Customer Service is Not Dead...(somebody should clue American Airlines in)

This is not about how bad American Airline's customer service is.

I will not go into a long dissertation about how badly I was treated recently in a situation with American Airlines. I won't go into how much their representative, whose initials are Yolanda Fernandez (Yolanda Fernandez/Corporate Insurance Risk Management/817-967-1289 / yolanda.fernandez@aa.com) yelled at me and told me it was my fault that one of their employees stole my property...not that the property wasn't stolen...just that it was my fault.

But I don't want to go into that. I've put it behind me. I'm over it.

No, this is about a company who really does know what customer service is all about. It's not a long story, so stay with me.

Back in March, I bought 3 new pieces of luggage from Lands End. Two big rolling duffels and a rollaboard. I used the rollaboard on every trip from March to September, which was about 30 round-trips or about 120 flight segments. Most of the time I checked it through to my destination. So in 6 months, it got more use than any luggage I've ever owned and it is still going strong. Yes, it has a few scrapes and bruises and isn't as new looking as it was, but then I'm not exactly shiny and new anymore myself.

The two big duffels stayed unused until September, when we loaded them up with dive gear and headed to Bonaire for three weeks. One of the duffels made the trip intact, but the telescoping handle on the 2nd one broke off. I procrastinated and never got around to returning it...I meant to, but just didn't get to it.

Fast forward to today. I had to haul some extra stuff with me on this trip, so I brought the rolling duffle with the handle that still worked. Well, when I got to my destination, the handle was broken off in exactly the same manner as the first one.

Well, I'm not a rocket surgeon, but I sense a pattern here.

Part of the reason I chose Lands End is because they guarantee your satisfaction with their products for life. Now I'm not one of those who will return a sweater I've had for 14 years and say I'm no longer satisfied with it, but I expected $239 (each) bags to hold up for more than 2 or 3 trips. So I called Lands End's customer service number.

Shock Number One: A person answered the phone on the first ring. Let me rephrase that: A. Person. Answered. The. Phone. I was absolutely gobstopped. I haven't had a person (let alone an English-speaking person) answer a customer service line since Reagan was president.

Shock Number Two: This person (I wish I could remember her name) didn't bat an eye about my problem. She apologized and asked me if I wanted my luggage replaced or refunded. She actually said, "Whatever you need to make you happy." I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

So tomorrow (yes tomorrow!) I will be receiving an overnight delivery with a replacement bag.

Shock Number Three: Did I mention I'm not at home? When I told her I was on a trip with a bag that won't roll she offered to ship me one overnight to my hotel and the other to my home.

Am I a satisfied customer? You betcha! Will I buy from Lands End again? You betcha!

See? Customer service is NOT dead.

Except at American Airlines.

Bitter much? Who me?


The Blaaaahg

I know everyone's been checking daily for an update. Just waiting for me to do or say something exciting. I know you are. Admit it.

Sorry to break it to you, but I have the "just before Winter blues." I don't think they existed until I just invented them, but trust me...I've got 'em.

The trees are all nekked and dead looking. It gets dark way too early. Between the economy and my lack of time to do anything, my jewelry business is not doing well this year. My husband's been sick. My dogs have been sick. I ain't getting any younger and there isn't enough money in the world to fight what gravity is doing to me.

So if you're waiting for grand revelations, deep philosophical wisdom and witty repartee from me this week, sorry to ruin your day!

Better luck next week.