Written on: 10/04/2011
Do Virgin Atlantic Really Care about Customers
The Virgin Atlantic brand has been built on the perception that it cares for its customer. It has fought the good fight against the big airlines and played on its role as the underdog. We can all remember the issue with BA using Virgin's customer data to gain a competitive advantage. Virgin Atlantic cried foul and rightly so according to the courts.
And yet, when the tables are turned, when Virgin Atlantic are pitted against the individual passenger, their corporate value structure is immediately forgotten. In these circumstances, caring seems to be the last thing on their mind, far behind the opportunity to make profit.
Last year, I booked a trans-Atlantic flight with Virgin. Unfortunately my father died the week before we were due to fly. Each of the providers of the services, hotels, car hire, airport parking and theatre tickets all refunded monies in the light of tragic circumstances, ignoring their standard terms and conditions. And yet, Virgin Atlantic referred to the small print and kept their money. To rub salt into the wounds, they also refused to credit any air miles on the basis that we never actually flew - unbelievable I know!! One would think this is one part of the organisation not knowing what the other part were doing, but when pressed and highlighted the situation, their inappropriately named 'Customer Care' team stood firm.
I strongly advise anyone to think very seriously about dealing with such a callous, double standard organisation in the future.