Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Marriage Proposal, Disney Style

For all the chicks. BTW, DC Mom would have killed me if I did this:

Poor Customer Service from American Airlines

We recently returned from a great trip to Napa and Sonoma, California. There is much to tell about the trip, but before I get to that, I wanted take a moment to let everyone know about a poor customer service experience we had with American Airlines. The long and short of it is that American Airlines lost one of our checked bags on the way back. Now, I know this isn't that out of the ordinary for any airline, but since we now have to pay a $15 checked bag fee and we checked the bag more than two hours before our flight took off, we thought it would be fair to ask for a refund of the baggage fee. We received an email, which I have posted below, in response to our request. I have two issues with this email: (1) the writer's failure to admit a mistake occurred, much less actually apologize for the mistake and (2) the writer's ridiculous assertion that paying for a service should bear no relationship with a service provider actually doing the service I paid for well. Here's the the email:

June 30, 2009

I know it was a disappointment not to receive your luggage in a timely manner when you returned from your trip. However, since you were "home" and ultimately had access to your necessities, we must respectfully decline to provide compensation or to cover the cost of consequential expenses. This is a standard policy and we believe it to be reasonable.

Under the circumstances, we can certainly appreciate your point about the baggage fee you paid. However, we must respectfully decline to refund the fee. The baggage fee you paid was assessed to transport your belongings as specified under our baggage allowance policy. At the same time, while we do our very best to ensure your baggage arrives when you do, we do not make this absolute guarantee. Accordingly, while we understand your perspective, the issue of the baggage fee and the delayed arrival of your baggage are two completely separate matters.

Most importantly, we will continue to find ways to prevent baggage mishandling altogether. We know how it important it is for our customers to have their belongings arrive at their destination when they do. Please give us another opportunity to serve you better.


Kay Farmer
Customer Relations
American Airlines

And here is my response:

Ms. Kay Farmer:

I am in receipt of your email titled "R2009/06-35414-00300-001-00" in which you declined my request for a refund of the $15 baggage fee for my bag that arrived a day after I did in Dallas.

However disengenous I think it is too assert that the baggage fee I paid and AA's failure to timely deliver my a bag are two separate matters, I am not surprised, unfortunately, by your response. Though I haven't read your baggage allowance policy, my guess is that American Airlines is well within its rights to deny my request for a refund of the baggage fee.

Nevertheless, let me just say that your email and AA's response reflects appalling customer service. The truth of the matter is, AA made a mistake. My bag was checked more than two hours before my flight. I box my wife checked at the exact same time made it to Dallas on time. The fee itself insures that fewer bags are checked these days, a fact that was clear to me as a watched a total of 20-25 bags come off the flight at baggage claim. Instead of an apology and a refund, which I continue to believe is a fairly reasonable request, I only received your email denying the request for a refund and failing to apologize or even admit AA made a mistake.

My only recourse, then, is to tell everyone I know about my customer service experience with AA. I've posted your email and this response at my blog at http://dallascowboysdad.blogspot.com/ - cross-posted to my facebook and Twitter accounts.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Battle of the Bands

I'm a recent convert to guitar-like video game playing, mostly spurred on by our firm's upcoming Battle of Bands party for the summer recruits. I must admit, I've been spending significant amount of time at home practicing to get ready for it. I like it a lot because it feeds my long-held desire to learn how to play the guitar, but without, you know, the work. I've sort of taken over, as I tend to do, a lot of the logistics of the party, including finding (HT: DC Mom) a cool new venue where we will perform on a stage with lighting and the whole deal. I'm pumped about it, but I fear my hightened involvement has given the impression that I'm good at this. I'm not.

Above is a picture of me trying out the ax on stage when we went to preview the place. I know, I know...I missed my calling.