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Long Call Center Hold/Wait Times, Post-March 3 System Integration

Long Call Center Hold/Wait Times, Post-March 3 System Integration

Old Mar 7, 12, 8:20 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Programs: AC*SE HHgold
Posts: 166
Long Call Center Hold/Wait Times, Post-March 3 System Integration

UA changed my itinerary 3 days before departure and left me only with 1 hour connecting time in SFO with a transborder connection. My travel agent called UA to change to a later flight. She was put on hold from 9:30 am to almost 4 pm before someone pick up the phone. It was not a world record (the world record is 7 hours 12 mins by NEC computers according to answers.com) yet but it is BAD service on UA!
Needle Hill is offline  
Old Mar 7, 12, 8:23 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: BOS
Programs: UA MM
Posts: 1,451
I am very glad I'm not flying UA around this time, I got a bunch of travel in February (when I also collected my last 100% MM / 1P bonuses) and I don't need to fly again for a while. Sounds gruesome out there.
MojaveFlyer is offline  
Old Mar 7, 12, 11:21 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Denver,CO (Duh)
Programs: UA, AA, CO
Posts: 1,172
After that long a wait, I hope neither "Peggy" nor "Bob" answered the call!
MileHighGuy is offline  
Old Mar 7, 12, 11:50 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: SEA
Programs: AS MVP, Hhonors Gold, National Executive, Identity Gold, MLife Gold
Posts: 2,686
A person would have to be an idiot to wait on hold this long.
OverThereTooMuch is offline  
Old Mar 8, 12, 2:47 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: UA 1K, Hertz President's Circle, Hilton Platinum,
Posts: 661
I spent 5 hours, 6 minutes on hold two days ago trying to get through to the United Club. I got through in just over 1 hour on the 2nd day.

I was certainly doing other stuff besides just sitting on hold.
bsmnsr is offline  
Old Mar 9, 12, 8:12 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 35
Originally Posted by Mabuk dan gila View Post
I just hung up on UA reservations after being placed on hold for two hours. Not "it seemed like two hours"........ literally TWO HOURS on hold by the call timer on my cell phone and still my call was unanswered. I never was able to fix my reservation. I set 2 hours as the limit of my patience, hung up on UA, called my credit card company and disputed the $537.89 UA charge on my credit card as undelivered goods and called AA and rebooked. Damn the miles. MONUMENTAL FAIL!!! of the highest order.


I DARE UA to fight my credit card dispute. I'm riled, itching for a fight.
I have a Star Alliance 1st Class award I need to change. Called number on my Gold card and got a warning for a 30 minute wait. Now at 1 hour, 53 minutes. This is day 6 AD, not day 1. I called the standard UA res# on another phone and they quoted 13 minutes wait??

You can devalue my Gold bonus, make me wait longer to board, reduce my upgrades, and apparently freeze much of the previously available *A partner awards - I suppose - but YOU'VE GOT TO ANSWER THE PHONE!

So now I'm going to re-deposit the 70K miles and book a 1 way Asiana biz seat for $2,100, LAX to BKK. Not happy, but this experience will change everything. I flew on March 3/6 and it went well. They have apparently shut down much of the CS phone support.

UA Insider, what's up?

Meanwhile, Gold CS# on hold for 2 hrs, 1 min. Std CS on hold for 19 minutes.

FUN FRIDAY NIGHT! If *A availability goes away, I'm done.

Originally Posted by udondenver View Post
I have a Star Alliance 1st Class award I need to change. Called number on my Gold card and got a warning for a 30 minute wait. Now at 1 hour, 53 minutes. This is day 6 AD, not day 1. I called the standard UA res# on another phone and they quoted 13 minutes wait??

You can devalue my Gold bonus, make me wait longer to board, reduce my upgrades, and apparently freeze much of the previously available *A partner awards - I suppose - but YOU'VE GOT TO ANSWER THE PHONE!

So now I'm going to re-deposit the 70K miles and book a 1 way Asiana biz seat for $2,100, LAX to BKK. Not happy, but this experience will change everything. I flew on March 3/6 and it went well. They have apparently shut down much of the CS phone support.

UA Insider, what's up?

Meanwhile, Gold CS# on hold for 2 hrs, 1 min. Std CS on hold for 19 minutes.

FUN FRIDAY NIGHT! If *A availability goes away, I'm done.
OK, so an update on my meltdown. Standard Reservation line stated est. 13 minute hold. At 25 minutes, recording comes on at 10:17pm EST to state that they are closed and call tomorrow! OK great. Gold line CS currently on hold for 2 hours, 14 minutes.

Hey 1K's, Globals. How are things?

Originally Posted by udondenver View Post
OK, so an update on my meltdown. Standard Reservation line stated est. 13 minute hold. At 25 minutes, recording comes on at 10:17pm EST to state that they are closed and call tomorrow! OK great. Gold line CS currently on hold for 2 hours, 14 minutes.

Hey 1K's, Globals. How are things?
OK, so at 2 hours, 30 minutes, CS picked up and I scrambled to get off speaker mode. I did not mention any delays or discontent as I was amazed that someone answered. Got an Air China 1st from LAX to BKK through PEK. Last night I called and there was no availability business or 1st from 5 April to 10 April. So good result but who holds 150 minutes? Me, I guess.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Mar 11, 12 at 7:11 am Reason: merge
udondenver is offline  
Old Mar 9, 12, 8:17 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,900
Just tried to call to get seats for my new First Class award ticket. I waited on hold for 1 hour and 42 minutes then hung up.
surftb15 is offline  
Old Mar 9, 12, 8:19 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: DEN
Programs: UA-GS; WN A-list;Hyatt - CC; Hertz - PC
Posts: 625
Thats nothing. I did that three times this week. I could not get through at all. The computer did not like my reservation at all had to call.

Simple Change return booked Wednesday evening
Fort Wayne / DEN (ORD / DEN leg in F)
Change return Thursday South Bend to DEN (Pray to go that I can still get a F seat ORD / DEN - even willing to pay for it)

-1:30 on the phone on Sunday only to be disconnected
-1:30 on the phone on Monday only for reservations to say they are having lots of trouble with my res. and I should check at the airport.
-2 minutes at United Club before Monday flight so my favorite Carolyn could look at me and say previous person was crazy, I can only do this through reservations. Thanks for the free wine by the way.
-1:45 on Tuesday before IAH /IND flight to get rebooked. Drove from my meeting, gassed up the car, returned it, took the bus to terminal, went through security, got a glass of wine at the UC, boarded, and the doors were about to close...Result New reservations left Fort Wayne to Denver on Wednesday and added a new South bend to Denver on Thursday. I am not even going to get into how bad that geography is, but I did clear F upgrade..Sweet!!!
-1:25 on the phone after I land Tuesday night into Wednesday morning driving IND to Fort Wayne with Raj, it may have been Rob or possible Rod, but I going with Raj. Problem solved...Rebooked for only $475.

Skip to Wednesday morning when I look at my confirmation and noticed Raj had actually charged me $1500 for basic economy fare, when 1st was only $1600 more.

Here we go again...

-Call maybe 20 times only to hear that United has been experiencing excessive call volume for the last couple days, and I need to call back later. ( on a personal note, when I ask to speak to an agent, I am not confused, and hearing the automated system say "lets try again", has become a rather big slap in the face) - This went on for about two hours.

Anywhoo I finally get Seema right as I leave Fort Wayne and head up to South Bend...Semma is a very nice young lady with slightly worse English than my 4 year old. I am pretty sure she was trained by one of those insurance agencies that reject all claims like in the movie the Rainmaker. Anyways, Seema was great at reaffirming that no one in India has any idea what they are doing, two that it is a brilliant move by United to put people on the other end of the phone so confused that your eventual choice to just hang up, and three that all questions seem to go through the same supervisor somewhere, not in India.

Make it to my hotel. Turn the computer on right at the 24 hour check in mark. See that I can now indeed check in, proceed to do so. Computer likes my reservation again. Offered $89 for the last F seat, Go to take it. Spend 10 more minutes getting rejected. Bang my head on the wall. Pass out. Wake up still on hold. Okay maybe the last part is a stretch, but I was on hold 2:09 , drove about 120 miles, and was able to check in on the other end of the call, before they could help me. I finally hung up once I confirmed the E+ seat.


However, fun things to do on hold that long, over several days.
1 Memorize the on hold language. Yes I can now actually recite it verbatim. I had a very bad dream about being there, and there, and there, and THERE!!! Not to mention I don't ever want to hear about United unique blend of organic fuel.
2 Change the entire on hold language to something much more condescending and acceptable to your personal pallet, in my case more a glutton for punishment thing.
3 Take other calls from clients and come back just to see if your still on hold.
4 Plan my proper level of griping to customer care for my $1000 refund.

Anyways, I am still on the road this week, and if I do not clear standby tomorrow there is a good chance I am going to take out several passengers in line.
DENflyer3 is offline  
Old Mar 9, 12, 8:57 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: NJ
Programs: Avis Preferred, Hertz #1 Gold, National Exective, United Premier Silver
Posts: 1,363
I was initially of the "its the integration thats causing the problems", but honestly, at this point, theres something seriously broken here, and seems to be getting worse before getting better.

I honestly do not think it is a staffing issue, but instead something truly broken with the phone system itself. I am going to try and describe what happened to me, pardon any rambling.





Yesterday evening, around 5pm EDT, I called the United Club line, as I have yet to recieve my United Club Card, after being approved for the Presidential Plus card on 2/14, and recieving the card 2/22.

Inital greeting was "Thanks for calling United Club", then the woman's voice telling me the call centers are very busy, then a recording telling me "Thanks for calling MileagePlus for Premere Executives, please hold"... About 6 minutes on hold (with hold music voice overs from Mr. CO voice, all pre-integration, telling me the merger is in the early stages, etc) a rep answers the phone "MileagePlus" -- And despite Initially recognizing my former status, the rep did not know who I was, and asked for Mileage Plus number and PIN.

Come to find out Chase has yet to notify UA, so I call Chase, who says they will call United and call me back. Chase calls back a half hour later, and claims to have called UA, and everything is fine.

Not trusting that everything went okay, I call back this morning. Same first greeting, plus the "we're busy" woman. However, hold music starts up, and is "current". A total of 1:45 (hours and minutes goes by, and a rep answers the phone "United Club Customer Service". Only asked for Mileage Plus number, no PIN. Kicker is that Chase did not do things the right way last night, and they still do not know I am club eligible.



So I call the club line two times, get directed to two different spots, and wait times are dramatically different. Phone system half recognizes me once, and not at all the other. Something is obviously up here. It sounds like they tried to glue the two phone systems together, and failed miserably as a result.


Might I suggest UA look at US's phone system, where I have no status, which greets me by name every time I call, and after telling it what I want, connects me to an agent who then answers, "Thanks for calling US Airways Mr. kwildnj, how can I help you with (insert whatever I asked for help with)?
kwildnj is offline  
Old Mar 9, 12, 9:20 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: ORD
Programs: UA 1K/MM, MC Life Plat, HH Gold
Posts: 722
Originally Posted by udondenver View Post
OK, so an update on my meltdown. Standard Reservation line stated est. 13 minute hold. At 25 minutes, recording comes on at 10:17pm EST to state that they are closed and call tomorrow! OK great. Gold line CS currently on hold for 2 hours, 14 minutes.

Hey 1K's, Globals. How are things?
I've been holding off calling at all recently, but finally needed to call today about a couple of things, once in the morning and again in the afternoon. A few observations:

1) Nice that they didn't change the 1K number, although it no longer recognizes my phone number and there's no indication that you've actually reached the 1K line (just a generic Premier greeting).

2) Even after entering my OP number, there's no greeting by name or other indication that it recognized the number. It asks for my zip code, but there's no indication that it recognizes that, either, and neither of the agents seemed to know who I was until I gave them record locators.

3) As a matter of how low my expectations have dropped, I was happy to discover that they've reduced the volume of the droning voice on hold so that he's easier now to tune out without missing the agent coming on the line. (I still find the stupidity of torturing anyone like this, let along your best customers, totally mind-boggling.)

4) Both of my calls were answered in under a minute. When I was transferred to the MP desk to resolve one issue, that also happened quickly, so no complaints about that.

5) All three agents I spoke with were incredibly pleasant and it became clear over time that they were all PMUA, trying quite hard to hide their own frustrations as they navigated the complexities of the "new" systems. One in particular kept thanking me for my patience quite sincerely, but I finally told her that she was the one who really deserved the thanks if this call was typical of her day.

6) I must have spent an hour with each agent. Although they seemed to be navigating their systems better than I might have expected and were finding things and making ticket changes fairly quickly, they kept needing to contact supervisors and other departments for routine stuff like recalculating taxes for ticket changes, tracing the history of pre-merged reservations, or getting me the record locators for segments on other airlines. In that last case, I believe the agent had to call another department who was authorized to then call the two other airlines to have them look up the reservations in their own systems that had just come from UA!

The bottom line is that I'm quite annoyed about management for having foisted their archaic system on us, but am finding that the spirit of the many fine UA employees I've enjoyed working with in the past still lives on, and they seem to be doing their best with whatever tools they have to help their customers like me.

Last edited by joel67; Mar 9, 12 at 9:37 pm
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Old Mar 9, 12, 9:29 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: BKK/SFO
Programs: UA 1K, TG Platinum, SPG Gold, Hyatt GP Platinum, Priority Club Platinum, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 283
I have been calling 1k line a few times this pass couple day and wait no longer than 5-7 minutes,not bad
pviri is offline  
Old Mar 10, 12, 6:52 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: YYZ- previously BRS, LPL
Programs: United (Prem Gold), KLM, AA
Posts: 23
Slow but got there in the end.

My one way ticket in economy YYZ-IAD-GCM had not been ticketed 24 hours after booking despite my credit card being approved. I called the number on the back of the Premier Gold Card. No answer after 30 minutes so gave up. Later called the general United UK number, waited 25 minutes. It took a further 65 minutes to resolve my problem - the ticketing eventually went through when even the agent (who was very helpful in difficult circumstances) was beginning to give up hope.

Noticed a problem with the automatic response on the Premier phone line. They now ask you to say your new mileage plus number but ALSO require "your five digit zip code". As I currently live in the UK my "post code" has 7 characters some of which are letters (as is the case in Canada), so UK and Canadian based United elites cannot get their zip/post codes recognised on the premier line. Does that failure to get yourself recognised by the automated system means you get connected to the general line instead of the premier one, or is it just that the premier line is also very slow to answer at the moment? Either way, United must have plenty of elites who don't live in the USA and can't provide a zip code.
westkirby is offline  
Old Mar 10, 12, 8:00 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Go Bucks!!! The HorseShoe!!!
Programs: 1K on United; MARR = PLAT; HIL = DIA; Avis = First; NAT = Ex Elite
Posts: 175
40+ minutes on hold and its T +7 days, Saturday nite 9:30 pm

Just saying!
GoBucks27 is offline  
Old Mar 10, 12, 9:02 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Hoosier in Dubai
Programs: EK Gold, Bonvoy Silver
Posts: 545
A funny thing happened on the way to the forum.............

I was with friend yesterday who needed to change a flight to a day earlier for next week, he was on hold for about 3 hours but when the agent finally answered he pressed the wrong button and hung up on her.

I laughed, he cried!
JTPictureman is offline  
Old Mar 10, 12, 10:06 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: BKK/SFO
Programs: UA 1K, TG Platinum, SPG Gold, Hyatt GP Platinum, Priority Club Platinum, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 283
Lucky me call a few times and wait no longer than 10 minutes
pviri is offline  

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