Friday, 27 May 2011


As yo know we are pretty conversant with most popular forms of social media. We have about 650 followers on Twitter.

Most are wine, journos, foodies and social media types. We can get an estimate of our reach pretty quickly using a variety of tools. Tweetreach is a good quick and dirty measure of reach - which is really just a measure of who received your tweet, not who read it or who passed it on. Although we only use the free version - the paid version had substantially more clip on services.

Anyway, since about May 11 we have been in "dialogue with Air New Zealand over a refund issue. The actual details are boring other than to say it related to a full flexi flight for 2 people that was cancelled and the check in chick recommended that a refund be sought. So we did.

It took about 20 mins on the phone to the first Airnz customer services bloke CS1 to detail what and where etc. He said that he had all the details and would pass them onto the refund team.
And he advised us to check up on them to see how things were going in a week or so.
Good oh, we said.
So a week went by and we did check. Strangely we had to repeat the process all over again re explaining the details to customers service chick CS 2. It took another 30 minutes. Then she told us she was relaying all the details to the refund team and then she would let me talk to them.

By this stage we had started to twitter our less than satisfactory experience.

Then we spoke to refund customers services chick 3 who asked us to detail everything in an email. I said that by this stage there must be a file as CS 1 and CS 2 both detailed everything so there was no need to waste even more of my time by getting me to detail it all in an email again.

She put me on hold for about 1o mins and then she came back and said yes there was a file and it would be acted on today.

I was still merrily twittering away and by this stage 3400 people had received my tweets on the subject.

I got a tweet from @flyairnz asking if there was anything they could do.

15 minutes later I got an email from the refund team saying that the refund had been put on my visa.

Now all the customer services people were lovely to deal with. Although I did feel CS3 was trying to stall the process. But the system for refunds is not customer friendly.

We love Airnz and its snazzy marketing and excellent use of social media, its wonderful flight stuff and the way its part of the kiwi psyche. We love the way they embrace technology and really try to do the best for the customer most of the time.

And as well all know its the putting right that counts. And they did.

But this does not pass our Nana test. That is - would a little old lady get a refund or would she give up because it was all to hard and the obfuscation and lack of clear process would have been too much?

Our money is on Nana giving up.
So no it doesn't pass the Nana test.

And we want to know why it would take - 4 - 6 weeks to process a refund as we were advised by CS2 today. Considering that you can only fly if you pay up front - 4-6 weeks for a refund is just insulting and usurious.

If it was good enough to sort out my refund in 2 weeks its good enough to sort it out in the same time frame for everyone else.

And it still leaves me pretty impressed that Twitter is a good way to get the attention of a social media savvy company like Air New Zealand.

1 comment:

MikeE said...

I find that the social media departments tend to respond to complaints faster than customer services if its via twitter vs email.

says a lot really