We booked a flight to Manchester in spring this year. As we didn’t know little Olivers gender or birth date yet, we entered the estimated date of birth and a double name with our preferred boy/girl name (SWISS were absolutely the first to get to know our preferred name choices)
Now that we know Oliver’s name and birth date, Almut called the SWISS hotline to check that things were alright and to modify the birth date and name if necessary (we were prepared to pay a little fee for that). And lo’ and behold, hell broke out. The call center dragon fumed and steamed and shouted that we should never have done this, and that by entering a wrong name/birth date the ticket would be invalid. How could we think to get away with this? We told her that the web form of SWISS absolutely required a name and birth date, so what should we have done? “We should have called her!”. Now we would have to rebook the ticket (which cost us 92CHF) and she should do this on the phone, but it would be much more expensive than if we did it ourselves through the Internet.
So, no thank you, we rebook ourselves. Problem is that you can’t rebook an infants ticket on its own, the web form requires at least the addition of one more adult. And the FAQs explicitely state that you can’t rebook regular tickets through the net, but you should call the helpcenter. And ahh the irony, and it also states: wrong name on your ticket? No problem, call the helpcenter and they will sort it out for a small fee. Somebody should have told that the helpcenter, I guess.
To sum it up: yes, we maybe botched it by daring to enter the estimated date of birth, but then what should we have done? And whatever we have done wrong, this is no reason for the helpcenter lady to shout at my wife and offend us. If customers never did anything wrong, she wouldn’t have a job. Impolite and impertinent!
To top it off, just when Almut told me of her adventures with SWISS, our secretary runs into my office, shouting that she just phoned 40 minutes with an impolite SWISS helpdesk and sent 4 emails, just to get a receipt for a flight cancellation fee. She still hadn’t managed to get them to understand what she wanted. We both agreed that SWISS no longer was on our favorite airline list.
Sorry SWISS, this is not the way to retain customers.