In a slight departure from our normal focus on teaching first responders how to create wealth, we can’t overlook this sterling example of poor customer service that comes to us from Scott Kelby’s blog. Mr. Kelby normally discusses issues to help graphic artists improve their Photoshop skills but, in a recent entry, Kelby took US Airways to task for what he perceived to be exceptionally poor customer service. As an unofficial watchdog for the public at large and first responders in general, we relay the following summary of the issue so you can decide whether or not you want to continue patronizing the airline.
As for us, probably not. There are company rules to follow and then there is basic stupidity.
The problem began when Kelby received an email from US Airways notifying him that he had forfeited 81,000+ frequent flyer miles since he hadn’t flown since 2008. He could choose from one of the options below:
1. Pay $300 to have the miles reinstated
2. Apply for a US Airways Visa card
3. Pay for a first class ticket on US Airways
In case any of our faithful readers are wondering, ALL of these choices benefit the airline. None are customer service friendly toward a customer who has flown enough to gain the miles in the first place. The monkey wrench in the whole thing is that Kelby actually did fly twice in 2009 and has email confirmations to prove it. Apparently those flights were booked for him by a travel agent who didn’t enter Mr. Kelby’s frequent flyer account number at the time of booking.
The predictable fracas with a snippy customer service representative followed, which entailed her repeated offer of the aforementioned three options to buy back his miles but refused to grant that the two trips in 2009 should have been considered in keeping his frequent flyer account open. The funny part of the scenario, if it weren’t so sad, is when Kelby quoted a phrase from a letter in the US Airways in-flight magazine written by company Chairman and CEO, Doug Parker, that goes: “Committed to excellence” and how the goal was to create a truly great airline. The customer service rep told Kelby that Parker’s letter had nothing to do with his situation.
The upshot was he didn’t get his miles back and US Airways lost the business of both Kelby and likely his entire company, plus anyone who reads this and decides to follow suit. We’re not saying you should or shouldn’t patronize US Airways. That’s an individual decision to make but, if true, Kelby’s story seems to be a harsh indictment for the way the company does business.
The Heroic Investing Team
Flickr / asrusch