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allrite
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Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:31 pm

I have to admit that I am astonished by this. In this letter a Sydney cardiologist with who has serviced Griffith in regional New South Wales for over 20 years writes to REX's chairman Lim Kim Hai to complain about a major delay and the passengers' subsequent treatment by the airline. He says that he has experienced declining service and seeks further information on delays.

Quote:
It is my experience now over 20 years trying to provide a service to country New South Wales that the REX service has deteriorated dramatically. Furthermore information provided and decisions made about how to compensate for malfunctioning planes is totally unsatisfactory. I have serious doubts whether I am going to continue to fly to Griffith. Unfortunately there does not seem to be any competition flying to Griffith and I suspect that is why the service is so poor. I would be grateful for documentation of how frequently the service to Griffith arrives on time and how often flights are significantly delayed and/or cancelled. I would also like documentation as to whether Friday is worse than other days because my only alternative is to move my flights and clinics to another day.

I would say that the letter was written professionally and not in an aggressive or angry tone.

The response from their General Manager of Corporate Service, Irwin Tan, explicitly on behalf of the chairman includes:

Quote:
3. Your entitlement to compensation is governed by our conditions of carriage which you have accepted. In this case you are not entitled to anything. If, as you say, you find the conditons unsatisfactory, why did you accept them in the first place? I would be curious to know if you would reimburse any of your patients who do not get well after seeing you? If you don't, why not? 4. We are not providing you with the statistics you are requesting for. Perhaps in the medical profession you are used to dispensing information on how long you make your patients wait or how often you misdiagnosed.

Whether or not the doctor's complaints and requests were valid, I cannot believe that a senior member of the organisation would write a reply in such a rude and insulting manner. I wonder if REX's management would be prepared to lose face and give an apology...
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IndianicWorld
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:15 pm

Is that a serious reply??

If so, I have never seen such an unprofessional response put to writing before. It goes beyond rude, which takes a disparaging tone and seems more intent on insulting the customers profession than anything else.
 
silentbob
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:57 pm

I think the initial letter was just as unprofessional and insulting.
 
bennett123
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:45 pm

IMO, the response given to the complaint is plain rude.

Perhaps, he should have torn the letter up, and next day written a new letter.

Customer's are frequently annoying, but if I wrote a letter like that, then I would be lucky to keep my job.
 
redflyer
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:56 pm

Inasmuch as I absolutely LOVE the airline's response to what appears to be a pompous ass of a doctor, the airline's responsive letter was waaaaaaaaaay out of line for an industry that is probably the most customer-service oriented in the world. And it was certainly way, way, disproportionate to what was necessary. The doctor had no place asking for that kind of information and expecting a reply. But the airline, in sending that reply, was only begging for trouble. They should have either ignored his letter entirely, or responded with a short "We don't provide that kind of information." Or they could have just sent him a voucher for a free meal just to show they care enough about his opinion.
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cmf
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:09 pm

Quoting redflyer (Reply 4):
for an industry that is probably the most customer-service oriented in the world.

   How do you support that statement?
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vfw614
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:48 pm

Quoting redflyer (Reply 4):
e for an industry that is probably the most customer-service oriented in the world

You gotta be kidding. I can think of no other industry where customers are being told so much crap day in and day out..
 
CX Flyboy
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:12 am

I love that response. Anyone who deals with customers would appreciate how much rubbish they put up with and if this letter is indeed true, then he wrote exactly what he thought. He's my hero!

However, unfortunately in this day and age, responses like that are inappropriate. These days companys pander to their customers unreasonable whims all the time because losing a customer is worse than swallowing your pride and writing an apology to customers no matter how unreasonable and rude and arrogant they may be. My own company has had passengers throw a hissy fit, verbally and sometimes physically abuse our staff, resulting in medical attention to the staff, and yet the company apologises to the passenger and compansates them!!! It is very frustrating but money talks and every else no longer matters. The money taken from unreasonable and rude customers is apparently as good as the money from nice and polite individuals and at the end of the day thats all that seems to matter. Responses such at that from the REX manager are, unfortunately, ill-advised in this day and age of corporate operations.
 
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allrite
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:03 am

Quoting silentbob (Reply 2):
I think the initial letter was just as unprofessional and insulting.
Quoting redflyer (Reply 4):
The doctor had no place asking for that kind of information and expecting a reply.

I doubt that the doctor ever expected to be supplied with specific figures, nor to be actually reimbursed by the airline. Rather, they were an illustration of the impact that the Rex's delays and lack of clear information about them has upon his business - the supply of an essential service to a rural area. If he has been doing the same trip for 20 years then he is quite entitled to make the observation that service quality has deteriorated over that time.

Quoting CX Flyboy (Reply 7):
I love that response. Anyone who deals with customers would appreciate how much rubbish they put up with and if this letter is indeed true, then he wrote exactly what he thought. He's my hero!

I suspect that there is a cultural element (see the comments here, which is something I have observed through my in-laws), but this is an airline serving regional Australia, not SE Asia, and they exist to serve their customers, not the other way around (something many organisations seem to forget these days).

The time for plain talking is from the airline during the delay when clear statements are not made by the airline (even "Sorry, but the aircraft is under repair at x and are uncertain how long it will take to repair. There is no way we can arrange a spare flight right now") keeping passengers updated.
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tharanga
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:31 am

Assuming that all this actually happened, and it isn't some urban legend,

There must be some sort of culture shock for me here, but .. anetters are saying the doctor's request was unreasonable? Really? At least in the US, detailed on-time/delay/cancel data are reported to the government and then made available to the public. Seems quite reasonable to me. As for compensation for delays related to mechanical difficulties - the airline could have politely pointed out what was in the contract of carriage, not snidely reply as they did.

Quoting redflyer (Reply 4):
for an industry that is probably the most customer-service oriented in the world.

On what basis can you say that? Step back a bit. There are professions and industries that require much more direct interaction with the customer than commercial aviation. In fact, medicine might be one of them. I'm not saying the health care industry is necessarily always good at it, but their jobs require more intimate interaction with customers than aviation, by far.
 
vfw614
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:43 am

The explanation for the rude answer probably can be found within this sentence....

Quoting allrite (Thread starter):
Unfortunately there does not seem to be any competition flying to Griffith and I suspect that is why the service is so poor.

Pretty much means from the airline's perspective "shut up, you do not have a choice anyway". Probably would not have happened to a frequent flyer on a trunk route with a choice of airlines. If I am not mistaken, there are hardly any routes on which REX is facing competition which may result in an attitude that has become apparent in the response letter.

In this case, what are the alternatives for the guy? No longer providing an outpatient service at the hospital which he more than likely does not do for free as a pro bono service?
 
docpepz
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:01 am

allrite, have any South East Asian companies responded to you in such a manner? If so I'm surprised. When I used to live in Australia, a very large telco told me to "go to a competitor, for we will not be issuing you a new account". I interpreted that as rude customer service and it didn't dawn upon me to draw cultural comparisons.
 
sweair
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:16 am

Serving your customers is not longer important. Going out of business is no problem, the government comes in and bails you out. Freaking communist world!

Judging by CX boys answer we all know what airline not to spend our money at!
 
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allrite
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:05 am

Quoting Docpepz (Reply 11):
allrite, have any South East Asian companies responded to you in such a manner?

I was kind of hoping not to go into details, but okay...

Quoting Docpepz (Reply 11):
When I used to live in Australia, a very large telco told me to "go to a competitor, for we will not be issuing you a new account".

No, and I would not expect any medium to largish company of any country to do so, especially in SE Asia. In fact, I would probably expect them to be politer than many Australian equivalents. But the response was written in a way that I have informally encountered many times before with business (and family) people from the region (including some who have lived here for many years). A real hostility to criticism and a tendency to overreact in the perspective of an Australian. Being adopted into the community I now understand where it comes from and don't personally get offended. In fact, I find it amusing. Especially when it happens on A.net. All cultures have their own quirks. I always enjoy reading your responses.  

Maybe it has nothing to do with the origins of the reply's author - but I was trying to suggest that maybe there may be a cultural disconnect between the individuals involved rather than something indicative of an organisation wide issue.

If the response had been from Barry at the call centre then I doubt anybody would have been surprised (and Barry would hopefully get reprimanded from above). Some places (like Australian telcos) have quite a few Barries. The issue is that it comes from a very senior manager in Rex (I looked it up on their website) writing in the name of the chairman. Hopefully this isn't a general cultural issue for Rex - I bet it isn't - but it is one for Mr Tan and possibly Mr Lim. There are a lot of sensitivities, some may be related to a perception of city folk looking down upon them, and it is incumbent on Rex's management at all levels to understand this.
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CX Flyboy
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:09 am

Sweair, your business is certainly very welcome here. You will be treated better than most airlines will treat you and we will get you safely from A to B safer than most airlines in the world too. If you have a legitimate complaint, it will be dealt with politely and the great thing for you is that even if your complaint isn't legitimate, it will still be dealt with politely. We clearly aren't Rex.
 
lafite82
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:36 am

Mr Irwin Tan's strong reply is totally uncalled for. In fact he could have just point out to the complainant that there is a link in their REX website which shows their operating statistics ( http://www.rex.com.au/OS/os.aspx?y=2011&site=IR ).

While these statistics do not reflect on on-time performance on their Griffith service, it does show that they have a better than average on-time performance in comparison with other Aussie operators.
 
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dirktraveller
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:04 am

Such a response from a senior management of an airline company is totally inappropriate, wherever the company might be based in, whether it is an Australian company or a company based in SE Asia. This airline owes the customer an apology for such response.

Quoting allrite (Reply 8):
but this is an airline serving regional Australia, not SE Asia

No airline is rightful of giving such comments to their passengers' complaints, even if it is in SE Asia.

Quoting allrite (Reply 13):
Maybe it has nothing to do with the origins of the reply's author

I'm glad you did not draw conclusions that this incident was caused by the chairman's origin or cultures.  

I believe this was just an individual problem, combined with REX's poor customer service, and this have nothing to do with the origin culture of REX chairman in general.

Regards,
Dirktraveller
 
TN486
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:07 am

i think this sums up the current feelings about REX and their ops. This man is a professional, an FF, and a customer one wouldnt want to lose. However, even if he was a first flyer with the airline, the response was "not in keeping with good customer relations".
http://www.areanews.com.au/news/loca...nt-rex-takes-nosedive/2638166.aspx
remember the t shirt "I own an airline"on the front - "qantas" on the back
 
sweair
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:24 am

The only way to learn is to get hurt financially, I hope this will cost them a lot and that manager to get fired. Arrogant people have no place in this world IMO.
 
Stealthz
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:50 am

Quoting tharanga (Reply 9):
At least in the US, detailed on-time/delay/cancel data are reported to the government and then made available to the public


They are in Australia as well although the published info doesn't drill down to small infrequently served airports like Griffith.

Quoting Docpepz (Reply 11):
allrite, have any South East Asian companies responded to you in such a manner?
Quoting Docpepz (Reply 11):
When I used to live in Australia, a very large telco told me to "go to a competitor, for we will not be issuing you a new account". I interpreted that as rude customer service and it didn't dawn upon me to draw cultural comparisons.
**
You might want to consider that the chairman that instructed Mr Tan to write that letter is a SIngapore based Chinese(as I believe is Mr Tan) so inferences that this might be an "arrogant Aussie" thing may be misplaced.

I am not here to defend REX as I think the letter was heavy handed, inappropriate and plain dumb but then I think the good doctor's letter was not written in a manner that would elicit the most favourable response.

He makes some valid points but also lacks some understanding.

I spend 8-10 hrs a day assisting people, sometimes only 1, sometimes sizable groups who find themselves far from home and without transport, lodging or even somewhere to find a cup of coffee.. in Australia that can mean very remote.
Compared to some of the cases I handle every day Griffith and Narrandera might seem positively urban but that does not mean finding transport,accommodation or food for groups of people late at night is an easy thing even in larger centres like Griffith (If you read the article, a REX employee finally ordered 3 pizzas for 28 people, but that in itself may have been an issue with the pizza shop only having enough prepared ingredients at that time of night)

I think, from what I am reading the biggest sin REX committed was poor communication, If REX had people and equipment on the ground at every little country airport they fly to the costs would be so high none of those little towns would have an air service at all. They needed to be a little( a lot maybe) more proactive in communicating with the customers.

I have found you can be moving mountains, doing the absolute impossible to assist someone.. if you do not keep them informed , you, your organisation and everyone else are a bunch of incompetent losers.
On the other hand you can be bashing your head against the wall and getting no where finding a solution.. a quick phone call to see if they are OK and comfortable makes you are a hero.( a life lesson- most people can getb through the most onerous situation and put up with sometimes un imaginable inconvenience as long as they know what is going on!)

Back to Rex and their performance...

Quote:
Departures-The regional airlines were led by Regional Express at 84.8 per cent, followed by Virgin Australia – ATR/F100 Operations at 84.1 per cent, Skywest at 75.9 per cent and QantasLink at 70.7 per cent.

Arrivals- Regional Express was the best performing regional airline for on time arrivals at 82.2 per cent, followed by Virgin Australia – ATR/F100 Operations at 80.4 per cent, Skywest at 71.4 per cent and QantasLink at 67.6 per cent.

This info is from
http://www.bitre.gov.au/statistics/aviation/otp_month.aspx

These figures show REX overall performs better than all regional airlines and significantly better than mainline Jetstar


** What telco was that? In my experience the large telco that seems most arrogant, certainly in my dealings" is also Singapore owned and controlled so perhaps there is a cultural link but not the one you might be alluding to
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sweair
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:25 am

Maybe its the culture in Singapore to be arrogant? This is not the first or last story we have heard here about that.
 
redflyer
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:11 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 5):
Quoting redflyer (Reply 4):
for an industry that is probably the most customer-service oriented in the world.

   How do you support that statement?
Quoting tharanga (Reply 9):
Quoting redflyer (Reply 4):
for an industry that is probably the most customer-service oriented in the world.

On what basis can you say that? Step back a bit.

No doubt there are other very customer-service oriented industries out there, but the airline industry is one of the most customer-service oriented industries in the world. You have an environment whereby many people are confined to a very small space and held captive for a long period of time, and the airline choreographs every interaction with those people. And everything that occurs during that period of time is magnified - something as benign as a brief unpleasant odor (be it from another passenger or some other event during the flight) or the seat in front of you being reclined to its maximum can cause the entire flight to be a bad experience.
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tharanga
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:02 am

Quoting redflyer (Reply 21):

No doubt there are other very customer-service oriented industries out there, but the airline industry is one of the most customer-service oriented industries in the world.

I guess we'll just disagree on this. I don't see the in-flight portion as being particularly customer-service heavy. Under normal circumstances, a customer spends very little of the flight time directly interacting with a flight attendant.
 
cmf
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:32 am

Quoting redflyer (Reply 21):
No doubt there are other very customer-service oriented industries out there, but the airline industry is one of the most customer-service oriented industries in the world.

I don't think there is any support for your statement. For the majority of passengers the service experience is about the same as McDonald's.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
Auchmithie
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:14 pm

Quoting CX Flyboy (Reply 14):
If you have a legitimate complaint, it will be dealt with politely and the great thing for you is that even if your complaint isn't legitimate, it will still be dealt with politely.

When CX served me this in a J Class meal on YVRHKG in 2010 they did not bother to reply to two emails sent via their website or one registered delivery letter.

CX889 YVRHKG extra treat in meal.
 
pliersinsight
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RE: Regional Express' Chairman Insults Passenger

Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:04 pm

Quoting redflyer (Reply 4):

Inasmuch as I absolutely LOVE the airline's response to what appears to be a pompous ass of a doctor, the airline's responsive letter was waaaaaaaaaay out of line for an industry that is probably the most customer-service oriented in the world.

You should check out UsAirways Facebook page, if you post a complaint, they come at you and tell you why you are wrong. Try it.

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