Monday, August 27, 2007

Delta has a blog

Just found out that Delta has a blog:
Delta touts this as a way to communicate with their customers. I think its just another lame attempt by a corporation to give the appearance of caring about their customers. Case in point: the are already deleting any comments that are critical of Delta. This makes the blog useless. If Delta can't take criticism this will just be another example of a corporation stroking itself to feel good.

Ten days and counting since I sent a fedex package to Delta's head of customer service. Still no response.

Let's take a look at some of the mail I got this weekend:

From "timrum"

"Good luck with getting a response from Delta. They lost my baggage on a recent trip and tried to tell me for days that I had picked it up-they basically accused me of lying. Funny how it turned up in my connecting city. When I confronted them about this all I got was indifference. they won't be getting any more of my money"

Tim-at least you got a hold of customer service. I was hung up on and laughed at, then I was ignored. Until I hear from them, they won't get anymore of my money (and I'm not holding my breath).

Here's a longer one from "A"

I wanted to fly to Salt Lake City early in the morning so that I am there ahead of time for a presentation. After standing up at 4:40am and driving over an hour to Irvine I finally arrived at the gate. Like before the airplane was late so no panic but then the airplane could not reach the gate because of a fuel spill on another gate. Finally nearly an hour late the plane arrived and we could board. Now after everyone settled in the captain informed us about the backup generator not working and that we have to leave the plan. Then I had to wait in lane another hour to see how I could reach SLC. Finally they decided to do the flight at 12:45pm and so we had to go through security again. Arrived at the gate I had to wait another 20 minutes to get a meal voucher of a whopping $7 even though a Mocha and a sandwich at Starbucks was around $14. Then at 1pm we finally could board again. 20 minutes later the captain finally announced that we go the replacement generator and they are now starting to install it. "What the f... is going on?" I thought. They let us board and wait for an hour like sardines in a tin can even though they knew this all along. Not to mention that they were not able to serve some refreshments while we were sitting and waiting. Finally 2pm we left the gate.

I don't mind the fact that something went wrong and that we had to wait but Delta's behavior made me stand in line for several hours preventing me from doing some work or eat something good and healthy. In addition they only announced as little as possible and so everyone I talk to from Delta was technically not lying but collectively they did. It is like when you are quitting your job or a service agreement with a provider when you will find out what the other party is made of. The way they handle such things says more about a company than any speeches, compliments or awards. In this case it means that customers are just a necessary nuance for the airlines and that the best way to deal with them is to keep them uninformed, waiting and just below the anger threshold. It is like a ride in Disneyland where each corner of the line just reveals a little bit more of the line so that people tend to hope that the next corner is the end of the line. One reason why I try to get around the mandatory trip to Disneyland with my sons is just because of that. It is a day of waiting and spending an awful lot of money. The only dream that is coming true in Disneyland is the dream of the shareholders to get rich.

Maybe Delta accomplished their goal by keeping us around until we finally went under way but I am seriously considering other airlines where I hope they are friendlier and more forthcoming.

Mr. "A"-I went through the same thing and, like you, all I ask is to be informed and not lied to. Unfortunately, it seems Delta employees are trained in lying to the customer. My advice is to tray and contact customer service (good luck-they'll just hang up on you) and if you don't get any satisfaction, don't give them anymore of your money.


ixafoo said...

Just another way to fool the customer. No amount of PR will convince me that Delta is any good

Anonymous said...

I worked for ASA and Delta for 7 years as a ramp agent, customer service agent and trainer. I started gettin sick to my stomach after about 1 year. ASA does not care about the customer. Delta allowed ASA to abuse the customers because they made them huge amounts of money. I felt soo bad that folks paid good money to travel and we let them down. I was always gettin into trouble with ASA in ATL because I would "go over the line" in trying to help those that were put out by cxld flights. I rebooked folks on US AIR and would upgrade them to 1st, I would give out vouchers in excess of the amount that we were told to give. I gave out vouchers for hotels, transportation, and meals. I would get reprimanded weekly. I would charter buses to alternate airports so folks could at least get to their destinations. I felt so ashamed sometimes to have to represent such "scum" and deal with folks who were unaware that the ASA had no concern for them whatsoever. If you have ever read the ASA/DELTA Carrige of Contract it basically states that you pay them money, but they have no responsibility to provide you with any service whatsoever for the money you pay. It is even a act of GOD to get a refund even if it is their fault. Later I went to work fo Independence Air until they went out of business. What a breath of fresh air. It was the only Airline that I am aware of that really meant to give the customer what they paid for, and if they didn't then do whatever they could to make it right. Before they went out of business they started a policy to refund the fare for the leg you flew if they lost your luggage and did not return it to you in 12 hrs. I guess that is why they where forced out of business, because they shook things up. One thing I can say is that the pilots for ASA on a whole are on the passnegers side. You can't imagine the wheelin and dealin they try to do with flight control to get you to your destination. If the palne has a mechanical they do all they can to try to get another flown in or diverted to pick up the stranded pax. 90% of the time they fail because ASA headquarters in ATL overrides anything they try to do that cost them extra bucks. The DL employees I have met have always hated ASA for the problems they cause, but like I said before BOTTOM LINE ASA makes em a ton of money so everybody overlooks and palys down the ASA horror stories. It has got so bad in ATL that DL took over the ground ops and made all the ramp agents in ATL DL employees to try to stem the bleeding. I still think DL is okay as huge corporations go, but they have lost sight of what made them one of americas largest air carriers...the customers, and they are on a downward spiral unless they start listening to there front line, the employees. Some of them still do care and try, but it's getting to be a losing battle

WTF said...

I m sorry to hear about your horrrendous experience with delta.
my fails to compare, althogh i am tired of delta, I just became platnimum and they are awful - im trying ot change over to american, does anyone know if you receive instant status if i leave delta to us air or america?
i have so many stories, every email - im so sorry hear are more miles- rubbish - pull it together and compete with your competition

FIN 655 said...

I had been working with Delta on using a coupon for free travel after being bumped from a flight in Milan, Italy at the end of the Olympics. Everything people have written on this blog is true to my experience as well. My request to honor the coupon was never honored. I was asked to send information, and eventually the original "coupon." I have never been able to resolve this issue with them, and they do not have any good record of all my calls and certainly Delta has absolutely none of the information I sent.

this is the end result: I book with other airlines as much as possible and I have changed the booking plans for two companies. I wrote to Delta when I suceeded in diverting $10,000 of travel. I am now on the way to diverting $100,000 of travel from Delta. I am making a list of all original choices and the information on taking other airline instead. I hope to reach $1,000,000 before the end of the decade. And, all Delta had to do was honor the coupon for $1,000 that was given to me in Milan.

FIN 655 said...

Glad there is a place to see other comments:

My experience with Delta is the same. I was given a coupon for free travel in Milan, Italy when I was bumped from a flight at the end of the Olympics in 2002. When I tried to use the coupon, I was sent from the Delta ticketing office to the airport, then told the coupon was not sufficient and to call Delta. Called Delta, and told it was Alitalia's problem. Called and sent info the Alitalia, which wrote back to say that this is clearly marked as a Delta coupon and to present it for use to Delta. Delta offices (yes, more than one in the hand offs) asked me to send information over and over again, including the original coupon for inspection, which is ALL now lost.

Here is my solution: I wrote Delta to let them know that I have changed my plans and diverted travel when I reached $10,000. I have sucessfully changed the travelling arrangements for two companies. I have exceeded in diverting $100,000 in travel to date. I am now headed towards diverting $1,000,000 in the next five years.

I am now collecting all my information to show who and which travel plans I was able persuade people to change.

And, all Delta needed to do was to honor their coupon for $1,000.