Delta, Delta, Delta
My friends were traveling from Manchester, NH to Dallas, TX yesterday and ran into problem after problem with Delta Airlines. I thought it would be good for everyone to hear about their story.
They arrived and checked in for their flight from Manchester NH to Laguardia Airport in New York. Unfortunately, their flight and the flight after theirs was cancelled due to weather in New York. I helped them find other flights going out of Boston while they were in line for customer service. I also told them not to expect any compensation when problems arise from weather. Customer service was finally able to book them a flight out of Boston to Memphis and then on to Dallas.
My friends headed home and caught a Bus down to Boston Logan Airport. They checked in to their new flight and headed for the bar. Their spirits were still up and stressed was lightened thanks to some tasty cocktails. When they were in line to board my friend sent a text to me telling me they were finally good to go.
A little while later I got a call and I knew something was up - they couldn't be in Memphis already. Apparently, their flight took off, couldn't pressurize and they had to return to Logan. The entire plane was de-boarded and everyone was told the flight was cancelled. At the airport the representatives offered to put my friends up at a hotel 25 minutes away or give them a voucher for a taxi ride back to their house in New Hampshire.
Last night she sat for 1.5 hours waiting to speak to customer service on the phone. After finally reaching a representative she was told they only compensation they would receive is a $50 voucher that everyone else on the flight would receive as well.
My friends just landed in Dallas, 24 hours after they were supposed to. I am amazed at the lack of compassion from Delta Airlines especially when comparing them to airlines like Jetblue.
Shopping on Newbury Street Part 2
Here are a couple of the shops that I noticed on Newbury Street (Boston MA) and didn't have a chance to visit. I'm hoping to hit up a few of these on our next venture into the city.
Second Time Around
Sabatino and Co
Blogs that shouldn't be missed
Here are some travel, food, and/or multi-interest blogs that I enjoy.
SOWA Open Market - Boston MA
We had such an enjoyable time at the SOWA Open Market it is definitely an event that shouldn't be missed. The Market is open every Sunday from May 6th - October 28th from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Here are some of our favs:
Greg and I both agree that everyone must try a dish from the Staff Meal Food Truck. The food is inventive, hits all taste buds, and is offered at great prices.
We enjoyed the Chinese Sausage Taco (Fried Rice, Black Bean Mayo, Fried Garlic) and the “The Irene” Burrito (Pork Neck Chilli, Whole Mess of Fritos, Rice n' Beans, Guacamole, and Alex's Ugly Sauce)
This was our 2nd time trying the Bon Me Truck. The food was just as good as we remembered and the service had increased in speed since our last visit. We ordered our usual - Barbecue Pork Sandwich (Toasted Baguette, pickled daikon and carrot, cucumbers, cilantro, red onion, house-made spicy mayo, and house-made pate). Delicious! I have previously tried the Thai Basil Limeade but opted for the Spicy Ginger Lemonade this time. The lemonade was nice but wasn’t the spicy ginger flavor I was hoping for. Next time I’ll stick with the Thai Basil Limeade.
Guys Healthy Home Cooking
We tasted and ended up purchasing the Green Pea Pate. Unlike many other spreads / dips out at the market the Green Pea Pate is Dairy Free. The spread is sweet and savory although not exactly an appealing color (probably because it contains no additives or artificial colors). I brought it home and enjoyed it on some toast points.
I am amazed at the amount of flavor that is in just one little Cashew from Q’s Nuts! It just so happened that I recently received a bag of Cashews / Almonds from another company so I really had something to compare Q’s Nuts to. The other company offered a satisfying snack. Q’s Nuts especially the Banana Foster Cashews is an entire dessert in snack form. I have also tried the Mexican Chocolate Cashews and they are a good mix of sweet and savory. My only wish was that it would have had a pinch of cayenne.
Sal’s Homemade Potato Chips
We purchased Sal’s Rosemary Truffle Potato Chips on a whim at the market. I am so glad that we did! Some truffle flavored products can be serious let downs. Sal’s has the perfect combination of Rosemary, Salt, and Truffles. Neither of the ingredients overpowers the others. I am enjoying these chips as we speak but can’t wait for these to be my fall snack!
Art markets, boutiques, and small vendors are my favorite places to buy clothes. Not only do you meet great people with a passion for design but you find items that are made by a cookie cutter. Ashley Conchieri is an artist. Yes I do believe fashion can be an art! Her designs are unique and bold. I purchased the Armour Serape (hand woven, hand felted. merino wool) but I was also quite taken with her Infinity Scarves in summer colors.
Delicious in Boston
3 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116
I just posted a new review about these delightful morsels!
Oliviers & CO
161 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116
Oils, Vinegars, and Condiments. I absolutely love Oliviers & Co for several of their products. One of our favorite dishes is Pasta with Tuscan Kale. I top this dish with the Lemon Olive Oil from O&Co. I also love their Premium Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. The Vinegar is rich, sweet, and has the perfect amount of tartness.
141A Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116
If you are like me and appreciate a finely crafted piece of chocolate than you must visit Hotel Chocolate. The staff are knowledge and seem as though they might be foodies themselves. The variety of chocolates is astounding, I could spend forever reading the details of each one. Once you taste the smooth chocolate with depth of flavors you will always want to buy from Hotel Chcolate.
Below is a letter we are drafting to Kelly Fiat. Greg has just now picked up my car. He found that the piece Kelly Jeep in Lynnfield MA was fixing wasn't done properly and caused it to break. In addition to that my car is filthy and was not detailed as it was supposed to be. We now have to bring my car back yet again to be properly fixed. Greg is on his way to Kelly Fiat now to show them the disgrace.
I am writing to relay my Fiat service experiences as a new car owner. I apologize for the length of the letter. I felt it necessary to provide the details of my service experience.
I purchased a Fiat 500c in December of 2011. The shopping and purchase experience with the Fiat dealership was very polished. As a dealership, you went the extra mile to deliver the car to me at my work after repairing the mirror adjustment electronics (which were not working at time of purchase).
Unfortunately, this is where the positive experience has ended. On June 16 of 2012 I brought the Fiat in for its first scheduled fluid change. Because the service needed to be completed at Kelly Jeep, I made a point to speak with a servicer representative and make an appointment (Round trip to this dealership from my house is around an hour). In addition to the fluid change, I also asked that the roof liner above the driver side window be inspected. I noticed the roof panel was not attached and the panel edge was below the molding.
The overall customer experience of this appointment was poor. The fluid change took approximately 90 minutes, and only after I inquired as to why it was taking so long, was I informed that other Fiat related updateds were also being performed. I appreciate having the service department take the initiative of doing the work, but I also would have appreciated knowing this would be performed and the wait time associated with it. Additionally, I was informed the repair to the roof panel required parts to be ordered. The Service representative (Arvis I believe) told me I should call the service department in four to five days to see if the parts are in, asked that I be called when the parts arrive as I didn’t believe I needed to follow up on a repair that should not be needed in a new car. I also asked if I could make the follow-up appointment for Saturday the 30th, as my work and travel schedule requires me to plan ahead. Arvis informed me he could not schedule the appointment until the parts arrived, but that it should be “no problem” After an additional 15 minute wait (while my car sat outside the waiting area) I was provided my keys and was on my way.
After receiving no follow up, I called the service department on June 25th. The Service Department transferred me to the parts department, where the parts employee who answered the phone told me he was not the correct person for Fait parts and transferred me to the service department, to be transferred to the parts department again. Finally, an employee named Dan sensed my frustration and after not finding me in the system, offered to call me back after he looked into it. Dan called back shortly thereafter to tell me he did not have the parts, and they would be available in four to five days. He offered to call me when they came in which I thanked him for. I then asked to be transferred to the Service Department where I again attempted to schedule an appointment for the 30th and again was told it could not be scheduled until the parts came (I am not sure who I spoke with). I again discussed my need to plan for the appointment and was told it would be “no problem” to schedule the appointment.
On Thursday, June 28th, I called to check on the parts, after having no contact from the Service or Parts department. I was told the parts were in and transferred to the Service department, who informed me there was “no possibility” of getting in on the 30th. I begrudgingly scheduled the appointment for my next free day on July 14th. I asked the Service Representative what the duration of the fix and was told it was a one day job; I would be provided a loaner car for the day and could pick it up in the evening.
On July 9th, I called to confirm the appointment. At this point I had lost faith in the Service Department’s ability to execute and felt it was my responsibility to follow up and confirm. The appointment was on track.
On the 14th I arrived at 8:00 am to drop off my Fiat and pick up the loaner car. While dropping off my car I was told it would be a two day job and the car would not be ready until Monday. I attempted to take it in stride. I expected at least one additional issue based on the experience thus far, and I didn’t want to rush the work, after all, the car is about 6 months old. The transition to the loaner car took about 30 minutes since I had to get back out of the loaner car and inform the staff that there was no fuel in the car. As I drove the car home, I became aware of the overall lack of cleanliness in the vehicle. The floorboards and carpeting were filled with beach sand, the dash was extremely dirty, and a food wrapper fell out from under the seat. I opted to vacuum and wipe down the car when I got home, as it was embarrassing to drive anyone in that vehicle.
My follow-up at 11:00 am on Monday, June 16th revealed “they were about to start the work”. I voiced my discouragement in this wasn’t the message I had been told earlier. I was then told there were no Fiat technicians working on Saturday. I asked why the appointment was not rescheduled rather than the duration of the appointment expended, but at this point, any response would not have been acceptable.
Promised follow up calls to me ensuring the car would be available by 5:00 pm were not made, and after waiting an hour and a half for the “call right back”, I attempted to call the service department, experienced the now standard three transfers, and gave up after being unable to reach the service department. Around 1:00 pm I was able to reach the Service department and was told the clips were being put in as we spoke and the car would be ready by 5:00 pm.
On average, my wife and I purchase a new car every three to five years, and this is by far the least professional experience I have ever had with a service department. Due to the frequency of the issues, I do not believe I am the only customer one who experiences these types of communication breakdowns, mixed messages and lack of follow through when dealing with the service department. The overall attitude I receive from the service department is one of indifference, which is in stark contrast to the level of service I regularly received from dealerships when servicing my other vehicles.
I wanted to relay my experience to you because it has devalued the overall interaction with Kelly Auto group and will weigh heavily as a factor in my decision of where I make a future car purchase and when offering advice to other regarding dealerships. I had expected your organization to provide higher quality service when repairing a defect that should not have occurred in a new car, or, at the very least, offered apology for the inconvenience and lost time associated with the repair; I have received neither. If you would like to further discuss my experience with the Kelly Auto group, I would be happy to share them with you.
What a great weekend!
We have visited:
Myers and Chang
Lucky Brand Jeans
Oliviers & CO
Unfortunately we didn't make it to Rockport today - it turned out to be more of a hang with friends by the pool day but there are many other weekends to do some more "mini trips!"
Party Favors I've been working on
Eataly - New York City
We entered through the Gelato area and came across a two Caffe’s, the Gelato shop, Venchi Chocolates (one of my favorites), the Pasticceria (bakery – which included gluten and dairy free choices), and the Panini (sandwiches) area. We then walked through the salumi, cheese, dairy, produce, meat, seafood, bread, pasta and beer areas. The restaurants in the middle of Eataly weren’t open yet but we did get to experience the chefs prepping for the day.
After visiting every nook and cranny of Eataly we settled on purchasing porchetta (roasted pork sliced thinly), red wine salami, chocolates from Venchi, flourless hazelnut cakes (gluten and dairy free), and an imported beer (to be reviewed later).
For lunch Greg and I ordered Porchetta Panini’s with Giardiniera (pickled cauliflower, celery, carrots, and bell pepper), our friend Tom ordered a Proscuitto Panini. All three were completely satisfying! My friend Robyn has a gluten intolerance and therefore couldn’t order a Panini. She went to the Salumi counter and ordered some Proscuitto. Next she went and talked to the people at the Mozzarella counter. Unfortunately, they only sell 2 or more balls of Mozzarella and since we were leaving soon it would go to waste. One of the workers had a soft spot for Robyn when he heard she couldn’t eat bread. He gave her a small ball of mozzarella with a plate and a knife for free. Needless to say Robyn thoroughly enjoyed her lunch.
If you are Italian, love Italian food, or adore different shopping and dining experiences you must visit Eataly!
200 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Hotel Sofitel NYC - Response
Here is a response from the Hotel Sofitel in New York City in regards to my review. Here is a link to my review http://wanderlusthearts.weebly.com/new-york.html
GMTito, General Manager at Sofitel New York, responded to this review
July 12, 2012
Thank you for spending the time telling us about your experience at Sofitel New York, we really sorry that we were not able to meet your expectations about our hotel and its services.
To reach a great guest experience is a must for us and at every Sofitel around the world, and we work very hard for it, we believe that having the chance to know what you have experienced is the best tool we can have to improve and like this reach our promises.
We regret that we could not provide the seamless service that you deserve and all the confusing situations you experienced, our hotel was fully booked at the time and there were no available rooms that we could offer you. All of our guests’ requests are important to us, but we are limited by the number of rooms with the specifications that are requested.
We apologize as well for some inattentive service at the reception, while that individual does not reflect our philosophy or the way we train our staff, we are very concerned that you did not receive the exemplary service you deserve. I have requested that our head of human resources institute a review of our training procedures.
We hope that you will consider staying at Sofitel New York, again so that we may show you the gracious hospitality and superb service for which we are known around the world.