Customer service is so poor these days. I heard so many times, "I can't stand United Airlines! or I will never fly United!" In the early 90's, I was a Premiere Flyer on UA and liked the airline very much. More recently, I have been hearing people complain about UA and my own experience with them has been degrading steadily since the early 90's.
Recently I flew on UA very early in the morning. I had missed the last flight out the night before after a friend's wedding party and had to go on stand by for the very first flight the next day. Having to get up in the dark about 4 am to make the distance to SFO, I was relieved to get on the flight.
The stewardnesses/owner/operators were going around with the cups of beverages. I have been noticing that it is rare to receive peanuts on the planes these day, sometimes pretzels, but rarely are peanuts handed out anymore.
I asked the stewardess for pretzels or peanuts and she snickered, "Oh breakfast?" and went to retrieved peanuts for me in the storage area of the plane. I thought she was rather rude and inappropriate, so when I had the next opportunity I inquired if there a problem. She was mumbling one thing or another, pretending not to understand.
Then I asked her rather loudly, "What are you doing? Taking them home with you?!" She said, "I just wanted to know if that was breakfast. She moved away, rather flustered. Why is it that flyers these days don't even get the nuts or prezels on UA? Why are saving them in the back of the plane? All I can say, is that the problems at UA, started way before 9/11.
It's the same thing with Amtrak. During one Christmas season, I had to cancel my tickets with them. Per their instrutions, I wrote the cancellation number on the tickets and send it back to them certifed mail.
The US Post Office returned me the signature card back with no signature on it! So I had to insist and justify to both Amtrak and the post office why I deserved refunds. The people at the post office insisted that per their regulations, I was not due a refund on the signature card even though I had a receipt showing the services I purchased. When I explained that because of the blank signature card, Amtrak said that I had no proof that I returned the tickets to them, and was not entitled to get my refund. The postal worker felt bad enough to finally give me the refund from his own pocket. Even though it was about a dollar, I felt it was justified. They needed to acknowlegde that the US Post Office was negligent.
It was unbelievable to me the level of incompetence at both of these companies. Amtrak refused to refund me even though I had photocopies of the ticket with the cancelation number and the name of the person I talked to in order to cancel the tickets. Amtrak resisted for over a year, until I wrote to the travel magazine, contacted Amtrak and obtain a refund for me fially after overe a year had passed.
During the lenghtly correpondence for the refund, I also persisted with my credit card company, Bank of America. After explaining the story to over half a dozen people there, one nice guy even credited me with the amount of the Amtrak ticket before the magazine was able to get me the refund. So, I actually made out twice on the amount for the Amtrak tickets, both from Amtrak and Bank of America. How's that for getting even at all these big corporations that abuse consumers??!
Los Angeles, California