Is It OK For A Company’s Email Support Turnaround Time To Be 21 Days?

Posted By Debbie on May 28, 2014

I had booked a bunch of flights before I was approved for TSA Pre Check. I then needed to add my Known Traveler Number to all of my flights and frequent flyer accounts. Some made that easy… JetBlue had an obvious spot to add it to my profile and my upcoming flight. United was also easy. Got it in my account.

I couldn’t find where to do it in my Southwest Airlines account. So I emailed them. I got a reply that my email would be answered within 48 hours. Click to enlarge:

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Within 1 day, I got a reply that explained their TSA Pre Check policy AND hey, they took care of it for me! Thanks, Southwest.

US Airways was next. Their site drives me crazy. The visual design is OK but the interaction design makes me crazy. There seemed to be no way to add my KTN to my upcoming flight or my frequent flyer account. So I went to Contact Us to send them an email. This was the auto-response to my email. Click to enlarge:

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Please allow 21 days for a response. Maybe 30 days if we have to look something up. It takes up 9 more days to look things up.

Insane. In today’s modern world of immediate communication, why should this take weeks? Why can Southwest do it in 1-2 days and US Airways needs weeks?

By the time I wait for their email, I will have taken my flight. So then I called them. 23 minutes into being on hold, I noticed that the recording was making Mother’s Day suggestions. Mother’s Day passed. Does anybody over there care about any sort of customer experience?

If you need more than 2 days to handle support emails, you need to take another look at your email support programme.

Shouldn’t happen. The person in charge of US Air’s email support team should ask himself or herself if he/she would be happy with a company that needed a month to write back (especially when the email is about a flight in 10 days). No? You’d want to hear back within 2 calendar days? Then fix that.