Via Business Week:
United Airlines is dropping an Indian customer call center that took compliments or complaints after a flight, telling customers to send a letter or e-mail instead.
Phone reservations agents in Chicago and Honolulu will be cross-trained to respond to written customer feedback, too. That will keep 165 jobs in those two centers, she said. No changes are planned at United’s third reservation center, in Detroit, which will continue to take phone calls (including after-flight responses) from United’s largest customers.
First I’d like to say that as usual, I find the marketing job on this to be pathetic. When will the airlines learn that the best way to announce changes to customers is by being straightforward, and not by only telling a small part of the story. When United PR announced this on FlyerTalk, s/he made it sound as if they were adding customer relations positions in the US, without making reference to the fact that they’d be shutting down phone customer service for non-1K’s.
That being said, is this really a big deal? Is talking to a human that reads off a script and compensates you based on a chart really that valuable? I’m willing to bet most of the people working in the Indian call center have never been on a United flight, let alone understand the intricacies of some issues by no fault of their own.
Given that United is good with compensation for problems, I really don’t see this as an issue. Whenever I have a problem I send United an email, and I’ve always been happy with the response.