Tuesday, March 13, 2012

if only (lyn)

When I came back to New York last Tuesday I had to pay an extra $25 to Amtrak because their price jumped from $59 to $84 as I was waiting in line to buy my ticket.  I didn’t have time to argue then, so I call Amtrak to argue now.  I get Brandon on the phone.  He is eager and courteous and really really wants to help.  But rules are rules and there is nothing he can do

We hang up, and a few hours later I get a message from Brandon. I listen to the message.  Brandon sounds happy and excited.  “Actually there was a glitch in our system and we can refund your $25.  Just send us the ticket stub.”  Well, of course I don’t have the ticket stub, but I figure that shouldn’t be a problem since Amtrak’s system will undoubtedly show my reservation and the $84 I paid with American Express.  I call and am put on hold for almost 20 minutes.  I get Robert this time.  He lacks the charm, attitude, and cheeriness of Brandon.  His response is a short one.  “There is nothing we can do without the ticket stub.”

I call American Express.  I get through right away. They agree with me.  They say, “No problem.  We will issue you a credit and we will deal with Amtrak directly.  You don’t have to do anything more.”  And presto, just like that, my problem is solved.

I was thinking how nice it would be if American Express could extend this service into other areas.  I imagine it would work this way.
  • “Hi.  My cable just went out again.  “No problem…is it working now?”
  • “Hi.  I can’t find a job.”  “Here is one in your field that pays a lot a lot of money?  Can you start next week?”
  • “Hi.  I can’t get myself to exercise.”  “We’ll send one of our fitness trainers to your house.  Let me verify that address.”
  •  “Hi, I need to lose five pounds.”  “No problem…are you thinner now?”
  • “My son never calls me back.”  “Hmmm.  I’ll need to get a manager to help with that one.”

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