also wanted a credit card number on file, which I thought was a bit premature. Once I got my membership, I called them to link my Hertz reservation to my miles account. It was at this point that I realized the locums company had booked the car with me picking it up one day and returning it the next, although my stay is for three weeks. So I had to remake the reservation, both because the existing reservation was FUBAR, and because they wouldn’t let me have the miles if the car was booked through a third party. So I booked myself a four wheel drive, since I will be driving on icy tundra and don’t wish to wind up in a ditch dying of hypothermia.
I must say, I can’t complain about the Hilton folks. I got my account number easily on the website, they actually had the reservation for the correct number of days, and the nice lady that I got (quickly) on the phone was able to link my reservation to my miles account no problem. Actually, it’s better than not complaining. They were easily the best service I got all night. Their website was navigable, they didn’t demand any annoying information, and I got a rep easily and fast. Kudos to Hilton HHonors.
By the time I got off the phone I was completely shell shocked. I might have been drooling a little. If this is the kind of thing I’m going to have to do to have this new job, I Just. Don’t. Know. By and large, these people were blooming idiots. And United. Oh boy, United. If the pilots are this stupid we’re going to wind up in Outer Mongolia. Upside down. I’m almost afraid to fly with them. That person on the phone was a total and complete nitwit. Easily the stupidest person I’ve dealt with in a LONG time, and I’ve dealt with some seriously stupid people. Because most of them breed. So after spending my entire evening I am now a proud Delta, United, Hertz and Hilton points member. Yippee skip.