'Dear (CUSTOMER NAME)' – the world's least sincere apology

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by uggboy, Aug 1, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    'Dear (CUSTOMER NAME)' – the world's least sincere apology

    letter3_2993473bUnited1.jpg
     
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  2. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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  3. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    Not surprised at all
     
  4. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    Cant really blame the form factor aspect. Everyone does it. But yeah, sending it out without filling in the blanks.... Thats pretty bad.
     
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  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Indeed; the problem is not that they use a form letter. It is that they forgot to fill it in. Such is life.
     
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  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I guess United didn't want to go overboard with the apology...

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-art-of-the-airline-apology-1404947542

    United said it tries not to go overboard on the apology. "Generally we tell the customer we are sorry they did not have the experience they expected on United," spokesman Rahsaan Johnson said. "We try to be empathetic to the customer but not sound insincere."

    [​IMG]
     
  7. mikeschu
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    mikeschu Gold Member

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  8. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    ....and what a life it is to receive such an apology letter. :oops::(
     
  9. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    They couldn't deliver even the most basic thing. That's pretty bad indeed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
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  10. FetePerfection
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    FetePerfection Silver Member

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    The only thing worse would be a post-it note attached saying "send the idiot the cockroach letter"
     
  11. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Complain about the letter...
     
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  12. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    ... by using your own form letter! Only this time, hand-write in the blank spaces! ;)
     
  13. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Thanks for the link to the WSJ article, HaveMilesWillTravel! It provides some great insight into the airline's "complaint departments". From the article:

    "United Airlines, which had the highest rate of complaints filed at the DOT among major airlines the past three years, has a team of about 450 customer-care agents handling general issues and refunds. Add to that 400 people handing frequent-flier program issues and about 100 answering baggage-related letters and emails." and

    "Complaints are sorted by complexity and by the value of the customer—top-tier frequent fliers and big spenders get priority. A low-level customer may get 3,000 frequent-flier miles for a canceled flight, while a high-value customer who complains is soothed with 10,000 miles."

    Finally:

    "United said it tries not to go overboard on the apology." Mission Accomplished! :eek:
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  14. Terry Yap

    Terry Yap Gold Member

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    "Complaints are sorted by complexity and by the value of the customer—top-tier frequent fliers and big spenders get priority. A low-level customer may get 3,000 frequent-flier miles for a canceled flight, while a high-value customer who complains is soothed with 10,000 miles."

    and sounds like i should add "the least important/very low-level customer' may get a letter with case fields left empty" :p
     
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  15. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I hate the form letters that try to sound personal and sincere by inserting my name into the body of the letter. No one would ever write a real business letter that way. It seems fake and unprofessional.
     
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  16. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    And you can be sure that (CUSTOMER NAME)'s (SPECIFIC EVENT) will now be "used for coaching and training" countless UA employees! :rolleyes:
     
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  17. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    When I read that I couldn't help but remember Heller's Catch 22, with the form letter for notifying loved ones of casualties.
     
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  18. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    At least you received a reply. I wrote to 1kvoice two weeks ago about a serious problem, and they have not yet replied at all. When I get home tomorrow, I am going to forward the email to Smisek's office. I suspect that when they see that I have already booked enough travel to qualify for 1K again this year going out to October 29th that I'll get a phone call. The results of that call, however, I'm not about to predict. My hopes are not high at this point.
     
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  19. Terry Yap

    Terry Yap Gold Member

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  20. Flyer1976
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  21. Terry Yap

    Terry Yap Gold Member

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    possible, except that the person this letter was sent to was a Florida journalist, Mr Chris Chmura :rolleyes:
     
  22. Flyer1976
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    I suspect foul play then. ;)
     
  23. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I received the most sincere, well written, articulate email last week that I have ever received from UA. It was a reply to a compliment email that I wrote about an absolutely angelic baggage desk employee who helped me out of a real predicament that was truly nobody's fault, but left me in a major jam none-the-less. She went WELL beyond the call of duty, and it was out of pure kindness that she did so, thus I felt that it deserved notice by her employer.

    It could be that they get so few of these that someone felt compelled to respond with a genuine expression of appreciation for my having taken the time to acknowledge the exceptional measures that this woman took to reunite me with my misconnected baggage prior to my departure the next morning on Copa.

    While they didn't skip the opportunity to remind me that people like her are the reason that I should have confidence in UA to take care of me when things go wrong, I was appreciative of the acknowledgement that my email was read and absorbed in detail by someone with the authority to respond.

    How sad, however, that they don't make a policy of responding with equally detailed replies, promptly acknowledging the things that do not go well. As much as I may whine here, I don't write to them often in relation to the frequency of mishaps. I'm guilty of saying that I'm going to write to them, but I often don't have time, then the memory fades, so when I do, it is something that seriously bothers me. In other words, I vent here a lot, but I complain there only when absolutely necessary.

    The reply to my compliment was written to me with my name spelled correctly and the details addressed. UA could fix a lot of their PR problems if this kind of communication were to take place when we have a legitimate inconvenience caused by something gone wrong within their organization.

    I have noticed that Copa has recently started to write personal replies to their surveys when anything is rated less than excellent. Copa is already a good airline, but this makes me even more confident that they are working hard to improve their customer service and customer relations. They don't hand out UGs or bonus miles with these emails, but the acknowledgement that they actually read my suggestion about the very things about which they inquired goes a long way to building my loyalty. So UA is bigger. It's just a matter of scale. They should do the same (if they care about what their passengers think).
     
  24. Weatherboy

    Weatherboy Gold Member

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    I remember in the "old days" pre-merger, I'd get hand-signed birthday and Christmas cards from CO in the mail. It's a shame UA today uses so much automation, but perhaps that just shows the volume of complaints and communications they need to tackle.
     
  25. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Today's UA is MUCH larger airline than CO was.
     
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