Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Screwed Cruise

I could have been on a nice boat in the ocean next month.

Last spring at CHA in Anaheim I was invited to a fund raiser for scrapbooking industry people where I also happened to donate a big pile of DVD's. Some of the items donated were to be drawn for and given away that evening. The big ticket item was tickets for 2 on a scrapbooking cruise the following year (next month.) I had a moment in the sun and when they announced the winner for the much anticipated big prize would have a gold sticker under their coffee saucer, I tipped... looked and someone next to me had to poke me and raise my hand to claim it because I don't usually win things and couldn't believe it.

Needless to say I was very excited. A few weeks passed after the dust of CHA settled and I called the number on the certificate. No answer so I left a message explainign everything and my number. A week or so later I tried again, left another message with my number. No call. I called a month or two later and didn't bother to leave another message figuring the company went out of business with the scores of other fine scrapbooking establishments that sadly took a dive last year.

A few weeks ago I was cleaning out boxes in my office and found the certificate along with the supplemental sheet that came with it promoting another scrapbooking cruise during the same time.

I'll admit I was a little bitter and wanted to get to the bottom of what happened. The number I had called was disconnected so I called the numbers on the other promotional sheet and talked to Kathleen. I explained what happened and had a hard time convincing her I was at CHA, who I was, what I had won and why she should believe me.

She did end up giving me a newer number for Carl Wopperer, the gentleman I was trying to get a hold of months ago. Carl remembered the certificate, said he was very sorry but the cruise was canceled and I was out of luck.

HUH?! Me: "But I tried to call you..." Carl: "Oh, yeah. I was in the hospital during that time and someone else was checking my voicemails." Me: "Nobody returned my calls.. well do you have any other scrap cruises going on?" Carl: " Yes. Oh I'm so sorry... that cruise was canceled. I don't know, maybe we can book you on something for next year. I'll call you if I work something out."

Weeks later and no call. I understand binds like this and the big drag for me is that in the last two years I've bent over backwards with innumerable crazy requests from people I've sold things too, done business with, traveled hundreds of miles to appear for, and gotten shafted in ways that only someone self employed could understand when it comes to the "grin and bear it" principle.

Carl Wopperer of CW Productions and Kathleen at travelcenter4u.com, I'm sure you're great people to go have coffee with but your customer service and business skills suck in a big, big way. You could've thrown me a bone, followed up, been attentive, given me the benefit of the doubt, something. Anything.

This post will undoubtedly make it's way over the next couple weeks to google where someone will do a search for "CW Productions","Carl Wopperer" or "travelcenter4u.com" and with any luck it will make it's way up the rankings as people link to it or post their own stories of someone dropping the ball.

With high ranking expectations I'd like to present a list of things someone could do in lieu of sending my wife and I on a cruise promised in writing:

Let us tag along with another cruise - heck, I'll teach a class if you want.

Send me a muffin basket.

Send me a nice card with a Caribou Coffee gift certificate. ( Sorry Seattle. )

Send me an email with a funny joke or picture of cats and dogs doing human things.

Record "Lost" for me. Maybe explain who the invisible guy in the cabin is.

Send me chocolate in any form with a smilie face note.

Send me a bottle of single malt scotch.

Write me an email saying the break up isn't my fault. "It's not you, it's me."

Don't be such a stranger - at least send a Christmas card.

Say a prayer for me, light a candle and appease both our consciences.

Write or dedicate a song to me.

Maybe a McDonald's gift certificate?

A Panhead Harley with kick start and suicide clutch.

How about an all expenses paid trip from Seattle to Bellingham, WA.?

A big bag of 2,300 Yen? It's only worth twenty bucks but feels like more.

One of those six foot "London Calling" Clash posters snapped mid-smashing a guitar.

Have someone write my name is Chinese to hang on the wall.

Teach me how to make corn dogs and doughnuts at home.

Maybe find an upstanding member of the twin Cites community to come over and give me a good firm handshake, warm smile and a "put 'er there pal... you've got moxie."

See, if you can't foot the bill for another cruise then buck up, admit a screw up and try to make it right. Denial will come back and bite you in the butt in this day and age. Your reputation is all you've got and posts on blogs float around the cyber sphere for a mighty long time.



At 3:30 AM, Blogger D@nielle said...

hmmmm i usually treat people the way i would like to be treated, now maybe they do that tooo .... Power to the internet ;)

At 6:05 AM, Blogger wes said...


I was munching on breakfast and checking google this morning for various things, typed in Carl's name and the second entry was this blog.

That's a seven hour turn around time.

Those bot's are scouring the internet... I need to choose words carefully.

At 7:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, this blog and post has been sited on Scrapsmack, so the cat's out of the bag about these people now!

At 9:56 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

You would think that they would at least offer you a seat on their next cruise.
On another note I can send you a DVD of Lost, love having my dvd burner attached to my TiVo :), and kind of explain who the invisible guy is

At 1:13 PM, Blogger wes said...

Uh Oh,

I hope this thing doesn't blow into something bigger than it is. I'm just irked, not out for blood or anything.

Next thing you know it will be national news... a full on scandal like Kristi Contes using a friends picture for a layout.

Melissa, you hacker you! You've got the best of both world's going with the burner / Tivo thing. Copies with no commercials.

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Googled "Carl Wopperer" in 1.09 seconds this blog came up first out of 1490 entries!

Great job!

At 5:47 PM, Blogger wes said...

1.09 seconds? Yikes.

Maybe I should start using my powers for good instead of evil...

At 6:19 AM, Blogger ScrapsofMe said...

Well, if you want a free cruise out of Tampa, come see me. We'll take you guys out on our 16 foot Whaler and have a picnic on Beer Can Island, watch the sunset, have a bonfire and then putz home by moonlight. If you pay me $5 I won't serenade you in the moonlight. You'll probably see dolphins, manatees and sea turtles as we go along. Grammie Pamie

At 1:22 PM, Blogger Sissykidd said...

Customer service is everything right now. it's sad to hear you won something and they are doing nothing to fix there mess up!

At 5:26 AM, Blogger wes said...

Grammie Pammie - That sounds like the perfect cruise to me. What am I doing in Minnesota? My long range retirement plans were always to move to Florida and have an internet bar on the beach with live music and the blenders always churning.

$5 not to serenade us? I have to think after contributing to Beer Can Islands namesake everyone would be singing. We'd be a public nuisance at sea with not as many dolphins, manatees and turtles near the boat on the way home.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Minda said...

A love it. A cyber complaint: when phone calls and emails don't do the trick. The modern age is the new frontier in communication! Score!

Sorry to hear you aren't cruising next month though, it would have made a nice break from this muck and cold.

At 8:27 AM, Blogger Minda said...

Hey, you are good! 1.09 seconds to the top! Can you post something on your blog about people needing to give your friend Minda money? I'm pretty short this month. My paypal account is squngee@comcast.net.

Thanks! (wink)

At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

another scrap smacker passing on your story.......

TFS about the shady business going on the scrapping industry. It sux.

At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt any blood will be spilled ;) but I sure hope they're embarrassed by how they mistreated you.

...yet another smacker

At 12:47 PM, Blogger OGD Critic said...

Hi Wes! As much as the internet allows us to be anonymous it’s good to know that the “bots” pull it all up for other consumers.

A group of my pals and I learned the hard way about scams and bad service, but with the power of the net we were able to warn other scrappers and although it took nearly a year, the guy is out of business and actually sitting in jail, on a different charge of course, and the site is finally down, we guess it’s because he couldn’t pay the bill.

The bottom line, don’t beat yourself up, you experienced poor service and the cruise was a bust, how is anyone going to know if we don’t’ speak up about it, blogging has been an excellent tool for that very thing.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger CyndiAKADisneyqueen said...

Wow. I am guessing one day someone is going to regret their bad service record. Especially when they google their own name (lol).


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