Swissair - egregious incompetence and a lack of accountability
To Whom It May Concern:
I am filing a formal compliant against Swissair. I am outraged at my treatment by Swissair over the past four weeks. I encountered egregious incompetence and a lack of accountability that ruined our travel plans and exhausted my valuable time and money. We were expressly told that we would be granted an exception to our voucher, but were strung along for nearly 4 weeks with a yes response, followed by a we will contact you in 24 hours, so you can pay the difference in travel fare, but were never called back. I have documented each encounter and summarized the miserable experience we were forced to deal with on the account of the horribly managed Swissair Marketing and ticketing departments.
November 27th 2009, I purchased a business class trip for two on Swissair at an auction held for the benefit of a local Zurich based charity (See Attachment 1- Voucher). Understanding that there were restrictions on the use of the voucher we wrote to the address on the voucher and asked if it could be used for international travel.
October 19th 2010, we emailed the Swiss Air contact listed on the voucher Contactus@swiss.com, and enclosed the scanned copy of the voucher to inquire making an exception for travel from San Francisco to a Swissair destination (See attachment 2- Email Inquiry).
October 20th we received an email response from Maryam Mobara in the SWISS E-Mail Service Center-Team R1C. She very clearly stated they had reviewed our request and that we may use the voucher to travel from San Francisco, but we must pay the difference in fare, stating, âWe have reviewed your request and wish to share the following information with you: Please note you may do that but incase the fare is higher you would need to reckon with any fare difference.â We responded that we would gladly do so and provided all the necessary travel information.
October 20 â November 15th, we experienced the most ridiculous incompetence we have ever witnessed from an airline. We were routed back and forth from Switzerland to New York, to various call centers throughout the world, all telling us to call the other office. Neither office was willing to take initiative and resolve our matter in a prompt and respectful manner. The New York office would say âcall the number on the voucherâ and the receptionists at the Swissair number, who were outsourced to Mind Pearl call center (sometimes in Spain, sometimes in South Africaâ¦) would tell me to âtalk to New Yorkâ.
November 12, Louisa at the New York office said, âyes, itâs all approved and will be turned around within 24 hours at which time we will call youâ. We proceeded to make plans and booked our hotels.
November 13th, we did not receive a call within 24 hours, so I called to see if there is any new information on our account. There is none. When requesting to speak with a Supervisor, I am told that Karin Maher is out of the office and that we will receive a response within 24 hours.
November 14th I have not heard a response within 24 hours as promised giving us a dollar value to pay the difference on our tickets. I call New York to see if any new information has been added to our account. This is the day before we are set to travel, and no monetary amount has been issued.
November 15th, on the day of travel, we finally got supervisor Karin Maher in New York on the phone who abruptly said âNo the voucher could not be usedâ. Karin was snide, rude and very unfriendly, as was her staff. Not only did she not dignify us with a returned call, we had to track her down. When we asked her point blank if she cared about her customers, she outrageously responded, âIâm not answering that questionâ. She then referred us back to the Swiss reservation number in Europe.
November 15th, we call Switzerland, the agent, Pamela instructed us to go to the airport two hours before flight time with the voucher and the correspondence and that the counter agent would take care of this.
November 15th, we went to the airport as instructed, and the gate agent treated us like the enemy. She was prejudicially aware of our situation and told me that there was nothing that she could do, snidely asking why we thought we should come to the airport. She made a copy of the voucher without taking into consideration any of the supporting documents I had furnished her. We left the airport with our suitcases packed, Visaâs issued and hotels paid, treated worthlessly.
We would have understood if we had been told from the outset that the voucher could not be used for international travel. However, we were told that it could be and that we would need to simply pay the difference â first by the Swiss office (in writing) and then later by the New York office (over the phone). We followed every instruction that each of your different representative required of us, and at the last minuet was slapped in the face by the snide and disrespectful supervisor, Karin Maher, who waited until the day of travel to deliver the blow of not granting us our tickets that were promised to us from day one.
The incompetence that we experienced was absurd, even the simple act of changing a name on the reservation became a monumental waste of time and added frustration to this process, having to speak with 3 different reservationists on 3 separate occasions.
This is terrible business practice. We are offing a cash difference on the fare, which means more money for Swissair on the margin. The flight is leaving with 2 empty seats anyway. Instead Swissair ruins our travel our travel plans, treats its customers miserably, and fails to honor its word. We were shuffled around for nearly 4 weeks to find out how much the difference in fair price will cost us, only to be disrespected and denied tickets on the day of travel. Swissair should be ashamed of these actions!
In this digital age, it would behoove the marketing department to treat customers with dignity and respect for their travel, especially considering how viral information is shared. Please know that if Swissair is unable to accommodate our promised travel plans, you can count on me to spend the time I would be traveling, informing passengers to do themselves a favor and fly any airline BUT Swissair. This company has outsourced all of its accountability and with it, itâs integrity. In this digital age, businesses will fail that think that they can get away with treating your customers like refuse.
In addition, we will be pursuing legal action against Swissair and its representatives for wasting our time, money and ruining our travel. This matter must be resolved immediately; I will no longer tolerate any more of this â you will receive a response in 24 hoursâ lie.
We can be reached at 415-990-4938 and via email danielle. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Itemized Summary of Encounters with Swissair
Included is an itemized summary of encounters with Swissair personnel:
October 26th, we responded via email with the flight information for our travel plans and the estimated difference in cost of fare based on the cost of 2580 printed voucher, âThe total fare online is 2480.52 USD for two people which is within the $2580 voucher cost basisâ (see Attachment 2 â Email Inquiry).
October 30th we received an email response on from Zita Vintan SWISS E-Mail Service Center-Team Basel, confirming our arrangement and instructing us to mail the actual voucher to the SWISS International Air Linesâ¨BSLCRX/MDCB/Ticketing department one day before our day of travel.
October 30th I called Swiss Airlines Ticketing 877-359-7947 and reserved passage for my sister and I on a flight from San Francisco to New Delhi, prepared to pay the increase in fare price, and requested that dollar amount balance. I faxed a copy of the original voucher to 631-956-9212, and requested to change my sisterâs last name from Bersen to Lane.
November 1st I called Swiss Airlines to confirm receipt of my fax. They had not yet received it and the agent reconfirmed the correct fax number and instructed me to re-fax it the next day.
November 2nd I re-faxed the voucher to Swiss Air at 631-956-9212.
November 4th the first egregious inconsistency presented itself as I attempted to change Linsey Bersenâs name to Linsey Lane. I called Swiss Airlines Ticketing 877-359-7947 and was told by the representative that she would need to call in personally to change the name.
November 4th Linsey Lane personally called the same line and was told that she could not change her name because the reservation has been cancelled. I spoke with ticketing that afternoon and explained that per Maryam Mobara â¨SWISS E-Mail Service Center-Team R1C we were granted an exception on the voucher. I was specifically told that this should not be a problem, but it would need to be approved by a supervisor in the marketing department in order to issue tickets. I was instructed to email supporting documents to DNLYCSALESSUPPORT@ENHANCEDCCD. COM and that the reservationist would also send a direct email to Swiss Air Marketing department in the US and would request an expedited response on my behalf.
November 5th I received an email response from Karin Maher âTeam Leader | Sales Support Swiss International Air Lines in New York (see attachment 3- Karin Maher Email). She stated that she will need to contact the overseas marketing department, and our reservation would ârequire specific booking categoriesâ. She would review our documents and respond next week.
November 8th, I called Swiss Airlines Ticketing 877-359-7947 to check on documentation and spoke with Eileen, who was the first reservationist to accommodate the urgency of our situation. She confirmed that it is likely that our reservation will be honored once Sales Support reviews the documentation and then they will be responsible for issuing tickets. She also suggested also that I call the Switzerland office.
November 8th, Per Eileenâs suggestion, I phoned the Switzerland based phone number printed on the voucher +41 (0)848 700 700 and attempt to reach Maryam Mobara or a supervisor who may offer assistance. The outsourcing call center, Mind Pearl could not locate Ms. Morbara and suggested that we email her again. I did so as instructed.
November 9th, I called to change Linsey Bersenâs name to Linsey Lane, but encountered yet another inconsistency in information. The reservationist told me that her name cannot be changed, even by her and that we would have to make an entirely new reservation in order to change her name. This is a stark contrast the information provided to me by the same department, different person.
November 11th I call New York office to speak with Karrin Maher, who is in a meeting and I am told will return my call shortly. I do not hear from her until we call her again on the morning of November 15th.
November 13th, Linsey Lane calls again in an attempt to change her name on the reservation. The female reservationist changes her name with no complications, again inconsistent with what I was told on November the 9th. The simple act of changing a name on the reservation became a monumental waste of time and added frustration to this process.