This is a pretty dead week in terms of news, so I figured I’d pull out some lighter stories. One of our Cranky Concierge clients, let’s call him George Bailey, had an almost comically-terrible interaction with Orbitz customer service, and I thought I’d show it here.
George is in the middle of a holiday trip where the flight out was on United and the return on US Airways. It was booked on Orbitz, but he had two problems. The first was that his United Mileage Plus numbers weren’t showing up right with US Airways, and second was that after his upgrade cleared on United, that flight disappeared from the Orbitz reservation.
For the Mileage Plus numbers, I called US Airways directly and the airline had them showing up as Dividend Miles numbers. They fixed how Orbitz had inputted it and everything was fine. For the upgrade problem, this has happened a lot with United lately. It shows up fine in United’s system, and that’s all that matters. In other words, George’s reservation was fine all the way through. But the lack of good communication from Orbitz just made things worse.
Seems like a pretty clear email, right? Where is the outbound flight?
The response is clearly a form letter (“Dear Orbitz Customer”) and in no way addresses the issue at hand, so it’s time to try again.
Again, a straightforward email. But this time, he gets a personalized response from someone different.
Just reading this email made me want to reach through the computer. George never said anything about a return flight not being there. The outbound is missing. Is basic comprehension that hard?
So he gives it a shot once again.
Holy crap. Other than a passing mention of the real problem here, it’s not addressed. Instead, she gets distracted by the now-resolved Mileage Plus issue incorrectly saying that there are US Airways Dividend Miles numbers in the reservation. Not true.
One last effort to explain things.
Ah, the dreaded supervisor. I’m not sure what these regular agents are there for, because this question could have been answered about 100 times over, but it wasn’t. What a pain.
Really, all he needed was that last paragraph, but at least there was finally an end here. The good news is that United had everything looking right for his United reservation (he had no troubles on the flight out) and US Airways has everything set for his US Airways reservation, so it’s all good.
But what a frustrating customer service experience.