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Brenda and her lies (1k phone agent not being forthcoming)

Brenda and her lies (1k phone agent not being forthcoming)

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Old Apr 16, 18, 12:15 am
  #1  
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Brenda and her lies (1k phone agent not being forthcoming)

So I have gotten this 1K phone agent before as the voice and the name sounded familiar, but I may have ignored her lies in the past as they must have not been as blatant or high in number. But last week there were three in a row, and I am considering reporting her not just to UA customer service but someone 'higher up' so that appropriate action can be taken on her training or any other issues she may be having.

On Tuesday April 10th I called the 1K desk to ask some specific questions that would have helped me strategize for our flight 218 from HNL to ORD (2 Pax both 1Ks). We were waitlisted for the upgrade since 2+ months and the chance of it clearing was very slim as First had checked in full and we were #3 and #4 on the waitlist. The United App was giving me all sorts of options at check-in (via DEN, IAH, EWR) and there were still 2 seats available in First on the Denver flight 383. Hence I had called to ask how many GS and 1Ks were on the waitlist and Brenda told me she could not look that up (lie #1 ) but the list of people waiting to be upgraded was long so our chances were slim to none (lie #2 ). I asked her if I were to take my chances and switch to DEN flight but changed my mind on way to the airport, which I was about to depart to in next 5 minutes, would I be able to switch back. She said no as the ORD flight was already sold out (lie #3 ). While speaking to her I could see that Economy for the ORD flight was available on the App so I took a screenshot and I also took the screenshot of the complete upgrade list for DEN flight. Upon reaching the airport I bumped into a very helpful agent Martie xxxx who when I asked the same questions advised me that the on that 21 pax long upgrade list there were ZERO (0) revenue passengers. He said all were non-revs and tuned his screen towards me and pointed "look this person has 34 yrs seniority, this person is a pilot and has 3 companions, etc. I asked him if Brenda was not able to see the screen the way he is seeing, he said she should be able to see exactly what he was seeing! Later on by reading the United upgrade wiki on FT I learnt about the trick of finding out who the non-revs are if they appear both on Standby and Upgrade list simultaneously. Until that day, I did not know and was confused about why some people can be on both these lists!

I am not sure if other people have had similar experiences with Brenda, but she seemed to protect her non-rev United colleagues and not helping a paying customer at all with any information, but rather outright lying. Her demeanor was obvious on the phone that's why I didn't confront her on the ORD flight not being sold out, and just wanted to hang up quickly so I could speak to a more helpful agent in person.
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Last edited by l'etoile; Apr 16, 18 at 7:27 am
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Old Apr 16, 18, 12:23 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by Montreal View Post
Hence I had called to ask how many GS and 1Ks were on the waitlist and [name] told me she could not look that up (lie #1 ) but the list of people waiting to be upgraded was long so our chances were slim to none (lie #2 )

...

Upon reaching the airport I bumped into a very helpful agent [name 2] who when I asked the same questions advised me that the on that 21 pax long upgrade list there were ZERO (0) revenue passengers. He said all were non-revs and tuned his screen towards me and pointed "look this person has 34 yrs seniority, this person is a pilot and has 3 companions, etc. I asked him if [name] was not able to see the screen the way he is seeing, he said she should be able to see exactly what he was seeing!
I believe that UA agents are generally instructed not to give out specific information regarding the upgrade standby list, and anyone who does it is doing a favor. Also, it sounds like there were indeed 21 people on the list, which is "long" if you don't take the time to dig into what priority code they have. The original agent sounds like not the most helpful, but I think it's a bit of an overreaction to accuse her of maliciousness.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 12:30 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Montreal View Post
... Hence I had called to ask how many GS and 1Ks were on the waitlist and Brenda told me she could not look that up (lie #1 ) ...
This is not get you very far -- UA instructs agents not to release this information, some agents will do it, but this agent was following UA policy.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 2:38 am
  #4  
 
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GS agents will usually tell me if I'm at the top of the list because it is relevant to whether I can push an upgrade through at T-72, but anything beyond that is not something I've ever been told.

By the way this may be my favorite thread title ever on Flyertalk.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 2:41 am
  #5  
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Brenda is also the name by which Private Eye refers to Queen Elizabeth II. All that money and she is double dipping. I think we should be told.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 3:00 am
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Originally Posted by Montreal View Post
On Tuesday April 10th I called the 1K desk to ask some specific questions that would have helped me strategize for our flight 218 from HNL to ORD (2 Pax both 1Ks). We were waitlisted for the upgrade since 2+ months and the chance of it clearing was very slim as First had checked in full and we were #3 and #4 on the waitlist. The United App was giving me all sorts of options at check-in (via DEN, IAH, EWR) and there were still 2 seats available in First on the Denver flight 383. Hence I had called to ask how many GS and 1Ks were on the waitlist and Brenda told me she could not look that up (lie #1 ) but the list of people waiting to be upgraded was long so our chances were slim to none (lie #2 ). I asked her if I were to take my chances and switch to DEN flight but changed my mind on way to the airport, which I was about to depart to in next 5 minutes, would I be able to switch back. She said no as the ORD flight was already sold out (lie #3 ). While speaking to her I could see that Economy for the ORD flight was available on the App so I took a screenshot and I also took the screenshot of the complete upgrade list for DEN flight. Upon reaching the airport I bumped into a very helpful agent Martie xxxx who when I asked the same questions advised me that the on that 21 pax long upgrade list there were ZERO (0) revenue passengers. He said all were non-revs and tuned his screen towards me and pointed "look this person has 34 yrs seniority, this person is a pilot and has 3 companions, etc. I asked him if Brenda was not able to see the screen the way he is seeing, he said she should be able to see exactly what he was seeing! Later on by reading the United upgrade wiki on FT I learnt about the trick of finding out who the non-revs are if they appear both on Standby and Upgrade list simultaneously. Until that day, I did not know and was confused about why some people can be on both these lists!

.
Be careful how you report this, it may fall under the law of unintended consequences. "Brenda" was actually following company policy by not telling you how many are ahead of you on the waitlist or how many GS and 1ks there are. Martie, the helpful YUL agent, was not following company policy. You would not want Martie to get into trouble for being so helpful.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 5:16 am
  #7  
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Martie is outsourced, not a UA agent - UA fired all Canadian staff.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 5:33 am
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Originally Posted by Montreal View Post
I am not sure if other people have had similar experiences with Brenda, but she seemed to protect her non-rev United colleagues and not helping a paying customer at all with any information, but rather outright lying. Her demeanor was obvious on the phone that's why I didn't confront her on the ORD flight not being sold out, and just wanted to hang up quickly so I could speak to a more helpful agent in person.
Seriously? "Protect her non-rev United colleagues"? This isn't a war of us vs. them people. Get over it.

It sounds like you've never had a HUCA experience before. Can you imagine if we created a thread of "This stinking UA agent lied to me on the phone" every time one of us had to HUCA to do something such as, apply an instrument, SDC, GGBuyup? You'd never see any other posts on Flyertalk.

When you see a HUCA moment, you HUCA! Hang Up Call Again!
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Old Apr 16, 18, 6:20 am
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Originally Posted by Silver Fox View Post
Brenda is also the name by which Private Eye refers to Queen Elizabeth II.
And one of the Esurance agents in the commercials that ran on UA in years past. She was my favorite.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 6:58 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
This is not get you very far -- UA instructs agents not to release this information, some agents will do it, but this agent was following UA policy.
Then why'd she choose to lie about it?
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Old Apr 16, 18, 7:16 am
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must be another slow FT Monday...
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Old Apr 16, 18, 7:58 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Then why'd she choose to lie about it?
Where is there any evidence that she lied? Even if you take the OP as accurate, she said she "could not" look it up - and since she is not allowed to do so, this is 100% accurate.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 8:08 am
  #13  
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There' s no way I'd rely on anything a phone agent told me in determining which flight to pick for upgrade odds. And you can tell from the published lists whether waitlisted pax are NRSA, so not sure why you needed an agent to figure that out.

But bonus points for the entertaining Monday morning read
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Old Apr 16, 18, 8:13 am
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by Montreal View Post
I am not sure if other people have had similar experiences with Brenda, but she seemed to protect her non-rev United colleagues and not helping a paying customer at all with any information, but rather outright lying. Her demeanor was obvious on the phone that's why I didn't confront her on the ORD flight not being sold out, and just wanted to hang up quickly so I could speak to a more helpful agent in person.
Iíve encountered plenty borderline DYKWIA situations like yours, but from the other end of the phone line. My advice is that if you want to protect your elite privileges, you should quickly understand that just because you are a paying passenger doesnít entitle you to flight load information, nor to tie up the phone line with repeated demands over CPU strategy. Phone agents donít see all the information that airport agents see anyway, so eventually you are wasting your time looking for information thatís less 100% accurate the closer to departure time.

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Old Apr 16, 18, 8:17 am
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So OP, did you get the upgrade via DEN?
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