Generous by Nature (until they realized their mistake)

Old Apr 19, 07, 3:32 am
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Generous by Nature (until they realized their mistake)

KL damaged my luggage the other week. No, I still don't check bags unless absolutely necessary (once a year or so), but I was told to leave this bag at the bottom of the aircraft stairs, even though it was regulation size and not too heavy. I made sure I was the last to board, in the hope that the bag would at least end up on top of the pile, and not be crushed under the weight of other luggage. The bag contained fragile items (e.g. a limited-edition glass oil lamp, four WBC Delft Blue houses), so I feared the worst. With reason, because when I retrieved the bag it was full of shards, and books and clothing were soaked in jenever. OK, I can imagine worse things to soak books and clothing in, but still.

I did not have the time to file a regular damaged luggage claim at the airport (I would have missed my train, and thus probably only arrived home the following morning instead of that evening), so I e-mailed KLM Customer Care Nordic Platinum. I declined an initial offer to pay my dry cleaning bill (the bag contained cottons only), and suggested they instead send me new WBC houses & credit goodwill miles. In response I was told they could not send houses, as "these are not held in stock and only available on board", but offered me 50,000 miles instead. A Generous By Nature offer which I was happy to accept.

A few days later, 5,000 miles posted. KLM Customer Care Nordic Platinum now claim it was all a mistake, 5,000 was all they ever intended to offer. Perhaps, but I still think that it would be reasonable to honor what they actually promised in writing.

One thing is for sure, next time I'm asked to leave a bag at the aircraft stairs, I shall follow the example of most other pax: ignore the request and carry the bag on board.

Johan

Last edited by johan rebel; Apr 19, 07 at 8:58 am Reason: spelling
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Old Apr 19, 07, 3:41 am
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I have been told by KLM staff that I had to check a carry-on that contained fragile items. I politely declined. Even if all the bins are full, they can generally find space in the closet, or somewhere.

If they promised you 50k, and you have it in writing, I would pursue it. Those Delft house should be worth at least $100 each, right?
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Old Apr 19, 07, 8:29 am
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In my opinion (as a non-lawyer) they created a contract when you accepted their compensation offer. They cannot change the conditions after the contract was created just because they were too lazy to read what the wrote before hitting the 'send' button. I hope you hold them to their offer and get the extra 45k miles.

Good luck!
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Old Apr 19, 07, 10:33 am
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Next time they tell you to check a carry-on with fragile items, just tell them "THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE"
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Old Apr 20, 07, 10:39 am
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
If they promised you 50k, and you have it in writing, I would pursue it.
I am pursuing it. Their latest response is not encouraging. First they tell me it is all my own fault anyway, I should have unpacked my bag on the tarmac and removed all fragile items. These items I should then have carried on board, presumably in my trouser pockets, or held between my clenched teeth.

They then go on to say that they hope I will choose to fly KLM again, so that they can restore my confidence in them.

Right, so first they want me to purchase a KL ticket, then they expect the cabin crew to somehow restore my confidence in them. Maybe they will offer me two inedible sandwiches instead of one?

KLM Customer Care Nordic Platinum (what a name) presumably deals with queries and complaints from their most valued and loyal customers, for whom they are willing to go the extra mile (but definitely not 50,000!!!). Makes you wonder how they handle complaints from ordinary passengers!

Johan
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Old Apr 20, 07, 5:22 pm
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They shouldn't get away with this.

Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
In response I was told they could not send houses, as "these are not held in stock and only available on board",
I'm sorry but that's a total crock. Although I might question your carrying liquids on board without using the required clear plastic bag , I think the far more outrageous part of your story is that they expected you to swallow this utterly palpable lie.

And I mean, geez, those houses aren't inconsiderable--the newer ones going for 15 Euro each, plus shipping. See http://www.xs4all.nl/~wiltheo/klm_houses.htm

Iasmuch as you're a frequent KL customer, however, it certainly should be easy enough to arrange for you to receive your replacement houses on board an upcoming flight.

B
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Old Apr 21, 07, 10:06 am
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
KLM Customer Care Nordic Platinum (what a name) presumably deals with queries and complaints from their most valued and loyal customers, for whom they are willing to go the extra mile (but definitely not 50,000!!!). Makes you wonder how they handle complaints from ordinary passengers!
They don't reply to those customers. That way they can statistically prove that they enjoy the same popularity and confidence with those customers.
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Old Apr 23, 07, 4:20 pm
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"While I fully understand each and every point that you may raise regarding the issue of the 50,000 vs 5000 miles, the simple fact here is that a simple typing mistake was made by the agent in question. That mistake should not have been made, but it was made and we cannot change the fact. [. . .] I do not see that this has been a major disruption to you and [. . .] you are also aware that 50,000 miles for the issue in question would certainly be a very unexpected and generous amount of compensation. [. . .] I regret to inform you that there is no question of the 5000 miles amount being increased "

Well, that's pretty clear!

Johan
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Old Apr 24, 07, 1:11 am
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sure know how to mainatin the confidence - but it amazes me you guys keep coming back for more of the same abuse !!! for sure you can get those miles just slip into the conversation about the fact your sister works for them and your cousin is a member of the flight crew and also your uncle works in maintainance !!!!\nepotism rules OK !!!!!
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Old Apr 25, 07, 1:33 pm
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I guess they are calling you a liar again - claiming something you knew full well was to good to be true. I would fax a letter to the corproate ofice - stating that though you agree fully with the final decision (ahum) you still feel this could've been handled in a much more customer friendly and respectful manner.

In my view they don't always have to give you what you want but they should inform you of such in a gracious manner.
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Old Apr 25, 07, 2:55 pm
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Originally Posted by erik123 View Post
I would fax a letter to the corproate ofice -.
That's were the previous reply came from. In addition, I received the following today :

Dear Mr Rebel,

Thank you for your reply.

I am quite happy with the intended compensation offer that was made to you and the way the complaint was dealt with by the agent in question and you are also always within your rights to decline the 5000 miles in question should you prefer to do so - it is not, however, a matter that we are open to
negotiation on. [. . .] Additionally, the agent was also correct in informing you that the Delft houses in question are only available on board and that we do not have a facility to replace those nor to request that replacements be provided. That would be a perfect system to have in place, but it is not currently what we are able to offer.

I am sorry to hear that you believe the KLM product to be in a "state of accelerating decline" and I would fully understand that if you are of that opinion you may wish to consider other carriers to be your carrier of choice.

Personally, I do not share your opinion, although I fully understand that the service that we are offering and the service that you are expecting to receive may not necessarily match - and that is certainly where the benefits of customer choice come into play.

While we would be sorry to lose your valued custom, we would also understand any choice by you to change carriers if this were indeed the case or if changing situations (like charging for certain seats as you have mentioned) do in fact come into play.

I fully understand at the same time that we have areas where we can continue to significantly improve.


Johan
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Old Apr 25, 07, 3:46 pm
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Having lived in the Netherlands (as a foreigner) I can see the two points where they are coming from.

Firstly, I completely disagree with their answer - if they said 50 000, they said 50 000 whether it is a mistake or not. I am of the firm belief they should take that loss when one of their agents makes such a dumb mistake.

Nonetheless,

the reply you got the first time is clearly from someone who is Dutch (of course, what else?) - it is (in English) rude and straightforward, the latter the inter-Dutch way of speaking (but do not dare as a foreigner to speak in a similar manner).

Second point, and this is what I find to be Dutch business culture - they go against you. Of course nothing is wrong with the product on offer nor the way they handle their business (the CS-customer interaction). In stead of saying we are sorry but hope you will give us another try they are saying

Originally Posted by KLM
I would fully understand that if you are of that opinion you may wish to consider other carriers to be your carrier of choice.
Who says that in rebuilding customer faith? In their right mind, do they really believe they are superior to their competitors - what company believes that when your achilles heel is customer service? Of course they are better than Ryanair but BA? Lufthansa?


I disagree with the American "compensation-culture" and note that it is not your main concern but I firmly believe they are way off the line (and thus should award you some compensation)
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Old Apr 25, 07, 3:56 pm
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Jeepers Johan; KLM are really being customer centred and going all out to keep your business! (British sarcasm). I know that their loads are amazing at the moment but things change and thats when loyalty counts in particular. Of course they can get you a house or two; a couple of years ago KLM actually sent me one in the post for helping out on a flight so they are quite wrong about this. 5000 miles is paultry; BMI give you 20000 just for taking out a credit card and 5000 miles does not exactly get you far! They give out 9000 miles as a bonus regularly for flying a few sectors. Its quite ridiculous.
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Old Apr 25, 07, 6:41 pm
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I think that was the longest FU I've ever seen in writing.

I really can't believe they talked to you that way. Astounding, really.
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Old Apr 26, 07, 1:16 am
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Originally Posted by johan rebel View Post
[COLOR="Blue"]I am sorry to hear that you believe the KLM product to be in a "state of accelerating decline" and I would fully understand that if you are of that opinion you may wish to consider other carriers to be your carrier of choice.
This is just beyond belief! Customer care at KLM has just reached a now low and with it have come new heights in hubris. This is obviously written by some arrogant idiot with absolutely no clue about corporate communication and customer care. The nerve of those people...
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