Friday 25 March 2005

Silly customer service.

Booked a couple of flights to Glasgow with FlyBE last night — or tried to. Hit the 'Confirm' button and not much happened: no confirmation page, no confirmation email, but any attempt to press the button again gave me a pop-up box saying that the flights were being booked. No worries; these things happen; the Internet isn't perfect. So I emailed them.

Got a response this morning, saying that "for security reasons" they couldn't confirm any details of anything at all without a unique booking reference number. If I'd had such a number, I wouldn't have been contacting them, so that's a bit stupid. What's also stupid is that this is the advice they give you in their website's FAQ:

In the rare event that no clear error message or on-screen confirmation of the booking is received, please contact the Internet Support Team. Please ensure that you check your email inbox before calling as the booking may already have been confirmed.

The Internet Support Team are the people I emailed. So, in the event of a customer's receiving no confirmation of their booking, FlyBE's advice to that customer is to email a group of their staff whom they do not allow to tell anything to customers who have received no confirmation of their booking.

The Internet Support Team told me to call FlyBE's call centre. I did so, and it was fine and easy: no long phone queue; helpful staff; quick answer to my question: the booking hadn't gone through, so I should try again. It took no more than a couple of minutes. Thing is, I didn't have to do anything to confirm my ID over the phone, so what happened to the security reasons cited in the email? Admittedly, a phone call is more secure than an email, unless it's made using a mobile, but that's immaterial, as they would have given the same information to absolutely anyone who called.

It wasn't a major inconvenience for me, but FlyBE are using two members of staff to do the job of one here. What on Earth is in it for them?

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