Old Sep 15, 2018, 11:03 PM
Harker Harker is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 1
Default Customer Service Is Disinterested

Here is why I complained to them:

My husband and I have been AAdvantage members since 1988. We have flown American almost exclusively in that time and there have been many international flights. We have 2 AAdvantage Gold card accounts which we both use and all points accrue into one AAdvantage account. It is in my husband's name. In spite of that, I am a very active member of the account and put all of our household expenses on those two cards.

We have flown together with our children many times and our 1 per passenger checked suitcases have always been complementary, just as it says prominently on the website. There is no obvious mention that the account holder must also fly, just that AAdvantage Gold members' bags will be complementary.

I booked a flight with our AAdvantage number for myself only in August 2018. The miles were deducted from our AAdvantage account, so I expected a complementary checked bag and packed accordingly, even though I could have gotten by with only a carry on. I was shocked to find out that I would have to pay for my checked bag. The ticket agent was pleasant and told me that she thought that I would have good luck getting a refund through customer service because of my situation. I took her advice and wrote to them.

Here is how they handled the complaint:

I asked them to refund my $50 because I felt they had failed to inform me about the gotcha policy. It was a rather obvious trap from my perspective. FIFTY DOLLARS! It is petty cash to them. They spend millions in advertising. Why not refund $50 and keep a family of long time, loyal customers that they already have? Makes sense, right? They wouldn't do it, but had the gall to tell me they "valued my business". They are lying to me about that and that is probably the most insulting part of the whole exchange. If they don't value my business, just say that. "You are a customer with a complaint. We don't like you. We only like customers without complaints. We don't need you. Go away." And all of this should be said with an air of distain and contempt. At least that would have been honest and it would have achieved the same result as their lip service. The woman, Cynthia, and I exchanged 4 emails and one phone call and the result was always the same; her robotic, faux politeness and rock solid refusal to refund my money and my waste of energy to draft calm, persuasive emails and my waste of breath to talk to her. Why on earth she played phone tag with me until she finally reached me, I have no idea. Nothing new was said. She just repeated out loud what she'd said in the emails. It was an enormous waste of my time.

Does AA even realize that her hourly compensation to respond to me multiple times and track me down by phone was likely more than $50? So, they paid money to lose a customer. Nice job. They must really want me gone.

Customer Service is like a disinterested third party company that AA has contracted to bury their customer complaints and stonewall so they won't have to deal with them, sort of a dead letter drawer. It didn't matter what I said to them or how I said it, the answer was just NO, with the tone of a parent to a child. They said all the correct, phony baloney words with synthetic politeness and expressed their insincere wish that I would have a better experience with them NEXT TIME, while telling me that there was nothing they could do THIS TIME, to make up for the insult I was still stinging from.

Cynthia told me that there was no escalation path. Her decision was final and absolute. That is a HUGE flag. There is always an escalation path if a company cares about retaining its customers. This seemed more like the attitude of a government agency than a private company.

I even told Cynthia that I was going to post my complaint on social media and she told me that she was sorry that I felt the need to do that, but go ahead if that's what I wanted. She actually invited me to trash them publicly! I wonder if corporate would sanction such advice. It's rhetorical, since there seems to be no path to reach them and they probably aren't listening, anyway. Not that I care, anymore.

My husband and I and our entire family are done with American Airlines. We are cutting up our cards, draining the remaining miles out of our advantage account and, when that is complete, we'll never fly with them again. Something is seriously wrong with them. This was a test and they failed spectacularly. If this is how they treat their customers over a $50 dispute, I don't want to risk having a really serious problem and getting spit on by them.
american airlines, bad customer service, refund

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