Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Still sifting through all the mail

All I have to say is...WOW! There are a whole lot of people who don't like Delta. I'm quite busy this week, so I may not be updating every day, but I'll try to post a little more frequently later on in the week.
I am seeing a recurring theme in the e-mails I am getting-Delta's current customer service mindset, for lack of a better term, is "say anything to get rid of them".

Case in point. A Mr. "J" sent this email to Delta recently:

Last week I emailed you about my experience on Delta on June 30th. I still have not received a response. One of the issues was the wet and soiled clothing in our delayed luggage. I told you we had taken some of it to the cleaners to see if it could be salvaged. Unfortunately one of my wife’s blouses is permanently stained.

Yesterday was our return trip. We were scheduled on 4109 from MKE, connecting through ATL to PBI. 4109 was initially delayed and subsequently cancelled (mechanical). We were rebooked (I don’t remember the flight numbers) but they were also delayed (not sure why) and they were going to rebook us even later to arrive in PBI after midnight. Because I was scheduled on 466 at 7:45 this morning, PBI to LGA I asked to be rebooked instead to LGA or JFK last night. We were put on 4194 from MKE to CVG and arrived at 4:05 to wait for 4996 to JFK at 7:25. At 7:00 they announced a weather delay to 8:25. I went to the counter and asked if they had both equipment and crew to which your agent replied “yes” with a disdainful smirk. At 8:00 they announced a further delay as they were waiting for a crew member to arrive. We found out later it was the pilot. We departed about 9:00 and eventually arrived at JFK and as hard as it might be to believe, out luggage was on the flight.

In the last week I have suffered 24 hours in delays and delayed luggage with wet and soiled clothing on relatively short journeys. The excuses included weather, mechanical, and crew. I’m not sure if there are any others in your arsenal. In all that time I have witnessed hundreds of other Delta customers delayed, cancelled, and generally being treated with indifference by your employees. I will not accuse your gate agent of deliberately lying to me yesterday (she was probably just trying to placate and pacify me), but it seems that your employees, in the airports, on the SkyMiles special services number, in your baggage department, and even in your Crown Rooms are neither empowered nor motivated to do anything more for a customer than to make excuses and get them out of the way, not even being sincerely contrite about the problems. Your customers experience long waits in airports and sometimes days pass before they get to their scheduled destination. I cannot imagine how many vacations you have ruined and business trips you have interrupted. It seems the best experience one can expect from Delta is to arrive within a few hours of their original schedule, to minimize the negative impressions, not to somehow truly delight your customers, to make them loyal fans and repeat customers. Unfortunately for all the Delta employees that sort of corporate culture is demoralizing and if not corrected will take you once again into to bankruptcy and unemployment for many. It is truly a failure of senior leadership in your company.

As for me, I must now make arrangements to get my wife from New York to Delray Beach (probably JetBlue), where we were supposed to be last night, and I will continue my trip on to Charleston later this week and eventually join her (US Air). This chapter is over, except for the damaged blouse, and a deeply embedded distrust of Delta.

"It is truly a failure of senior leadership in your company." Well said, sir.


Anonymous said...

Well, Delta easily won the title for worst airline I’ve ever traveled…
It’s not even worth for me to summarize my “unforgettable” experience with these bunch of demoralized idiots, and I will only say that I had to hold my 12 months old baby on my laps for 11 hours, despite having reserved a bassinet 5 (FIVE!!) months ago!!
Then they managed to have me to miss three flights, ending up in a different airport at 3:00 am.
On top, I’ve never experienced such a claustrophobic feeling on a plane.
Ah, and the “so called” food was not even good enough for cats! (well, maybe, it was a cat steak!)
If you want to suffer, flight on Delta. Otherwise, you better drive!

Mozzer said...

Well - In the opening post I was surprised that a big corporation can be accused of lying - but I now have the evidence that Delta customer service do - right to the top.
Cut a long story short - Deltaadvised they would pay for a hotel room. Later denied this promise was ever made. Complained and eventually made it to the top man "I'm the end of the line". He promised vouchers for flights. Gave reference and promised an Email. Asked how do we know you will do that as we have had broken promises before.
Said you'll have trust me.
No email no vouchers.
Complaint made, "sorry we are not providing any vouchers". Despite what was said earlier.
So it appears you cannot rely on a Delta employee's word at any time as it is subject to change, at will, at a later date.
What a despicable way to run customer service.
What a way to lose customers.