unsolicited apology from AA

 
Old Oct 7, 02, 4:12 pm
  #1  
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unsolicited apology from AA

I don't know if anyone else has had one of these, but it came to me as a surprise. I received today an e-mail from William R. Hodges at AA Customer Relations apologizing for the flight delay of AA51 (LGW-DFW) on 28 Sept, which caused me to miss my connecting flight out of Dallas (the flight was 3 hours late leaving Gatwick). I had not lodged a complaint of any kind (in person or by phone or e-mail), so the e-mail apology arrived in my box completely out of the blue.

I'm reading this and thinking it's a very nice gesture that they did this and I appreciated the extra attention very much.

But...then I get to the end of the e-mail, and the last paragraph is: "By the way, if you do not already receive your AAdvantage® summary via Email, you can earn an additional 1,000 bonus AAdvantage® miles by signing up for
the AAdvantage® eSummary......" and it goes on for a few more lines pitching me on getting the e-summary.

Well, I think they blew it. What started out as a very nice, warm gesture of concern for inconveniencing me turned into a marketing ploy to get me to save them a few bucks a year on mailing me the hard copy of my AAdvantage statement!

Sometimes I think they don't get it AT ALL!
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Old Oct 7, 02, 4:42 pm
  #2  
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Why shouldn't they take the opportunity to do some marketing?

Look on the bright side, the unsolicited apology your received is a lot more than some get when they ask for one.

FewMiles..

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Old Oct 7, 02, 5:21 pm
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I'm sorry, but I fail to see your issue here. AA was pro-active and contacted you stating they were sorry they let you down, and you complain?

People never cease to amaze me!
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Old Oct 7, 02, 5:50 pm
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I had an unsolicited message similar to yours for a 1 hour mechanical delay on a LAX-LHR flight. Didn't get the "free" marketing info, but did get compensated with some bonus miles.
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Old Oct 7, 02, 6:01 pm
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Agree completely. This was NOT an apology in any way, shape, or form. The purpose of this email was to solicit wesleymouch for AA's sole benefit. I find this email to be spam that it is just as sleazy as a 'get rich quick' spam that lures you in.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by wesleymouch:
Well, I think they blew it. What started out as a very nice, warm gesture of concern for inconveniencing me turned into a marketing ploy to get me to save them a few bucks a year on mailing me the hard copy of my AAdvantage statement!

Sometimes I think they don't get it AT ALL!
</font>
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Old Oct 7, 02, 10:17 pm
  #6  
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I find it bizarre that you have a problem with this. They offer you an unsolicited apology, and a way of getting 1000 miles for free and you complain?

It's not for AA's sole benefit - most people would regard 1000miles as having a value of at least US$10 so they must be giving back most of the cost of a few mailings per year.
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Old Oct 7, 02, 10:45 pm
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http://www.flyertalk.com/milesfr.shtml

This isnt very uncommon .

Sorry bad URL.I had this letter as well and posted , cant seem to copy URL properly.

[This message has been edited by SkyMike (edited 10-07-2002).]
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Old Oct 7, 02, 10:49 pm
  #8  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by $1500forGLD:
... The purpose of this email was to solicit wesleymouch for AA's sole benefit. I find this email to be spam that it is just as sleazy as a 'get rich quick' spam that lures you in.</font>
If you find it that offensive, then return your AAdvantage card to AA and ask them to cancel your account. That way, they can no longer exploit you for their sole benefit. It's a free world and you can always choose not to participate.

FewMiles..
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Old Oct 7, 02, 10:50 pm
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An AApology is meaningless, because it isn't supported by any type of consideration. Rather, the apology is PR verbiage.

They aren't offering him a way of getting 1000 miles. This is a well-publicized offer that has been ongoing for the past year. Any other AA member can get that 1000 miles, whether they flew that day and their flight came in early or even if they haven't flown at all. They are simply using the apology as a marketing ploy.

I don't think he has a problem with the apology. It is the marketing tactic. I would rather have no email from AA than such a pathetic attempt to apologize.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by christep:
I find it bizarre that you have a problem with this. They offer you an unsolicited apology, and a way of getting 1000 miles for free and you complain?

It's not for AA's sole benefit - most people would regard 1000miles as having a value of at least US$10 so they must be giving back most of the cost of a few mailings per year.
</font>
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Old Oct 8, 02, 10:43 am
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Yes, to reiterate what someone else said, I don't have a problem with AA attempting to apologize, but the apology suddenly becomes empty when it's turned into a marketing ploy. An apology for bad service and my inconvenience should have dealt solely with the issue at hand. For a moment, they had me believing that a real person had actually taken notice of the inconvenience I had been caused, and so they were succeeding in hooking me on the idea that AA was a company that truly cared about me. But then, in the same breath, to shove yet another marketing pitch at me in a complete non-sequiter (sp?), shatters any sense of caring or actual human attention to the matter.

I think it's a deadly formula when a company pushes the image that Customer Service is the equivalent of Marketing: those functions should be distinct in the customer's mind.

Anyway, I was not horribly offended by any of this. Far more offensive injustices have been inflicted on me by AA over the years. I was just trying to point out that they don't seem to GET IT! At a time when they should be bending over backwards to maintain customer loyalty, it doesn't seem they begin to understand subtle or obvious nuances of a customer's relationship with a service-oriented corporation.
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Old Oct 8, 02, 11:20 am
  #11  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by wesleymouch:
Yes, to reiterate what someone else said, I don't have a problem with AA attempting to apologize, but the apology suddenly becomes empty when it's turned into a marketing ploy.</font>
After reading this thread, I really have to agree with wesleymouch on this issue, and not because he is from Chicago too . It was bad form, if you ask me (and even if you didn't ask, I'm volunteering it).

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Old Oct 8, 02, 1:28 pm
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Some people seem to go out of their way to find a negative in most any situation. That appears to be the case here. Nohthing short of tear stains on the paper and a check for $10,000 would probably appease people like these.
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Old Oct 8, 02, 2:13 pm
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Finding a negative in most any situation is exactly what AA does to us. They find every opportunity to take away any kind of valuable benefit that we have.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by JIMCHI:
Some people seem to go out of their way to find a negative in most any situation. That appears to be the case here. Nohthing short of tear stains on the paper and a check for $10,000 would probably appease people like these.</font>
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Old Oct 8, 02, 2:18 pm
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FlyerTalk Headline News

FlyerTalker complains about unsolicited apology and receives compensation!
Compensation letter includes note about bonus miles, FlyerTalker sues airline for including 'cynical marketing ploy'.
FlyerTalker loses.


...in theory, of course!
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Old Oct 9, 02, 3:50 pm
  #15  
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Just to put a final point on this (it's not important enough to drag out!) -- I never said I was angered by their e-mail, nor that I expected compensation. The only point I've been trying to make in this thread is: An apology should be an apology. Period. Not an advertisement as well.

I think the fact that AA has chosen to send marketing spam wrapped in the label of an apology, reveals a deeper misunderstanding of proper customer relations on their part.

'Nuff said?

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by JIMCHI:
Some people seem to go out of their way to find a negative in most any situation. That appears to be the case here. Nohthing short of tear stains on the paper and a check for $10,000 would probably appease people like these.</font>
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