Last year this time I purchased tickets on Air Canada. There was a glitch. The reservation was not completed as it should so I called the Customer Service (poor description) and explained the issue and the agent said I was good to go and all was showing fine. A day later when I received no confirmation I rebooked the tickets only they had gone up $90.86. I wrote to the airline explaining what happened and asked for a refund of the amount. The response was a “goodwill” gesture of a voucher for $100 redeemable with only Air Canada good for a year.
To make this short, even though I travelled with them during the year I did not use the voucher as I used airmiles instead. Having planned to use the voucher I asked them to extend its validity for 4-6 weeks only to be told a flat “No” because they have “guidelines”. I was politely asked to stop wasting time asking for my refund as “they have policies”. I have the email exchange for fun reading for those who would want to see them. Fact is, they have all the cards and tough luck on me the customer. Right?
Why am I sharing this? It is easy for any company to hide behind policies in the excuse for average customer experience. You can deduce if this policy makes real sense or if extending clients a courtesy would create any additional liability on the company. As the customer looking in, it is a big guy smirking at the little customer saying we really don’t value you as much as we say. Not to mention the silly clichés in correspondences which says we regret your disappointment. Really? The culture of a company feeds into it’s processes and interactions.
Air Canada is a great airline which I like to use and have used many times over. I will surely reduce if not eliminate using them going forward as even if they don’t care about me, it doesn’t have to be so institutionalized. It is not lost on me that my relative value to AC is negligible compared to those spending millions with them. Maybe that is the measure of the experience offered. Getting kicked by the guidelines is reserved for those in lower economy class for whom $90.86 and respect are really important. I know they don’t care which makes this easier to say.
Monetary Loss: $100.