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Delta - Poor Agent Knowledge and Poor Customer Service

Delta - Poor Agent Knowledge and Poor Customer Service

Apr 20th, 2004, 04:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,946
Delta - Poor Agent Knowledge and Poor Customer Service

Had a domestic ticket issued Jan 2003. Used it as exchange toward an international ticket, and paid an additional $900 toward the new ticket. That was in October 2003. Delta agent told me if I had to cancel, I would have one year from October 2003 to use ticket. Turns out that was wrong. Had to cancel my trip, so called DL yesterday to book another flight, thinking could use that expensive ticket. Not! DL agent, and supervisor who I asked to speak to, said ticket was only good for a year from date of original issue and the date of original issue is based on January 2003 and not October 2003. So the ticket expired January 2004 and I have been screwed out of over $1000. If the DL agent had told me, when I was booking the international flight, that the ticket expiration would be based on original date, I would never have bought such an expensive ticket. I am going to use my DL miles to get a few first class domestic tickets, and then will not be flying them again.
orangetravelcat is offline  
Apr 20th, 2004, 07:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,158

You got a new ticket issued in October 2003 and it has "Date of Issue" printed on it for a day in January 2003?
mrwunrfl is offline  
Apr 20th, 2004, 07:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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No, it sounds as though the original issue date began a one-year window over which the original value of that ticket could be used. That's not uncommon, but the problem is that instead of starting a new clock ticking on the additional $900, that money also became hostage to the original issue date.

The lesson here is that when you buy tickets with terms and conditions attached, you have problems when you don't take the flight as you have scheduled it. This traveler pulled the pin on two different trips and it came back to bite.
Flyboy is offline  
Apr 20th, 2004, 08:09 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
I had to call a Delta agent at the "promotional" desk today, and found someone who doesn't know his airline very well. My impression is that the job has been outsourced to someone who doesn't know about US airlines and geography very well.

For example, he thought flight 2778 LAX-IAH is a Song flight, but I know Song doesn't fly to Houston. Instead, it's a Continental code-share. And he has problem figuring out or pronouncing the affiliate that operates Delta Connection flight 6347 IAH-DFW. It's Chautauqua Airlines.

Well, at least he understands my main inquiry about availability of a seat in fare class "L".

And that's not limited to Delta. One Continental agent told me that the fee to change a particular ticket I have is $200, while the actual fee is $150. But overall, I usually have pretty good luck with CO's Onepass agents, who have been able to solve my complicated questions in a single call for the most part.

I usually would try to find as much information on the airline's website as possible; and do most of the stuff online. But sometimes, we just have to call to make complicated changes.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 02:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,098
I agree that when I call any company I would hope and expect that the customer service person had correct information.

But if you could actually do what you tried to do, then one could keep rolling tickets over indefinitely with later dates - I would have expected that the original date would be the one that would rule. Still, if a person on the phone told me differently, I would have believed them.
gail is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 04:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,711
otc....Very sorry this happened to you.I suggest you take a few minutes and write Delta's CS Dept.In detail.What do you have to lose? I learned long ago from my TA that if I have to deal directly with an airline,which I do often,I always request the agent "document the record".I have never been questioned nor refused.This is something an airline agent understands and on many occasions I have been complimented for knowing something about their world,even tho its a small something.That way, whatever information they have conveyed to me has been stored.Any questions,its in their computer for them to see.Good Luck to you....S
BeachBoi is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 06:59 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 325
I fly Delta all the time (have over 1 million miles) and have found that if you don't like the answer you get from one agent over the phone, call back and ask another. More often than not, you can eventually get the "right" answer. Then, what BeachBoi says is good advice, get them to document it in the record. If this fails, perhaps they can at least get the $900 good until Oct 2004.
Richard1148 is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 38
I was issued four Delta vouchers due to a Customer Service problem my family had on our last vacation through Delta. When I attempted to use them today, I discovered that they aren't much good. I located the flights I wanted to purchase (on Song, the voucher explicitly say they are good for payment on Song also) but the website will not allow me to use the vouchers, or even make a reservation at all unless I pay for it with my credit card imediately. No problem, I can make the reservation by phone and bring the vouchers physically down to the airport for payment.

But guess what, the price is now one hundred dollars per ticket extra, since I can no longer get the normal, online fare!

Calls to Customer service are fruitless, I am asked to pay a surcharge of over $400 for my family due to this shortcoming of the flysong.com website.

Even when apologizing for scandalous service, Delta manages to insult, with ludicrous rules. They would rather waste my time and that of their agents, make me call on the phone, go down to the airport and then pay over $400 for the privilege of dealing with their antiquated idea of customer service.

How about it, Delta, do you really expect happy customers to pay hundreds of dollars extra because you won't fix your website?

I will toss these worthless vouchers before paying that premium for lousy service.

wbowles is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 03:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885

Can't you put the reservation on hold? That's what I just did with an AA reservation. 24 hour hold, so I lock-in the price and get the 1000 miles booking bonus. I had a voucher that just about covers the fare. Called AA, told them I want to pay for the reservation with a voucher. The agent asked for some info from the voucher, as well as a CC# for the small difference, and finally gave me an address where to mail the voucher. I went back to AA.COM, and there it was, Purchased instead of On Hold, and as soon as they get the voucher, it will change to Ticketed. I've done it many times.
Are you sure that's not possible with Delta?
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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AAFrequentFlyer, that's exactly the same procedure I follow with Northwest and I've yet to encounter a problem. They like to see those vouchers mailed to them with a postmark within 24 hours of the call and that is easily enough accommodated. While I will be pleased when vouchers can eventually be used online, it's not all that much hassle to save hundreds of dollars.

In Wally's case, I understand the frustration, to a degree. At the same time, it seems like refusing to pay $400 to fly four people someplace may make more sense in principle than it really does in dollars. Not knowing what the "customer service problem" was that you encountered for which you were being compensated, it is difficult to make much of a judgement on the situation.
Flyboy is offline  
Apr 21st, 2004, 07:06 PM
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Actually I have an eticket receipt with the date of issue as February 4, 2004 because Delta had made a schedule and routing change, and did not inform me. I found out about it when I called Delta for something else. I told the agent the routing change didn't work for me and I had not been informed of it so she routed my return differently and issued a new eticket and that receipt says date of issue Feb. 4, 2004. So I have that in hand. But what am I going to do? Take Delta to court? I did write a detailed letter to customer service requesting extension of the ticket validity date, or a voucher for $900, or at least to credit me with FF miles. I doubt I will get a response and even if I do, I doubt it will be satisfactory. Have already reserved two sets of first class tickets for two upcoming trips using FF miles, and then as soon as I can use the rest of my miles, bye bye Delta.
orangetravelcat is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 06:57 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Have no particular reason to defend Delta, but I do think this kind of crap happens on all airlines -- so often that I have perfected the in-mid-call hang-up ploy to try to find someone else to work with. I learned about it inadvertently when my cat (also orange) stepped on the phone button and cut me off in mid-transaction. I frantically called back and had to spend time with the new agent recapping what was going on ("I got cut off..."), but now I have "my cat" step on the button whenever I find I'm stuck with an agent who is uncooperative, thick-witted, stubborn, nasty, hard to understand, or giving me an answer I don't like. If the next agent gives me the same answer, fair enough (maybe), but often things improve on the second call.

It's a stupid game to have to play, and I'm sure some agents aren't fooled. But at this point I figure that the primary trait of air travel nowadays is chaos so why not use that chaos to your own advantage?
cfc is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885

I do agree with you. NOT all agents are made alike. But there is a little secret that many don't know. DO NOT get into an argument with the agent before you hang up. The best strategy is to Thank the agent and hang up as soon as you feel you are not getting anywhere. If you do pass a certain point with ANY agent, they will put a note in your PNR, and from that point on you are screwed.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 08:13 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 4,426
Great tip, AAFF. I am just paranoid enough, thinking that something like that might be going on, that I don't even enter into a squabble with an agent about something. I question it just to make sure I've understood, then leave if there's any hint that things could get contentious. Since I've NEVER been in a situation where arguing with a res agent achieved anything good, I've never "gone there." Sometimes polite peading helps, but that's about it. I'm always astonished when people start to bully someone because they expect that to work -- and even more astonished (and dismayed) when it does.
cfc is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2004, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 507
hey--- no one can say "Chautauqua" unless they know about the place. It is a great word.
janeg is offline  

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