I wanted to schedule a vacation. So I needed some plane and hotel reservations. These days there are a lot of choices for services that assist you with this. My default choice is to use Yahoo Travel. I don’t do this because they have the best service or interface. I do it because for many years, Yahoo provided a number of services free of charge for me. And I like to return the favor whenever I can. I figure that I have to buy tickets and stay somewhere anyway. So I might as well throw my old friend Yahoo some business.
Yahoo Travel started to make it easy for me to find flights. I entered details about my origin and destination. I also entered how many people I needed tickets for. The site helped me choose departing and return flights. The cost seemed ok. After entering some more personal information, I clicked the button to purchase some airline tickets. I got back an error message stating the transaction would not go through because of lack of availability. That seemed strange. I repeated the whole process a couple more times. Each time it bombed out when I tried to finalize the transaction. I spent a lot of time trying to give Yahoo my business.
In the end, I used one of the airlines direct web sites to purchase tickets. The transaction went through without a hitch. Yahoo should really get their Travel site working for me. They already have me as a loyal customer. Now they just need to perfect their execution and they will make money off me. The free services Yahoo provided in the past such as games, e-mail, and finance have gone a long way to win me over as a customer. I truly feel like I owe them a lot. Even with the troubles and wasted time I spent with they Travel site.
To demonstrate how loyal a customer I am to Yahoo, I went back to their site after I purchased airlines tickets elsewhere. I successfully used Yahoo to purchase a rental car for a week. At least Yahoo made some money off that transaction. However they really could have cleaned up if their Travel site worked for me the first time. I am such a good customer, I might even take some time to get in contact with the guys that work their Travel site problems to see if I can help them correct their service. So I guess this post is really about the benefits of free services that might gain a loyal customer following in the end.
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