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Friday, July 25, 2008

And This is Why Companies (Should) Go Out of Business

This is what I imagine a Delta Airlines employment ad must look like ... Mindless human robot needed, IQ under 50 required, personality unnecessary.

Because my son is an unaccompanied minor, Delta Airlines requires that I pay an additional $100 for him to board the plane. This is on top of the $630 I already paid for the ticket, and on top of the $100 I had to pay to move his flight from morning to evening, for a flight that was ultimately cancelled.

This is bad enough, but at least they do make this information available at their website. The problem? They refuse to take a credit card over the phone. Only a billion other businesses do so every day, but not Delta Airlines. At this point, I am refusing to even speak with these people. But my wife persists. She says she is willing to drive to our airport in St. Louis, 30 minutes from our home, so she can pay in person if she has to. I am absolutely flabbergasted at what occurred next. The "customer service" representative (an oxymoron if ever there was one) from Delta tells her, "No, no! You have to go to JFK in New York where he is boarding to pay this $100!"

So we're supposed to go from St. Louis to New York to pay the $100 unaccompanied minor fee!!!

Folks, if I wrote this in a piece of fiction, no editor would dream of accepting such trash. Yet this is the drivel that Delta Airlines dishes out - from their "customer service" office.

My wife, who has patience beyond belief tonight, simply asks for a supervisor. "Oh no, she will tell you exactly the same thing!" my wife is told. Nevertheless, my wife insists, lets try anyway. Surely someone at Delta has two brain cells to rub together. Sure enough, a supervisor gets on the phone and explains that no, they refuse to accept credit cards over the phone (don't they do so for people making reservations??), but she will be nice enough to allow my wife to pay in person at the airport.

I've totally washed my hands from the issue at this point. I can deal with stupidity, but absolute moronic non-thinking is too much for me. But wait, there's more! My sweet wife gets in the car and drives 30 minutes to the airport to pay the $100 ransom to Delta. The result - THERE IS NO ONE THERE TO TAKE OUR MONEY!

Now I ask you - do you want to deal with a company that has this (dis)regard for their customers? Do they think they can stay in business when they treat their paying customers in this manner? More to the point - why should they stay in business? If a company can't provide a needed service in an efficient manner, it's time to shut the doors. And when Delta Airlines goes under, I'll feel badly for the good employees (surely there are some there) that did put out an honest effort, but I'll happily return to Southwest Airlines or even American Airlines. The motto at Delta Airlines: The customer is always wrong.

We're not alone - take a look at the website ConsumerAffairs.com - they write, "Complaints about the major airlines are plentiful. What's a little unusual about Delta is how angry some of its best customers are."

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