Delta accepts fault but will not pay
Have you ever hit a level of exhaustion where you wonder if you care to bother anymore? I’m there. Partly due illness and the other part due to an infinite crap customer “disservice” loop that Delta Airlines has me trapped in. If you don’t mind, share my story with your networks and let Delta know this isn’t acceptable behavior. You can tweet at them at @DeltaAssist, message them on Facebook, or send them an email.
Sir Zog and I traveled to New York City on December 21st. As a Christmas surprise, I booked our tickets in first class, without telling Sir Zog. He has never traveled in first and the difference in cost from a normal ticket was not significant. I figured this would also help preserve our sanity while trying to entertain a 14 month old for five hours on a plane (spoiler: it did). The trip started off without a hitch. We arrived at the airport. Sir Zog was pleasantly surprised. (I was excited that I had been able to maintain the surprise.) We gate checked our expensive Phil & Ted’s stroller because we had decided it would be safer. For some unintelligent reason, we thought it would be handled more carefully and be put on last. Ha. First mistake. Chris and I had decided to bring the Phil & Ted’s to NYC rather than a cheap stroller because the functionality is so much greater – and frankly, in the city, expensive strollers rule for a reason.
Before we took off, the pilot announced that we were nearly ready to leave but due to an “excess of baggage” the handlers were attempting to “make everything fit.” I guess my ears should have perked up but they didn’t. We finally pushed back, had an uneventful flight, and arrived at JFK without incident. Or so we thought. You see, the incident happened somewhere in between SLC and JFK but we didn’t find out until disembarking.
Upon leaving the aircraft and waiting for our gate checked stroller, the kind baggage gentleman handed us our stroller. He was upset and pointed out that the other handlers had massacred our lovely, expensive, and what I thought to be sturdy, stroller. He was mad on our behalf and told us to go report it immediately to baggage so we could be reimbursed.
We went to the Delta baggage office and I waited patiently in the Sky Priority line. Sky Priority my butt. There are no perks to this. I actually waited much, much longer and watched every single person in the 15-person line next to me be helped before I was helped in the one-person Sky Priority line. If SP meant anything, I would’ve thought the employees would have asked me to come to the front rather than allowing me to watch and wish I would have just stood in the “regular” customer line. I don’t want to sound entitled as we don’t normally fly this way, but still, shouldn’t it have counted for something in the business of paying more?
The agent was also kind but not terribly knowledgeable or helpful. She offered us a cheap, used umbrella stroller to replace our $700 stroller while Delta sent ours off somewhere to “attempt” to fix it. I declined. I was both not willing to hand our expensive stroller over to strangers and to a company of which I had no knowledge of their reputation (strollers are a safety item – my child is, you know, kind of important to me) and I was not happy with the uneven trade. The agent said they could file a report and then I could talk to Customer Care so I could get reimbursed quickly. We chose this method as we wanted to replace the stroller while on our trip. Second mistake.
The moment I walked into our apartment, I contacted Delta on Twitter at @DeltaAssist. *WG (Winston G.) told me he could help, even though I had mentioned it was a baggage issue. After more information was gathered, I was told they could not deal with me as it was a baggage issue. Um, yeah. I said that in my first tweet. The agent said they would have baggage call me on my cell. I waited. And waited. And waited. There was a definite reason I didn’t want to deal with Delta’s baggage phone line. It is THE WORST. Most of the time you get sent to a place where they don’t answer or you can’t understand them.
Baggage never called. I followed up with @DeltaAssist and I was informed that they were emailing baggage to have them call me. No phone calls. We are now on day 3 of our trip in NYC with no stroller. This is a problem. Baby Zog is no 8-pounder. He never was. I then attempted to contact @DeltaAssist over the course of the next two days. Now they weren’t responding to me at all. My problems were of no concern nor did they blip on their radar.
Day 6: I call the stupid 800 number and am told by a very nice lady (see a trend? – all nice employees – but no results) that the first person should have told me I had to fill out a form. I have wasted nearly a week waiting sans stroller. Kim, the agent, instructs me on the process including uploading a receipt for my stroller. I tell Kim I no longer have the receipt and she tells me to input the value. I should note - each of these employees has been given my report number and could/should be adding notes along the way.
I fill out the report. It is identical information to what I filled out at the airport. Coincidentally, hours after I fill out the report, @DeltaAssist finally sends me a direct message. Days later. Really? That’s not how Twitter works. If I wanted days later, I would’ve sent an email.
I receive a response back within a few days. I am told they require a receipt. I respond back that I do not have a receipt (Really? They expect me to keep receipts for every purchase I’ve ever made for items that I plan to bring with me on a trip?) and that Kim, the previous agent, had not made this an issue. Is no one communicating? Are no agents making notes along the way?
I receive a response that Delta will only reimburse me $250. Sweet. That would be 33% of the value. For something that Delta has acknowledged fault for. They have not only destroyed a material item of value to me, they have also now cost us the use of said stroller on our entire trip to NYC. 12 days to be exact. That was a lot of walking and carrying a heavy baby. Many sore muscles and a few crabby moments in between. My back does not thank you, Delta. And did I mention the many hours I have wasted in communicating with Delta?
I will note that with the exception of the agent emailing me with my “reimbursement” (aka: slap in the face), every employee was very kind and helpful. I did my best to act with kindness and decorum as I patiently waited for a response. But obviously something is broken. Either employees are not empowered to solve problems and/or they are not following the process.
I read you loud and clear, Delta. You don’t care about your customers. You don’t care about Sky Priority (which frankly, any customer should receive better service). And you don’t give a crap about moms. We cannot trust Delta to care for items that involve our children’s safety. And even with acknowledging guilt, you do not make financial restitution. Our stroller was an investment. Not a toy from the dollar bin at Target meant to last an hour.
The funny thing is, Delta needs a mom right now. Someone to grab them by the ear and tell them to right their wrong.
So here I am, blogging about my experience. Because Delta doesn’t think I matter. They believe bullying is acceptable because they have protected themselves with a clause. I don’t think that’s right. I could move on but I don’t think Delta should get away with this. How many little people can big corporations step on before someone stands up and says no?
I’m saying no. I want Baby Zog to grow up in a world where wrongs are righted and every person is treated with kindness, respect, and decorum. Big dreams, I know. But I’m not willing to go down without a fight.
Please share and comment. Something has to change. Delta has insurance to cover this and they are gaining big time on the many people who are unaware. This should be unlawful.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate it very much. Hopefully, we can make a difference.
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