Dear Mr. Steenland,
I would contact you using more conventional means, but getting through to even a minor lackey at your company is next to impossible. Thank you in advance for reading this.
Let me give you a little background.
In December, my in-laws planned a family trip for their 50th anniversary. I’ll spare you some of the details, but let me give you the basics—an elderly couple, and two young couples with children show up early for their flight to meet the cruise ship. Airplane breaks, new airplane is called in, with time to spare to meet ship. Once on new plane, NW realizes that the cabin crew has “timed out” and we need a new one. They finally arrive, and then NW realizes that flight crew has timed out. After waiting for new flight crew, we get in line for de-icing. We arrive in San Juan just in time to see our boat leave without us. Northwest’s response was as expected—horrible. They did try to put us up in a hotel, but it didn’t accept kids, so we couldn’t stay there. There are more details, but I’ll spare you. The level of incompetence to allow such a thing to happen is hard to fathom. If I sent a patient to surgery, and after getting on the table, the nurses found they were off the clock, and then after finding new ones, the surgeons had to leave, until the surgery was finally postponed…well, you can follow the analogy.
So, my wife and I decided to take a vacation alone together—no children. Just before we were to leave, my daughter got a terribly contagious respiratory illness and was hospitalized. I called Northwest and I was informed that we cannot have a refund. I tried to explain that given our situation and the amount of planning for work and child care, we are unlikely to be able to use the tickets in the next year. I was passed to a supervisor twice, and chided like a child for being annoyed that I was asked to listen to the same script multiple times. I was given the direct number for customer care, which isn’t accepting calls. I was told I have to email, and when the supervisor gave me the email address, it started with “www.”. When I explained that that is a web address, not an email address, she discontinued the conversation with this angry doctor-blogger.
Clearly, Northwest doesn’t care a bit about their customers. I’m shocked, shocked to find a large American company only cares about taking customers’ money, and not about pleasing and retaining them. Shocked.
I would appreciate, but of couse do not expect, a response.
Sincerely, but angrily,
Peter A. Lipson, M.D.
P.S. Please buy something nice with my 2000 bucks. I hope it looks good on you.