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pcash
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:33 pm

TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:33 am

HI,

Don't know if anyone else is affected, but I am struggling to get reservation support from TAM.

A week ago it became clear via my hotel in the Amazon basin that TAM had done some fairly major schedule changes -- including taking me off a still existing flight and putting me on another which no longer connects with my BA flight GRU/LHR. No email alerts and the TAM iPhone App didn't update either.

I rang TAM [UK number as I am UK -based, also US number and Spain number -- all end up in the same purgatory] but that only connects you to LAN who have no access to TAM system. Ultra-low quality phone lines btw with lots of confusion over PNR details. LAN advised that they no longer have the ability to put passengers through to an English speaking TAM reservations service --change happened 2 to 3 weeks ago apparently -- but they do have a Portuguese one. The alternative for anglophones is to create a case and they give you a number and "someone" will call within 24 hours. No one does, so I have chased and only got an initial response after tweeting TAM about the problem and quoting OneWorld Emerald details.

It's been over a week now and all I have is a single email on the subject to which I have replied stating the changes that I need -- reservations still unchanged, and I am travelling later this month.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

Peter

ps: I hope their maintenance regime is better than their reservations one!
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Glareskin
Posts: 1014
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:35 pm

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:43 am

TAM has become a very non international airline since LAN took over.
There's still a long way to go before all the alliances deserve a star...
 
rta
Posts: 1414
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:01 am

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:50 am

That's disappointing to hear. I'll be sure to only book TAM through another airline like AA.
Let us know how you get it sorted out.
 
planeguy
Posts: 360
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2001 4:42 am

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:53 am

The only thing that I can think of is having a Portuguese speaking friend or acquaintance call TAM on your behalf. Otherwise is there a ticket office where you can go in person?
 
art
Posts: 3574
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 11:46 am

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:57 am

Boa sorte. It is amazing that TAM does not have a lot of staff who talk English.
 
User avatar
RWA380
Posts: 5746
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:51 am

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:01 am

Quoting pcash (Thread starter):
Don't know if anyone else is affected, but I am struggling to get reservation support from TAM.

A week ago it became clear via my hotel in the Amazon basin that TAM had done some fairly major schedule changes -- including taking me off a still existing flight and putting me on another which no longer connects with my BA flight GRU/LHR. No email alerts and the TAM iPhone App didn't update either.

I rang TAM [UK number as I am UK -based, also US number and Spain number -- all end up in the same purgatory] but that only connects you to LAN who have no access to TAM system. Ultra-low quality phone lines btw with lots of confusion over PNR details. LAN advised that they no longer have the ability to put passengers through to an English speaking TAM reservations service --change happened 2 to 3 weeks ago apparently -- but they do have a Portuguese one. The alternative for anglophones is to create a case and they give you a number and "someone" will call within 24 hours. No one does, so I have chased and only got an initial response after tweeting TAM about the problem and quoting OneWorld Emerald details.

It's been over a week now and all I have is a single email on the subject to which I have replied stating the changes that I need -- reservations still unchanged, and I am travelling later this month.

Any suggestions?

If I were you, I'd have bought my tickets via a travel agency (a competent travel professional is far better suited to handle these levels of issues on behalf of their clients) thus leaving the situation with someone you can communicate with.

I have never in my 30 years as a travel agent had an issue with a carrier that flew to the US, that did not have an english speaking team for US & UK agents), not that the English was great.

Two suggestions, find a larger travel agency in your area, go in & tell them your tale, they may have an agent only number that they could call for you to help. dropping a few pounds on the table might buy you some good will there.
They won't be able to alter your reservation, but they could connect you with an english speaking representative.

Secondly I'd hiire a ttranslator to call on my behalf to ask questions about how to get an english agent or they can at least help you understand what is going on with your PNR.

See if TAM has an office in London, most carriers from all over the world do. I remember walking down one large boulevard going in & out of airline offices collecting timetables for hours, although it was decades ago.

I will try & come up with some more suggestions for you. I'll ask my T/A friends who are still working in the industry if they can locate an english speaking line here in the USA for you.

I don't know how close your trip is, but these things take time. Where did you buy your ticket? Online?

I can not stress enough the benefits of a travel agent, they often times charge what the carriers charge with a modest fee attached, they get updated schedule changes and pass them along immediately.

I am in no way chastising you, (live & learn my friend) but so many people think that travel agents are antiquated & should go the way of the Do-Do bird, but I guarantee you I've saved more hassles for my VIP clientele than they imagined & I really enjoyed the work, from the shoppers going to Manila with a $25 mark-up on their ticket because that is all the market can bear, to the A list celebrity types who don't care about the money they just want the best, it was all fun.

[Edited 2015-03-08 01:02:20]
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LTU932
Posts: 13726
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:34 am

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:06 am

Quoting planeguy (Reply 3):
The only thing that I can think of is having a Portuguese speaking friend or acquaintance call TAM on your behalf.

Even so, if the Portuguese speaking friend speaks Portuguese from Portugal, language issues can still arise because of the differences in Brazilian and Portuguese way of speaking Portuguese. I know this from a former colleague, who spoke Brazilian Portuguese, he had a hard time talking with people from Portugal.

That being said, an international airline not offering an English speaking agent in the UK/US is just wrong. It's like ringing your telephone company in Spain and you only get German speaking agents on the line. On an airline, I'd expect also people being available who speak at least English, because of all the foreign business they get.
Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. - Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 208
 
jetblue1965
Posts: 5050
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:28 pm

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:19 am

I guess the brazillian economy is so hot they can ignore all English speaking clientele

NOT
 
pcash
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:33 pm

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:20 am

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 5):
If I were you, I'd have bought my tickets via a travel agency (a competent travel professional is far better suited to handle these levels of issues on behalf of their clients) thus leaving the situation with someone you can communicate with.

Noted for next time, although standard of travel agents (and I was one 25 years ago) has sadly dropped.

Tweeted TAM again including bitly of this thread and they say they will contact me "soon"....
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dougbr2006
Posts: 261
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:44 pm

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:55 am

As an EXPAT living in Brazil, i have recently called the Sao Paulo reservation number and spoke to an agent in English with no issues to check a reservation i made on the internet. Maybe I was lucky, even though I'm fluent in Portuguese sometimes they hear the different pronunciation (Gringo talking) and like to attend in English!
 
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yellowtail
Posts: 3938
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:46 am

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:25 pm

Or go down to the LHR ticket counter and have them sort you out
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
slcguy
Posts: 421
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:09 pm

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:32 pm

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 6):
On an airline, I'd expect also people being available who speak at least English, because of all the foreign business they get.

Or don't want to get now!
 
bobnwa
Posts: 4514
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2000 12:10 am

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:56 pm

Quoting art (Reply 4):
Boa sorte. It is amazing that TAM does not have a lot of staff who talk English.

almost as bad as a call center in India where they do "supposedly" speak English but generally have no Idea about speaking American English
 
tff
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 3:33 pm

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:03 pm

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 6):
Even so, if the Portuguese speaking friend speaks Portuguese from Portugal, language issues can still arise because of the differences in Brazilian and Portuguese way of speaking Portuguese. I know this from a former colleague, who spoke Brazilian Portuguese, he had a hard time talking with people from Portugal.

This isn't really an issue. The Portuguese can easily understand Brazilians because Portugal is flooded with Brazilian culture. Even if some Brazilians might not grasp the Portuguese immediately (precisely because they aren't as much in touch with the Portuguese culture as the Portuguese are with the Brazilian's), they very quickly manage to do so.
Remove before flight
 
VC10er
Posts: 4273
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:44 pm

If TAM did indeed stop English call lines or language options on their website that is SO STUPID I can't begin to wrap my head around it!

I recall that VARIG handled English perfectly and not just for the English and Americans, but English is very often is used by other language speakers. And VARIG has been gone a long time now. Also, "nowadays" (a word Brazilians use often) there are far more Brazilians who speak English fluently vs 20/30 years ago - so there is NO EXCUSE to say they can't find people who speak English, perhaps they should pay significantly more for multilingual speakers.

Any way, I do my best not to fly TAM, I never liked them even 15 years ago when TAM positioned themselves as the "Virgin Arline's of Brazil"

I fly Azul quite often and I only have wonderful things to say about them! I hope they become fully inducted into Star Alliance.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
steve6666
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 1:58 am

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:47 pm

Quoting tff (Reply 13):
This isn't really an issue. The Portuguese can easily understand Brazilians because Portugal is flooded with Brazilian culture. Even if some Brazilians might not grasp the Portuguese immediately (precisely because they aren't as much in touch with the Portuguese culture as the Portuguese are with the Brazilian's), they very quickly manage to do so.

I think LTU932 was referring to someone talking Portuguese as a second language. I agree, between Portuguese and Brazilians it's really not an issue, but I learned Portuguese in Lisbon 30 years ago, and certainly found it tough the first time I went to Brazil. Both accent and vocabulary were different enough to cause the cab drivers problems when I asked for "Rua Prestes Maia" and the "centro comercial", but after 15 years dealing with Brazilians, I find it hard talking proper Portuguese - you speak too quickly! So for someone who learned Brazilian Portuguese, I can understand how it's very hard to converse in proper Portuguese.
A306, A318, A319, A320, A321, A332, A333, A343, A346, A388, B722, B732, B733, B734, B735, B73G, B738, B742, B744, B752, B753, B762, B763, B764, B772, B773, B77W, B787-8, BAe-146, Cessna Something, DC-10, E175, E195, ERJ145, MD-11, MD-80, PA Something
 
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notaxonrotax
Posts: 1301
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RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:26 pm

I think the whole LAN / TAM outfit is pretty much dross and I avoid them like the plague.
I specifically tell my company to book me COPA or Avianca (TACA) instead, as much as possible!
Many many disappointments have made me come to the above conclusion, not just 1 or 2 flights.

The only cool thing about TAM is that they serve Heineken on domestic flights.......but their international reservation system is dreadful.

LAN is still the one and only airline that managed to lose (and I mean "MH370 type" lost) my bag (about 10 other carries just "misplaced it temporarily) and oh what a joy that was, dealing with the customer "service".
"Service" is used here in the broadest sense of the word.

The only good thing about LAN is their business class seat......that was very comfy, to be fair.


No Tax On Rotax
For anybody that happens to be wondering:"yes, owning your own aircraft is a 100% worth it!"
 
Skisandy
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:47 am

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:59 pm

TAM has gone seriously downhill since they sold out to LAN. I am mostly
familiar with their operations in Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro (Santos Dumont),
and their counter areas are deserted now, while everybody is lining up to fly GOL and AZUL.
Two years ago the lines at TAM where long...

I was recently on a TAM flight CNF to SDU and the A319 mas probably 1/3 occupied.

They used to have the newest aircraft, good on time performance (compared to GOL, which
is a disaster in that respect), have the most courteous and well dressed staff - it's all gone
(well, the staff still wears the fancy uniforms).

Just 3 days ago they denied boarding to a friend of mine, and made her buy a new ticket, because
2 letters were mis-spelled on her Brazilian name - that's a mile long ( you who know Brazilian names
know what I am talking about, everybody has their name, their fathers' name and their mother's name).

If this had been a flight to the US, I could understand the hysteria, but this was a domestic 1 hour flight.

Trust me - the Brazilians can smell that new bad attitude, and are staying away in droves.

American did a coup when they got TAM into the OneWorld alliance, now I prefer to fly their 30 year old
767 to TAM's new 777's, and many others will do the same, just due to the bad attitude and incompetence
at TAM now. What a pity!
 
oneskyjet
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:46 am

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:16 pm

My suggestion. Fly Azul next time.
Much better airline.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 15100
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:18 pm

With the Rio Olympics around the corner, smart move for TAM to take a French rail road style nationalist posture. Not.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
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LAX772LR
Posts: 13336
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:06 pm

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:39 pm

Did you try the option on their page that directly says "for English service" from "Other Countries." I'd imagine at least they could grab your res, and work with it, despite not being directly designated to your country.

http://www.tam.com.br/b2c/vgn/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=f9de09f1157f2210VgnVCM1000000b61990aRCRD

[Edited 2015-03-08 11:43:37]
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
oksman
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:33 pm

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:57 pm

JJ is such a crap of an airline...I had the opportunity to fly QF last month and it made me realize how terrible TAM is nowadays. It was wonderfull 20 years ago, but now, is better to avoid them.
 
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andrefranca
Posts: 904
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:10 am

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:07 pm

Quoting pcash (Thread starter):

First of all, I apologize for how my country really sucks on how to deal with foreigners! Brazil is sort of living on a childish mood "if foreigners can't speak my language why should I care?" seriously this feeling is big down here, mainly because economy was doing good, now we are bankrupt again, let's see how these fools will behave" LOL

As people here said, I think you should go to LHR and make the change at the airport before having a heart attack!

Just for the record, I also struggled with EK call center in ENGLISH.... it took ages after some dozen calls for someone pick the English line!

Quoting oksman (Reply 21):
JJ is such a crap of an airline...I had the opportunity to fly QF last month and it made me realize how terrible TAM is nowadays. It was wonderfull 20 years ago, but now, is better to avoid them.

I try hard to fly AD or G3 and I really dread (and fear for my life) when I need to fly JJ....

PS- they may tell you, now you can do everything online....

[Edited 2015-03-08 12:10:02]
 
tff
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 3:33 pm

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:13 pm

Quoting steve6666 (Reply 15):
I think LTU932 was referring to someone talking Portuguese as a second language. I agree, between Portuguese and Brazilians it's really not an issue, but I learned Portuguese in Lisbon 30 years ago, and certainly found it tough the first time I went to Brazil. Both accent and vocabulary were different enough to cause the cab drivers problems when I asked for "Rua Prestes Maia" and the "centro comercial", but after 15 years dealing with Brazilians, I find it hard talking proper Portuguese - you speak too quickly! So for someone who learned Brazilian Portuguese, I can understand how it's very hard to converse in proper Portuguese.

That's true indeed: we talk too quickly and "eat" syllables.
Remove before flight
 
VC10er
Posts: 4273
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:36 pm

I'm Older than probably many here and I recall VARIG's heyday. While old fashioned vs today, it was an exciting and glamorous experience in all classes and First was 6 stars. I also worked along side the people who did the big VARIG livery change at Landor, so I flew RG from JFK and Europe many, many times. RG had soul.

TAM is an embarrassment for this marvelous country. Right down to the most HORRIBLE livery!

However, I firmly believe that Azul has the opportunity to rise and replace VARIG as Brasil's flag carrier. When they finally get their wide bodies and the right hard product, if they can maintain their current brand essence and service they can be the best choice in South America and from the USA.

Vai Azul!!!
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
rg787
Posts: 118
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:28 pm

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:42 am

Quoting andrefranca (Reply 22):
First of all, I apologize for how my country really sucks on how to deal with foreigners! Brazil is sort of living on a childish mood "if foreigners can't speak my language why should I care?" seriously this feeling is big down here,

Second of all, please don't treat us like we are all the same. I don't know about you but I've been abroad a lot of times and Brazil is one of the best when the subject is trying to understand foreigners, even if it is only for getting their money. I love my country and if I may, I would like to ask you not to talk about it in a bad way, you are also brazilian and you are part of it. Thank you.

Quoting VC10er (Reply 24):
However, I firmly believe that Azul has the opportunity to rise and replace VARIG as Brasil's flag carrier. When they finally get their wide bodies and the right hard product, if they can maintain their current brand essence and service they can be the best choice in South America and from the USA.

I feel the same way and I think they (Azul) also do. They seem to appeal to brazilian pride and in my opinion they try to position themselves as a classy, top notch airline. If they succeed, JJ should get their eyes open. To me it looks like they are the ones to leave the market; G3 may get hurt but they would survive.
 
pcash
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:33 pm

RE: TAM Says No More English Speaking Call Centre

Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:02 pm

Well in the end I heard nothing from TAM so I went to the TAM ticket counter at LHR and made the cancellations and refund requests. I am still on JJ for a couple of flights (including comfy class on 767 to MAO) and then G3 on the others (so lose out on the BA/Oneworld airmiles). It will be interesting to compare and contrast.

Apparently refund takes up to 30 days but I can email them if it's still not in by then...and no refund for £10 airport parking.
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