Saturday August 18, 2018

Wabe: Cebu Pak! Basagan ng Trip

Timeout Corner

YES, I get it. This is totally my fault. I have been majorly screwed by Cebu Pacific a handful of times, and yet like an abused, battered girlfriend, I keep booking them again and again, enticed by sweet deals and the promise of low fares. Ayan...serves me right. (Cue music: Di na Natuto!)

Cebu Pacific haphazardly texted/emailed me that they changed my family’s flight time for an upcoming trip. On top of that, the seat assignments I purchased were nowhere to be found in the new booking. This was for an international flight, so the seats upfront aren’t cheap. Really, like a cold and cruel ex-boyfriend, they relay such a terrible message so shabbily—“Hey may bago na eh!”

Sometimes, it’s not the message itself but the manner how things are delivered. Classy...NOT!

They texted me to call this number: 632-702-0888, and it doesn’t work. Same with the alternative +632-802-7000. Why I am I not surprised? I ended up wasting minutes of my life (and pesos too because there’s no toll free number for provincial residents) calling that blasted number that only has an automated message. There are four minutes worth of the same crappy ads that tell about their services before the line goes dead. Up until my last phone call, I was still hoping to hear a human on the other end.

The trunkline is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and I’ve tried calling at different times to see if it would yield different outcomes. But soreeeeeh, even at exactly 7 a.m, when I thought I’d be the first, there was still no success. In the more than 10 times I’ve called, no human voice answers—ever. Such a huge waste of money on my part! I resorted to pm and a comment on their FB page in the hopes of getting some sort of reply, but again, no luck. Try and try again to make it work...but it sadly doesn’t. Paasa!

I perused the comments of other people online, and I realized that I am not the only one with this complaint. There are a lot of us out there lamenting the bogus phone number. A stranger suggested for me to try the “Manage Booking” option online using the regular website (not mobile or app).

To be fair, I was able to fix the time there, BUT I couldn’t reclaim the seats that I already paid for without forking out more money. Remember, I did not ask for this change. The airline dumped it on me. I should be getting answers straight from the staff and not some random people online. Why not call to inform me, especially if you’re gonna play hard to get?

Really, it baffles me, why a company would bother putting a number if no one is there to answer the phone? Does being a budget airline give CebuPac the license to treat people like dirt? Just be straight and don’t lead your clients on. It seems I am getting what I paid for. Budget fare, same service. I guess, I haven’t learned.

To be honest, Cebu Pak (not a typo) does offer the most competitive rates. The company indeed gets people from point A to point B for dirt cheap. For us ordinary people with a limited paycheck, but with itchy feet raring to move from one place to the next, this airline offers a sweet, cheap solution. And, I guess, we have to thank them for giving the Philippine flag carrier competition, paving the way for lower rates across the board. Because of them, many people can address their wanderlust.

I’ve long learned that the key to riding with this airline is to lower your expectations and be prepared for the worst, so you won’t get heartbroken. But the thing here is, I have lowered mine already, and yet NOW they have still managed to screw with my head and annoy me. And I haven’t even left the ground yet! Sigh. I am no longer surprised why many netizens have branded Cebu Pacific as Cebu PaciF**k!

No person should have to resort to a rant on Facebook (or in my case a newspaper) to get the attention they rightfully paid for. Customer service says a lot about a company. Whether you’re selling a Harry Winston diamond or cubic zirconia, all customers deserve respect because all of us work hard for our money. In this case, you be the judge. I really am not expecting a grand, special treatment, but please just be fair, Cebu Pacific, to every Juan!

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