Warning! This is a snark-free forum

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Christopher Elliott

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Aug 22, 2007
716
412
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Orlando
www.chriselliotts.com
#1
I've just received the fourth email in a day from an angry consumer. After referring them to this forum, where I invited them to post their question, they were met with a "snarky" and unhelpful response.

One reader called this site a "joke."

Look, if you want to be snarky, there are other forums you can participate in. But not this one.

We are not here to berate consumers when they fail to read the fine print. We are not here to judge whether someone is "deserving" of help or not.

We try to help EVERYONE.

We do so politely and promptly.

This is not the place to rip into an infrequent travelers just because they didn't notice the hidden restrictions on their ticket, or because they don't have access to a GDS or are quadruple-platinum elites. This is a snark-free forum.
 
Dec 13, 2014
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#3
Good for you! I have to say that I expect some form of snark and even trolling from just about any internet forum, it is the nature of the beast. However, I have been a little surprised at some of the responses from people noted as "Staff Member" or "advocate" in this forum. Yes, people need to have things pointed out to them and some people will always resent it no matter how gently it is done. That being said I have seen certain mods/staff being completely unprofessional in their responses.

Thank you for addressing it.
 

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
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#4
Thank you, Kirsten.

In future, if you see anything snarky, or unprofessional in any way, please click the "Report" button and let us know. We're trying to make this place the best it can be.

Grant
 
Likes: Kirsten
Jan 4, 2015
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#5
Thank you, Chris!

Although I can no longer travel much due to disabilities, I've followed your columns for years - first via msn travel, then more recently, via facebook, so I've gotten to recognize many of the frequent posters.

It can be very helpful when travel professionals weigh in with their expertise, but when frequent travelers or "pros" seem to criticize and point out all of the mistakes a "DIY" traveler makes, it's not helpful at all... it becomes "snarky." We're not all as experienced, ya know!
 
Likes: Grant Ritchie
Dec 13, 2014
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#8
Mistakes should absolutely be pointed out along with an explanation of what may be a good way to avoid them in the future. But when you simply point out the mistake and that's it or say something like "a non-refundable ticket is non-refundable" and nothing else; that's not helpful and can be taken as bashing.

Most of the people posting here are already irate with the treatment they've received from the place they are complaining about. Maybe they have a valid reason to be, maybe they don't but they can feel attacked when they're expecting to be helped and instead appear to be mocked for not knowing what they should have done. That may not be what the mod is doing but it can come across like that.
 

Christopher Elliott

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Aug 22, 2007
716
412
63
Orlando
www.chriselliotts.com
#11
Good discussion. We're not here to defend a company's policy. That's their job. We're here to help consumers, even if we're just a shoulder to cry on or a public forum to vent in.

We have some industry "experts" here who know a lot but think they are helping by simply explaining a company policy and telling a customer they're out of luck. That's not helpful.

People come here because they're out of luck. They know they've messed up.

We will do our best to help by giving them any options we can think of. That's why we're here.
 
Last edited:
Dec 26, 2014
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#12
After referring them to this forum, where I invited them to post their question, they were met with a "snarky" and unhelpful response.

...

This is not the place to rip into an infrequent travelers just because they didn't notice the hidden restrictions on their ticket, or because they don't have access to a GDS or are quadruple-platinum elites. This is a snark-free forum.
1. What does "snarky" mean? I'm totally lost reading the rest of this thread because I don't know what this means.

2. What's a GDS? Is this supposed to be GPS? I somewhat doubt it though because D and P are not near each other on the most commonly-used keyboard layout.

Thanks in advance (not TIA) for any help you can give me on this.
 

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
1,592
1,019
113
#13
Hi rs,

I had to Google "snarky." I know what it means to me, but wasn't sure about the dictionary definition. It must be a new word though, because I couldn't find it in my twenty-year-old American Heritage dictionary. Anyway, I Googled it, and the top definition is "sharply critical; cutting; snide." I think, to a greater or lesser degree, that describes the responses some of our customers have received from us, and we're not going to have it. Customers come here for help, not to be made to feel foolish.

Don't you just love these acronyms! I didn't know what GDS was either. Apparently, it's some kind of tool called Global Distribution System that travel agents use. What it is, I don't know, but here's a link to the Wiki page about it if you're interested:

Another one of my favorite things is people who pepper their posts with airport abbreviations... as if we're supposed to know all of them. "Well, I was booked from (ABC) to (DEF) with a stopover in (GHI), but due to bad weather, was diverted to (JKL). Can you get the airline to pay for my bus fare from (JKL) to (DEF). Please!

Ha! I almost Googled "TIA" before it dawned on me that it meant "Thanks in advance." Good one. :)

HTH!

What? Oh... "hope this helps."

Grant


 
Dec 26, 2014
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#16
@Raven great idea. Under "how to use this forum" there's a subform called "meet and greet." I just added it.
At the expense of Suggestions, it appears. Where can we find posts that were originally posted there? Is there a limit of 3 on the number of sub-forums under any forum?

Now off to turn off watching and emails in the hidden non-intuitive place, since this is a reply rather tban a new thread.
 
Likes: MsA
Jan 4, 2015
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#17
Customers come here for help, not to be made to feel foolish.
exactly! thank you, grant!

as i said above, the pros can offer a great deal of advice and insight, which are appreciated - *when" it's offered as such. but it's not so appreciated when it's simply presented as, "well, you should have... whatever" - they may know all that, but many of people who don't travel regularly don't. help us learn, but don't berate us for not knowing as much as you do, ok?