Two days ago Jake McKee gave an amazing talk at There’s a New Conversation in New York. He came all the way from Dallas to share some of the great work he and his cohorts had done at the Lego Company, inspired in part by The Cluetrain Manifesto.
I didn’t get the whole backstory on the trip until I read this in his blog today.
The short of it is that American Airlines not only decided not to waive the opportunity to soak Jake an extra $359 for moving his departure from New York one day ahead to make his grandma’s funeral, but gave him this peevish, passive-aggressive policy-über-alles response: “American reviewed the policy a few years back and decided that since funeral homes, doctors, and clothiers don’t discount their rates, we shouldn’t either.”
Wow. What a shitty thing to say to a bereaved customer. Not to mention dumb and irrelevant.
|When I told Irving, the supervisor, that I’d been a loyal customer for years and that I felt that the “fare difference” (i.e. we charge more for certain times of the day for the exact same overhead) should be waived if for nothing else than because it was the best way American could return the loyalty I’d shown them over the years he said:|
|“I’m not here to argue with you, sir.”|
|And I’m not here to argue with you either, American. In fact, I’m not here to fly with you, defend you, or support you. Not only have I lost interested in maintaining our quasi-relationship, I’ll now actively work to find alternatives to using you. (Hard to do when you live in Dallas, but absolutely not impossible). I’ll encourage others to think twice about using you. All because you were more interested in potentially getting an extra $359.|
|You stuck to your principles, now it’s my turn.|
And a sincere Bravo to Jake as well.
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