|by Jason Steele|
I always thought it would be a neat idea to have a telephone concierge service. There are so many times that I have been lost, or needed some information, but had no way of getting online to find out. In the era of smartphones, most people do not have that problem anymore. Nevertheless Visa offers a telephone concierge service for it’s signature card members.
Free Frequent Flier Miles!
This week, I received a letter in the mail saying that I would receive a Rapid Rewards credit from Southwest Airlines if I tried their Visa Signature Concierge service. I didn’t have to anything, just call and try it. Ok, it is not a “mile”, just a credit, but I am such a sucker for free frequent flier stuff, I had to call and check it out.
The solicitation boasts of a 24-hour concierge service that can do things such as:
- Arrange a car service
- Reserve tee times
- Plan a surprise party
- Score tickets to the big game
- Get directions to a restaurant out of town
So in the interests of informing my readers about this service, as well as scoring a valuable Rapid Rewards credit, I decided to give them a call to test them out.
How Did They Do?
Not that good. First, I had to enter in my credit card number and go through a phone tree to find the concierge service. If that wasn’t time consuming enough, I then had to wait on hold for 20 minutes. So much for “preferred treatment”. I hate to see how the non-preferred are treated! When I did finally reach an agent, I had to first enroll in the service, reciting the same account number I had already given, one of my pet peeves.
I decided to ask for directions to a nearby restaurant. The agent was very polite and was able to give me the address and directions of the restaurant in question, but only after putting me on hold for another minute or so. Never mind that I had already Googled it’s location in about 3 seconds.
What Is The Service Good For?
If you are somewhere where you have phone service, but you don’t have access to the Internet, this might be a valuable service. if I was just looking for a phone number, an address, or directions, I would probably just use Googles free service, 800-GOOG411. The solicitation that I received did offer a few intriguing possibilities that might be more valuable. It offers to give you savings of 10% on concert tickets and $15 off of Broadway tickets, and 20% off movie tickets, however, I was unable to confirm those savings.
Based on my experience, their service is friendly and accurate, just not very quick. As they say, your mileage may vary.