I know that I have occasionally slagged off the customer service standards in South Africa. Never without good reason though, and to be fair, I also like to sing the praises of local companies who do get it right.
But I was reminded this lunchtime that to merely limit the frame of reference for crappy service to South Africa is exceptionalism of the highest order.
Because while Mrs 6000 was once again chasing a UK bank over a UK credit card that should have been delivered to a UK address two weeks ago – NOT EXACTLY ROCKET SCIENCE – I got an email from a foreign airline.
Some context: We’ve never used this airline before, and it’s one that I would rather not be using now, but because of reasons, we’re going to be using them in the very near future. And everything – everything – as is the way these days, is done through their app.
Fine. I’ll download your app.
And things were great, until one day, the OTP that I needed to log into their app didn’t get sent. Not by email, not by SMS. And now, it never gets sent. So since then, I haven’t been able to log in to the app or their “desktop site”, and thus I can’t do anything on there like confirming flights or checking in or booking seats or meals or… well… actually anything.
(And yes, it’s the correct cell number and it’s the correct email address. It used to work, and now it doesn’t, and I tried to create a new account and they told me that my number is already registered.)
And so I emailed them yesterday.
And they emailed me back today, the notification of a new mail arriving just audible over my wife’s international seething from the kitchen.
Here’s what the email said:
[Unfeasibly long string of numbers and letters]
Dear Mr 6000
This is in reference to your email dated 12th September 2022.
wut? when now?
We apologize for any inconvenience caused to you while trying to log into your account.
Our colleagues in the Privilege Club Team will be in a better position to assist you.
For any queries/assistance, you can login to your Privilege Club account and raise a service request online or log in through mobile app and look for the Online Assistance tab.
Oh. Silly me. I hadn’t realised that it would be so straightforward.
Sure, I’ll just log in to my account so that I can fill in a form telling you that I can’t log into my account.
I’ve said it before and I will now say it again:
THESE PEOPLE WALK AMONG US.
Are you ready for the kicker, though? The final insult?
Thank you for writing to us, we appreciate the opportunity to respond to you.
Oh, I bet you do.
It’s really a very good job that this wasn’t a face to face discussion.