I rang Cathay Pacific when I was in Hong Kong last week to change my flight. After being put on hold for 20 minutes the line dropped out. I called back and was left on hold for 70 minutes before I gave up. While my desk phone was on loud speaker for the 70 minutes on hold I had R. Kelly’s I believe I can fly burned into my brain – it was their music on hold.

While on hold, I used my cell phone to call the Marco Polo Club to see what they could do – even though I am not a member. I was determined to find a human in Hong Kong who could take care of my simple query – I knew they had seats available from their website but it offered no facility to switch. I was lucky and did get to speak to a human in the Marco Polo Club but she refused to help and put me on hold. Their hold music was I believe I can fly but with the verses sung in Mandarin. So, in my left ear I had I believe I can fly being belted our in mandarin while my right ear was listening in English.

Cathay Pacific never came through. I spent 90 minutes on hold without success. This is appalling service.

I won’t bore you with the poor customer service I received at the airport from Cathay. Suffice to saw I will do everything possible to avoid flying with Cathay Pacific again. I’ll also try and avoid the R. Kelly song.

At Tower Systems we run a help desk. We process between 150 and 300 calls a day. The call volume depends on whether we have recently sent an update out or whether our suppliers are engaged in some network wide activity. We understand the importance of the human touch and have resisted installing an automated phone system. We allow our clients to set their own call priority – we work hard to match their expectation if a callback is required. There are days we don’t handle help desk calls as quickly as we and our clients would like. We do everything possible to keep these to a minimum.

Cathay Pacific told me they were busy with the summer rush and that’s why they didn’t get to my call. In my business if we know a rush is coming we gear up for it. It’s the unexpected rush which occasionally catches us out.

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