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Vent - QF call centre incompetence

Daver6

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This is a first world problem, but no excuse for incompetence and a poor customer experience. Background is as part of my OWA J I had booked QR16 LHR-DOH specifically for Q-suites. I noticed a week ago when checking seat selection the aircraft has changed to two generation old J with a 2-2-2 layout. QR2 departs about 90 minutes earlier and has Q-suites but no award availability.

I call QF from Europe. As expected all they can do is put in a request to QR. The agent said he'd call with an update. I informed him I might not be able to answer due to phone coverage time zone and requested he emails as well. He agreed to this saying he will call and leave a message if I don't answer and email.

Several days later nothing, so I call. The person tells me they can't help I need to speak to the Hobart call centre and to call during their office hours. So I call back the next day. Person I speak to tells me that there was no reason I couldn't have been assisted by the other contact centre. Still no update from QR so they would send a follow up email.

Still nothing yesterday (a week later) so I call again. Got put through to a non-premium person who has no idea and while thy were reading the case the call dropped. They didn't attempt to call me back. I called back and this time got through to the premium NZ centre. Apparently 48 hours earlier QR came back with a negative response to the request. I asked why I wasn't updated. I was told there was something on file to not call me. I called them out on this and asked why no email or voice message. Agent informs me that they can't email or leave messages. A direct contradiction to the original agent.

She then tells me if I call during SYD office hours (9am to 5pm) then an agent can call Qatar to escalate. Now being in Europe this is not very convenient being the middle of the night. I asked if they could just put a note on file for someone to action it during this time, but apparently that can't be done. How is this remotely customer focussed?!

So I figured I'd ask on Twitter to see if they can action the call. Long story short they say there is nothing more that can be done. I asked them to clarify as this contradicts what the call centre said. They just avoided the direct yes/no question.

</rant>
 

esseeeayeenn

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This is a first world problem, but no excuse for incompetence and a poor customer experience. Background is as part of my OWA J I had booked QR16 LHR-DOH specifically for Q-suites. I noticed a week ago when checking seat selection the aircraft has changed to two generation old J with a 2-2-2 layout. QR2 departs about 90 minutes earlier and has Q-suites but no award availability.

I call QF from Europe. As expected all they can do is put in a request to QR. The agent said he'd call with an update. I informed him I might not be able to answer due to phone coverage time zone and requested he emails as well. He agreed to this saying he will call and leave a message if I don't answer and email.

Several days later nothing, so I call. The person tells me they can't help I need to speak to the Hobart call centre and to call during their office hours. So I call back the next day. Person I speak to tells me that there was no reason I couldn't have been assisted by the other contact centre. Still no update from QR so they would send a follow up email.

Still nothing yesterday (a week later) so I call again. Got put through to a non-premium person who has no idea and while thy were reading the case the call dropped. They didn't attempt to call me back. I called back and this time got through to the premium NZ centre. Apparently 48 hours earlier QR came back with a negative response to the request. I asked why I wasn't updated. I was told there was something on file to not call me. I called them out on this and asked why no email or voice message. Agent informs me that they can't email or leave messages. A direct contradiction to the original agent.

She then tells me if I call during SYD office hours (9am to 5pm) then an agent can call Qatar to escalate. Now being in Europe this is not very convenient being the middle of the night. I asked if they could just put a note on file for someone to action it during this time, but apparently that can't be done. How is this remotely customer focussed?!

So I figured I'd ask on Twitter to see if they can action the call. Long story short they say there is nothing more that can be done. I asked them to clarify as this contradicts what the call centre said. They just avoided the direct yes/no question.

</rant>
Awful experience.
it doesn’t surprise me that they won't make a note to action later. And if they did make a note it wouldn’t be actioned. They simply have no mechanism to do this. They are entirely call focused.
The twitter reps are useless.Totally inflexible “computer says no” types. I had a conversation with one the other night and they were downright snarky.
Hope you can sort it out.
 

boomy

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Horrible experience, sorry you had to go through this.
QF don’t give a sh*t about most pax but they are good dealing with status pax and I assume you are one so I’m disappointed to read about the incompetence of everyone involved.
 

Borisdog

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Call me old fashioned but have you called Qatar yourself?

What have ya got to lose?

Hopefully it works out to your satisfaction, I’m booked in a Qsuite myself shortly on a OWA, so your case is a bit of a “lab rat” for me if mine goes wrong.

My leg is Doha to HKG

Qatar are apparently well known for late aircraft subs
 

Daver6

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Thanks for all the sympathy. I'm a QF WP which clearly doesn't get you decent service.

I might try call Qatar when I have some free time. I'm actually going to be up late tonight so will also call QF during the stated hours.

So far the QR twitter team is about as useless as the QF one.

I'm just stunned at the amount of contradictory information given.
 

Austman

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Qantas have told me, that bookings come under the operating airline's control at about 24 hours(?) before the flight. From that time onwards, the operating airline can make changes without referring back to the booking agent/airline.

Maybe that's worth a try?

I suppose the final option would be to try to change on the day at check-in? If that fit in with your travel plans. And by then QR might have changed the operating aircraft again so you'd at least be certain of the aircraft type.
 
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twiningb

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Is the Red Roo account (which I can't figure out how to tag) still MIA?

I have receipts of multiple failures and deceptions across no fewer than four channels (webchat, email, phone, Twitter), for a basic question about T&C which a competent agent should have been able to answer instantly, and for which someone without the right business background should have been able to refer me to someone with it.
 

sjk

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Is the Red Roo account (which I can't figure out how to tag) still MIA?

I have receipts of multiple failures and deceptions across no fewer than four channels (webchat, email, phone, Twitter)
Are you shooting for a set of five?

They’re gone, anyway. This wasn’t a viable channel for them.
 

esseeeayeenn

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Maybe we need to start a thread on the best way of dealing with QF.
Record attempts through different channels and the results.
Which ones worked, which failed, which failures meant you couldn't try another channel.
Shared experience might help us craft a strategy.
Although I fear they may be too inconsistent even for that to work!
 

MickC32

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Qantas is a big company that only pays lip service to customer service and customer experience. Luckily they have some great people working for them although they seem harder and harder to find. "Computer says no" types as mentioned above seem to be the norm unfortunately.

Walking through Sydney airport last month a Qantas ground staff team member was assisting a man with his check in. He put his rollaboard on the scales and it was 12kg, she said it will be fine to take aboard!

If they can't get their messaging/procedures straight on the ground at their home port what hope do they have with call centres, foreign or domestic?

@Daver6 first world problems they may be but feel for you all the same, good luck.
 

BAM1748

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I think one of the issues when dealing with QF or any other airline is the volume.

QF carry a bit over 60K people per day, if they get it right 99% of the time that's still 600 people per day that have a problem and need to ring or somehow get it sorted.

That's 600 people wanting personalized service for their special problem. While some problems may warrant that one on one special service many problems I'm sure do not.

I'm not trying to be an apologist for QF, just perspective and the task at hand of dealing with 600 people today, then tomorrow there is another new 600 people with a problem and then another 600 the day after.
 

dajop

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One thing I've learnt over the years, with large companies where you have only a small transaction, is not to expect a promise to call you back to be fulfilled. You inevitably have to chase up (particularly with airlines and hotel chains).

Another thing I've learnt, albeit not personally, but via reading various AFF threads, is that QF and QR do not play well together in the playground, so expecting anything other than the be stonewalled is probably unrealistic in this particular circumstance. Maybe better customer service would have been to admit as much upfront, than going through the charade. I could be wrong though, this is just based on anecdotes on AFF.
 

esseeeayeenn

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I currently have three complaints to QF going through the process.
One relating to the "enhanced" drink service on QF9 MEL-PER (ie no drink before the meal).
The other two relating to the "enhancement" of operating equipment from an A330 to a B737 on my most recent MEL-PER flight.
Received the automated acknowledgements, waiting for the substantive responses.
I find every time I check my email I am actually dreading the replies.
That speaks volumes.
 

Zanzara

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Securing a great seat to Europe using QFF points must feel a bit sour when this sort of thing happens. No consolation but aircraft substitution is really annoying, but not uncommon. Providing there's space a QR revenue ticket would have probably been swapped without a second thought.

If all else fails, suggest that you turn-up a bit earlier than you may have planned and ask to swap onto the earlier flight, with the Q suites, when you check in.

I've had success with QF (believe it or not) in LAX when I was refused point blank (multiple times) and despite escalation via the call centre to be rebooked onto an earlier flight with a better business class seat. I was flabbergasted when the rep said 'sure no problem, I have authority to do that on tonight's flights'.

Yes, QF service can sometime suck. Makes you realise that status and loyalty doesn't always amount to as much as you may like to think it should.
 
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dajop

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What are loadings like on the two flights? If you don't know, if you share the date of travel I am sure someone can look it up on ExpertFlyer.
 

Austman

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Airport authority seems to be completely different to call centre authority. Even for Qantas flights. AFAIK it kicks in only when the flight is being checked in or when there are operational issues.

There seems to be at least three "authority control" process periods when booking a ticket on a partner airline:

1. Up until about a day before the flight, Qantas is in control.
2. From about a day before the flight, the operating airline can be in control.
3. At the airport, perhaps only from when check-in starts but also for other operational reasons, the operating airline's airport staff can be in control.

All that is probably not an excuse for poor customer service. But it might at least help to understand the systems.
 
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