Friday, September 08, 2006

Thank you for flying with NWA. Not. - the response from NWA

Wow. Salamat ha. They replied five days after. Talk about initiative and consumer concern.


Dear Ms. Tan,

Thank you for your email last September 4, 2006 regarding the ticket you purchased online.

We sincerely apologize for all the inconvenience and recognize your frustration. It is dissapointing to note that you were not notified in advance of the cancellation. Our general procedure when a card is declined is to advise the customer of the situation and state their options. Additionally, let me take this opportunity to explain our procedure for online reservations, a customer goes through the following steps:

a) Search for a flight

b) Select desired schedule

c) Accept the terms and conditions of the fare

d) Indicated travel preferences

e) Supply billing and delivery information

After the process above, the customer is given confirmation number for the reservation. As noted in the page, an Electronic Ticket and Trip Summary (TSR) receipt will be issued for the flight. This will be be sent by email.

We regret the confusion with regards to the difference between the itinerary confirmation and an E-ticket. The document you held was only a confirmation of the reservation as it did not indicate your e-ticket number information. As noted in the web page under delivery details, Northwest Airlines will be sending a separate E-Ticket Trip Summary and Receipt. It was highly unfortunate that you were not able to call our reservations office when the E-ticket was not delivered within 24 hours.

Our service levels and reliability suffered in this situation. Feedback like yours assist us strive continually to improve our reservation process and customer experience. To this end, your concerns have been forwarded to the responsible management staff so improvements can be made.

Ms. Tan, we value you as our client. As a concrete manifestation of our concern and gesture of our goodwill, we would like to offer you a USD$200 Transportation Credit Voucher which you can use on your next flight. This entitles you to a discount off the purchase of a qualifying published ticket for roundtrip travel solely on Northwest Airlines, KLM, Continental, Mesaba, Express I and other designated airline flights. We will deliver the said voucher to the address we have on file at Ogilvy 15th Floor Philamlife Tower 8767 Paseo De Roxas Makati City 1200, Philippines.

We appreciate the opportunity to review this matter with you and hope to see you onboard Northwest Airlines soon.


Patricia Celis
Northwest Airlines


And my response:

Dear Patricia,

I'm sorry but I have to decline your offer of a Transportation Credit Voucher.

First of all, the 'Purchase Confirmation' email I received from NWA Reservations confirms the purchase I made. And, I quote, "If E-Tickets are available for your flight, you will receive an E-Ticket Trip Summary and Receipt (TSR) by email. If the E-Ticket option is not available, you will receive paper tickets by mail. If you do not receive your TSR before you depart you can print and carry a copy of your itinerary available in the "My Itineraries" section in Online Reservations." I was able to print out 'My Itineraries' which proves that the transaction was made. And I had this document with me when I went to the airport on September 2.

I am also no stranger to online transactions, having been a customer of various online retailers such as Normally when the credit card is invalid, a prompt automatically informs the consumer that this is so. My experience with the NWA online facility did not reflect this at all. Therefore, you cannot simply illustrate your procedure just like that, because there was neglect on your part. And I quote, "Our general procedure when a card is declined is to advise the customer of the situation and state their options."

I am severely disappointed with how my complaint was handled, much less how you intend to compensate me. I feel insulted. I have already spoken to my lawyer and we will take legal action against NWA for proper indemnification. I am also bringing this case to various consumer groups and PR firms to document what has happened.

Fuming at my desk. 630 PM.


raph said...

there's a difference between an itinerary confirmation and an e-ticket? since when? lousy excuse.

likewise, i'm disappointed with how NWA handled your complaint. i'd expect more than that if they really value their customers.

Paul said...

Their excuse is very lame indeed. Should the transaction not have taken place: i.e. if your credit card was indeed invalid or had problems, the confirmation could not have gone through. If it went through then there is a serious system flaw and that, in itself, is a grave security issue both for the customer and the airline.

If therefore you had a confirmation sheet, then in their website, shown that they had other courses of action as you stated, then your confirmation is valid.

I would suggest you get in touch with the regional station manager directy and tell them that you will sue in the Philippines, and demand unspecified damages due to their internal system fault.

A US$200 discount on "qualifying" fares???? That is totally insulting. I would also, since it is NOT in the pervue of the case, to begin "PR" initiatives (unless your company does business with NWA, then in this case you may wish to handle this internally with anyone works for them) and make sure that there is a flaw with their "on-line" system to start, and then you can relate your story, since this is not in any way libel.

I am so sorry about what had happened, and, unfortunately, I flew with them once in 1997 and didn't quite enjoy the experience but their customer service and assistance stateside was OK.

orange.pixie said...

Thanks for the feedback, Paul. :-) I guess I'm not alone into thinking I was gypped big time by NWA.

I work for an ad agency that has a strong PR group and I will definitely utilise this resource.

What's really eating my goat about this is how they showed such a high level of insensitivity to what happened. I was flying out to attend a wedding and I was part of the entourage.

NWA made me miss an important event in our family's life. And they want to give me a $200.00 "Transportation Credit Voucher" ???! Heck, I can afford that. And I'm never flying with them again, so what am I going to use that for?

So insulting.

orange.pixie said...

Haaay naku, Raph, it's really frustrating to get in touch with them. When I sent out my complaint Monday (Sept. 4), I had to call them on Wednesday to ask if they received it. If I didn't initiate, I wouldn't have received a response at all (which they sent out Friday).

And when the following Monday came, that's when I received their $200 "pampalubag-loob" offer. Pwe.

kirt said...

Giving you a US$200 would not be enough compensation. The trouble that company have given you of not reaching to your destination is actually pricesless!!! You should pursue your case.

Paul Graham said...

Go Girl! Win that case for all the passengers hassled by NWA who lacked the determination and courage to pursue their complaints. GoodLuck!

Adam Mordo said...

You have a valid case. Go and sue them. But I suggest you don't stop there. Let's grill these turdbrains online. Our site, and the network being built around it gets very decent traffic. If you like, we can interview you and feature your story there. Send me an email. As a frequent traveler myself, NWA really pissed me off. So let me know ok?

adammordo AT man-blog DOT com

orange.pixie said...

posting comments from another related blog:

michdelrosario: gosh i can feel your anger..but it was really a hassle! miss you froggy! haha

sarahko: takte sobra akong napikon sa response ha. sobrang condescending. ass. bwiset.