Friday, August 10, 2001

Delta holds its customers in disdain Just had an absolutely terrible experience with Delta Airlines. Was trying to attend an important event in Omaha when New York gets two inches of rain and cancels all flights into and out of La Guardia. The next eight hours of my life become a hellish nightmare of standing in line waiting for a single Delta agent who could only process one person every 45 minutes. Eventually, I was told there is no way they could get me to Omaha on time.

I spoke to two customer care representatives on the phone, Rod Tidwell and "Miss" Brown. "Miss" Brown refused to give me her first name, just as she refused to give me quality service. Delta refunded me the money for my ticket, but refused to refund me my hotel bill and airport cab fare. Their excuse? "Flight was delayed by weather, so we're not liable." They seemed incapable of understanding that this semantic trick did not get them off any sort of hook as far as I (the customer) was concerned: Delta's failure to come through on a contractual agreement makes them liable for all consequent financial harm. Weasel words will not change this.

I wasn't trying to shake them down for emotional harm or inconvenience. I accepted that hours had been lost from my life that I was never getting back. I accepted that I was not going to attend the important event. I just wanted them to cover transport and hotel costs. Weather happens, taxis happen, and hotel rooms happen. They should be prepared for this stuff. But no, the company that spends over $2M a year in advertising, decided it was not worth $200 to turn a loudly and publicly irate customer into a loudly and publicly satisfied customer. Thus this unfortunate missive. Any company that treats its customers with a disdain that borders on contempt deserves what it gets. This is a very unfortunate incident, as I was ready to write a very positive review had they treated me right but no. Oh well.

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