BRIBERY: A UNITED AIRLINES PASTIME
Funny thing about the internet: you can find almost anything. I just came across this blog post from December 2nd, 2009, on http://yellowgondola.blogspot.com:
On Wednesday afternoon, I was contacted by someone in Helen Chellin’s office, Lynn Johnson. She was pleasant and polite, and offered me a $350 voucher (apparently because the second leg of our trip involved an overnight stay). I pointed out that this did not come close to compensating us for the price of our ticket, and as the vouchers are not valid in combination, I would have to fly United two additional times—and pay the difference in fares—to even take advantage of this “generous” offer. She then agreed to void the original $150 coupon and issue a single $500 voucher. This was much appreciated (or will be if I ever receive it), but still gets us nowhere close to compensation. I requested a refund of our ticket price plus reimbursement of our additional travel expenses, but she stated that it was against company policy to offer such compensation.
I guess Lynn Johnson isn’t the Winston Wolf of United Airlines… just a glorified briber. So, in essence, United Airlines does not have a customer service department, but a monetary clean up crew that throws rewards points and vouchers at you to keep you quiet. No wonder she didn’t respond when I asked her to look into the extremely rude employee.
Moral of this story: If you want your business to have a reputation like that of the infamous United Airlines, then throw money at the problems and disregard the details of the complaints. If you want your business to be viable and want people to continue to work with you, then open your ears, shut your mouth, and get to the root of the problem. Too bad no one taught that to Lynn Johnson…