I recently experienced a frustrating interaction with a Customer Service department that was rendered ineffective because it depended on feedback from staff it could not control. My luggage was lost somewhere during a 2 connection flight on 2 different airlines. The worldwide tracking tool was supposed to provide me and the customer service department regular updates on the status of my delayed bag. While the bag did finally show up (damaged) the tracking tool was not updated as it should have been leading to severe anxiety on my part (the customer) and multiple calls to a customer service organization (unproductive use of the call center). There are important lessons to be learned from this failed process.

United Airlines is in the news again. After the fiasco with United Breaks Guitars, a video that went viral on Youtube about a damaged guitar, United lost a passenger’s luggage and even after 6 weeks, refused to refund the $25.00 baggage fee they charged. The passenger filed a small claims complaint in a US court. He also wrote about it in Yahoo Finance.

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