How cranky are the US BA phone reps?

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by Stephan, Oct 24, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Stephan

    Stephan Silver Member

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    Having read Matthew's post on his blog about his experience with the US BA call center, I just had to laugh at the incompetence. But then I started wondering if others had experienced the same lack of service? Any tips with respect to dealing with these people? Are they really this bad?
    http://upgrd.com/matthew/dont-tell-me-how-to-do-my-job.html
    Please pardon me, but I also posted this on TOBB to see if there are similar/different responses.
     
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  2. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    Having been a call center supervisor in a prior life (before I got into banking), I can tell you that the large majority of call centers employ idiots. They are typically very high turnover facilities, and pretty high stress due to the strict call guidelines (quality+average handle time+others), so you end up with people, especially if they've been there 15 years, who give you the opposite of the DYKWHA treatment. It's the "I've been working here forever, so I think I know what I'm doing, but I've never moved up (and it's easy to move up in a call center if you're mildly competent) in 15 years, so I'm pretty much an idiot. No sane person stays in a call center for 15 years. I had enough after 2.5 years.

    That being said though, it sounds like Matt provoked the rep a little bit, other than utilizing HUCB sooner to get a helpful rep when it seemed obvious early on that Sherri didn't have a clue what she was doing.

    I've never experienced that same issue specifically, but then again, I haven't yet called for a difficult or specific routing request. I usually have decent experience when calling WN, but even they didn't know what they were talking about when discussing the xferring of points between WN and FL and back to WN. It's possible, and I did it - no thanks to the call center though.

    EDIT - also, I really think US society throws most of their degenerates into JAX. I really dislike that city.
     
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  3. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    To be fair I think that Matthew hand excellent service by BA standards.
    1) three out of three calls he had an answered telephone. Many times BA simply will not answer telephones, even elite lines.
    2) three people talked with him. My experience has been that often when I do get an answer and begin my question they simply hang up. NOTE: I have never called on a simple routing.
    3) Would there have been bad weather anywhere in the world BA flies they'd have put him in an endless loop of VRU's if (1) above does not apply.

    Truthfully I have never had a successful call with BA in the US or UK. I have called the BA center in Hong Kong successfully and in Brazil also. They are worse than any other airline with which I regularly deal.

    I periodically refuse to fly them for a year or two but end out relenting for some unknown masochistic reason, then resolve never to do it again. The call centre's are the worst part of it IME.
     
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  4. I have had dozens and dozens of interactions with the U.S.-based BA call center (Jacksonville, FL), and every one of them was pleasant and successful.

    Hint: If you start the conversation with a bad attitude, it is not going to go well........
     
  5. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I agree with your hint. I have not had your success. I have had good success with all the other five airlines on which I hold elite status, and several on which I do not.
     
  6. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

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    I've booked a lot of AS tickets using avios over the phone this year (about 15 RTs) and had good luck 3/4 of the time with no phone fees etc.

    I did call this last weekend and got a surly old gal. I did my usual thing - "I tried to book online and it said I had to call - I was hoping you could help me book the award ticket" and she gave me such a line of crap about how AS was not a full partner and I should expect to pay a fee etc.

    I always approach it tepidly - have my request details nailed, check availability myself first, speak nicely to them, and make a little small talk if the opportunity presents itself to let them be human.

    Agree with other poster - YMMV and you have to stay nice no matter what.
     
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  7. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    I've had to call BA twice. One rep was rude and surly, one was polite & helpful.
     
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  8. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    I've redeemed many partner awards w/BA with little problem, I've hung up once when rep didn't sound like she could help me. I deal w/USAir normally and it takes at least 4-5 calls to book partners w/them -gotta love explaining where you want to go -they have no clue in airport codes/map so BA at least knows airport codes/flight maps, etc so for me easy to work with. I'm always super nice and explain how this is a dream trip reward I'd love them to make happen
     
  9. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    What? Why would that make a difference?

    As opposed to calling them to demand an eleven-sector, six-day, five overnight-layover, seven-airline award ticket from TUS to RGN via ICN, BKK, DPS, SIN, BKK, SIN again and finally HKT, to position for the misfiled RGN fare and during the EU layovers on that (DL) ticket, use those soon-to-be-reissued AZ PROMOJP tickets to switchback from LON to FCO and back. Isn't that a dream trip reward? :)

    Do you think they would help me with that?

    If so it's a good job that they don't know airport codes. Not knowing airport codes can be a great boon... like the infamous BD awards from CAI to CDG...via VVO. Just feed the agents the codes and rely on their lack of IATA-geologic to ticket it.
     
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  10. Stephan

    Stephan Silver Member

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    Well, I have to report that I had an excellent experience with Christina at the BA call center today just a short while ago. She was pleasant, efficient and proactive with my US-Hawaii booking. The whole thing took about ten minutes - if that. One of the best interactions I've had with them. I wish some other calls had been like this! I told her which flights I needed and it was done. Maybe I'll go out an buy a lottery ticket...:)
     
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  11. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    OK so you might not like Jacksonville, fair enough but going around making silly and inflammatory generalizations about a whole city really only reflects quite poorly on the source of of the comment. Do you still refer to Australians as degenerate convicts???:rolleyes:
     
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  12. PanAm
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    PanAm Silver Member

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    Like any CSR at just about any corporation these days, it can be hit or miss. But I only recall one poor interaction with BA and it was more that the lady seemed rushed. Everyone else has been fine.
     
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  13. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Why not? :) Aren't they? And how about the Brits - aren't they all jingoistic, hypocritical, supercilious Colonel Blimp Sticky Beaks?
     
  14. EZEIZA
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    EZEIZA Silver Member

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    I would say you had a normal BA call centre experience there.

    Far more demanding US based customers than there are cranky call agents I bet.
     
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  15. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Here's a more normal BA call center experience.

    Shark: Can you tell me why I can't see my reservation on BA.COM any more? [details of ticket]

    BA call center agent: This ticket was cancelled because the fare was invalid.

    Shark: Can you explain what that means? The itin was ticketed and paid for over a month ago, and until today, I could see it on BA.COM. I had my F seat assigned"

    BACSR: The ticket was cancelled because the fare was invalid.

    Shark: So it was BA's action! Can you repeat that? I would like to ensure that I quote you correctly, because I am going to file a complaint with US DoT about this unilateral cancellation, and it's important that I am able to state BA's response accurately.

    CSR: What don't you understand? The fare was invalid.

    Shark: Thanks, that's what I need. Now, this reservation was confirmed and e-tickets were issued over a month ago. How is it now invalid?

    CSR: The fare was invalid. What more do you need to know?

    Shark: It might be a good idea to talk with your supervisor. Can you put me on the line?

    CSR: Nobody is here. Nobody will answer you.

    Shark: OK. You will be hearing first from DoT, then from CTA. Thank you for clarifying BA's role in this event.

    :)

    Ah! Classically and even egregiously Dilbertian responses! Perfect for my needs however, which will be to quote in various filings.

    But now I almost don't want DoT to enforce. I want to take this to SCC and give it to them as various DEL plaintiffs did in 2009/10. A battle worth fighting! Against BA malfeasance. With a reasonable prospect of victory.

    Now remember, BA apologists, my filings are protecting you....because if BA gets away with this logic, they can renege on any issued ticket, at any time after issue, on the grounds that "the fare was invalid." For reasons only known to, and accountable to, themselves. That kind of thing won't only apply to Shark, much though some of you would like it to be so.

    Nothing is more inevitable than those who think BA are righteous, later victimizing them and then they experience their Niemoller moment. So despite the radiations of hatred for the Shark from the apologists, they have more than a soupcon of common cause now.

    Muahaha! Welcome aboard, m'hearties!
     
  16. EZEIZA
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    EZEIZA Silver Member

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    In BA's defence I refer you to what I posted earlier......M'Lud.
     
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  17. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    I just posted a similair comment a few days ago. BA rep's are pathetic.

    And, BA is so cheap their recording will not provide an account balance/expiration date for AVIOS points. I have 6 FF accounts and BA is the worst....the worst!!!
     
  18. Stephan

    Stephan Silver Member

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    Not sure that I follow you here. What happened to your booking? Was there an error fare, or? Please explain yourself..
     
  19. EZEIZA
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    EZEIZA Silver Member

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    Sounds as if you need to grow up and start looking after your own affairs.
     
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  20. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    Sounds like you can't comprehend or be polite
     
  21. pilotb757

    pilotb757 Silver Member

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    I myself had a good experience with BA, on 2 different occasions i got phone calls answered by nice reps and they worked with me with no problems.
     
  22. schen75

    schen75 Silver Member

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    Very friendly and helpful...
     
  23. progapanda

    progapanda Silver Member

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    I guess I'm among the lucky ones too, but I haven't had any trouble with the BA call reps either. In fact the ones I've spoken too have typically waived telephone reservation fees for travel on AS (2x) and EI (1x) as well.
     
  24. Stephan

    Stephan Silver Member

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    Did you book a "cheaper" BOS - SHN or DUB itinerary on EI? If so, how did that go?
     

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