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14 April 2012

Unresolved issues with passenger entertainment systems

For frequent long distance travelers, passenger entertainment is a serious issue. In the following case, the airline and the passenger can't seem to agree on an acceptable solution.

This is the middle of the conversation, where the passenger [x] has been in discussion with Virgin Atlantic customer service representative Rachel:


Rachel xxx,

I thank you for your note. However, the content of your response is totally unacceptable. I make three points.

First, as a loyal customer of Virgin Atlantic, between December 2011 and March 2012, I purchased at least five trans-Atlantic flights from your company. On more than one of the more recent of these flights, I purchased additional leg-room. These purchases were owing to the fact that...I required additional space....

Second, you say that 'unfortunately, [my form] is of very poor quality and [you are] unable to read [my] comments. However [y]our cabin crew have also sent [you] a report on the issues [I] faced on board.' I am aghast. In a court of law, it would not be satisfactory to resolve the case, based solely upon evidence from the defending counsel, with no input whatsoever from the prosecution. Similarly here, you are simply unable to resolve my complaint satisfactorily, until you ascertain what I wrote in my form.

I remark that it is strange that my form, which was in excellent condition when I entrusted it to your colleagues, is now 'of [so] very poor quality', that you are 'unable to read my comments'. I am sure that this has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that the very people to whom I was required to entrust the form for safe-keeping and safe transit were those members of your staff whom I had specifically named in my form as having offered me such abysmal service.

There is only one way to resolve this matter. I advise you to scan my form, to save it in .pdf, and to send it, by email, to me. I shall then be in a position to reproduce my comments for you, in type-written text. Furthermore, I shall then be in a position to comment upon the disparity, if there is one, between the quality of the form, when I entrusted it to your colleagues, and the 'very poor quality' of the form that your colleagues transmitted to you.

Third, you say that 'it’s clear we let you down, and I’m sorry our flights didn’t live up to your expectations. As a gesture, by way of an apology, for letting you down on the flight, I would like to offer you 4,000 Flying Club miles, which already entitles you to Economy discounted tickets. I hope this will go some way to make up for what happened'. Yet, as you well know, 'this will go [almost no] way [at all] to make up for what happened', since 4000 Flying Club miles will not even purchase for me a single flight from London to New York (quoted, on your website, at 17500 miles).... In this way, although you apologise and fully accept blame, acknowledging that 'it's clear [you] let [me] down', you insult me, by offering much less than might reasonably be deemed amends.

I await your swift reply to, and satisfactory resolution of, my as yet unresolved complaint.


[x]
---

On 2 Apr 2012, at 15:16, Customer Relations UK wrote:

Dear Mr xxx

Thank you for filling in our ‘Any Concerns’ form regarding the issue you had faced, when seated in our extra legroom seat.

We have been forwarded this form from our crew...but unfortunately, it is of very poor quality and I am unable to read your comments. However our cabin crew have also sent us a report on the issues you faced on board. Of course if there is anything I have missed out in my correspondence Mr [x], please could you forward any further information to -customer.relations@fly.virgin.com.

From reading this report, I believe that you had encountered problems with your in-flight entertainment system, resulting in your system having to be rebooted on numerous occasions. Additionally, you were promised a DVD player by our crew but did not receive this.

I do understand how important our entertainment systems can be, especially on a long haul flight such as yours. These can be a great distraction whilst travelling and I am truly sorry that you were not able to take advantage of this during your flight.

I can by the reports that our crew did approach you on numerous occasions, to pass you the DVD player but did not wish to disturb you while you were asleep.

Mr [x], I can also see that you have requested a refund for the extra legroom seat. I’m afraid our seats are non-refundable, although I completely appreciate that you were not able to view your in-flight entertainment system, the extra charge for this seat, is for the extra leg space they provide and as you did receive this, I will have respectively decline your request for a refund.

However, it’s clear we let you down, and I’m sorry our flights didn’t live up to your expectations. As a gesture, by way of an apology, for letting you down on the flight, I would like to offer you 4,000 Flying Club miles, which already entitles you to Economy discounted tickets. I hope this will go some way to make up for what happened.
However I can see that you are not currently a member of our reward programme. So if you’d like to take advantage of these miles, do go online and enrol free of charge, ‘I have attached a link below’. Then just let me know membership numbers. Once I’ve got them I’ll gladly credit the miles to your accounts.


I can certainly understand the poor impression of Virgin Atlantic this experience has created. I can only hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you on board again in the future, when I’m sure we’ll be able to win back your confidence with the usual Virgin flair and service.

Yours sincerely

Rachel xxx
...
Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd

1 comment:

  1. At least you got a letter back.

    ReplyDelete