change in service level on elite line?

 
Old Feb 1, 07, 9:31 pm
  #1  
BTA
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Question change in service level on elite line?

I've been calling the plat line periodically in the hope of upgrading my flights (in June) for the CO MSP-LGW fare mistake using NW miles. Still no luck...

Anyway, tesides calling for that, I've made a few other calls over the past few months or so. It seems like the service has declined a bit. They used to always greet my by name when I called. Now, they never do that, and often are not very polite, just more to the point. When I originally booked this ticket, I called trying to upgrade and the person tried several ways to find availability. I called earlier tonight (playing on the hope that more upgrade seats might open up on the first of the month), and the person didn't even ask for my confirmation number, rather just said there was no space about 5 seconds after I explained my situation...

The service itself is fine, but it just seems like a noticable decrease in the how polite the elite line workers are.

Has anyone else noticed this, or am I just getting cranky?
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Old Feb 1, 07, 9:34 pm
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My only experience is with the SE line, but starting several months ago (maybe a year) and lasting up until a couple of months ago, when I called I was greeted by name. Not the case any longer. I don't know if its a changed initiative, or if we were getting redirected to a different call center at the time.. I am still greeted by name on a rare occasion.
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Old Feb 1, 07, 9:47 pm
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It's hard to say, I guess. I've called them recently a few times and have had both great people and the harried "to the point" types. I talked to this one nice lady up in Hibbing and we chewed the fat about northern Minnesota for a while. She even invited me to visit their service center up there next time I'm nearby. Contrarily, I talked to this one guy who was quick, brusque, and wasn't pleasant to talk to. They were vastly different experiences.

I do get greeted by name, for what that's worth. Maybe it's just luck of the draw.
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Old Feb 1, 07, 10:04 pm
  #4  
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Elite Line

As a PE who lives in Northern MN ( about 40 miles from Chisholm ) I'm always treated to a name ID and usually chat about our local MN weather. At any rate, I love the normally wonderful service these folks provide. Certainly there are different personalities, but I find them most helpful for the most part.
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Old Feb 1, 07, 10:19 pm
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I've noticed the reps differ greatly with the time of day. Last evenings past 10p (Eastern), calls sometimes get routed through Seattle. They seem a little more relaxed and nicer.

When I catch their name and addressing them by their name, they seem a little more polite. Otherwise, it's the standard business brusque approach. Seems like there's no grey area for personalities.
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Old Feb 1, 07, 10:38 pm
  #6  
 
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I've noticed a slight decline in service lately, but I'm also attributing that to the fact that I've needed to call in on Sunday afternoons, Mondays, and Fridays lately. These are some of their highest call-volume times. It's not an excuse for declining service, but perhaps an explanation.

Last week I called to book an award ticket and the woman was nice and helpful, but quoted me incorrect taxes and actually booked my award ticket into the wrong class (correct cabin, but wrong class). As a result it never deducted the miles from my account. When I went to MSP to ticket (as I always do with paper tickets rather than trust the mail ), the MSP ATO had to fix all her errors. Luckily they could still force me into seats as they said there weren't any available, but forced it because of the agent's errors.

I wrote NW about this and they apologized profusely and explained that they would be retraining this specific agent and issuing memos to the elite line supervisors as well as the MSP ATO . Threw in 4k CSR miles, too, but that wasn't the point.

In all my experiences with the Plat elite line, the past few weeks have been just a blip on the radar. 9/10 times I get excellent service. I am always greeted by name and I am cordial with the reps, always using their name and thanking them by it after the transaction is over.
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Old Feb 2, 07, 6:25 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by BTA View Post
It seems like the service has declined a bit. They used to always greet my by name when I called. Now, they never do that, and often are not very polite, just more to the point.Has anyone else noticed this, or am I just getting cranky?
Can't say that I've noticed it, 90% of the time I am greeted by name (80% of the time they pronouce it correctly which is amazing cause it's a difficult last name)....I am learning though the 10% of the time they dont greet me by name I should hang up and call back as those agents typically aren't as great as the rest of them but then there has always been bad apples out there....I dont think it's any worse overall.....btw as a gold I love it that plats & golds NEVER EVER receive the autoattn, we are automatically routed to a human after entering our pin
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Old Feb 2, 07, 8:28 am
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I have noticed that it takes two to three times as long to get through to the platinum line in the last six to eight weeks. The level of competence also seems to have gone down. The level of civility seems the same.

I always try to time my calls to get the Chisholm office. They're great! The offshore call center is hopeless. I just hang up when I get them.

Another strategy is to do complex or difficult transactions through the round-the-world line. They are only open 8a-4p Central. You have to be transfered there from the elite line. They can handle any transaction and are extremely competent, prompting you to ask questions that you did not know you were supposed to ask. They honestly seem to be interested in the consumer's welfare, unlike NW corporate culture as a whole.
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Old Feb 2, 07, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by rtarbuck View Post
As a PE who lives in Northern MN ( about 40 miles from Chisholm ) I'm always treated to a name ID and usually chat about our local MN weather. At any rate, I love the normally wonderful service these folks provide. Certainly there are different personalities, but I find them most helpful for the most part.
The usual rule about being as friendly and kind doesn't hurt --- we were up your way this fall and actually drove past the call center at one point You can usually tell you're talking to the Chisholm center by their Minn-ee- soda accents and I'll talk about some of the sight seeing stuff up there -- e.g., the giant iron man, the big hockey stick -- with them for a few seconds --

It's amazing how much better the service is when you do things like that --

I think it's called treating the person on the other end of the line like a person.

Bob H
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Old Feb 2, 07, 10:32 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by BobH View Post
The usual rule about being as friendly and kind doesn't hurt --- we were up your way this fall and actually drove past the call center at one point You can usually tell you're talking to the Chisholm center by their Minn-ee- soda accents and I'll talk about some of the sight seeing stuff up there -- e.g., the giant iron man, the big hockey stick -- with them for a few seconds --

It's amazing how much better the service is when you do things like that --

I think it's called treating the person on the other end of the line like a person.

Bob H

Agreed. I normally try to small talk with them a bit because I want them to know I appreciate their help. I have to admit I don't notice a Minnesota accent...but this is coming from a guy from Wis-CONNNN-sin, so it just sounds normal to me!

Anyway, the last few times I called (and didn't get greeted by name), they were pretty rude...maybe hanging up and trying back is a good idea.

Any clue on the hours for which call center is open? Maybe that's the key.
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Old Feb 2, 07, 10:47 am
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FWIW, last weekend I called in a couple of times and the helpful agent explained to me that they were having problems all weekend getting things ticketed. Apparently something was screwed up in the computers and they couldn't autoprice awards anymore (it might have extended to revenue tix as well, not sure). They were "doing it the old-fashioned way" and this involved being put on hold for a few minutes while they "manually processed" the tickets, whatever that meant.

Again, not an excuse, but perhaps another explanation for some cases of bad attitudes in the last week or so.
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Old Feb 2, 07, 11:40 am
  #12  
 
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Was playing the UG game last month and called maybe 10X and for the most part got excellent service. They rarely--maybe never--asked for me confirmation number. I just said I am looking to use miles to UG and the could clearly see my Int'l flight and just confirmed that was the flight I was seeking to UG on.

BTW, be sure you are aware of other flight times around the flight you are booked on. You might be able to switch to another flight that has availability if yours doesn't ( of course depending on ticket a change fee may apply).

And don't forget you call right up to 4 hours b4 flight time.
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Old Feb 2, 07, 3:57 pm
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They never greet me by name whenever I called.
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Old Feb 2, 07, 4:44 pm
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at least 9/10 for me...

...have been great to talk to. I've even given my number to my wife who has called in for me when I'm on the road and they treated her most excellent. One of the funnest chat's was when I was booking a trip for my daughter and her boyfriend on my miles. He said to call him back if it didn't work out and he'd see to it the boyfriend got sent on a flight somewhere else , now that's platinum service!
Have had a few where I called off hours and obviously got a different call center, answer is to call again at a different time if you can. If I'm not asked to punch in my ff # and pin or if I'm not answered with "Hello Mr. Kenaisteve, how can I help you" it's an indication to call back.
Once when apparently call volume was high, I even had the person tell me they were the regular line and they only get Plat overflow and she couldn't see everything on the computer that the plat line could and suggested that I call back until I do get the P-line. I thought that was decent of her to admit that.
Bottom line is, as a person on the road far from home, one of the great benefits is getting the people that care that you do get home. I think the few times of mediocre service are the off hours call center or overflow lines, so I'll put up with calling again to get the right folks.
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Old Feb 2, 07, 8:13 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by aSiAnRiCk View Post
They never greet me by name whenever I called.
I've called about 10 times in January and each and every time they greeted me by name. Great service. And, to recipocate, I'd always greet them by their name too, so long as they gave it and I could make it out.

I've generally been finding that the quality of service has dipped just a little as well. Maybe it's because I've been getting a lot more male agents lately...
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