Friday, January 7, 2011

A customer service complaint

I recently made a trip to and from PH (from Lagos MM2) and I related my complaints to the customer service of Aero Contractors. Find below

I got an auto acknowledgement mail and the mail said I will be gotten back to. I await that sha. Do companies take these sort of complaints seriously? Are those suggestion boxes part of the decoration items?

 Dear Sir/Ma,

I am a customer who recently made a round way trip from Lagos to PH on the 9th of Dec and  from PH to Lagos on the 12th of Dec 2010. My trip on the 9th was scheduled for 1400 hrs but I ended up leaving the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MM2) at about 7.45pm to get to PH about 9pm. The person who was supposed to pick me up waited endlessly. The interesting part is that I had a 9 mos old infant to travel with. As I got to the airport (MM2) at about 1pm (in good time), I was told to confirm the flight at the teller point. The lady at the desk checked my booking ref and told me the flight had been moved to 5.30pm with no explanations to offer. As I had a mission for my travel, I had no choice but to wait. I was checked in and I waited patiently with my little boy at the departure hall. At about 5.00pm, a friend of mine strolled along and he told me he was also going to PH. He then told me that he just bought the ticket (N17000) (I booked online like a month back). He said he was told the flight was for 5.30pm before he bought the ticket but after the purchase, he was told the flight has been changed to 6.10pm. Truthfully there was no announcement for any boarding for 5.30pm so we gisted on while we discussed about the poor customer service dished out by Aero. By 6.00pm, it was announced that there would be a 45mins delay. We ended up leaving about 7.45pm that day. My baby and I slept. I also read a book that I bought to while the time. The flight back to Lagos was more dramatic. On the evening prior to my departure day, I got a text message which said 'we regret to inform you that you will not be accomodated for the flight AJ 320 due to change in operating aircraft". My husband who joined us in PH on the 11th (his flight having been moved from Friday afternoon to Saturday morning) also got similar text message. While we wondered together what the text was supposed to mean (as it didn't mention any reschedule), a call came through for me from one of your staff asking me whether I received the sms. I replied in the affirmative and asked what was the remedy. She asked if I wouldn't mind travelling back on Monday morning to which I replied with a definite NO and also pointed to her that I had an infant with me. She was elusive in making a conrete arrangement for reschedule and told me to get to the airport as early as possible to "see what can be done". We tried to reach the number again but it didn't go through. As we discussed these inconsistences in services (myself, my husband, our host and his wife), we came to a conclusion that aero services was definitely poor. As early as 7am, we were at the airport. When my husband met the attendant, she expalined that there were no available spaces for the morning flight and also asked whether we could go on the Monday morning flight which we rejected. She then said that she could reschedule us for the flight for 7.45pm that evening. Well, since half a loaf is better than nothing, we agreed. We also met a female colleague who was in the same boat as us. Thankfully the driver for some of our friends (who were scheduled to fly at 10.45am) was still around, so he took us back into town. We wondered what we will do at the airport from 8am to 8pm (chei!). Most of the packed items for baby was exhausted, as I packed for the days appropriate number to ensure I have just enough luggage of needed items.

We slept, read, ate and montiored the clock for most part of the day. We left the house at 5.20pm for the airport. By 620 we were checked in. And the waiting game began again. By 7.30pm, an announcement came through that the aero flight to Lagos will arrive at 8pm. You could see the discontent, anger and boredom of the many who waited anxiously for this flight. By about 9pm, the aircraft took off to Lagos. We got to Lagos around past 10pm. As we do not stay in Lagos, we had to call a friend to stay in his house till the morning. We then journeyed back home as early as possible in time to make it to the office by 8.30am. Despite all these, I was thankful for a safe trip (in the spirit of optimism and thankfulness).

I have been able to relate my experience in a very clear manner just so you can feel my pulse and those of so many other passengers who flew on the flight with me those days and on many other days when these kinds of service has been dished to customers with no consideration for their missions, time, cash-on hand, infants, families, safety and, personalities. It's a Nigerian thing but some of us do not have those Nigerian mentalities and which is why I am sending this mail so you can reconsider your packages. If your company can not afford to make promotions, please do not do so. Why offer something you can't adequately make provisions for? What this is doing to your business in essence is that you will lose the ones who go for the promos as well as those who will buy the tickets at regular prices. Don' bite more than you can chew is an English proverb which you might well consider. Yes, agreed you have made it possible for many who might not be able to afford about N17000 to fly to their destinations through booking online well ahead of time but on the other hand, you have foiled their plans by changing the flights without considerations for these same people. A typical journey by road will take about 7hrs from PH to LAgos and if one leave in good time, you sure will get to Lagos while it is still daytime. I have personally resolved (with my husband) that we will not be doing Aero for any serious trips unless there is a change to alter that decision. I believe that somene is going to read this and take actions. It will do your company good.

Compliments of the Season!! 

Mary Ogungbola (Mrs)

 A flight passenger on flight AJ 316 PH to Lagos on the 12th of Dec 2010

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