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United Begins Apology with “Dear Mr. Human”


United Airlines’ Customer Care Department has again exposed its practice of sending boilerplate responses to customer complaints, this time by addressing an apology email to “Mr. Human.”

United Airlines has previously been accused of turning a deaf ear to passenger complaints, and the email that Florida journalist Chris Chmura received gave every indication that the airline wasn’t taking his complaint to heart. A portion of the email from United’s Customer Care Department read:

While my email is brief and not as detailed as I would like, please be assured that we do understand your concerns and they have been documented for review and internal action.

The note went on to promise Chmura that a travel certificate would be sent in the next few days, as a gesture of good will. Although the email seemed to depict textbook customer service — listening, empathizing and apologizing — it had some trouble with Chmura’s name.

The well-crafted apology didn’t simply have a misspelled version of Chmura’s name, though; it referred to him as Mr. Human on three separate occasions. As in: “Dear Mr. Human,” and “Mr. Human, your email clearly expresses your disappointment and I would like to extend a sincere apology for any negative impression that may have been created,” and “Mr. Human, you have made a significant contribution to our airline, and we greatly appreciate your business.”

Chmura posted a copy of the email to his Twitter account on Tuesday.

United’s tendency to use form letters in response to customer complaints has been exposed before. In August, Fox News published a boilerplate apology letter that United sent to a customer without bothering to fill in the blanks. Unlike the “Mr. Human” response, this letter read like a blank Mad Lib, containing text such as “Dear Mrs. ——–” and “Your comments regarding (SPECIFIC EVENT) will be used for coaching and training our employees.” The letter ended by promising to send a “(SPECIFIC ITEM)” as an apology and assuring “(CUSTOMER NAME)” that United considers it a privilege to have them aboard.

[Photo: Twitter/Chris Chmura @Chris_Chmura]

Comments are Closed.
jib71 October 6, 2014

Perhaps someone's Auto-correct thought that "Chmura" = "Human"?

Brendan October 6, 2014

HA HA HA! Busted!