hawaiian airlines…resolved???

In my previous post, Hawaiian Airlines bureaucracy, irksome…to say the least, I told of my recent dealings with several representatives of the airline as I tried to ascertain if my family was eligible for a reduction in airfare for reservations we’d booked prior to receiving an email touting a better rate.

Long story short, we could only apply if we cancelled our prior booking for which we’d have to pay a penalty, or watch for another email and call in again to see if we could get the better rate.

I can see you’re grimacing as I did, and others to whom I related this story. Duh??? Would you mind running that past me again?

Unfortunately, it’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but…

Feeling I’d hit a bureaucratic, brick wall, I did what any red-blooded American housewife would do under the circumstances…I wrote a six-page letter to the President and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, Mr. Mark B. Dunkerley detailing my experience from start to finish, including the various emails sent me by the six or so employees with whom I’d been in contact. I copied the three executive vice presidents and sent the letters priority mail to ensure that they didn’t travel by way of the South Pole. I jest, of course. Although I did want them to receive my correspondence sooner, rather than later…or never.

I realized Mr. Dunkerley might never read the letter. Most likely his executive assistant would redirect it to whomever she felt should handle the matter. It’s probably rare that a company’s top man bothers with such matters, although my husband informed me that his company’s President/CEO always reads mail addressed to him. This doesn’t surprise me since I know the man, and he’s one-in-a-million. I’ve not yet met another high-ranking executive who is as concerned about people as he is.

My husband felt certain I’d hear back from a director…at least. But no. My concerns weren’t even warranted that level of handling. Instead I was referred back to the senior counselor in Consumer Affairs from whom I’d received the last email advising me to look for another email offering a lower rate.

The woman told me my letter to Mr. Dunkerley had been referred to her for handling. Talk about bypassing all the levels between the head honcho and a clerk. It’d be like free falling from the top of the World Trade Center to the ground floor.

Closing the lid on my case once and for all, I was informed that in our upcoming trip to Hawaii our family would be allowed one piece of checked luggage for free. Well, I guess that’s something.

Funny thing is, an apology for what I’d experienced in the way of poor customer service would have sufficed. Acknowledging that my family’s business, present and future, meant a great deal to Hawaiian Airlines would have gone a long way in securing our patronage. We would have applauded their efforts on setting the record straight to right a perceived wrong.

Upon reflection, our family agrees that the airline industry as a whole is totally immersed in the “bottom line.” Passengers are simply a means to that end. Management is too busy dreaming up ways to take our last dollar, while the lowest employees on the totem pole are charged with making sure we remain parted from our money.

So as I said to Mr. Dunkerley in closing…“Customer satisfaction is a relic of the past, it seems. As is passenger loyalty.”

…we all do…what we have to do…corporations and individuals, alike…

…sad, but true…

…hugmamma.

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good talk, still no action, comcast

Comcast is still talking a good story, but the internet connection is still “hit or miss.” Maybe it’s a tiny bit better, but I’m still getting “kicked off” despite “very good to excellent connection,” according to that little image of a monitor at the lower right corner of the screen.

Two repairmen showed up after the 5 p.m. “bewitching” hour, apologizing for the delay and blaming it on a schedule busy with customer problems. They donned their little blue booties and proceeded downstairs to have a “look-see.” When they asked where the modem was located, I pointed to the box atop the TV, which they said wasn’t it. So I showed my ignorance by exclaiming that my husband was the expert, not me. I then pointed to where the computer desk was, but they didn’t recognize the modem amongst the assorted pieces of equipment. Returning their gaze to the box atop the TV, they finally determined that, in fact, that was an arcane modem, no longer in use by Comcast. Then the “lead” man spun a very convincing story about noise interference. And I believed him.

It seems where we’re located, there’ve been numerous complaints like mine. The homes themselves weren’t responsible for the disrupted internet connection. Evidently the fault lay outside, some kind of noise being the culprit, impeding outgoing signals. Comcast has yet to discover the origin of the noise.

Perhaps if I’d not been so engaging, and understanding, the men might have set about doing what they will probably do on another day, either tomorrow or next Wednesday. The lead told me that tomorrow is his Friday, Wednesday is his Monday. I got the feeling that they probably wanted to call it quits after a long day. Truthfully, it had been a long day for me too, so I didn’t mind if they returned in the morning, and dealt with my more knowledgable husband.

I did tell the men that I’ve been blogging about this situation, and will do so until my connection problem is resolved. I also said that thus far I’ve been very positive, and the Comcast personnel with whom I’ve spoken have been helpful. The lead guy gave me his business card with his cell phone number, asking that I call with any questions. We all parted smiling, and exchanging pleasantries.

A few minutes later I did call the repairman’s cell phone asking if, in fact, he’d be returning tomorrow so that my husband would be able to speak with him. I was told he’d make a concerted effort, but that there was no guarantee. But he did say he’d try really hard to “look in on us” later in the day. He had also mentioned earlier that he’d exchange our antique modem for the 2 boxes that Comcast now uses.

Perhaps 45 minutes after my conversation, Comcast’s automated program called asking if I’d complete a 2 minute survey of my appointment. On a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being that I was happy with their performance, I gave Comcast 1’s, 2’s, and a couple of 3’s. The higher scores were for the friendliness of their employees, the low was for their having done nothing, except talk and give me a phone number to call.

So I’m amazed at all the attention and talk my blog has garnered from Comcast, but I’m no better off than I was before. Well, I take it back. I still lose my connection, but perhaps it’s lessened somewhat. At this stage, I’m not sure who’s making all the noise, Comcast or some alien force hovering in the skies above.

But you know what? My money’s still on Comcast, after all that’s the “Aloha Spirit”. And more importantly, I’m still not stressed out. My family’s healthy, it’s the holiday season, and truthfully, I’m a sucker for positive thinking. Like endorphins, it makes me feel good, in my heart, and in my brain. Maybe that’ll go a long way toward warding off a heart attack, and delaying Alzheimer’s.

hey, whatever keeps me smiling…hugmamma.