Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
I am so upset I could just explode (please don’t)! I am going to give DELTA a piece of my mind (careful you may need your whole brain later in life). I WANT TO CALL THE CEO OF DELTA (Really? How about I buy you a drink and we chat a bit first)!
You have no idea just how many emails I get with either the exact words you see above or something like these words. I get being upset. Many have spent a lot of money or Delta points on a trip and had in their mind how great the trip was going to be. Things did not go as planned. You are now “hopping mad”! I beg you, not just with Delta, but with any company that does not quite live up to your expectation – wait before you hit send or whatever when contacting them. Why not do this, open your “whatever” device and type what is in your head. All the facts and feelings as well as names and contact info and flight numbers and such. Then wait for 24 hrs. Yep, just wait. Then go back and reread what you have and dump ½ of it. Then, clean it up and make it to the point and dump another ½ of it again. Now it is about right!
But this is Rookie Wednesday and we are talking about how to contact Delta. There are many avenues open to you, even as far as contacting the CEO of the airline. I have once reached out to him about something very good that happened to me and got a personal response and I have seen that others have as well. Do note, I would save this as a last step after you have exhausted all other avenues of contact as if you have not, more than likely, your “letter” will just get moved to where it should have been directed in the first place.
Let’s start with the really simple and first and most times best place to contact Delta, that is on Delta.com. The main contact page is a great starting point to navigate all sorts of issues that can arise from in-flight to ground issues to baggage to just about anything with Delta.
If you do need to complain, and have done the editing of the complaint as I talked about above, then THIS link to the complaint site really is the way to go. By starting here, you are able to fill in so much data that will “route” the complaint to the right place to get the best results that you are after.
What happens next when you do this is this. You will first get an automated response from Delta that they got the complaint. Then, inside a week usually, you will get some kind of e-mail back from Delta. Depending on the issue it will have a “stock” cut-n-paste bit about this kind of issue and then some personal bits of appreciation and often, if something went wrong, a sort of apology from Delta. Sometimes you will get some miles or a travel voucher for the issues.
Now what? You now have a “direct-ish” contact point about THIS issue. All the data about what, when, where, who etc. is now included in the e-mail string. If you need more resolution than what you got you can e-mail back and again be to the point and direct about why you are not OK with where you now are with the matter. Also, if you are happy, I often send a very short thank you back for addressing my concerns. These people deal all day long with issues and a THANK YOU is nice to see – right?! Lastly along this line, if you just can not work it out this way, you have shown you attempted to get a fix the right way and were respectable and not a, well, “loon”!
What other ways are there to get some satisfaction. Delta, with the new hand units, is empowering the personnel to do more to fix things on the spot. Seat issues, food issues, IFE you name it, tell the FA and they can do a report on it. They may, at times, offer you some compensation on the spot and the matter is now closed and done.
What about Twitter? Regular readers will know I am a UBER-HUGE fan of @DeltaAssist. Most times they can do amazing things for us. The people in this section are tops. But there are limits and to me complaining to them is often not the best way to go. Not to say they can’t help, but just know you are sending off data and not necessarily going to get a reply other than “thanks for letting us know”. Now this can be fine. Say you don’t want anything other than letting Delta know about something. Say a power port/jack on a seat does not work. Fine, just tweet Delta your PNR, seat number, flight number & tell them you just are letting them know so it can be addressed at some point. They appreciate stuff like that and it is quick and easy.
Then we have the big one. Contacting DELTA CORP. My friend and trusted consumer advocate Chris Elliott maintains a good page with all sorts of contact information for going this route but I can not enough times stress this should be the last line of contact when all else fails NOT the first attempt. Clear? Please!
This is not really a Delta contact, but depending on just what happened, if you paid with a credit card, there are a few times you can contact the card and dispute the charge. You must be careful with this one. Some companies are getting nasty when you take this route. While there is little risk of Delta closing down your frequent flyer account over a disputed charge – they can at any time they wish – remove someone from Skymiles.
Is that it? Nope, you have one more avenue. Me, yours truly. I do not work for Delta at all but often times I can help with things. Either I can point you in the right direction, share some personal experience about what to expect and if it is worth contacting the airline or what has happened with others in a similar situation. Worst case, if it is something really bad, I can every now and then work with my corporate contacts to get either resolution or the ball rolling in the right direction.
So there you are. I close with the same point I opened this post with – let your head cool down. It may feel good, at the moment, to fire off a RANT WORTHY OF FLYERTALK to the airline but the results of this will not be the ultimate outcome you are searching for! – René
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