upsmd11
Posts: 643
Joined: Sat May 17, 2003 10:56 am

US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:18 pm

Just this morning I called the US toll free number (800)428-4322 to see if I could get upgraded on my flight tomorrow SDF - PHL - FLL. The PHL-FLL segment is the one I was looking to get upgraded on.

Before this call center was off-shore this process was usually a 2-3 minute call where I would give my STAR code (which is DS0088 for this upgrade). Now the transaction took almost 20 minutes and the person ended up saying seats weren't available, which I find believable but something you should be able to tell me in 2 minutes vs. 20.

Has anybody else experienced poor customer service from this center? Does anybody have a trick for getting a US-based customer service agent? I would guess the Dividend Miles Silver, Gold or Chairman's would have a different number as I used to have when I was Gold but now I'm regular Joe-flyer.

Thanks up front for any useful information,
John
 
HPRamper
Posts: 4633
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 4:22 am

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:05 pm

Good thing it's coming back on-shore soon, how embarrassing for my airline. Did the operator at least speak decent English?
 
Cody
Posts: 2175
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 12:16 pm

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:53 pm

UPSMD11,

Just keep trying. Every time they answer ask "Are you in America?" and when they say, "No I am in the Phillipines" or "No this is Honduras" (or wherever) say "Thank You" and hang up. Keep trying until they say,
"this is Reno, Phoenix or Winston-Salem."

I once called to see how much a companion pass would be from Pittsburgh to Orlando and the overseas operator told me $5,000.00!
 
bond007
Posts: 4425
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:42 pm

Quoting UPSMD11 (Thread starter):
Now the transaction took almost 20 minutes and the person ended up saying seats weren't available, which I find believable but something you should be able to tell me in 2 minutes vs. 20.

If you're not Chairmans, Gold, or Silver, your chances are not that good anyway. It's a fairly busy travel weekend, and many of those US flights have just 2-3 rows of FC.

Yes, with the Gold/Silver numbers you get direct to a US person who does it in 2 minutes!

I travel US every week, and the offshore call center is appalling...especially with being upgraded or simply being put on the upgrade list. It seems they are very poorly trained.


Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
Tango-Bravo
Posts: 2887
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:04 am

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:26 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 3):
It seems they are very poorly trained.

Or do they even receive any training? Based on my experiences in speaking with offshore reservations agents representing U.S. airlines and dot com travel agencies (Travelocity, etc.), it seems they do not comprehend even the most basic concepts and terminology of airline reservations and related functions -- much less the convoluted nonsense that the U.S. legacies pile on top of the basics.

Regardless of how proficient their English may be and their almost invariably positive attitudes, the obvious lack of training makes the "services" of offshore outsourced call center agents generally a frustrating, unduly time-consuming, all-too-often futile, experience to customers who attempt to use their services; especially since many calls to "live" reservations agents pertain to the more complex issues that cannot be done on airline websites.

Regardless of all the spin airlines and proponents of "globalization" use to attempt to assure us that "all is well" with the offshore outsourcing of airline and travel agency call centers, the reality is that the training of agents at such centers is obviously somewhere between totally inadequate and non-existent, which uderstandably results in the corresponding inevitable reality of abysmally low levels of customer satisfaction.
 
jmc1975
Posts: 2903
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2000 10:57 am

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:29 am

Quoting Cody (Reply 2):
Keep trying until they say,
"this is Reno, Phoenix or Winston-Salem."

 checkmark  Keep hanging up until you get one of those! If you are dialing US East, you should only settle for an agent in Winston-Salem. If you dial US West, you WILL get either Phoenix or Reno. The former HP res centers are all stateside.
.......
 
A330300
Posts: 508
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:06 pm

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:44 am

I called once to list non-rev and check flight loads...

Listing took about 15 minutes, with the agent talking in Spanish in the background trying to get help on how to do it...

Flight loads: "Oh the flight has seats...I can tell because there is 7 on the letters". I had to call a local airport ticket counter to verify loads.

On a previous occasion, it felt like I had to scream at one of the agents to get him to do anything - absolute rudest service I've ever received on the phone.

Can't say this call center is doing good things for US.
 
vegasplanes
Posts: 656
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 2:22 pm

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:55 am

Quoting Cody (Reply 2):
Just keep trying. Every time they answer ask "Are you in America?" and when they say, "No I am in the Phillipines" or "No this is Honduras" (or wherever) say "Thank You" and hang up. Keep trying until they say,
"this is Reno, Phoenix or Winston-Salem."

Slight Variation I use, I ask if the same question, just when they tell me no, I tell them to transfer me to somewhere in America, it helps if you know the name of the locality that you want to be transfered to. That normally works for me, for any call center, as I have never called HP or US.
 
USPIT10L
Posts: 1874
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:24 am

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 6:12 am

Quoting A330300 (Reply 6):

With all due respect, you shouldn't call res for flight loads. When I worked for DGS, I either checked with our load agent on duty or I checked delta.com. With US, you should be able to find out loads through SABRE, if you have access to it, if not call the non-rev travel line.

I agree, I'm glad US is finally bringing the off-shore res lines back stateside. It was a horrible idea to begin with and is typical of non-airline management to think service would improve with such a move.
It's a Great Day for Hockey!
 
Lee
Posts: 146
Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 9:31 pm

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 7:53 am

My mum has had trouble with UAL's call centres (calling from the UK), It made often simple bookings very complicated. I think Premier Exec members should have a dedicated number with people that can actually understand english !!
 
mah584jr
Posts: 422
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:35 pm

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 8:22 am

I guess after all the bankruptcies, US was trying to do anything to cut its losses. On the other hand, outsourcing jobs has become more and more common in the US.
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 628
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 9:11 am

Well I just got back from a horrible flight with US that took 22 hours from arriving at the ticket counter at PVD to SEA, first the flight was delayed for 5 minutes - then suddenly by 80 minutes. The indicated that all connections prior to 6 PM would be missed, but after 6 PM connections were OK. However, only the one agent at the counter could make the arrangements, which was painfully slow. I called the US number, explained the situation, she mumbled that she couldn't help me as my bags were already checked.

Others in the line with the US number got their reservations changed. Arrived in PHL 80 minutes late, but no gate available so we sit on the apron 20 minutes. By then nearly every connection had left. Our plane was to continue to Denver, but they announced that they substituted planes and this plane was going to SAN, the passengers going to Denver had to get other planes. I go to the corrections counter where a very unhappy tuned out agent mindlessly went about the rescheduling. I asked if I could take the HP flight at 8:30 to get home, she said there were seats but because I checked the bag it would be on the morning flight - here's my coupon for a hotel, the boarding pass, and a $10 voucher. The hotel was the Airport Ramada which really needs to be refurbished - like 5 years overdue. No email or internet available either in the room or a business center.

The flight in the morning left an hour late, when we arrived in SEA, after waiting for our bags they announce that several X-ray machines in PHL were broken so half of the bags didn't ship with the plane. Mine didn't come down so I stood in the line to report my bag, they then said. Oh! it arrived last night, its been here all day. So may bag was on the flight they told me I couldn't take.

Do US employees take special training to be surly, nasty, rude, and totally uncaring. This trip was the worst I have seen at US, and by far the worst I have experienced flying. I tried to be polite and businesslike because I know they have been having a rough time, but the downright rude service this trip will make me bite my tongue before I will go thru PHL or fly US again.
 
tristanhnl
Posts: 125
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 9:20 am

Quoting USPIT10L (Reply 8):
It was a horrible idea to begin with and is typical of non-airline management to think service would improve with such a move.

Sad state of affairs, but they were probably more concerned with cutting costs than maintaining top service.
Hong Kong: truly Asia's world city!
 
USPIT10L
Posts: 1874
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:24 am

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 9:32 am

Quoting Tristanhnl (Reply 12):
Sad state of affairs, but they were probably more concerned with cutting costs than maintaining top service.

They weren't airline people, Bronner and Lakefield in particular. Top service meant nothing. Their whole objective in buying control of US Airways was to make a quick buck, then sell it off. Worse than Wolf, in my opinion. At least he and his cohorts knew how to run a major airline. I can hardly wait to see what Parker and his companions do next!
It's a Great Day for Hockey!
 
HPRamper
Posts: 4633
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 4:22 am

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 9:34 am

Quoting JayinKitsap (Reply 11):

Sounds like a lot of those problems were with non-US Airways related issues. Hotel, X-ray machines (TSA) etc. And the main issue that was with the airline seems to be the perpetually unhelpful East res line.
 
A330300
Posts: 508
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:06 pm

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:16 am

Quoting USPIT10L (Reply 8):

I think the nonrev line eventually gets to the same call center (and I don't blame them for wanting to cut costs...)

As soon as HP fully converts to US at my airport, I'll be able to avoid calling in altogether.  Smile
 
wjcandee
Posts: 5339
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:41 am

Well...for what it's worth...

My two recent calls to US res were to change some reservations from Bermuda so we could stay an extra day. On both calls, the agents were incredibly competent and incredibly nice. I was concerned that given the very fair fare we were paying, I would have to pay an extra charge beyond the change fee. Nope. The change fee wasn't cheap, but not outrageous either -- a fair price to pay for an extra day of fun (plus, of course the hotel and other expenses). The person was quick and efficient and nice.

In any event, put me in the column of total satisfaction with the telephone res folks, based on my two random experiences as a non-elite-FF.

Oh, yeah. How funny is it that most of the bitching on here about the res line is by airline employees trying to arrange pass travel or companion travel or whatever? As an actual civilian, the service arranged for me was swell.
 
upsmd11
Posts: 643
Joined: Sat May 17, 2003 10:56 am

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:21 am

Of course I can't check load factors myself but when I went on US Airways to book on the same flight I am on tomorrow 1st shows wide open. It's an A321 which has the most 1st seats of any domestic narrowbody US aircraft.

Later someone told me I could only upgrade on certain fares but my voucher is a Space Positive North American upgrade and says I may upgrade from any purchased ticket, nothing about fare class.

I used to have a cousin who worked for US in CLT but with the merger she didn't want to move to PHX so she left the company after many years starting with PI in SAV and moving to CLT when US took over.

Anyway, I'll try at the airport tomorrow. Either case I'm happy to be heading to sunny FL for a few days.

Cheers,
John
 
lincoln
Posts: 3133
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:22 pm

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:24 am

Quoting Lee (Reply 9):
My mum has had trouble with UAL's call centres (calling from the UK), It made often simple bookings very complicated.

So...she was talking to someone in America...?  biggrin   duck 

(I say that only because for my Calfornia History class in college I had a professor from England...one of the best professors I had, but there were times between the accent and slang neither her nor the class really had 100% of an idea what the other was saying. "I'm sorry, but could you please translate that from English to American...?" was a common questionw in the class)

Just proof that English isn't always as universal as you think  Smile

Lincoln
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
USPIT10L
Posts: 1874
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:24 am

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 1:26 pm

Quoting A330300 (Reply 15):
I think the nonrev line eventually gets to the same call center (and I don't blame them for wanting to cut costs...)

God, I hope not. If that's the case, I'm glad I left PSA in training. It was so much easier to have someone in load planning help you list and show you loads. Using DL's travel line was easy. It was completely automated. You just put in your employee ID and then put in your flight numbers.
It's a Great Day for Hockey!
 
Lee
Posts: 146
Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 9:31 pm

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Sun Apr 16, 2006 7:00 pm

Quoting USPIT10L (Reply 19):
So...she was talking to someone in America...?


Nope, think it was an Indian call centre. The American ones are very good. The agents are very helful and friendly from my experiance.
 
NoBoeingNoGoin
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 12:17 pm

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:41 am

I am a USairways agent and I have had to deal with so many reservations errors it isn't even funny.... But to their defense I don't think that the US agents who don't have airport computers can actually check the loads. I think that they can only see they class of service availability lines. For sabre, you have to make the entry vila1/all after viewing availablitily to see the actual seats sold. If they don't have the avability to sign in to an SI5 or SI6 they won't have the "proper duty code" to see the availablity..

Oh yeah, the biggest mess up I have seen recently is this: On 28 May, the University of Tennessee has this big confrence for kids. Well, our last CRJ to CLT is now oversold by 19! Res cancelled a group of 20 ppl's int. and had to reinstate it after the flight filled up!

Alex

P.S. Does anyone know if ATA uses Sabre?
 
Gr8Circle
Posts: 2397
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:44 am

RE: US/HP Outsourced Call Center Not Useful

Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:19 pm

Quoting Lee (Reply 9):
My mum has had trouble with UAL's call centres (calling from the UK), It made often simple bookings very complicated. I think Premier Exec members should have a dedicated number with people that can actually understand english !!



Quoting Lee (Reply 20):
Nope, think it was an Indian call centre.

For your information, Call Centre agents in India speak good English....if they do not speak with the accent that your mom (or any other customer for that matter) is accustomed to, it does not amount to a "can actually understand English" sort of situation.....

UA and other airlines will source their support facilities wherever it is the cheapest.....it is impossible to provide Call Centre facilities with the exact accent that each individual customer calling in would be comfortable with...

Moreover, the very fact that you 'think it was an Indian Call Centre' shows your preconceived notions about Indian agents....

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