Monday, November 27, 2006

Cigars and a drink in the library, How 2.0.


Kevin said...

I hope the Bill W. meeting doesn't have drinks.

David said...

Nope. It is the cigar smokers. They sip their brandy, or whatever cigar smokers sip.

Anonymous said...

From: Wendy Bihler, on 4/3/08.

I've never "googled" myself before, but for some reason did so today. If I had done this sooner, I would have known about Mr. Bigwood's blog and his libelous remarks of 11/14/06 about me. The defamatory post, now removed from his Catalogablog, remains for all the world to see on FeedGarage. As long as Mr. Bigwood's damaging comments remain on the internet in perpetuity, I decided that to provide "the rest of the story" and to defend my reputation, I would add a few of my own.

In addition to the blog post, Mr. Bigwood submitted a complaint to the BBB on 11/14/06. After being notified by the BBB of Mr. Bigwood's complaint (he never mentioned it to me), I submitted the following letter in response. I submit it here now, as well.

December 16, 2006

BBB/Canton Regional and Greater West Virginia
PO Box 8017
Canton, OH 44711-8017

RE: BBB Case #25001959 – David Bigwood

Dear Ms. Corzine,

Recently, you provided me with a copy of a complaint made against me by Mr. David Bigwood. Although the matter did not require processing by your office, I would like for my letter and accompanying documentation to be included with my file.

On the afternoon of Monday, November 14, Mr. Bigwood left three voice mail messages for me, becoming increasingly agitated with each one. He said that there was a problem concerning his November 19th cruise, but did not mention what it was. I was away from my office that afternoon and did not receive his messages until that evening. At that time, I immediately telephoned him. (Apparently, before he allowed me time to even return his call, let alone address his problem, he left a message for Mike Sloan, President of Cruise Connections in North Carolina with whom I am affiliated AND also contacted the BBB). He said that while completing the online check-in, he discovered that the rate quoted was characterized as a “Senior” discounted rate and would require documentation proving his age or he would be charged the difference. Since neither he nor his wife was 55 or older, he was anxious about having to pay any additional money. I told him that I would contact the cruise line and get back to him.

Just like the airlines, cruise lines have numerous pricing models and a myriad of discounts. In this case, the cruise line did indeed have the reservation coded as a “Senior” rate. However, another coding of “Outside Special Rate” was the same price. The cruise line corrected the coding, assured me that the Bigwoods would have no trouble boarding and faxed me an updated reservation confirmation. I telephoned Mr. Bigwood and asked him if I might fax this same confirmation to him that evening. He provided a fax number and I sent it immediately. He never mentioned that he had contacted the BBB; I learned of it only when I received your letter.

I do not know how the Senior coding became associated with the reservation – it was simply an error. I do not believe that I told the cruise line that they were seniors – in an email I sent to Mrs. Bigwood on May 17th, I asked if either of them was 55 or older. Her response on May 31st did not address my question and I do not recall discussing it with her on the telephone. I did continue to check on fares after their cruise had been scheduled and got a lower one for them on August 19th. I thought this was a special offer and did not realize that this particular fare had the age restriction associated with it.

Believe me, after I spoke with Mr. Bigwood and then confirmed the situation with Royal Caribbean, I was dismayed. I am a reputable person and if the problem had not been so easily correctable, was prepared to absorb any price difference that might have been assigned to the Bigwoods. Mrs. Bigwood won this cruise from the Bay Area Chorus, a group with whom I have long been associated. I would never do anything to harm that relationship, nor would I conduct my business in a manner that was deceptive or intentionally incorrect.

I understand Mr. Bigwood’s panic. He and his wife received their documentation November 2nd (confirmed by UPS tracking). I had reminded them by email on that date to review the package, conduct the online check-in procedure and get in touch with me if there were any questions. Since they waited until almost two weeks later and just a few days before their sail date to do any of this, I’m sure that he was alarmed. I do not, however, understand why he felt it necessary to contact the BBB before allowing me or someone at Cruise Connections to contact him and attempt to resolve the situation. Needless to say, I was very upset that he made what I feel was a totally inappropriate and unnecessary complaint to the BBB but was equally pleased in knowing that I was able to make the situation right.