Travel pro Chris Elliot informs us that Virgin Airlines has rescinded their fuel surcharges. Bravo! Good move on their part. With oil prices down people expect companies to do this. If they don’t they look greedy.
But Chris also mentions that Virgin is refusing to offer refund or credits for customer who have booked flight and paid the surcharges even though they have not yet flown.
Shouldn’t they get some consideration?
You could argue that the price they paid was based on the fuel surcharges being active. And it seems logical – from the airlines point of view.
The problem is, customers do not necessarily see things from the airlines perspective. To a customer it might make more sense that they shouldn’t pay the fuel surcharges if their flight is far off into the future. After all, that’s when the fuel is being used. It’s not being used when the customer buys their ticket.
I don’t know what the right answer but I do know what most customers want. If you’re not going to give me a refund, then at least give me an explanation.
It’s called communicating and customers like it.
A huge mistake companies make that drives customers away is they fail to communicate well. They do not communicate with their customers in an open, honest and persistent way. They hide behind customer service scripts, marketing hype and press releases.
It’s like they’re scare to act like humans.
The less your company communicates and connects with your customers, the more vulnerable your are to customer attrition. Your customers have less reason to stay with you. And they won’t.