I am writing to you because it’s come to the point where this relationship just isn’t working for me. I was a loyal USAir customer for years, earning Chairman’s preferred status with them. Yeah, I fly a lot. Then AA and USAir merged, which is an interesting use of the word. I am hearing Richard Attenborough describing how the Great White Shark merged with the hapless harbor seal, but perhaps I digress. The thing is, today, you really treated me like shit, and it’s time for me to see other airlines.
How did you fail me? Let me count the ways.
- AA decided to cancel a flight 8 hours in advance.
- But, they decided to wait three hours to call about it. Thank the gods for TripIt notifications,
- and thank the gods I didn’t sit around waiting, but booked with a competing airline so I could get home, because
- by the time I got AA notification, ALL other flights out were sold out. But wait, there’s more!
- You rebooked me on a flight, TWENTY FOUR HOURS LATER???!!! Dude, seriously? What the fuck makes that seem like a sound or rational idea in anyone’s book? There were FIVE, not one or two or three or even four, no, FIVE earlier flights, which still have seats available two hours after you thought 24 hours later was a good idea. Did you fall and hit your head?
- While you cancelled my flight, and I made it clear that I have already found my own way home, your CSR told me I have to go online to request a refund for the flight you cancelled. Not a flight I missed. Not a flight I wanted to change. A flight you cancelled, yet I have to do the work to get my money back. And since there is no clear way to do that, I am pretty sure my next call is to AMEX so that they can tell you to go piss up a rope on that one. They at least still understand customer service.
So, online, you have the Customer Blueprint. Interesting that at the top is customer loyalty, yet it seems to be at the very bottom of my experience.
I came over with the USAirways merger/acquisition/global domination/debacle call it what you will. I was Chairman’s with them, but seem to only rate now a Platinum. That sounds pretty good, but presumably you have Vibranium, and Adamantium, and Unobtanium, because Platinum with you feels a lot more like used Tinfoil status. But hey, you know what? Delta was perfectly happy to map that to Emerald and welcomed me on with a smile, and an upgrade.
I will agree that you delivered a differentiated experience; just not in a good way.
So here’s a suggestion for you. Add a row, near that chart on top, that takes a page from Wil Wheaton’s book. One line, really simple…don’t be a dick. Ooh, bad language? Sorry, how about, don’t treat people like shit. Oh, damn, there I went again. Maybe instead, try this. “Act like you give a rat’s ass about your customers, before they are someone else’s customers.”
The DogHouse Diaries ran a comic recently. Pretty sure the author wrote this while on the receiving end of similar stellar customer service from your airline.
I did go online to register my distress. This is the automated form I got back.
|October 23, 2015 Dear Mr. Fisher:
Thank you for contacting American Airlines Customer Relations. This is an automated acknowledgment, giving me a chance to share with you right away what is happening with your message. First, while this email is not intended as a response to the remarks you just submitted, it does confirm we have received your comments and have assigned a reference number, which you see below. Next, we would like to reassure you that we appreciate all feedback. We happily share compliments with the employees who earn them. Please rest assured that we are also committed to answering every complaint we receive, and a representative from our department will get back to you as soon as possible. The Customer Relations team are eager to resolve issues that arise in the hope of seeing you flying American Airlines again and again. Last, let me clarify that if you inquired about an upcoming or current trip, we ask that you contact our Reservations staff, who are available 24 hours a day and will be in a better position to answer questions about your trip. In the U.S., the toll-free number is 800-433-7300. Outside the U.S., please refer to “Worldwide Reservations Phone Numbers” listed on aa.com. Similarly, questions about using or finding information on aa.com can be more directly addressed at www.aa.com/webservices.
Thank you for flying American Airlines. Sean Bentel Customer Relations American Airlines Your Reference number to this request: 1-4620821987
HAHAHA!!!! That’s rich. More likely to see pigs fly, but maybe someone will call me Monday and try to salvage this relationship. I am not counting on it, and have already booked my next three trips with Delta, but hey, I am willing to answer the phone if AA is willing to reach out. I’m just not holding my breath on this since it sure seems like you just don’t give a damn.