US phone support is so much better than UA's

Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by dcpatti, Apr 1, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. dcpatti
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    dcpatti Silver Member

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    One of the reasons I really like US is the friendly, efficient phone support, especially from the CP desk. I know this isn't limited to the CP desk because I still have the GP desk programmed into my blackberry from back when I was Gold, so half the time I still end up calling the GP desk. Anyway, almost every transaction I've ever done over the phone has been completed successfully on the first call and in under 5-10 minutes, even for complicated stuff like partner award bookings, and I only experience long hold times during weather events/irrops (which is expected; when you triple the workload or more, and don't triple the staff, it takes longer to talk to a person). Every now and then, about twice a year maybe, I have to play Agent Roulette, usually when booking award travel, and while that's not ideal, it's not so bad every 6 months.

    Compare that with the Black Hole that is UA phone support. I booked a ticket and took advantage of their very cheap upgrade offer at time of purchase, then had a schedule change which makes the itinerary no longer work for me. I can't reject the changes online, so I called in.

    It took about 7 minutes to get through the automated phone system, which won't recognize a request for an agent unless you give it a very specific prompt (here's a tip if you ever need it: in the voice recognition prompts, say "I need help with something else;" if I'd know that, I'd have saved at least a few minutes). The phone system is frustrating because it has so many options and to get to the one you want, you have to wait while it reads you all the 18 other choices.

    Then a mercifully brief hold for a live agent, who did not really understand the question when I asked, but after explaining for the second time, she got it. And put me on hold for about 8 minutes to check somethign with her supervisor. She came back on the line and said I would have to send in an email request for the upgrade fee to be refunded, but put me back on hold before giving me the email address. And I am still on hold now.

    So far this call has taken 27 minutes (!!!!) for what should be a fairly straightforward request: cancelling an itinerary and the ancillary fees, and it's not over yet.

    Really missing US CP angels right now :( I can have a live agent on the line after only 2 or 3 phone system prompts, hold times are short in most cases (or I go direct to an agent and never sit on hold), and they know what they are doing.
     
    SS255 and DeacFlyer1 like this.
  2. dcpatti
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    dcpatti Silver Member

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    And awesome, they have given me a web form to fill out for the ancillary fee refund request, which does not accept dates in the future. So it looks like I will need to call them again. Lucky me.
     
  3. ab3i
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    ab3i Silver Member

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    I have to call the US desk every week for changing my seats (I use my continental FF# on my US flights) and i must say my experiences have been very different. A lot of times i am told that i cant do seat assignments or that the seats are under airport control, where i inform them that i have been doing this every week since last November, and then suddenly the seat assignment functionality is available. I have nothing against the agents at the desk, but in my mind they are not very helpful, but then i am calling the regular desk and not the elite desk so what else can be expected :)
     
  4. SS255
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    SS255 Silver Member

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    Do you have any status with UA, or are you calling the general reservations line (aka India)? What you have described sounds more like what I experienced calling UA's ICC (Indian Call Center) than what I am experiencing now that I have 1P status.

    I must say that as someone who frequented the US Gold line for many years and now call the UA and CO elite lines, I tend to agree that US's elite lines are terrific. Then again......my calls to US usually ended up in either PIT (when they still had the Greentree Res Ctr), or INT........and there is nothing more reassuring than the sound of a friendly Southern drawl on the other line! RNO and PHX are good, too, but INT takes the cake!
     
  5. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    In the news: US Airways call center jobs returning to U.S.

    US Airways said Wednesday that all jobs supporting US Airways’ sales and customer-service calls originating in the United States will be brought to U.S. locations by October.​

    Work will be moved from offshore locations to reservations centers in Winston-Salem, N.C.; Reno, Nev.; and Phoenix. The move is part of the airline’s agreement with the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, unions that represent US Airways’ customer-service employees and reservations agents.​
     
  6. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    This is almost completely opposite to my experience as a US Dirt. I get agents who know what they are doing and are quick about it 20% of the time or so: otherwise things go wrong or slow. My last call, for instance (changing my SEA-SFO-NRT legs of a US *A award on UA due to a small schedule change), the phone rep put me on hold multiple times to get it done. She was polite and courteous about it and I didn't mind too much (especially since she let me do a bit more than I was strictly entitled to: I switched flights from a later flight that gets delays from wx ground holds, to the first one out of SEA in the morning, and from the later 777 to NRT to the earlier 747 :D), but it wasn't speedy at all. Given the reports of utter US phone agent randomness I've seen over the years on FT, I think my experience is more typical than yours.

    I generally don't have problems when calling into AA/DL/UA, where I also have Dirt status.
     
  7. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    Comparing precious metal on one to dirt on another isn't so instructive. It appears to me that dirt gets dirt no matter where you look. In my experience, the 1k desk has treated me better than the US gold and plat desks but not so well as the CP personal liaison used to - but that was some years ago, when personal liaison actually meant something.
     
  8. RedM3Pilot
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    RedM3Pilot Gold Member

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    On a slight tangent here...but when I redeemed oneworld miles, the AA dirt line gave me good service, on par with US and WN.
     
  9. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Also, I don't have Dirt status on UA any more, but the interactions when I did worked out OK.

    And yes, I agree that the correct comparison isn't US CP/Gold and UA nothing- which is why I didn't mention CO and AS (airlines where my interaction has always or mostly been as a status customer).
     
  10. dcpatti
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    dcpatti Silver Member

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    I was calling in on a UA elite line-- not top-tier, and I will agree that top-tier desks on any carrier usually are the best of the best, but I end up accidentally calling US gold desk often enough that I can say I was comparing apples to apples here, mid-tier to mid-tier.

    FWIW my issue is still not resolved; I've not put the time into it these last few days but honestly it isn't something that ought to require a lot of time and input. I've already invested 2 calls, a website form and an email and that's (In my opinion) an awful lot for what's basically a cancellation due to schedule change, and refund of the anciallary fees.

    Oh and to clarify, THEY changed the schedule; it's not my schedule that has changed.
     
  11. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    Based on the little that I read about your issue, it sounds like a credit card dispute would be a good idea.
     
  12. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    In my experience, the US elite lines go to the same place, but you're
    put in a different place in queue based on who you are; the UA
    top-tier line is a completely different animal from the mid-tier
    and dirt lines. This may explain the variability in quality of service.
    I prefer the US way but enjoy my advantage when calling UA.
     

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