Hearing back from Customer Service?

Old Sep 18, 19, 5:27 am
  #1  
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Hearing back from Customer Service?

Friends,

I was forced to pay an extra baggage fee that I was not supposed to pay, and then contacted Customer Service (using an online form) with a request for a refund and response.

I got the automated "We're working on it" email, but have not heard back from them yet. How long does it usually take? This is my first time contacting AC customer service.

Thanks!
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Old Sep 18, 19, 5:37 am
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That email usually tells you how long, but given the summer season just finished, volumes will be high, so I’d plan for a month.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 8:09 am
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Originally Posted by ChrisA330 View Post
That email usually tells you how long, but given the summer season just finished, volumes will be high, so Iíd plan for a month.
Or never. They don't actually care. That's why there's no phone number.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 8:50 am
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My refund has been pending since Aug.5.
It still says open.

This is AC, you need to be patient, it will take months.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 9:10 am
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I have never submitted a request for baggage fees. For preferred seat refunds I usually hear back within a week or two.

I like to assume that people with higher status get priority, but I could be wrong.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 9:20 am
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Also doing a baggage refund request right now. Submitted July 12, heard back on August 27. They messed something up in their response ("Air Canada will not refund you because we can't find proof you paid, send us a receipt"), so I'm submitting another.

It's pretty long
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Old Sep 18, 19, 11:47 am
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Originally Posted by aaamr View Post
Or never. They don't actually care. That's why there's no phone number.
That was my actual experience. Admittedly I gave up after a couple of emails in follow up that were ignored. I put it down to experience and learned to enter 0 bags at on line or kiosk check in and then have the GA correct it
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Old Sep 18, 19, 12:34 pm
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It will be considered abnormal / too long once it passes 40 business days.

I wouldn't go as far as saying that "AC doesn't care", but they definitely don't appear to have the resources to clear their pending backlog any time soon...

I'm actually glad they don't have a phone number. It would probably make turn around times even worse.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 1:36 pm
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Originally Posted by SparseFlyer View Post
It will be considered abnormal / too long once it passes 40 business days.

I wouldn't go as far as saying that "AC doesn't care", but they definitely don't appear to have the resources to clear their pending backlog any time soon...

I'm actually glad they don't have a phone number. It would probably make turn around times even worse.
The lack of a phone number is indicative of how they view their customers. As annoyances to be dealt with on their own terms. AC's lack of investment in a customer relations department that can address customer needs in a timely manner is further indication.

If they cared, they would fix it. People still choose to fly AC, so it is not impacting their revenue in any meaningful way, so they don't care, and they don't fix it.

A.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 5:03 pm
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I got a response today to a comment sent 3 weeks and 5 days ago.
While I suspect status should factor in to the response time, it would be sad if they think that is fine response for anyone in Altitude population.
There was no rush of my comment; I just thought they should know the good and bad parts of this particular flight so as to commend the good and address the bad. I have no confidence in either but I did my bit.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 5:54 pm
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Meanwhile at DL, without status, an airline much larger than AC, a reply takes a couple days...
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Old Sep 18, 19, 8:22 pm
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I got a written, personalized e-mail response including resolution within 48hrs of submission.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 9:14 pm
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Originally Posted by YVRtoYYZ View Post
I got a written, personalized e-mail response including resolution within 48hrs of submission.
Thats nice. I got a personalized email response after 4 weeks that didnít even begin to address the full scope of what I was asking. They addressed the first issue (unsatisfactorily) and ignored all the others.

When I asked to not do this via email and to talk to an actual person, they ignored me.

I give them zero out of 10 for customer service.

A.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 11:09 pm
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There are several ways in which one could try to explain the cause of the abysmal state of AC's customer service. Let's consider three of them (as one who is trained in root cause analysis).

1. Employees don't care: While many do, especially if they have personal contact with the customer either face to face or on the phone, there are a disproportionate number who clearly don't care. However, this is not a cause, it is a consequence of a much bigger problem at higher levels. You cannot explain the depth of the customer service failure as merely an attitude problem. Many of the front line employees don't care because the people above them don't care, don't support them, don't provide the necessary resources, and most importantly don't convey a sense of respect towards the customers. So why would they care when the bosses place such a low priority on customer service?

2. Incompetence: While there is obviously an element of incompetence, it is at worst a contributory factor. The failure has been too much, too often, for too long to be adequately explained by simple incompetence. If it was simply an incompetence problem at any level it would have been fixed long ago. AC's senior management is a lot of things, but I don't accept that incompetence is one of them. They know exactly what they're doing when it comes to customer service.

3. Deliberate obstruction: This one begins to make sense. When one experiences the hopeless inadequacy of AC's customer service as much, as often and as long as many of us have, the only explanation that goes to the root cause is that this is the way the senior management wants it to be. To AC's executive suite, customer service is an unnecessary expense with negligible return. Their intended approach is to deliberately obfuscate the customer. Ignore, delay, obstruct, whatever it takes to frustrate them, and hopefully at least some of them will give up and go away. If not, at least we have their money in the bank for a few weeks before we refund it. There is an abundance of evidence that this is the corporate will: no phone number for customer service; weeks of delay before they respond to an on line request; incessant telephone queues "Due to unusually high call volumes..." which are not unusual at all; hopelessly inadequate staffing and response during IRROPS, even when they know a storm is coming for days ahead. All of this points to an intentional culture of contempt and disdain for the customers, flowing down from the highest levels.

That is strong language, as I tend to use in this forum, but the state of customer service can only be explained this way, at least in my mind. There's just no way it could be this bad for this long by accident or incompetence.

So when is it going to improve? Frankly, it won't as long as the current oligopoly persists, the airlines continue to make money and the customers keep buying the cheapest ticket they can find.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 6:25 am
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for data point, it took 4 months to get my refund for a cancelled flight last year.
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