Monday, June 05, 2006

Customer Service: Part III

Alright, for those of you who've been reading my blog, you know that I've had a few brushes lately with the Customer Service Monster.

Today, I had 2 more "altercations." (ha)

First, I called Sony to double check that my laptop was actually going to arrive tomorrow. I asked a few questions because I wasn't getting a straight answer. The guy finally said, "Yeah, I think it should arrive tomorrow." So I asked, "Was it mailed today then?" And of course, he didn't know. His answer is that if I don't receive the computer by tomorrow, then I should call back and they'll find out for me. In the meantime, he put a "note" in my file.

Seriously, who really cares anymore... my expectations are so low. Hopefully the thing will show up this week.

Okay, so my second customer service experience was much worse. I guess it was actually 2 experiences. Last night and today, I called America West Airlines to try to redeem 2 $300 ticket vouchers that I have.

The reason that I have these vouchers is because I was totally booted off a flight and had to stay an additional night in a city that I was flying out of. And, on top of that, when it happened America West took around 2 hours to find my luggage so that I could actually make my way to the hotel. They couldn't even figure out their own computer system to give us a ticket - they had to call a technical support # unrelated to their company for over an hour. I should also mentioned that this all happened at around midnight. It was a red eye.

Fast forward to last night...

I called up with my fairly flexible travel plans and got an immediate answer that 'there is no route available between those cities that you can take.' I let them know that I was confused because this is the route that I was taking when I was booted from my previous flight. Then, I asked if the reasoning was because America West doesn't operate all of the legs of the flight-- or, are there no seats open for travel voucher holders.

Apparently, the customer service representative didn't know. His answer was, "most people who book these tickets have to call every day to find the one they want. I think you should call back tomorrow."


I could tell I was getting nowhere with him, so I did. I called today and this was my conversation...

Me: I'd like to make a reservation using my travel voucher.
AW: How did you get this travel voucher?
Me: By being kicked off a flight.
AW: Oh, we have almost no way for you to redeem those. There are almost no flights.
Me: Okay.
AW: Well, where do you want to go and on what dates?
Me: I'm traveling from LAX to OKC and I can travel anytime between July 6-13 and July 30-Aug 6.
AW: There are no spaces available on any of those dates.
Me: What about to Memphis?
AW: No.
Me: What about to Tulsa?
AW: No.
Me: What about to Dallas?
AW: Yes, there's one to Dallas on July 11th!
Me: Great! How's the return flight.
AW: Oh, there's no return flight available.
Me: Hmm... okay?
AW: You should call back tomorrow.

Am I crazy or is something wrong when you are willing to fly ANYTIME in a 2 week window to one of FOUR cities the airline flies to?

What's the point of giving up your seat and all that really, if they're just going to laugh at you later?

Apparently, I'm not the only one. There are entire forums devoted to complaining about airline customer service. There's even an air travel stress scale.

America West and United (they're partners in this weird deal) have gone way down in my book after this. I doubt I will ever fly with them again, other than to possibly redeem these damn vouchers!

1 comment:

Jake of All Trades said...

Sounds like the Towform boys have to go back to building CRM software. The side product of iNetNow was the way to go.

You can't recreate the wheel if there is no wheel...