First, they wouldn't let me book the plane tickets, so I had to call the credit card company and assure them that it's really me making those fraudulent charges. That was going well, until we got to the part where the travel agency charged me three times for service fees on a reservation that never actually went through.
So I called them. "My reservation is still pending, but you charged me the service fees anyway. Is there a way I can get that refunded?"
"What is your reservation number?"
"I was not given one, since the reservation is still pending."
"Miss, you wait. You have to wait." And then, happy, flighty music. Call waiting. Okay, so she was being literal. After a minute of looping synthesizer: "Miss, do you have your confirmation number?"
Was she giving me time to find my non-existent reservation number? I mentioned again that I had none and that the reservation was still pending. And added this: "I am not wondering about the reservation but about the three credit card charges."
So she asked for my email address, found the reservation, and informed me that it was still pending. Yes, thank you. Now, about the charges?
"Miss, you need to wait. Your reservation confirmation will be there. You just need to wait."
"No, I understand that. I am not calling about the pending reservation. I am calling because I was charged for three service fees on that reservation."
"You have to wait! Just wait."
"What about the--"
"Just wait. Your reservation confirmation will be in your email."
"I understand that. I am not calling about my reservation. I am calling about the three service charges I got while trying to make that reservation. My bank is telling me that you charged me three times for using your site, even though the reservation is pending."
"You need to wait. Your reservation will be confirmed."
"I. Understand. That. Will the extra charges be able to be refunded?"
"You need to wait. They take money out, put it out, take it out again."
Um, what?! "Um, what?"
"They take it out, put it in, take it out, put it in. You have to wait."
"So...I need to wait to see if I have really gotten charged or not?"
"You need to wait. Your reservation will be there in twelve hours."
"I believe my reservation was cancelled, so I am actually wondering about the service fees and whether they can be refunded."
"Take it out, put it in. You need to wait, Miss. Your reservation will be there."
Well, thanks for that fabulous customer service. There comes a point when I need to be more bold and just hang up the phone, but I hate conflict and always end up exceeding that point by ten minutes. I finally just thanked her, hung up, and redialed--this time, reaching a man who was slightly more coherent. And then we all did the eDreams Hokey Pokey: You put the money in, you put the money out, you put the money in, and you call your bank again.
Well, it's funnier today than it was yesterday. So much can be solved by a good cry.