JMV
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DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Wed Jul 28, 2004 8:59 pm

For folks who complain about "outsourcing" of jobs to India, here may be a chance to put your money where your mouth is.

According to this article, http://www.sptimes.com/2004/07/28/Business/Delta_thinks_of_charg.shtml, DL is considering charging a fee for customers who wish to speak with reservation agents in the US rather than in India.

"Delta first floated the idea in an online survey of select frequent fliers this month. The airline hasn't tabulated the survey results, let alone decided on imposing the new fee, said spokeswoman Meaghan Glynn."
Google begins where my brain ends! ©
 
SafetyDude
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Wed Jul 28, 2004 9:04 pm

This is horrible. I had to speak a customer service rep with a company earlier this week, and the person was in India. Not only did they not know English very well, I could barely understand what they were saying, and they just repeated stuff that I already told them. Finally, I hung up and called again but this time I selected a different option so that I would a US person, which I did, and my problem was solved in minutes.

Here is an idea for Delta: Charge me to speak to a person in the US, and I will take my money elsewhere.  Big grin

-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
747firstclass
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Wed Jul 28, 2004 10:11 pm

Delta is not the first US company to charge a fee to speak to a customer service rep in the US, some computer and software companies quietly started that a few months ago.
A few weeks ago, I had to call Delta to make a reservation using a travel voucher I got when I gave up my seat a number of months ago.
I was trying to book ATL-SFO-ATL. The India based agent thought I was saying Santiago. We went around and around, put on hold, round and round some more. The agent did not have much of a clue what a voucher was etc. This entire transaction took 90 minutes. I was livid beyond words and wrote to Delta. As of this date, I have not had a reply.
If this is they way they treat customers, I may not be so inclined to give up my seat on an oversold flight in the future or perhaps even fly Delta at all.
I cant think of anyplace that DL flies to, where I fly to, that someone does not.
 
N808DE
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Wed Jul 28, 2004 10:30 pm

Will this apply to the Medallion line? I'm thinking no, since I only spoke with a rep in India when I wasn't Medallion.
 
syncmaster
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 12:29 am

It's a bad idea all together. I mean no offsense to the people who answer the phones in India but it is very difficult to understand what they are saying, and they do not have "People skills", meaning that they more or less read their answers out of a book and are often times unwilling to work with you. I love DL (check out my signature), but if they choose to charge me to talk to someone I can even understand to begin with, then they can get the money from someone else because it won't be from me.
 
stirling
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 1:49 am

The article in the USAToday online addition says Delta saves $25 Billion dollars a year by doing this.

What?
$25 Billion dollars?

I have placed the link here so you can see that I am not crazy......

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/today/sky.htm

I ran into this recently when I called Dell about purchasing a computer, but instead of India, the call center was in Panama. I hung up so frustrated I bought another brand of computer. Each and every time I would ask a question, I was placed on hold. They wasted over an hour of my time.
Delete this User
 
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aloha73g
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 3:18 am

A few months ago I was trying to use part of a Buddy Pass that I had issued a few months before, but lost the ticket number and Reservation code while moving in and out of my dorm room. I called Delta once and spoke with a woman in the US. She was slightly rude (very un-Delta) and insisted there was nothing she could do. A few hours later I called back and ended up talking to a man in India. He was very nice and was able to find the ticket number by using the credit card number I had issued the pass with. The other woman had not even given me this option. Once he found the information I needed he transferred me to the reissue desk where a very nice woman from Montreal helped me to reissue my buddy pass.

Needless to say my experience with Delta's Indian Res Personnel was very good.

On a related note, at a seminar about outsourcing at my university we were told that to be a telephone operator in India you must have atleast a Masters Degree, but that they prefer PhD's.

Aloha!
Aloha Airlines - The Spirit Moves Us. Gone but NEVER Forgotten. Aloha, A Hui Hou!
 
deltaffindfw
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 3:37 am


USA Today obviously made a mistake. The St. Petersburg article clearly states $25MM in savings - not billion.
 
stirling
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 3:57 am


Thanks for the clarification.
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milemaster
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 4:09 am

Credit card companies outsource their call center stuff like crazy these days too.

Last time I called to discuss a recent transaction, no joke my call was answered: "Ayloo Hop niddy do dar dar".

I think he was trying to say "how can I help you?"

Companies who outsource the main contact with their business to the consumer are really shooting themselves in the foot.
 
Jalalabad
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 4:51 am

http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/4895882.html

..at least it's not in india tho,heh
 
StarCruiser
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 5:14 am

I don't care how much money DL saves, or any other company for that matter, AOL and Hewlett Packard in particular. If you are doing business in the USA have an American represent you, especially if you are an American company. Likewise if you are doing business in India have an Indian person represent you there. I have had nothing but extreme frustration dealing with service personnel in India. As a hearing impaired person to start with, I have trouble with accents and the people with whom I have had to deal have very poor skills in US English. If you're going to charge me my hard earned money you damn well better give me the service I want. That does not include someone who knows nothing of US geography and US English. If I were in India, I would expect to speak to a local person, not someone in Paraguay or the Netherlands.

I certainly have nothing against the people from India. All of the ones I have met have been wonderful people. That isn't the point. Our economy is in the toilet except for the very wealthy right now. Every job outsourced is an American out of a job and a family that is not able to put food on the table. If that's the way DL and others want to be, I will fly another airline. The same goes for every other US based airline.
 
DAYGS
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 5:46 am

Interesting - this explains alot to me. A few weeks back I called Delta to locate my SkyMiles number and make an address change. The lady said I had 15000 miles in my account and, she added the SkyMiles number to the PNR. (This is after she said "oops" over the phone and said she had hit the wrong key and I had to give her all the information over again...but, hey, that can happen) Anyway, I digress...

I went on the trip, service was good. Went to look at my SkyMiles account last week and it showed a ---zero--- balance. ZERO. I called DL which took forever to get through to a live person, who wasn't very friendly or helpful.
She said my problem would have to be queued over to another department and it would take 4-6 weeks for an answer. AWESOME customer service, wouldn't you say? Go Delta!
 
jkudall
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 7:04 am

Interesting, Delta just issued a press release saying they have decided to close one of its India call centers.

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/040728/delta_4.html
 
AirframeAS
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 8:37 am

Not only DL, any other airline or any company outsources but DELL is a HUGE HUGE outsourcing company. Ughhh!
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
vatveng
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 8:37 am

Meanwhile AirTran, Delta's biggest competitor in their biggest hub, recently opened a third reservations call center in the Atlanta metro area.
 
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fanoftristars
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:35 am

I believe all medallion calls stay in the US. In my pre-medallion days, it was frustrating when talking with someone in India. Usually my questions stumped them and they'd transfer me right back to the USA.
"FLY DELTA JETS"
 
fspilot747
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:43 am

Outsourcing is evil.


Last time I called Microsoft some Indian guy picked up and claimed his name was Ralph. I was about to say "you're name isn't ralph! don't lie to me!" But I held my tongue and I didn't get my problem fixed anyways.



FSP
 
ushermittwoch
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 11:00 am

Guys, you like capitalism.


And thus you'll have to face what we have to deal with in Europe already.
Get charged for every service call.
This is especially "great" if you have to call for a service that already charges as monthly fee like cable or electricity.
Where have all the tri-jets gone...
 
COEWR
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 12:27 pm

In response to reply 9:

Last time I called to discuss a recent transaction, no joke my call was answered: "Ayloo Hop niddy do dar dar".

I think he was trying to say "how can I help you?"


that is the funniest thing I have seen/heard today. Welcome to my respected users list...Not only because of what you wrote but because it happened to me!

I called Chase about my account and got some guy named "Steve". His name definitely wasn't Steve. Not that I have anything against outsourcing, but my only phone is my cell and I wasted a good hour and a half of prime time minutes trying to get the dude to understand me! I know these companies are just trying to save some money, but when I call I would really like to get someone on the telephone I can understand and they can understand me. This has nothing to do with this particular person, or race, just a broad generalization. I'm sure anyone in any European nation would be upset if I answered the phone trying to speak their language and couldn't understand them, put them on hold, and had to ask 5 different people what the caller was trying to say. Now that I got my anger out a little, back to the grind!

--C
 
ifly2eat
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 12:34 pm

Not so fast!

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/040728/delta_4.html
Fly the friendly skys and stay out of mine.
 
flyerau
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 1:04 pm

My absolute favorite is calling SkyMiles and asking for an award ticket on Northwest to Grand Forks. Grand where??? said the agent in India...
 
wjcandee
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 2:38 pm

Probably way off topic. I have had a Compaq and a Dell laptop in the past 4 years. When the Dell had a problem, I was given to some dork, who happened to be in India, who had no ability or authority to resolve the problem. Horrible, horrible, horrible. Compaq seems to have a mix of foreigners and Americans, and my experience was mixed. When I paid a significant flat fee for help, I did get a great Compaq guy, who patiently worked with me for an hour, and had the advanced skill set necessary to resolve a pretty technical issue, as well as communicate with me (my other experiences were frustrating insofar as I go crazy when I know 5 times as much about the system as the "tech"). Well worth the $50. Nevertheless, I was less than thrilled with the overall approach to tech support from both manufacturers.

However, then I got an Emachines laptop 3 months ago. They outsource (in the sense of they don't do it with their own employees) their call center. To a company in the US. Who has incredibly friendly employees. Who come on the phone within a minute hold if not immediately. Who know what they're talking about. What an incredible difference!!!! It shows that with a commitment to properly training and hiring a consistent quality of employee, an outsourced operation can work well. But the purchaser (Emachines) has to be willing to pay for the quality. Given that this company is famous for its low overhead and cautious spending, they plainly decided that this was a place that was worth spending some money to do it right and impress people. It sure did me (and the dang m6807 notebook was one hell of a value for what I got).

In Delta's case, they plainly want to drive customers to their web site, wherein I can do almost anything that a res agent can do. And I can work the website to my heart's content for a fraction of even an Indian call center employee's cost to them. However, when I'm on the road and have to call for a res from the car, I admit it would be frustrating to deal with people who can't really speak my language. Guess I would then have to call Airtran.

I would well rather that Delta give up the whole foreign "call center" thing entirely in favor of flextiming homeworkers or college students, which some other companies do. Properly recruited and trained, they can be a quality, less-expensive alternative.

All the best,

Bill
 
AMS
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 6:54 pm

Many companies are starting to open call-centers in India, since it far away more cheaper and they can find skilled workers for the positions.

Many British companies in the UK are already implementing these call centers in India. Employees speak like native UK speakers and Customers don't have a clue that they are speaking with a representative in India.


Regards,
AMS
 
jasepl
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Thu Jul 29, 2004 7:53 pm

Companies should open call centres etc wherever in the world they like, for all I care, but the people employed to staff these places should be able to provide an minimum level of service. I don't mean things like knowing where Grand Forks is, because I'm sure very many Americans might never have heard of it. But being able to communicate properly is a basic requirement, in my opinion. I mean I am Indian, and I cant often understand a word of what many Indians are saying! If they staff them well, I doubt many consumers will have a problem with it. Of course, the politics of it all is another story...
 
dvk
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Fri Jul 30, 2004 12:55 am

I read in the newspaper this morning that DL is closing one of its call centers in India to save money. They have two other call centers there, though. The article said that Delta did not address whether or not the center's closing had anything to do with results of their survey regarding customers' willingness to pay to speak with someone for whom English is their first language.
I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
 
SafetyDude
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Fri Jul 30, 2004 1:49 am

As of this date, I have not had a reply.
Delta is notoriously slow.  Insane

If this is they way they treat customers, I may not be so inclined to give up my seat on an oversold flight in the future or perhaps even fly Delta at all.
No, give up your seat, and that way, Delta has to pay you.  Big grin

that is the funniest thing I have seen/heard today. Welcome to my respected users list...Not only because of what you wrote but because it happened to me!
When I read that reply, I nearly skipped over it because it has happened to me so many times!

Guys, you like capitalism.


And thus you'll have to face what we have to deal with in Europe already.
Get charged for every service call.
This is especially "great" if you have to call for a service that already charges as monthly fee like cable or electricity.

What? We want our problems to be solved, and if people in India can do that, it is great - but they cannot. Customer service is a pretty big deal over here.

 Smile
-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
RareBear
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Fri Jul 30, 2004 2:28 am

I wrote Delta Customer Service an e-mail yesterday after reading about this here. Basically told them I was strongly opposed to their idea of charging to speak to a Rep in the US, and if this was instituted, they could say good-bye to me as a paying customer. Have not received a response, so we'll wait a few days and see what they have to say.
Illegitimus non carborundum
 
CaptOveur
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Fri Jul 30, 2004 2:57 am

I used to work in a call center that had an office in India. I got sick of hearing people who had called the same number 5 times only to get an Indian. They would hang up and keep calling back until they got someone who spoke English. I hope someone in that company was listening to the tapes because at least twice an hour I would have to blow 10 minutes of valuable time on the phone calming down a customer who was infuriated at having to deal with Indians on the phone.

I read somewhere Dell is trying to move their tech call centers back to the US. If you are ordering a Dell though it is a thousand times easier to do it on the website.

I guess if Delta is going to charge me to talk to an English speaking customer service rep I will just take my business elsewhere, I usually do my business over the internet but if I really need an customer service agent I probably don't have time to fight with a language barrier. Are screwmiles good on any other airline?
Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.
 
JBLUA320
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Fri Jul 30, 2004 3:55 am

Captoveur,

DL SkyMiles, in the states, are also good on Northwest and Continental.

JBLU
 
Tasha
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Fri Jul 30, 2004 4:18 am

"I guess if Delta is going to charge me to talk to an English speaking customer service rep I will just take my business elsewhere"

I too will have to look very hard at DL. If this is true, I will boycott them. I fully agree with the other posting: that if your doing business in the U.S. speak with an American rep; if your in India speak with an Indian rep; if in Germany, with a German.

I fly DL nearly every week GPT-ATL, as that is a direct flight. If this is proven to be correct about the "fee", I will spend the little extra time and money and fly NW GPT - MEM - ATL. What is Delta thinking? This is a slap in the face.

Tasha  Pissed
 
jcs17
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Fri Jul 30, 2004 9:03 am

Another reason why DL's customer service, in my opinion, is the absolute worst in the industry. There is nothing more frustrating to me than having to sit on the phone for about 20 minutes just trying to hash out what you actually want to have done with your reservations. I've asked to be transferred to a US-based agent before and once in a while they will oblige. How freaking stupid do you have to be to do this in a customer-service related industry. How the hell does Vicki Escarra even keep her job?
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
VonRichtofen
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Fri Jul 30, 2004 9:22 am

If everybody wants airlines to have call centres in the US then don't complain when you can't get a $99 return trip JFK-MIA and still get skymiles etc.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Delta made a good move by having their call centres in India. But it's very expensive to run an airline (we all know this). If we want customer service like we've had in the past then be prepared to pay higher fares like we did in the past.


Kris

[Edited 2004-07-30 02:24:19]
 
SafetyDude
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Mon Aug 02, 2004 8:24 am

For anyone who is interested, there is a segment on out-sourcing in India on "60 Minutes" on CBS right now.

It is a pretty interesting view, and they are talking about fake names that the people use and how to pronounce English properly.

 Smile
-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
ual747den
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:23 am

I HATE OUTSOURCING CALL CENTERS!!! I called AOL the other day and got some stupid woman in India. I asked her how the hell she was going to help me if she couldn't even use the service. I think that if its an American company and they make their money in the US and they sell their products to Americans they should have to pay for American to provide customer service. It is not right to avoid the costs of doing business in the US while enjoying the profits and advantages. I also believe that it is not right that these companies can go pay these Indian people next to nothing to do a job that an American would be paid good money for. This is the one thing that I hate more than anything in the world right now so I will just stop typing before I freak out!!!
(If I am not able to talk to a US rep I will NOT fly DL again!)
/// UNITED AIRLINES
 
flyboyaz
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:32 am

I've had to deal with call centers in India when calling Compaq and Safeway. It was the pits!! The people at Safeway got me so mad, I finally told the woman I had no idea what she was saying. Very irritating. Her name was "Sandra"....yeah Sandra my butt...more like Sandeep or something like that.
Catch a ride on a smile!
 
SafetyDude
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:38 am

Delta and American Express (?) were the only airlines mentioned, by other companies included AOL, Dell, and HP.

 Smile
-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
ha763
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:53 am

Guess what, even if you contact an airlne res agent in the United States, chances are the person you are talking to didn't give his/her real name either. I have had to check names in an alias file for res agents when reseaching complaints/complements. The file even had effective dates for the names. A friend of mine who used to work in res used the name Liza, which was similar to her real name, but still isn't her real name.
 
gamps
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Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 4:10 am

RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:56 am

It is not right to avoid the costs of doing business in the US while enjoying the profits and advantages.

As long as public demands cheaper and cheaper goods ala Walmart, outsourcing will happen. Been to Walmart of late? Even the US Flag or the "We will never forget 9/11" sticker sold on NY Streets are "Made in Korea" or "Printed in China"

Its pure global economics at work. I personally think Delta or Safeway in the other example (though Safeway has agents in Phillipines, not India) gave bad or inadequate training to the agents. Can happen to any outsourcing project within USA as well. It is always bad training or inadequate processes which results in bad customer experience. British Airways has call center in India for years and we hardly hear any bad stuff about BA Customer Service?
 
tranceport
Posts: 240
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RE: DL Fee To Speak W/ American Res Agent

Mon Aug 02, 2004 10:46 am

I have been a loyal Delta flyer for fifteen years. If they begin charging a fee to speak to an agent in the US, then I will not give them my business. It has nothing to do with Indians answering the phone and everything to do with being able to effectively communicate with someone when I need customer service. India is a fascinating country, the Indians I know are great people, and Indian cuisine is one of the best cuisines to be found. However, when I need customer service, I need quick, efficient service in fluent English.

I cancelled my American Express account for the same reason. I needed help with an issue with my account, and it turned into an impossible situation. I phoned various times, and the Indian agents seemed incapable of understanding what I needed, and I in turn was incapable of understanding what they were saying. The answers I received were very canned and in many cases they more or less repeated what I had just told them. This is sad because ten years ago I worked as a customer service agent for American Express, and they were one of the best companies around in terms of their customer service and training programme.





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