Air Canada And Customer Service Mutually Exclusive

I've written about the fact that Canada generally lags when it comes to customer service. It's just not our bag. And Air Canada is the poster child for bad customer service. Among the airlines, from what I read and hear, AC is pretty much at the bottom.

Not surprising given it maintains a unionized mentality and is gripped by a bureaucratic culture left from the days it was a Crown Corporation. AC was privatized way back in the late 1980s and has struggled ever since.

This story exemplifies how its executives don't even grasp the most basic and simplest of customer service concepts. 


Back in the day, when I worked at an investment firm, I would have to make the odd call to various fund companies, trading desks, and the sort in both Canada and the USA.

Here, you saw how the two countries handle customer service. I could call Fidelity and would get a prompt call back usually within the hour. I would call my own backoffice and not get a call back at all. I had to chase them.

My friend in pension funds experienced the same exact phenomena. "We're terrible. I call an American and I stay by the desk because I know they'll call me back. They're more on the ball than we are" he once said.

Here, you get the feeling you're bothering people; like they're doing you a favor. There, they understand business is all about relationships and they mastered that art. 

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