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AC: it's time to bring back a proper SE line

AC: it's time to bring back a proper SE line

Old Dec 8, 16, 6:32 pm
  #1  
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AC: it's time to bring back a proper SE line

Dear Air Canada,

I'm generally satisfied with the level of benefits that come with my Super Elite status. But one area that dramatically needs improvement, and has gotten worse over the course of 2016, is the SE priority line.

There are two key issues that need to be addressed. The first is a redesign of the phone tree. The second is having a proper SE desk with well-trained staff.

The phone menus are particularly frustrating. Less than a year ago, I could very easily phone in, hit 1 for English, hit 1 for AC Reservations and be in the queue to speak to an agent within a few seconds.

Now I have to wait for 10 seconds while it asks me to press 1 for English or 2 for French. Why you've eliminated the option to press 1 or 2 while that message is playing is beyond me.

You seem to also regularly be playing lengthy messages about weather delays in Eastern Canada or whatever and encouraging use of the online re-booking tools, which cannot be skipped either.

I understand wanting to play this message on the general AC reservations line. But I'm Super Elite. I fly a lot. I know about the online tools. If I could use the online re-booking tool, or seat selection tool, or whatever, I would. If I'm calling in, it's because I can't do it online. Either that or I'm a curmudgeonly old man who's terrible with computers, like my colleague, and no amount of badgering will get me to use the online tools.

So let me skip those messages by pressing the relevant number, if I already know what I want to do. The Aeroplan sub-menu has also gotten ridiculous, but I'm sure you're going to tell me that as soon as I hit 3 for Aeroplan, it becomes their responsibility and you have no control over it, so I won't even bother with that here (that disgraceful buck-passing is subject matter for a different thread altogether).

The second item that needs to be addressed is the skill and experience of the agents answering the calls. It's laughable at times to have the phone answered "Super Elite desk" and then speak to an agent who has no idea what they're doing. I understand that in the good old days (which weren't that long ago), there were actually more experienced and knowledgeable agents (the latter being the key) answering calls to the SE line - a true SE desk. Bringing that back would result in a big improvement in customer service, as far as I'm concerned.

What gets particularly frustrating is when I phone in, sit through all the nonsense before I get into the queue to speak to an agent (i.e. problem #1 above), then have to phone back and sit through it all again after dealing with an agent who doesn't know what they're doing (problem #2), especially if it's a simple request.

The issue of the phone menus should be a quick and cheap fix, so I hope that gets taken care of quickly. As for the more qualified agents dealing with our calls, I don't know, but I hope you take into consideration the increased customer satisfaction, as well as the fact that those agents will undoubtedly process our calls faster - and therefore more cheaply for you.

Thank you for your consideration.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 6:36 pm
  #2  
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Good points. I'll second that.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 6:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
Good points. I'll second that.
+1 ^

The SE line hasn't been as good as it once was during the days of yesteryear.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 7:28 pm
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Well said. AC's phone system seems pretty antiquated and has not kept up with the times.

Having called UA a few times this year with lower status levels (Silver/Gold), it's a big contrast how much better their phone system is for status members. It recognizes the phone number, asks if you're calling about your next upcoming reservation, and has the info ready for the agent.

AC has improved it's onboard product over the past few years, but the phone system and IT have not kept pace.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 8:07 pm
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Totally Agree!

I agree with everything in this post. Two things in particular:
1) living in Vancouver, I generally do not need or am aware of adverse weather.
2) The level of service on the line is sometimes terrible! I also have had difficulties with the concierge line. It is annoying to have the agent call another department (and wait 5 more minutes) to sort a very simple issue out!

Ultimately not a very helpful service these days...
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Old Dec 8, 16, 8:28 pm
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I agree about letting me hit the damn buttons.

Here is the res number, as it's entered in my phone (noting I haven't actually tried calling in a while, so they may have broken it).

844-xxx-xxxx,,,,1,1,,yyyyyyyyy#,1

xxx-xxxx is the SE number.
yyyyyyyy is my Aeroplan number.

Those damn commas are all the freaking pauses I need. When they DON'T have the weather crap.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 8:40 pm
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It is amazing we have to put up with this when at least one other airline in North America can answer my call in less than 60 seconds greet me by first and last name as well as have my most recent itinerary in front of them to help me. All without me saying a single word or push an additional button. There is a long way to go if AC wants to reach the middle of the pack let alone a world class airline.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 8:51 pm
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My roommate called recently about an Aeroplan ticket, and he had the same flight booked revenue in a few months. The reservations agent asked if he was calling about that one, and had it on his screen.

I don't know if it was based on caller ID (like the concierge system) or the Aeroplan number he entered, but they are starting to get information on their screens when you call.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 9:09 pm
  #9  
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I'll drink to these concerns. It's absolutely ridiculous.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 9:57 pm
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Dear AC, all of those points should apply to the regular phone line, too. Being able to quickly access the menus we need, and when we -- eventually -- get to speak to an agent, having it be someone who knows what they're doing? Surely more people than just super elites would appreciate things that ought to be a basic part of doing business.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 10:41 pm
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Originally Posted by jaysona View Post
+1 ^

The SE line hasn't been as good as it once was during the days of yesteryear.
Not since I left anyway.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 10:44 pm
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If they make it easier to call in, then more people might call in, and that might lead to..... dancing?
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Old Dec 8, 16, 11:16 pm
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Does AC puts new hires at priority check-in counters? If so then I think depends on the situation I am probably better off to join the line up and get an agent at the regular check-in counter.
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Old Dec 9, 16, 1:53 am
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Totally agreed
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Old Dec 9, 16, 3:03 am
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+1. Completely agree
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