Monday, August 16, 2010

When at first you don't succeed - HANG UP & CALL AGAIN!!!

From Gary (View from the Wing Blog)

Never argue with an agent. Never tell them how much more you know about ticketing than they do. Always thank them for being so helpful. Even when they’re not.
Instead, when you discover you’re working with an agent who doesn’t know what they’re doing, just hang up politely and call back. And I do mean hang up politely, or at least as politely as you can. Perhaps you have another call, or someone is in your doorway, thank them for their time but emphasize that you have to go and will need to call back.
It’s always better to try again with the next agent than it is to try to educate an agent. Now, occasionally there are genuinely helpful agents who don’t know some of the intricacies of their partners. And sure you’d be doing a public service by educating them. But most of the time showing how much more you know than they do isn’t taken well at all, it’s threatening. After all, this is their job, maybe they’re veterans at it, and the customer isn’t supposed to know more than they do.
And the last thing you want is to anger an agent who has your reservation open, they might write something nasty in it, “CUSTOMER ADVISED THEY MAY NOT ______.” or “CUSTOMER ADVISED OF $$$$ FEE TO CHANGE _____.”
Once so notated it’s often harder to get the next agent to do what you want, even if it’s within the rules for them to do so. So always remain pleasant.
But you don’t like the answer you get the first time, especially when you think that answer is incorrect? Hang up, call back. Call center roullette.
I do this quite frequently, this morning with US Airways which is probably the airline with the greatest variance in answers you’ll get across agents at the same airline, discussing the same question.
There’s an award ticket booked in first class with one short domestic segment in coach. Today business on the domestic segment opened up. Rang up US Airways.
Call 1: “I’m sorry, with partner awards we cannot change that, we have to cancel and redeposit the miles and start over.”
Call 2: “We can make the change, but the change fee is $150.”
Call 3: “I’m sorry, with partner awards we cannot change that, we have to cancel and redeposit the miles and start over.”
Call 4: “Sure, no problem. That’s great news! I’m going to need to hold for the rate desk to do it, but it shouldn’t be a problem.”
 I do this quite often when it gets time to call the airline to book a complicated flight itinerary that cannot be booked online. Have all your flight options in front of you (flight numbers, dates, times, connections) and walk them through it all - they get training but the more complicated your itinerary the more problems they will encounter. Try to call during non-traditional hours as well - call late at night US Time and you will get much better, quicker service I found....if you don't get what you want. Hang up, try again!!!