Call in - Web Services VS 1K Desk???

Old Jul 13, 18, 8:35 am
  #1  
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Call in - Web Services VS 1K Desk???

Going on 30 minutes on this call so I thought I'd write it up to kill time.

I called the 1K line to try and use an RPU to upgrade my sister in law who is traveling with us on vacation. The opening voice response asked if I was calling about the reservation I had just looked at on-line, I said "yes" and the person who answered said their name and "web services." I said that I was sorry, I wanted the 1K desk but they asked what I wanted to do and away we went.

I got them to understand that I wanted to use an RPU for a return flight for my sister in law (outbound is on an RJ). It all seems to go "ok" until they said "for verification, I have to ask you a few security questions, if you answer wrong your account will be locked." I'm used to the please provide your PIN bit but not an issue as I know the answers. Again, all seemed good but I was put on hold for a minute and the rep came back and told me something went wrong and they used a GPU instead of an RPU. For the last 36 minutes (as of right now...) I've been listening to the pleasant United on hold music.

As far as I can tell, there is nothing special about this trip. Myrtle Beach to Newark to Houston.

Am I wrong to think that a 1K rep would have this all sorted out in minutes? I have no idea who "web services" are or their level of expertise but this seems way out of balance. (And, this is the one call I chose NOT to participate in the feedback survey.)

Ok - 47 minutes and all done. They had to escalate to a supervisor who had to call Mileage Plus (aren't they all Mileage Plus?) for some reason to redeposit the GPU and pull the RPU.

Like I said, just killing time on hold so this is not really a rant. But I am curious if anyone else has had experience with calls passing through or over the 1K rep and going off the rails.

FWIW
DLM
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Old Jul 13, 18, 8:42 am
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Originally Posted by dmunz View Post
Going on 30 minutes on this call so I thought I'd write it up to kill time.

I called the 1K line to try and use an RPU to upgrade my sister in law who is traveling with us on vacation. The opening voice response asked if I was calling about the reservation I had just looked at on-line, I said "yes" and the person who answered said their name and "web services." I said that I was sorry, I wanted the 1K desk but they asked what I wanted to do and away we went.

I got them to understand that I wanted to use an RPU for a return flight for my sister in law (outbound is on an RJ). It all seems to go "ok" until they said "for verification, I have to ask you a few security questions, if you answer wrong your account will be locked." I'm used to the please provide your PIN bit but not an issue as I know the answers. Again, all seemed good but I was put on hold for a minute and the rep came back and told me something went wrong and they used a GPU instead of an RPU. For the last 36 minutes (as of right now...) I've been listening to the pleasant United on hold music.

As far as I can tell, there is nothing special about this trip. Myrtle Beach to Newark to Houston.

Am I wrong to think that a 1K rep would have this all sorted out in minutes? I have no idea who "web services" are or their level of expertise but this seems way out of balance. (And, this is the one call I chose NOT to participate in the feedback survey.)

Ok - 47 minutes and all done. They had to escalate to a supervisor who had to call Mileage Plus (aren't they all Mileage Plus?) for some reason to redeposit the GPU and pull the RPU.

Like I said, just killing time on hold so this is not really a rant. But I am curious if anyone else has had experience with calls passing through or over the 1K rep and going off the rails.

FWIW
DLM
I've been getting variable quality of service lately. Some (more experienced?) agents seem to know what to do or who to talk to. But some muddle around slowly and only barely get what needs to be done done. I think they are not keeping so many dedicated 1K agents now and sometimes route to the regular premier line, who are instructed to answer '1K desk' when they get the call.

If only the survey they offer could be taken on demand, rather than having to wait some unspecified period of time for a call back.

Here's an existing thread:
Consolidated "1K/Premier Call Line/eMail Experiences" Thread
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Old Jul 13, 18, 9:14 am
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No, the MileagePlus service center is a very different set of agents from the 1K and the web support desk. I've even heard of a 1K Web Support Desk (we get special "web help" agents???). Anyway, the MP service center would be the ones to take out the GPU and apply the RPU and make sure it all goes right. Sorry you had to stay on hold for so long. I would have hung up immediately when I heard web support and called back to the 1K line and said "representative".

-RM
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Old Jul 13, 18, 9:45 am
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So you got a bad agent. It happens. It's unfortunate.

Originally Posted by dmunz View Post
Am I wrong to think that a 1K rep would have this all sorted out in minutes?
There are no dedicated 1K agents. As 1K, your call should theoretically get routed to a more senior US based agent who may or may not answer the call based on your displayed status. Occasionally your call may be routed to an overseas call center.

And of course quality of agents varies widely. I will usually bail on the call as soon as I realize I have an incompetent or unhelpful one.
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Old Jul 13, 18, 9:52 am
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GPU vs. RPU could be simple as fat-fingering or working from memory rather than sticking to the template guide. I would not attribute it to the specific agent. Your 1K status gets you routed to a more senior agent and more quickly. "More" does not necessarily mean senior or quick. This issue also is not a sophisticated one requiring a lot of training, just better typing skills !
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Old Jul 13, 18, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by dmunz View Post
I'm used to the please provide your PIN bit but not an issue as I know the answers.
I've been asked the security questions in the past when talking to the regular 1K agents, especially when doing something for another user like you were doing (applying an xPU to someone elses reservation, or booking an award flight in a different name)
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Old Jul 13, 18, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
I've been asked the security questions in the past when talking to the regular 1K agents, especially when doing something for another user like you were doing (applying an xPU to someone elses reservation, or booking an award flight in a different name)
They are supposed to always ask the security questions when deducting a certificate. Even to look at the history of deductions and deposits they need to authenticate.
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Old Jul 13, 18, 12:30 pm
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Originally Posted by dmunz View Post
... until they said "for verification, I have to ask you a few security questions, if you answer wrong your account will be locked." I'm used to the please provide your PIN bit but not an issue as I know the answers. ...
The PIN concept no longer exist and the security questions are the replacement. The agents don't have access to the answers but enter you answer and get a correct or incorrect flag.
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Old Jul 13, 18, 12:39 pm
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Once upon a time (like 20 years ago), united.com support was incredible. They were able to work magic. I believe they were located in North Dakota.

Then they were outsourced to India. Those were the dark days of web support.

Today, I find them very good once again. They are often able to do things that 1K agents (or other phone agents) won't touch. I often find that if I need to change a reservation, web support can take the change fee out any residual value rather than charging new money.
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Old Jul 13, 18, 4:40 pm
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Sounds like an easy typo mistake and then only slightly worse than usual to fix - they do have to call another department (MPSC) to authorize the deposit of new instruments and/or miles. Not great quality agent, but not the worst either.
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Old Jul 14, 18, 7:30 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
There are no dedicated 1K agents. As 1K, your call should theoretically get routed to a more senior US based agent who may or may not answer the call based on your displayed status. Occasionally your call may be routed to an overseas call center.
I guess everyone's mileage may vary, but I think the furthest "overseas" I've gotten in years sounded like she was in Hawaii. I do find the "Thank you for calling the ... Premier ... 1K ... line" greeting to be stilted but at lease I know they have my status up. Past few calls have been under 5 minutes with getting exactly what I wanted/needed... perhaps I'm just getting lucky (or, evil conspiracy theory, perhaps they're further segmenting 1Ks by spend/most common fare class purchases )...in any event, it's a welcome change from the dark era of that began with integration through mid-2014 or so...

Where are UA's domestic call centers these days? And does anyone have numbers on what % of agents are call-center based vs. work at home?
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Old Jul 14, 18, 9:35 am
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
I guess everyone's mileage may vary, but I think the furthest "overseas" I've gotten in years sounded like she was in Hawaii. I do find the "Thank you for calling the ... Premier ... 1K ... line" greeting to be stilted but at lease I know they have my status up. Past few calls have been under 5 minutes with getting exactly what I wanted/needed... perhaps I'm just getting lucky (or, evil conspiracy theory, perhaps they're further segmenting 1Ks by spend/most common fare class purchases )...in any event, it's a welcome change from the dark era of that began with integration through mid-2014 or so...
I got the Phillippines several times last year. It's likely to happen during periods of heavy call volume.

After a nice run of good agents, I've now had several bad ones in a row. It really is a roulette wheel.
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Old Jul 14, 18, 9:37 am
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I have had some of my best CS experiences with Web Services. A few times they were able to instantly fix something the GS agents couldn't.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 8:07 am
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Very interesting to hear about the Web Services experiences. All tings considered, I wasn't that concerned about the GPU/RPU deal (I know it would get worked out), just interested in the direct answer by WS and the overall interaction.

On the 1K Desk side of things, I got caught up in the EWR mess Tuesday (7/14). I was supposed to fly from Myrtle Beach to LHR and they delayed and then canceled my MYR-EWR flight. I did get the instant rebook for the following day but that wasn't really helpful. While talking to the 1K agent, they offered a complete refund which I took. The agent said they offered the full refund (I was on a non-refundable D fare) because United canceled the flight. I didn't know that applied where weather was concerned so I probably would not have asked for the refund. Points to them this round.

FWIW
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Old Jul 19, 18, 8:33 am
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Originally Posted by dmunz View Post
Very interesting to hear about the Web Services experiences. All tings considered, I wasn't that concerned about the GPU/RPU deal (I know it would get worked out), just interested in the direct answer by WS and the overall interaction.

On the 1K Desk side of things, I got caught up in the EWR mess Tuesday (7/14). I was supposed to fly from Myrtle Beach to LHR and they delayed and then canceled my MYR-EWR flight. I did get the instant rebook for the following day but that wasn't really helpful. While talking to the 1K agent, they offered a complete refund which I took. The agent said they offered the full refund (I was on a non-refundable D fare) because United canceled the flight. I didn't know that applied where weather was concerned so I probably would not have asked for the refund. Points to them this round.

FWIW
DLM
The refund-for-IRROPS in the contract of carriage (Rule 24(E)(3) and Rule 27(A) to be specific).

BUT... I've also found 1K-answering agents to be very accommodating of late. E.g. I was supposed to fly DCA-IAH-MEM on Tuesday, things went sideways and kept getting worse, with weather as the root cause. Called the 1K line and got a "yeah....nothing we can do to get you there today", asked if they could please check AA -- expecting no go (or "you'll have to pay", which I probably would have been happy to) because it was a weather situation. Agent thought it was futile because AA was just as impacted as UA but found a seat on DCA-MEM nonstop and got me booked as an INVOL/NO ADC. [Then American cancelled that flight because they lost a crewmember, completely botched things, including -- per the next 1K agent I talked to converting the eTicket to a paper ticker and refusing to give UA control of the coupon back -- but the agents got that sorted out and got me on UA the next morning. .

(Waiting in line for an hour the first time I went to AA for mediocre at best service and then looking at the line for CS after we deplaned/canceled vs. being able to call UA, get an agent in 10 seconds, and have him try every permutation of "well, can you get me to X tonight and then on to MEM first thing in the morning?" before he found something that would work makes me really appreciate the services enjoyed by 1Ks [AA's auto rebook tried putting me on a flight that departed at 5pm the next day, but I digress]
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