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Cruise line's attitude makes former passenger jump ship

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Rochelle had a really bad trip aboard a cruise ship, so what she should be asking about is travel insurance. But her question concerns customer service.

Specifically, why is it sometimes so bad?

Rochelle broke her back while on a cruise. Needless to say, the trip was ruined. Now that she's better, she'd like to give cruising another try.

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Rochelle contacted the cruise line. She said she knew her accident wasn't the company's fault. She said she wasn't threatening them with a lawsuit. She just wanted to know whether it would be possible, under the circumstances, to receive a small discount on her next trip.

Of course, the cruise line had no requirement to cut a former passenger a break. But its response to Rochelle's request speaks volumes.

The company immediately turned her down and then put her in touch with a risk-management specialist, as if she was nothing more than a ticking legal time bomb.

That was certainly within the company's rights. Here's the thing: By making a modest goodwill gesture to a former customer, the company could have reaped enormous PR and word-of-mouth benefits.

As it stands, all it did was persuade a former customer to take her business elsewhere. Any future cruises, Rochelle said, would be with another cruise line.

If you have a consumer question, email me at asklaz@latimes.com or contact me via Twitter @Davidlaz.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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