The ridiculous "gesture of goodwill"Back to Forum
Having just had a bruising encounter with a travel company, and having finally won fair compensation for their miserable failure to provide a service, the money comes with those pathetic words “as a gesture of goodwill”.
It is high time we all decided to ridicule any company that uses the phrase “as a gesture of goodwill”.
It is emphatically not goodwill when a company has provided awful service, has initially refused to do anything about it, and has finally been dragged kicking and screaming to make some recompense for its failure to meet its contractual obligations.
In fact everyone knows that what “as a gesture of goodwill” actually means is “We botched it, you’ve found us out, but we are not going to admit it because then you will sue us”.
Good companies apologise and pay up. It is only the bad ones who “offer a gesture of goodwill”. And doing so mainly confirms their lowly place on the scale of “people one wants to do business with”.1 Jul 2017
Well done for sticking to it and taking them on.
I agree with everything you say.
Even more irritating are companies who want you to sign NDAs for settlements that do not justify them.
An airline asked me to sign an NDA for a refund of £12, because there was a seat mix up and my (paid for) seat was allocated to another pax. Needless to say I got my refund and their NDA went straight into the circular filing repository 🙂1 Jul 2017
Please name and shame them Cedric?
If it was a gesture of goodwill I’m sure they’d like the world to know what they have done?
Well done anyway for sticking to your guns.2 Jul 2017
Did you receive simply a refund of the amount you paid or did you also get some compensation for the distress and inconvenience?
I hope you did!
Not a cent, but the distress and inconvenience was suffered mainly by the airline rep who was mortified when I wouldn’t sign the NDA 🙂4 Jul 2017
The threat of naming and shaming is our way of ensuring you leave with your integrity in tact.
Ref NDA = Please ,please don’t stick it on Trip Advisor or social media
And Cedric, your spot on regarding “gesture of goodwill”. It’s normally preceded by a mumbling service agent using the much over used phrase ” I can only apologize”
And you’d think, companies would raise their game, when they are only a click away from viral humiliation.4 Jul 2017
Well, to show I am living my philosophy – latest culprit: Monarch Airlines! To skip the backstory and just see the denouement and how it was achieved, jump to the last paragraph.
Backstory part 1. Summer holidays. Family assembles in UK. Side trip from the UK to Mallorca on Monarch. Flights fine, service fine (for an LCC), priority boarding worked smoothly, we received our allotted extra-legroom seats. Really nothing to complain about until…. Day from return from Mallorca to UK, Sunday. Junior Offspring starts a two-week course in Oxford starting Monday (but has to enrol and move in on Sunday night), the rest of the family (me, Memsahib and Senior Offspring) are flying out the following day back home to HK. Of all the bags to get lost it is, of course, Junior Offspring’s, containing her laptop (required for the course), toiletries, clothes etc. Cue mad rush as Senior Offspring helps her enrol while I drop off Memsahib for shopping and try to find somewhere to park and then do some more emergency shopping. Memsahib charges through shops like a demon despite many security guards trying to usher her out and staff turning out the lights, switching off escalators, and generally trying to hint that they really wanted to stop selling her anything at 5pm on Sunday. Memsahib somehow still manages to persuade the lady at the till to let her (the Memsahib) charge off to find some bras since of course it was going to take said lady some time to fold all the clothes and ring them up. Memsahib then has to ask how to get out of the building since they have, at this point, rather effectively CLOSED the shop! Next morning, no sign of luggage so another mad shopping spree ensues. Luggage takes six days to turn up, so as it turned out Junior Offspring needed just about everything we bought, at a total cost of well over 500 pounds.
Backstory part 2. We (save for Junior Offspring) return to HK. Memsahib submits claim to Monarch, who write a very polite, outwardly (but only outwardly) helpful and considerate, and well-phrased letter saying that everyone should have enough things with them to survive for 24 hours so they won’t honour any claims for purchases in that period, and that for the next three days claims are limited to 30 pounds (sterling) a day. Monarch rules also say that someone returning to their home country shouldn’t need anything anyway, so long as their luggage is eventually returned. Monarch offer 90 pounds explaining this is the maximum possible – 30 pounds per day for each of days 2, 3 and 4.
Memsahib and I do a little research. I look at Montreal Convention, Memsahib (also a lawyer!) adds some research on EU laws. Memsahib replies to Monarch, equally politely, pointing out that we weren’t returning to our home country, Junior Offspring didn’t have time to do her own shopping given the timing of her course and we were leaving the next day so had no other opportunity to buy what she needed etc therefore most purchases had to be made the same day, and since Monarch failed to deliver the bag the same day we needed to make additional purchases the following morning in order to equip her for the week. Memsahib also points out that under EU Rules, any attempt by an airline to address quantum of liability, in order to be binding, must be made in writing before the flight. Memsahib points out Monarch’s failure to provide any such information, and the absence of any such information on Monarch’s website. Monarch therefore fail at the first post in attempting to assert any limitation on liability. Memsahib goes on to point out that under EU regulations, any such written information must not limit liability to amounts lower than those provided under the Montreal Convention, and that accordingly even if such written information had been received (which it hadn’t), it could only voluntarily increase Monarch’s liability. Memsahib points out that under the Montreal Convention, liability is limited to 1,000 Special Drawing Rights (about double what she claimed). Any attempt, she mentioned, by Monarch to reduce this was unlawful. She implied (quite strongly) that Monarch’s assertions that they were entitled to (a) avoid any liability for the first 24 hours, (b) suggest that there should be no liability since we were returning to our home country or © limit liability to 30 pounds sterling for each of three days even though the luggage was delivered only after six days, were all unlawful. She politely asked them to reconsider. Monarch, within 24 hours, replied stating that under the circumstances and “as a gesture of goodwill” (!!!!) they would refund the entire amount. Good. But had we not been lawyers, had we not known how to do the research, and had we not known how to write a letter completely undermining outwardly plausible arguments raised against us and make subtle threats about unlawful conduct, I suspect we would have been fobbed off with about one-sixth of what we spent. Victory for us, but I suspect a resounding defeat for far too many passengers who may accept the crap that Monarch (very plausibly) put forward to reduce their liability. Shame on them….15 Aug 2017
In the same spirit, I’ve just received settlement of a couple of hundred quid from an airline who eventually stuck their hands up and accepted the problem. Mind you it took a MCOL claim to jolt them into action, by getting the attention of people whose computer didn’t say no.
As they paid quickly and with good grace and did not try to suggest an NDA, I’ll leave them anonymous.15 Aug 2017