Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The breaking point

was when I sat on the phone for over an hour this morning talking to a 'supervisor' in the United Airlines Mileage Plus call center in Manila, trying, for the 5th or 6th time, to get my air miles credited from our trip to Vietnam.

After 3 months of phone calls, letters, emails, more phone calls, I actually broke down and started crying on the phone.

We will not be able to fly to Canada this summer to see my parents if the miles don't get credited because we can't afford the $3200 it will cost to fly to Newfoundland. At this point, even if they DO credit the miles, it is looking unlikely that we will get them in time to get flights.

The worst thing is that the people they have manning the phones in Manila are like talking to a computer. Absolutely NO sense that you are dealing with a human being.

So there I was, an hour into the call, bawling my brains out, and the guy on the other end of the phone just kept repeating the same thing over and over again. 'We will send an email to Rapid City. No we can't call them. No we can't expedite this. No we have no record that you ever called."

I hate United Airlines.

edited to add:

I didn't work in call centers for 10 years for nothing. I found the back door toll number to the office in Rapid City, SD and called to speak to a nice woman who was able to fix the problem in less than 10 minutes. 3 months and 10 minutes later. Sigh.


Singing Owl said...

Gotta say, I hate United Airlines too. :-( I'm glad you somehow managed to speak to someone with a brain and the will to use it.

Rachel Nguyen said...

You know, the only good part of our experience with United was that we met some fantastic flight attendants on the way to Asia. Some of them are real gems. My parents flew back with some of them, too, and the flight attendants remembered them and showered them with special attention.

During the flight to Hong Kong, I noticed that the flight attendants were all wearing little gold plated screws as tie tacks. "What's with the screws?" I asked the woman I was chatting with.

She lowered her voice and whispered

"We all wear them. It's because we are getting screwed by the company."

At the time I thought it was appalling that employees would parade their grievances in front of customers.

Now I understand.