As far as rejection letters go, the one I almost never use is unfailingly polite.
It’s apologetic. It blames a “system” in which the deck is stacked against you, the consumer, for my failure to accept a case. And it offers several other options, including small-claims court or a credit-card dispute, as possible alternatives.
It was just a matter of time before corporations created the perfect form letter, capable of fooling a veteran consumer advocate. Or you.
You know what I’m talking about: those emails that say “we’re sorry you feel that way,” but offering you nothing for a customer-service failure.
Spotting a form letter used to be super easy, which was helpful, because you could quickly appeal the boilerplate rejection to a supervisor. In the early days of email, when low-level agents didn’t understand the difference between text and HTML, you could actually see the cut-and-paste responses, because they were rendered in a different font. You knew you were being fed a line.
If you said, “not really,” then maybe you know Theresa Putkey, a consultant from Vancouver. She had a run-in with a TSA agent recently after trying to opt out of a full-body scan, and sent a complaint letter to the agency assigned to protect America’s transportation systems.
If you’ve recently been the unlucky recipient of a rejection letter from your airline, hotel or car rental company, you’re in good company. The travel industry appears to be sending out more form letters than ever.
I know, because my blog is the travel industry equivalent of the “Wall of Shame” to which high school seniors pin their college rejection letters. Every day, travelers click on my site to admire the latest pre-written “no” from a company. There’s no shortage of material. Read more “Rejected? Enjoy the art, but you can still appeal”
Last summer, Jennifer Patronis’ father suffered a massive aneurysm and stroke. She immediately booked a round-trip ticket from Athens to Cleveland on Delta Air Lines to be with him. Three months later, he died, leaving her with an unexpected problem: How to get back to Greece, where she lived.
Despite a verbal promise that it would waive its ticket change fee, Delta wanted another $700 for her return flight. That’s over and above the $1,000 she spent on the roundtrip ticket.