Tsentsan From Singapore, joined Jan 2002, 2016 posts, RR: 15 Posted (13 years 1 month 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4740 times:
I've come across a feedback from a very distraught SIA passenger, and have reproduced it for you to judge SIA's apparent high service levels.
Letter from Mr. Francis A. Singh posted 10-23-02 00:30
I will like your help in telling the public that so called one of the best airlines in the world (Singapore Airlines) provides one of the worst services on the ground to the customer. I have brought up this issue to the Customer Relations Department and until today, I have spoken to two of the Managers in that department. Moreover, to my surprise both of them have completely failed to provide me with any explanation regarding the very poor standard of service and why the reservation Staff can tell me that I do not have a reservation under my name, and one of the staff telling me that I am not following the Singapore Airlines procedure.
I am bringing up this point to your News Agency because I believe people outside Singapore should know about this poor standard of service rendered by Singapore Airlines staff.
My Nightmare started with my booking made on the Singapore Airlines Web Site on 20 August, I booked two return tickets to New Delhi departing on 2/11/2002 and coming back on 12/11/2002. After providing my credit card information, I concluded the process and was very happy to have the booking made from my home, which is indeed very convenient for some one like me who do not like to visit the travel agent in particular. I also booked all the hotels in India after knowing that I have a confirmed ticket.
After more then one month later on 24th of September I just wanted to check my reservations on the Internet, so I logged on to the web site of Singapore Airlines and try to retrieve my booking, the Internet booking system told me that there was no booking under my name, I thought I made some mistake so I tried for three more time. After getting the same answer, I called the reservations office number who put me to a machine for about 20 minutes before putting me to a lady who checked for me my reservations and told me that there is no booking under my name, neither my wife’s name. when I told her that the booking was made on the internet she asked me to call the office tomorrow as the Internet booking section people were already gone home…To me any staff of Singapore Airlines should be able to help a customer regardless the type of booking they make.
I could not sleep the whole night as the most important part of our trip was not there and we have been planning this trip from the beginning of the year.
I called the reservation office the next day and spoke to someone who checked booking under my family name and told me that there are no booking under Singh Francis Amar, after which I asked her to check under my wife’s name, which as well did not come up on the system. I was speechless for a while, as every thing seems upside down to me.
I asked her if I can book two more tickets on 2/11/2002 to Delhi and she told me very bluntly that I have 50-50 chance to be on the flight as I will only be on the waiting list. After which I pleaded her to at least get me a confirm seat as the internet booking have screwed up some where, She told me that she can’t do any thing and this is the best she can do for me. So given no choice I was forced to make another reservation. Before I can conclude the transaction she told me, that I have to pay S$80/- for each ticket for the administration fee as this is not going to be an internet booking. At that point of time I had it all, so I asked her to put me to her supervisor or a manager as I do not want to speak to her any more. I was put on hold for another 10 minute before she came back to the phone and asked me my credit card number. Upon keying in my Credit Card number, she found my booking for the two tickets to India, which in matter of fact was charged in full to my credit card. When I asked her why she was not been able to find the booking she did not have any answer for me.
She did not even apologies to me for all the inconvenience caused by their system or by her lack of training and the way, they do things. Moreover, when I asked her who would compensate me for all the trauma and misery caused by Singapore Airlines, she reluctantly said Sorry, and that is all.
After having two bad experiences on the phone, I thought I would be better off with a face to face human interface, so I went to the SQ office at Paragon second floor. Another person attended me and when I told her the whole story again and asked for a supervisor or manager, she looked at me and told me that I have a reservation on the 1st of November not 2nd of November. I was so furious that she just did not hear anything I said. After seeing me a little edgy, she finally agreed that she would call her superior. She in fact tried to call someone for another 10 minutes and then came back telling me that she was calling the Internet booking section (Can your people listen to the customer at all?) I asked for a superior not another reservation clerk (I have gone through two already) however she said he is the only one I can talk to and he will be able to help me out. So I spoke to asomeone else and told him what I have been through. He told me that I have gone through the wrong procedure and I have to call the Level one phone number, so I thought there was another office on the Level one of Paragon and asked him where the Level one office is. He told me as if I am a fool that level one means the type of phone number I have to call to check. He made it clear to me that the structure of Singapore Airlines is very complex and the customer is responsible for knowing where to go to get the service. In my case, I am not allowed to go to the office if I have purchased the ticket on the internet. I can only go to certain offices (I still do not know which one) to get my case attended, not any office. It was the most shocking discovery I made after losing my confirm booking on your system. Frankly, I do not care as a customer what you people do to your own procedure, but to me as a consumer, I see Singapore Airlines as one company and I do not care if I have phone, internet, or walk-in booking with them.
And the most interesting part of my misery is I wrote a letter to Singapore Airlines and they are getting back to me after 3 weeks and telling me that they are very sorry to get back to me so late, however they do not find that Singapore Airlines and the staff have done every thing they can do in this kind of situation.
I will like you to put your self in my shoe and feel all the agony, frustration, and pain I have gone through with the very poor service rendered by Singapore Airlines staff and Management. I will be more then happy to answerer any questions you have for me before you put this up to the public.
I am appalled to see such low quality SIA service. Perhaps SIA should remember its not all in-cabin service, but customer service that counts as well.
Flyboy36y From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3039 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (13 years 1 month 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4709 times:
This guy needs a life. They had a computer error. It happens. Eventually they found it and it's not like he was denied boarding or anything.
Moreover, when I asked her who would compensate me for all the trauma and misery caused by Singapore Airlines, she reluctantly said Sorry, and that is all.
What trauma and misery? This is a joke, no? Come on. Shit happens. This is retarded. Ohhh.... poor baby. He had to spend a few minutes with customer service. Maybe if he was smart he would have gotten a printout of his confirmation like they tell you too. Was SIA right? No. Was this an injudtice? Hardly.
GotAirbus From Singapore, joined May 2001, 851 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (13 years 1 month 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4668 times:
Now there...He shouldn't say SIA is a bad airline, and most importantly, you shouldn't shoot another person for disliking your favorite airline (if anyone is doing so)!!
What I think is wrong about that Indian passenger is that SIA, unlike his comments, is an outstanding airline offering unparallel service (I rode on them before on a few occasions). Also, he is wrong to ask for quick compensation for such minor errors like that.
But looking on the other side, I can reject my comments on "SIA is an outstanding airline offering unparallel service" because as a fact from this passenger, SIA's unparallel service, unfortunately, does not extend to the ticketing office (where you face humans for service). That is a faulty thing indeed and SIA should see to it that they include their outstanding service not only when you are onboard the airline, but also, on the ground.
I'm a person who likes to view things on both sides.
(gotAirbus?)-(Got Commonality?)-(Have A Nice Flight!)
(gotAIRBUS?) - (Got Commonality?) - (Have A Nice Flight!)
Singapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13754 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (13 years 1 month 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4623 times:
Singapore Airlines are fully aware that customer service is just as important as the on board service.
It seems like there was a problem with the e-commerce department and the booking for Mr. Amar was unavailable for retrieval. That was quite unfortunate.
However, the people at the Priority Passenger Service Centre, in Orchard should have dealt with the matter more efficiently.
Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world where Singapore Airlines do everything 100% well as shown by this incident. "however they do not find that Singapore Airlines and the staff have done every thing they can do in this kind of situation." What does that mean? Does that mean SIA feels employees were inadequate or that they could do everything they could've done?
Thank you Tsentsan for reproducting this opinion so that we can all judge SIA's apparent high service levels.
TG992 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 2910 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (13 years 1 month 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4607 times:
People, airlines are HUGE. The airline I work for has 9000 staff, and we're a minnow! ANY big company will have snafus like this, as it's impossible to 100% perfectly coordinate communication across companies this size, and it's impossible to recruit 15,000 staff who ALL without exception 100% love their work and will do their job perfectly every time.
What was the purpose in posting this complaint? For every complaint about SQ, I'm certain there's 100 compliments, that will never get reported. Grow up!
767er From Australia, joined Apr 2001, 1092 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (13 years 1 month 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4579 times:
TG992: Your comment was just spot on. You can never get it 100% right. I reckon if you get 90% right you are doing extremely well. I work in an organisation with 2000 emloyees across the New South Wales and we have problems like these from time to time. I usually find airlines are better than most companies at attempting to 'get it right'. Has tried booking a train ticket in the UK and being qouted 5 differant fares from 5 differant people.
While I sympathis with this gentlemans problems, these things do happen and yes it is frustrating.
Cx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6753 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (13 years 1 month 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4470 times:
I am actually surprised to see all these people leap to SQ's side! I must say that customer service on the ground is just as important as that in the air. Sure, all big companies have incidents like this, where customer service has failed for a particular person, on a particular day. It's the attitude that "oh well, it happens" that sets this up to happen again in future.
There are many departments within an airline. Many of those do not face the passenger, but for those that do, they must strive to have 100% satisfaction. Dealing with a passenger with less than a nice smile is unacceptable, and doing something short of bending backwards to please even the most annoying customer is also unacceptable. This is the service industry, and if you can't strive for 100% satisfaction, then get out of that industry. Airlines like SQ want to be the best, and NOT just average. To be the best, customers must ALWAYS be happy. If sh-t happens, then you make it up to the passenger to keep them happy. It's that simple.
Cedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8477 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (13 years 1 month 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4410 times:
I don't rate SIA that highly, plus any flag carrier who favour foreigners over nationals has something wrong (and SIA are famous for it, Singaporeans complain about it the way the English complain about the weather).
Mr BA, go around.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
Singapore 777 From Australia, joined May 1999, 1031 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (13 years 1 month 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4396 times:
I highly doubt reservations will LOSE themselves in the system. I think it's highly likely he made a small typographical error when he keyed his name in initially and then couldn't find it because the airlines require the exact last name in order to retrieve the record.
What provisions do the airlines make for people who key their name in wrongly?
Spark From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 431 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 1 month 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4387 times:
One of things that people often forget is how to be a good customer. I've worked for years in customer service field (retail sales, which is all customer service). If you want good customer service don't come in with an angry attitude at the poor reservation clerk, who had nothing to do with the problem. All it does it put undue pressure on a person who had nothing to do with the problem, and causes them to hold their ground.
I rarely recieve poor service, because I'm always direct and clear. I also enter with the believe that the person can help me, and ask them what I need to do to help them. It is amazing how much you can find out with just a pleasant attitude. At the same token, entering in a conversation with the believe that the person you're talking to is an idiot, who couldn't help even if they wanted to, and chances are you aren't going to get good customer service.
P.S. SIA customer service department does need some improvement. This is not the first time that this forum has recieved horror stories at the hands of SIA ground staff.
Ex_SQer From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1436 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (13 years 1 month 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4298 times:
SIA's technology strategy is pretty piecemeal and it doesn't surprise me that the systems don't talk together... hence things like this happen. BUT, what I want to know is... did this guy print out his e-ticket itinerary... especially for his visit to the office....??? That could have mitigated some of the misunderstanding.
Delta-flyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2676 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (13 years 1 month 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4284 times:
I'm surprised many of you support the airline in this case. Regardless of what errors the passenger may have made, the fact that SIA took his money, as evidenced by his credit card being charged, they owe him transportation. Hiding behind their "procedures" is utterly pathetic -- they were just too lazy to find the problem and correct it.
The sign of a good business is not how well they treat customers when things are going according to plan, but how well they treat them when things go awry.
9V-SPJ From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 757 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (13 years 1 month 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4249 times:
Well, I could say that the SIA reservations in LA don't really know much about online check in. First of all, I am a Krisflyer member, and I had a Q class ticket when I flew to BOM and back this summer. I was wondering about doing internet check-in as LAX is a complete mess. I called and asked the lady if this was possible, because nowhere on the website does it say that internet check-in is not possible at LAX, nor does it say that if you hold a Q class ticket, you cannot check-in. The woman in the SIA office, had no clue that online booking was even possible on the SIA website, do I didn't bother asking her about internet check-in.
Anyway, thats my experience with SIA internet check in.
9V-SVA From Singapore, joined Aug 2001, 1861 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (13 years 1 month 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4193 times:
I haven't received any bad service from any Singapore Airlines flights I've been on, be it the ground services, cabi service et cetera. I'm always served with a smile and upon making a request, the cabin crew try to settle it as soon as possible.
For all we know, the guy could have made an error when typing his name, we've only heard one side of the story. He should not have named SIA as a "bad" airline because reservations is only one part of the story?
Our Indian friend made a wrong decision, he obviously has not received the high levels of service SIA is reputed for, well, it is his choice, and I do feel sad for him.
Tsentsan, don't make it seem like I'm defending SIA like a mother defending her child, I'm just giving a viewpoint from my POV.
Ryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4783 posts, RR: 24
Reply 18, posted (13 years 1 month 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4198 times:
That is why a print out of your reference number from the website is so important to mitigate issues like this. Ai-yoh! How can anyone be so silly and not do that in a time of wireless transactions?
As much as I am indifferent towards the world's #1 airline, I am not surprised with this. As with any other major airline, no matter how good, there will always be sporadic innstances of bad service. Just like how Malaysians complain about MAS, and the Dutch complain about KLM, Singaporeans likewise would complain about SQ. And after being "ill-treated" by them a few times, I cannot help but think about the different levels of service a local receives from the FAs.
By the way, SQ was just indicted into the hall of fame for winning the "Best Airline of the Year" for the 13th time. Now they no longer have to compete.
MAS... where are you??
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
9V-SVA From Singapore, joined Aug 2001, 1861 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (13 years 1 month 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4186 times:
And I thought someone would really get angry over this.
Honestly, SIA salvaged the situation, he got his booking back, and he has NO RIGHT to request for compensation, let alone for the so-called "trauma and misery" he suffered.
I've read of another similar case in the October 2002 issue of the SIA in-house staff magazine. These two people from the UK made a successful booking, but forgot to bring the credit card they used for verification. They said they only saw the words "please bring the credit card used for check-in" in small print at the bottom of the receipt.
I can't believe they actually made a complaint. I'll dig out the article.
Singapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13754 posts, RR: 18
Reply 21, posted (13 years 1 month 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4139 times:
"The purpose of this post is simply to bring those Singapore Airlines fan back to reality that their perfect airline is not always the best..."
Why is that and who are you referring to?
Singapore Airlines did salvage the situation, however, the method in which he had to go through was less than impressive and I do indeed think that some form of compensation is necessary. The idea of an "administration fee" is immature, ludicrous and totally out of order. Although "trauma and misery" is a melodramatic way of putting it, a little money should go his way.
Tsentsan From Singapore, joined Jan 2002, 2016 posts, RR: 15
Reply 23, posted (13 years 1 month 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4117 times:
Compensation... perhaps putting more effort and a simple apology might have done the trick...
S_Air - Most of the SIA fans out there tink that only the cabin crew/aircraft/check in people are the face of SIA.... me tinks the whole of SIA from the AIC to the pilots to the IT guy is all part of customer service and SIA shld make sure that these r all up to standard.. I've more often then not faced with grumpy ladies and long queues at the Paragon office... perhaps SIA shld also see tat this causes customer dissatisfaction.... if I dun remember wrongly, the SIA UK office is also horridly ill-equipped to deal with passenger enquiries..... U shld know better.