Air Canada Poor Customer Service Attitude

Old Sep 6th, 2016, 11:56 AM
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Air Canada Poor Customer Service Attitude

I just sent the following to Air Canada related to a recent unsatisfactory phone conversation with an agent. Is this a typical attitude?

--Message--
Subject: Very poor customer service
Message: Unfortunately my husband became ill and we needed to cancel our flights. I called Air Canada, cancelled the non-refundable ticket, and then asked for a document that stated the reservations were cancelled and that the seat assignment charge was also indicated as a non-refundable. I needed that document to file with my travel insurance claim. I was told such a document was not possible; I repeated my request; and the agent continued she was unable to provide such a document.

I asked to speak with a Supervisor and was told "Our supervisors do not take phone calls!" I expressed my frustration and the agent then told me "I am going to disconnect this call!" Which she did. The concept of customer service was absent throughout this phone transaction. She was snappy and rude, and I was angry!

You can rest assured that I will NEVER consider flying on Air Canada and will post the contents of this message on Fodor's travel forum and TripAdvisor. As a comparison, when I called JetBlue to cancel my husband's flight and make a different reservation for me to get back home to care for him, JetBlue was considerate and applied the cost of his ticket (non-refundable) to my new reservation - that's the customer service I expect from a service provider. Shame, shame on Air Canada's rude and inconsiderate attitude - all I wanted was a document to send to my travel insurance provider!
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Old Sep 6th, 2016, 04:46 PM
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Unfortunately, your experience with Air Canada is fairly common on a lot of airlines. Calls are outsourced overseas and they have no clue as to how to handle situations like this. I can't speak for Air Canada as I truly don't know if they outsource their reservations, but that is the likely scenario.

They don't care if you threaten not to fly them again. Airlines are big companies and will always have plenty of customers.

Try contacting them through Twitter or FB. Maybe someone there can help. It has worked for me with United.

At the very least they should have sent you a confirmation of the cancellation. Together with the original receipt which contains the Contract of Carriage should be sufficient, but this will depend on the insurance company. Check with your credit card with which you purchased the ticket Some CC companies cover trip cancellations in case of illness or weather.

I hope your husband feels better.
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Old Sep 6th, 2016, 05:07 PM
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Contact Christopher Elliott

http://elliott.org
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Old Sep 6th, 2016, 07:08 PM
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I have a different take. If you need documentation, I think of it as best result like I'm emailing Mary writing right out of letters requesting such documentation. Phone agents are definitely not empowered to do as much as they used to, so perhaps requesting this information with something in writing help you get that documentation more quickly.
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 01:41 AM
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Have you checked your booking online on the AC website? Maybe that shows the cancellation.

Outsourcing isn’t always a bad thing. I’ve had excellent service from the Cathay Pacific call centre which is apparently in the the Philippines. Courteous, helpful, and usually good English, which matters to me because my hearing is bad and accents are a real problem, especially on the phone.
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 08:40 AM
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<They don't care if you threaten not to fly them again. Airlines are big companies and will always have plenty of customers. >

Sad, but true.

<Phone agents are definitely not empowered to do as much as they used to>
Very true.

Which is why I agree with the following two pieces of advice:
<requesting this information with something in writing>, via email, ideally
and
<Try contacting them through Twitter or FB> This has worked for me, too.

Outsourcing, like anything else, is a you-get-what-you-pay-for proposition. Some companies pay for high quality phone banks and train them properly, others try to do it on the cheap. I have no idea where Air Canada falls on this.

But calling is NOT the way to go anymore. I can't stress that enough. Email or social media are your best options.
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 08:55 AM
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Demanding & repeating that someone produces a "document" which they cannot generate probably did not help. Call centre agents are not always equipped to start entering into correspondance in this bespoke way.

Why not ask AC call centre to retrieve the cancelled booking and send you an email confirmation showing the itinerary is cancelled, the same type of email that you get when the booking is initially made. They should be able to do that as long as they have your email address in the booking.

Have you even tried to retrieve the booking online? You could print out the screenshot showing the cancellation. You could show your original itinerary that proves the booking was non refundable (fare conditions). There are things you can do to help yourself before going straight for the big guns.
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 09:23 AM
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I agree with Odin. I assume janisj's advice to contact Christopher Elliott is just her way of trolling the OP, because there's no way he is going to take the complaint seriously and it will be yet another waste of the OP's time.
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 09:59 AM
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NewBe-- what is your problem? Since when am I a troll?

If the OP can't get a form they must have, why on earth shouldn't they contact Chris Elliott?

Now, IF they can get what they want out of AC w/o doing that . . . absolutely terrific. Hunky Dory . . . but if they can't, Elliott has helped thousands of people. At very least - he provides the inside contact info for execs at every airline.
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 10:39 AM
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Well, again, Odin's advice is much more down to earth. Why spend time complaining to consumer advocates and airline executives when you can help yourself? That seems so obvious, I assumed you were having the OP on, as they say.
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 04:44 PM
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To infer recommending Christopher Elliot as a troll post is senseless. Janis is offering a possible avenue to look down and that's up to the OP to look into. CE has helped a lot of people. "troll post" ??? Wow. SMH. Come back to earth.
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Old Sep 8th, 2016, 04:11 AM
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Whether she his or not has no bearing on her being a "troll" just for suggesting a possible avenue to help the OP.
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Old Sep 8th, 2016, 04:49 AM
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Anyway getting back to the point here I've gone up the ladder so to speak several times when initial calls for issues were stone walled. I was appalled how poor CS was at least for initial calls to Celebrity and RCI cruise companies but found that by going up the ladder the service at that end was what I think it should be.

I would hope AC has like what RCI has which is a dept. of executive CS. You sometimes just have to go pretty far but it's worked for me usually.

I have read Chris Elliot's work before and have seen him get results. A call from him gets more attention than a call from Joe Average sadly.

Best of luck and let's hope this thread gets back to helping the OP and not another tit for tat spat.

Cheers, Larry.
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Old Sep 8th, 2016, 05:51 AM
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http://elliott.org
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Old Sep 8th, 2016, 09:58 AM
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OP is intelligent enough to sort the advices.
Stating that on's advice is trolling doesn't really help - neither the OP nor the 'troll' and reflects badly on the author, since we are some to read this.

My advice would also to send a request by snailmail.
And if this doesn't work, I would propose that OP sends a a document of their own, with annexes, stating that the flights have been cancelled at date x for an amount of $$$ and asking Airline to either sign these papers or to provide other documents.

I worked for me for legal documents that I couldn't get from the bank : I made them sign a statement that they could not provide the information.

Now 'I expressed my frustration ' is obviously an understatement, and I fully understand operator hanging up.
It happend with me too - both ways ;-)

I just hung up on an operator of Amex. It doesn't help but it made me feel good.
Now I'm writing...
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Old Sep 8th, 2016, 10:14 AM
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I agree with Whathello. The OP can decide for herself. Never hurts to offer options. And she has already had remark deleted.

Thank for your input NewbE. .

OP good luck!

Cheers, Larry. .
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