Customer satisfaction week at the international call center!

I was getting a bit tired of being home for nearly a week (yes, I’m kidding), so I figured it was time to look for a mileage run to get an early start on the second half of the year. As it turns out, I managed to find a great fare with only three day advance purchase required, so I managed to get a routing of TPA-ORD-SEA-SFO-DEN-IAD-TPA for this coming Tuesday. It’s a TPA-SEA roundtrip fare (of course taking advantage of the legal number of connections), so I called UA web support this morning to ticket it.

UA web support is outsourced, so as usual the service is friendly but typically lackluster at best. This lady was friendly but extremely ignorant, not willing to listen to my point about this really being a roundtrip. After being on the phone for nearly an hour I hung up (yeah, it shouldn’t have taken me that long to realize she wasn’t willint to listen).

I went to work and came home tonight and gave it another try. This time I got a very polite gentlemen who was willing to help me. About 30 seconds after answering he says “Mr. Lucky, I’m not feeling well today, do you mind if I get a cup of water?” I internally chuckled due to his candor, since any other agent would come up with a number of other reasons to put someone on hold.

Once he got back and tried to work on my routing, I heard cheering in the background. I said “What’s the celebration today? I hear cheering.” He said “Oh, it’s customer satisfaction week at our call center, so all agents that have received compliment letters get recognized.” Once again I laughed internally at the thought of customer satisfaction week at one of the international call centers, probably one of the most complained about departments at UA. It sounded like the TSA having a “passenger satisfaction” week. Since I really wanted this ticket to work out, I said “Great, then at the end of the call please give me your name and we can get you your own round of applause, although I’m sure you’ve received many already.”

He immediately opened up more, started small talk, and most importantly, became beyond helpful.

He was willing to help like no other agent I’ve seen before, was competent, even complimented my routing, saying I took round trip to a new meaning (although he agreed I was 100% correct), and after an hour of being on the phone, it was ticketed.

It’s a good cent per mile ratio, and I’m always hoping for bumps during summer, so let’s hope for something!

I’ll do a first half of the year mileage wrap up in the next day or so to review where I’ve been, what I’ve seen, and of course how many miles I’ve earned.

Overall a very entertaining call and a shining example of the potential of the international call center. Kudos!

PS: Best of all I get to check out the new “incomparable RCC” 11 days earlier than I was originally going to! You can expect a full report with pictures, as I’m sure this’ll be like no airport lounge we’ve ever seen before.;)

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Lucky, why did you call UA web support and not the 1K line? I’m curious because I’m not a 1K and often have routings I would like to take but can’t get united.com to come up with.

  2. I don’t believe this story one bit – I think you were on drugs, or experience a beautiful dream. 😉

  3. Coby, I call web support because the 1K line can’t help me with e-cert problems. The best they could do is connect me to web support, so I just call them directly instead. I already have the routings ready before calling, but I just need them to apply the e-cert.

    Gray, no comment. 😀

  4. What on earth are they (or you?!) doing that it takes one hour on the phone to complete this reservation?

  5. Oliver, sadly it wasn’t as simple as it might sound. They couldn’t find the fare I was coming up with, so I actually had to email them a screenshot of the reservation I was showing, and they literally had to build a new reservation. The fare basis was totally different than my original one, so they literally took the W fare and applied the L fare price to it. It took forever, but I totally understand why.

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