Please hold

I was on hold with Air “Canada” customer service for an hour last night. Once I was connected, I was placed on hold a few more times. It got to the point where I was going to just give up but I wanted to keep updated on the issue because it’s somewhat important. You can’t find good customer service these days from large companies because it seems like their all outsourcing to India.

I don’t quite understand how a luggage can be lost in transit. Air Canada (AC) is in the business to transfer people from one location to the next so how hard is it to transfer their luggage? Everything is bagged and tagged so it can’t be that hard to track things. If things are scanned into the system then that system should be able to tell you the whereabouts of that item. Courier companies can do that so why can’t AC? I’m sure that the technology is there but it doesn’t seem like AC is taking advantage of it.

Jenn report her luggage missing when she landed in Hong Kong on Monday. Apparently, a lot of people were standing around waiting for their luggage. The person who helped her wasn’t that helpful because he provided her with the wrong reference number. Instead he gave her the tag number so when she calls into customer support, they don’t have a complete reference number. She could have checked the status by going online but without a complete reference number, you can’t see anything. Computers only know how to perform tasks if they’re given complete information. The person at the airport gave her some numbers to call but those turned were down at the time. I guess there must have been a lot of people missing their luggage and they’re flooding the call center so much that other people can’t connect. It’s not feasible for Jenn to call a Canadian number because the long distance charges would be too much. I tried calling and even I had some problems connecting. They gave her a local number but she couldn’t connect to it.

I’m more patience than Jenn so I took care of the phone calls. When you call into a call center in India, you’ll need all the patience in the world to make it through. When I did manage to connect to the call center, I was already on hold for at least 45 minutes. It’s a good thing that I can make free evening calls or else I’d be pretty mad. As soon as I got through, I could tell that I was being connected to India because the sound quality was pretty bad. The music that they were playing (which got annoying after two minutes) were very distorted.

I think that AC should implement some sort of system that will track luggage. They already tag them so why not go a bit further and use that tags to verify their location? All that they would have to do is scan the tags as they enter the system. When the luggage gets to its destination, they should scan it again because that way you can see if it arrived at a destination or not. Any activity performed to the luggage should be recorded. It’s a bit more work but I’m sure that if they spent the money on improving that, they’ll save money elsewhere. I’m sure that there will be fewer calls to the call center if fewer luggages were lost. It would save people from getting headaches which will save customers.

I called the baggage people this morning and they told me that Jenn’s luggage was found and is being sent to her. After five days of searching, they found the luggage. That’s five days that Jenn went without her clothing and belongings. And the bad thing about it is that they didn’t mention any type of compensation for the incident. Jenn had to go out and buy new wardrobe to make up for the lost luggage. When they found it, they were able to send it to her quickly but they couldn’t find it as fast. Since they took so long, Jenn had to go out and get new clothing. With so many people flying around the world these days, I think that AC should work on a way to straight this out so it prevents future losses. I’ve never lost my luggage and I hope that I don’t run into this issue in the future.