Why Customer Service Should be Fair

My maternal grandmother died a couple of weeks ago, while I was in Austin at SxSWi. At 95, she was still an amazing woman who lived a very long and happy life. It was fortunate that I could take the time to go back and visit with loved ones while finishing work projects.

All the better weather-wise with spring already on its way in Italy.


Alas, my travels started off on a very disappointing footing. Despite being in the correct lane after checking in online as instructed by Lufthansa, I ended up waiting behind people who had not used the same courtesy and encountering a cranky gate attendant.

Whenever I travel, in addition to a larger suitcase, which I check in, I tend to bring a small carry on for any gifts I purchase. I usually carry it on the plane with my computer case. The roller stoves wheels toward the overhead door even in smaller regional aircrafts.

My carry-on Yet, the attendant decided I was to check it in.

On some international flights, I experienced significant damage to bags and had quite a few items stolen from the suitcases. This had not happened with Lufthansa before, hence why I favored the airline when traveling to Europe.

However, it feels like the new security rules are the catch-all excuse for making things more miserable for people whenever airline personnel is not having a good day. My carry on was damaged by Lufthansa. Luckily, I found it when arriving at destination.

At the time, I failed to see why I was singled out at departure for check in when many carried even bigger bags on board, as you can see in the images above. I took the photos with my iPhone at the gate, and during boarding.

You can also see the image of an empty overhead on my flight from Frankfurt to Bologna, where a small carry on would have fit as it does on US flights. That was the biggest justification I was given for not allowing me to bring the bag on board at the departure gate.

Customer service should be fair — it's not.

It isn't online, in social media, as it isn't in person. You could easily say it's tough luck, and you would be pointing out the number one reason why often social media initiatives by organizations fail. The digital format allows more than the person who experiences the difference to see it. The public nature of online communication demands a more consistent approach.

The Web is a customer service medium. Yet organizations insist on using it as broadcast media.


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