In a recent TV advert, Ryanair went to great efforts to shout about a Civil Aviation Authority [CAA] report which said the budget airline received fewer complaints than any other.
So .... me and some chums were off to Gdansk for a long weekend. The Ryanair flights were booked by one of the group - but I wanted extra legroom on the flights there and back so I went to the Ryanair.com [note: it's on a dot come, not .co.uk or .ie] to make the purchase.
Everything went well until I got to the page where I chose my seat - and was able to see the price.
Note how it is shown as 10.99 USD [United States Dollars]. An obvious bug? I thought so, but should I report it? Look what happened to someone who did a few years ago: Ryanair website bug: blogger called 'idiot and liar'.
Now ... I knew the price was around 10 pounds - which I was willing to pay - so I clicked on through to 'buy' and paid by PayPal. And if the charge had been 2 x £10.99 [£21.98] that would have been an end to it. But when I got my PayPal receipt, it was for £22.42.
So ... I went to the Ryanair website and used the 'chat' facility [not considered to be a 'complaint' on that platform], and started a chat with 'Nandor'. I decided that I would start with the issue of the price being shown in USD.
Notice how Nandor tells me I am wrong about the price being in USD, and ignores the issue of me being charged £22.42. His response to my reply was along the lines of the 'idiot and liar' case from the past ...
Having told me what I had seen [and recorded in a screenshot] was not possible, and that I could not pay a USD fee [he's obviously never purchased something online from the USA], he then referred me to the 'ryanair seat price.doc' - which was priced in pounds.
So ... I decided to take up his invitation, and filled in a 'contact form' [still not a 'complaint' for the CAA?]. I repeated what I had said in the 'chat'. And the reply was ...
I think my reply to 'Tudor' needs no explanation:
However - the reply was a 'standard' list of webpage addresses for the various range of complaints eg late flight, lost baggage etc etc. The closest one for my problem was 'Compliments or general complaints and queries, please click here http://frd.ie/help/ '. And when I clicked on it I found myself back at the blank form I had completed previously, to which 'Tudor' had replied.
So I filled it in again, but started with the reference number of the earlier form:
And do you know what? Big drum roll ...
Yep, no response. Does that mean the 'complaint' never existed?
So, could it be then that Ryanair get fewer complaints by the way they record them? Or not record them. For example; in this case, my 'complaint' was not treated as a complaint - but a request for information on the cost of seats with extra legroom.
I would normally use this as an exercise for students and ask them how Ryanair should have responded? But in this case, how about something like ...
OOPS ... we seem to have a glitch in our system, I'll let our tech team know. As you were shown the price in dollars that is what we should have charged you. At today's exchange rate that is £14.32. Also, the extra 44p is the charge for using PayPal - this is identified on the payment page, maybe we need to make the notice more obvious :-). I'll arrange for this to be waived in this instance also. You will receive a refund of £8.10 into you PayPal account shortly. I hope you had a good trip to Poland.
And do you know what? If that is what had happened, this post would be about how well Ryanair responded to a 'complaint' - and not the opposite. And if this gets listed high on Google [it might] ... that would have been £8.10 well spent.