BT Star Letter – A classic case of BA not answering a complaintBack to Forum
The star letter in the printed edition of BT this month was from a BA Gold member raising the issue that BOB is causing with Y passengers having to use the C toilets as the BOB trolley is blocking access to the rear of the aircraft. The main complaint was that passengers “are corralled into a cabin that they have not paid for, to stand over Club Europe passengers”. In classic BA style of responding to customer complaints/comments, they totally ignore the issue with a bland “we are listening to the views of all our customers to ensure everyone has a great experience travelling with us”. I love BA and have been a Gold/Siler member for more years than I care to remember but I learned a long time ago that complaining to BA is a complete and utter waste of time and frequently their responses bear no relationship to the complaint – this is a classic example!5 May 2017
I believe that most complaints are, in the first instance, scanned into a system, reviewed by a robotic which picks up on key phases and words, and answered with a standard text letter. Most complaints end at that point as the complainant is fobbed off.
If the letter/email can’t be read by the robotic system, it will be addressed by a human. I proved this a few years ago by emailing Continental Airlines with two different complaints about two separate and unrelated incidents. Their response to one of the emails came back within minutes, at a time when offices in the USA would have been closed, and was clearly a standard response.
The response to the other email, which was identical in all respects but one, took two days, and was clearly written with human intervention. The difference between the two letters? The first was written in normal and correct English. The second one had been Google translated from English via two other languages and back into English, so it wouldn’t have easily been machine readable and this had to be taken out of the system and read by a human.
Example (this one is made up, I don’t have the original.)
Original English ..
I am writing to complain about my experience on your flight XX 123 on Tuesday 4th. September. I had a business class ticket and had been assigned seat 5A. This seat was broken and I asked a member of the cabin crew to find me another seat.
They were unable to find another seat in business and I was offered a seat in economy class, which for a 7 hour flight was unacceptable. Under the circumstances I said that I would prefer not to fly, and asked to disembark, at which point the cabin manager was called.
Translated from English to Polish to Spanish and back to English :
Ladies and Gentlemen!
I am writing to complain about my experience on Flight 123 Tuesday 4 XX. September. I had a business class ticket and was assigned a seat 5A. This seat broke and I asked a member of the cabin crew for me to find another seat.
They were able to find another place in the business and offered me a seat in economy class, which the 7 hour flight was unacceptable. In these circumstances, I said that I would rather not fly and asked to put it down, at which point the cabin manager was called.
A few months ago I wanted to write to Customer Relations at a large Tesco store to thank a member of staff who had been exceptionally helpful and patient over the purchase of a camera. I couldn’t find an email address but found one of those awful ‘live web chat’ things and entered into it with :
“I would like to compliment a member of your staff at the Addlestone store for his excellent service ………”
The reply came back :
“I am so sorry to hear this, could you please give me further detail of the nature of your complaint so that I can follow up ……..”5 May 2017