Again I’ve been faced with the inevitable failure of customer service that makes me wonder where companies in this economy get all the business that allows them to piss off customers. Apparently having repeat customers is not important to this week’s winner – Delta Airlines.

On Feb 11, I stood outside the door to the plane as they closed it, and left 20 people stranded (in Detroit of all places) who had paid good $$ for plane tickets. Since I could reschedule my business in my destination I decided to move away from the ticketing agents who were getting an earful from the other 18 people who were screwed out of their vacation plans which included catchign a cruise ship… I worked my way down tot he customer service office, since that seemed like a better place to take up my issue.

Granted there was a snow storm on the east coast. Apparently that affects how many seats they have to ticket sold ratio.. and since I was going from Detroit (with three inches of snow) to Jacksonville Florida (No snow but a chilly 50 degrees that day) I expected the weather to be no affect of my trip…

After 2 hours (Yes that’s TWO hours) in line, I was nearing the service counter which had been sporadically staffed during my wait. At about that time, the other 18 people who had been stranded at the gate showed up, rightfully indignant that they had been held up there for hours and still hadn’t seen any resolution (and it sounds like their cruise ship was leaving.)

So as I was taling with the rep who couldn’t believe the situation that I was explakning to her, I heard the other rep calling the DETROIT POLICE to come deal with the situation with the other 18 staranded people who were facing being out a week long cruise… Police… To deal with a custoemr service issue… Customers who have been without an answer for nearly 3 hours.

So after I explain my situation repeatedly to the rep, then to her manager, and then to some other representative on the phone because no one apparently can make a decision aat the Detroit Metro Airport, I was told they would gracefully waive the fee to transfer my ticket to another time, but I would be liable for any difference in ticket price… Also if I wanted the next available flight was a week later.

Ok I understand that things are difficult, weather is an issue, and the customer service rep didn’t order the wrong plane to be delivered for my flight, but a simple effort to placate me on a very expensive purchase and disruption to my schedule, and potential loss of business for me, would have been appreciated. I felt as though I was out of line to expect the representative to actually be concerned about the inconvenience..

As you can expect, I would never spend another dime on the Delta experience.. I would have rather had my money refunded so I could purchase services from another airline. This is ridiculous and ineffective use of customer service. If this could have been dealt with effectively,, cheerfully (I was being as polite as possible and never had the cops called on me) I may consider giving delta another shot.. but this is no way to retain customers or their loyalty…

And with a little research I found that I am not the only person who has had these types of issues with Delta..

Delta Really SucksDelta Sucks FaceBook

Oh and the day after this debacle I tried calling again to deal with this rescheduling fiasco, and the customer service number has a recording that states they cannot answer my call because of the weather.. Apparently weather stops phones from working….