OK, so Delta is bankrupt. Does that explain why its customer service is so abysmal? I’m trying to book some flights this week. I have old credits to apply and I call up to make sure I can apply them + get a child fare (can’t be booked online). Good news: I can [supposedly] apply the credits online. Bad news: there aren’t any child fares available in this particular market (Louisville – Boston). OK fine, I’ll book everything online. Oh, and if I have any problems, the agent tells me to call the online support number at 888-750-3284.
I log on to delta.com. Find flights, apply credits, everything’s going fine. Then – "System Unavailable." OK. I clear my cache and cookies, try this again. Same result. Try it again, this time with IE 6 instead of Firefox. Same result. So I call the online support number.
Delta: [ring ring] [immediately goes to hold musak]
(a few minutes pass)
Delta: Hello, what are you calling about?
Me: Hi, I’m trying to book a flight on delta dot com.
Delta: Hello – there’s a problem with your phone line. Are you there?
Me: Hello, I’m trying to book a flight on delta dot com and having some problems.
Delta: OK. Are you trying to go online with internet explorer or your internet service provider?
Me: [confused] Excuse me?
Delta: Some internet service providers are incompatible with delta.com.
Me: Really? I’m pretty sure my ISP is compatible.
Delta: How are you logging on to the internet?
Me: I’m using a cable modem and Comcast internet service.
Delta: OK, well what you need to do is find a button called "start" and then look for a menu option called "programs"…
Me: Are you serious?
[this goes on for a couple more minutes – and then I had to hang up.]
I tried to book online the next morning – same problem, system still unavailable. So I called Delta again – this time I got Bombay on the line (last time it was Pune). Delta charges $10 more for booking a ticket over the phone instead of online.
Me: Well, the online system was broken and given that I had no choice but to book over the phone, I’d like a $10 discount.
Delta: I’m sorry, I told you at the beginning of the call that there is a $10 service fee. There’s nothing I can do.
[on top of the $50 rebooking fee]
This is what happens when your customer service department blindly follows operating procedures instead of trying to understand the customer perspective. By the way: the e-Credit functionality doesn’t work, either. So why put it on your site?