Now you’d have to drug me out of my eyeballs to get me on a Ryanair flight. It’s so frustrating to me that that complete moron, Michael O’Leary (CEO of Ryanair, or Dan Dare as it’s often called), manages to run a successful airline whilst showing complete disregard for his customers.
I flew with them once – long before O’Leary started calling his paying customers, ‘idiots’ and treating them like cattle going to the abattoir. As far as I can recall, the flight was ok but I had to laugh that the destination was described as ‘Glasgow (Prestwick)’ – in geographical comparisons, Prestwick is to Glasgow what Chicago is to New York. It’s all a con.
And so for the last 10 years, I’ve been flying Easyjet. Never had too many problems – they’ve put me up in a hotel when the last flight developed a fault and on the odd occasion I’ve had to complain to Customer Service, my complaint has been dealt with reasonably efficiently and to my satisfaction.
So it was all a bit disappointing when I booked some flights for J and myself a few weeks ago. Well, I had hoped to book flights for J, but the vagaries of the website meant that I ended up with all four flights in my name. Not to worry I thought, it’s quite a while before we fly – I’ll get Customer Service to sort it out – after all, as far as I was concerned, it was a ‘bug’ in the website. Really – it was!
Firstly, I refuse to use their chargeable telephone numbers – calling these in the UK is bad enough but when my French calling plan adds another 20p a minute, a typical call can cost almost as much as the flight! So I use ‘contact us’ on their website – ever tried to find it? It’s so well hidden they could use it in an ‘A’ Level exam on website navigation.
Eventually I locate it and send my request to change two of the flights into J’s name. Polite, concise and pointing out that I thought their website needed a bit of clarification, I waited for the reply. I got it next day – ‘high volumes of e-mails’ etc etc etc! I wait and send another reminder two weeks later - ‘high volumes of e-mails’ etc etc etc!
A few weeks later nothing’s happened. I have a brainwave (well I thought it was) – write an e-mail to the CEO but how do I get his address? Luckily his name (Andy Harrison - pictured) is not too difficult to guess for an e-mail format and so I cross my fingers and send Andy.Harrison@easyjet.com a nice, concise, polite request pointing out that his Customer Service organization is not working too well at the moment.
Now Mr Harrison is leaving Easyjet in the summer so I don’t really expect too much in the way of a response but amazingly, I get a reply 8 days later saying he was ‘sorry and that a Lidia Stefanowska would sort it for me – free of charge’.
Two weeks pass – nothing. I send her an e-mail (Andy Harrison had copied her so I knew her address) - nothing. Another two weeks pass – nothing. I send her another reminder – nothing. I send another e-mail to Andy Harrison – nothing. I reckon it’s all been a wind-up.
Then the brain-wave. I Google ‘Lidia Stefanowska’ and find she’s Easyjet’s ‘Customer Experience Manager’ and there are references to her all over the search engine. None however give any real details that I can use.
Then the 2nd and even more impressive brain-wave. Is she by any chance on Facebook? Yes she is!
I post a message on her Facebook page and guess what? I get a groveling apology the next day with promises to fix my problem which, even more amazingly, is resolved within 24 hours. Needless to say, she didn't accept me as a 'friend'. Result or what?