Ready, Fire, Aim! - Mihail's Public Blog: Death of customer service: Virgin Atlantic

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Death of customer service: Virgin Atlantic

Why has Virgin Atlantic turned its customer service phone system into a convoluted nightmare that makes it impossible to find a live agent at first try?

Virgin Atlantic is/was? considered one of the shining stars when it comes to service as I wrote almost two years ago in this blog entry.

Is Virgin Atlantic going the same way as most mediocre companies? Unless you're flying Upper Class? Is Customer Service now all about class, too?

Try calling Virgin's 1-800 number and you'll understand what I mean. It is straight out of a comedy except that it isn't a movie...it is Virgin's reality. Compare this to Apple Computer's customer service. You get thru to a live agent, if that's what you want, immediately and they're actually helpful and want you to get to a solution. That wasn't my experience with Virgin today as I tried to reconfirm a flight for my mom.

When will businesses realize that making customers frustrated, rather than helping them out, is not the best way to do business. Ever. But especially not in a major economic downturn. In times like these customers don't stop spending money completely...they just focus on the things (and the businesses) that most deserve to get our money. 

So we eat at SantaCafe and not the Compound. We shop at Zegna and not Neiman. We support the nonprofits that treat us best and deserve our contributions. We fly...OK, never mind on that one. It is hard to figure out which airline these days bothers to treat you well unless you're their 1K member or flying first class or the brother of the pilot!

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