Aeroplan will lose its largest partner, Air Canada, in 2020. While the program may continue to survive in some form, many predict parent-company Aimia is already preparing for the worst. As in au revoir.
From what I hear, the decision has been made and there is no going back. While Aimia holds out hope for a change of heart, Air Canada has many excellent reasons to claim back its loyalty program. Thus, it seems strange how much Aeroplan has invested to make the customer experience better, even with the cliff in sight.
Let’s put my own Aeroplan issue aside for a moment. As an aside, I’m still waiting to hear back from the DOT and in contact with Aeroplan’s legal team. Here I want to talk about Aeroplan’s broader efforts to address huge customer service pitfalls that plagued the program for years.
I noted last August that Aeroplan hold times had plummeted. Indeed, hold times went from being unbearably long to virtually non-existent.
> Read More: It’s a Miracle! Aeroplan Hold Times Plummet
Not surprisingly, this sudden improvement happened directly after Air Canada announced it would not renew its contract with Aeroplan. At the time, I stated–
Aeroplan has suddenly realized that if it wants to even be considered, it better start serving customers rather than aggravating them.
And isn’t that human nature? When we make a mistake, we often put forward our best foot forward in an attempt to remedy it.
But actions have consequences and Aeroplan is doing too little too late. The struggle with inadequate staffing and therefore long hold times existed for over a decade. And the fact that Aeroplan fixed the problem so quickly indicates a “penny-wise, pound-foolish” business mentality.
I called Aeroplan three times yesterday, once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening. No hold times for any of the calls. It still amazes me.
But the Aeroplan website remains broken and the call center hours limited. That’s not the way to run a global business.
While it is admirable that Aeroplan is fighting for survival, I fear the patient cannot be resuscitated. Air Canada may have taken its program back no matter what Aeroplan did, but imagine if Aeroplan had seen the call center issue as a matter of concern before it was punished? That’s the paradox.
> Read More: Why You Encounter Errors on Aeroplan Website
Let that be a lesson to other companies.
Call times are just one example of a program that needs fixing.
I recently purchased a laptop through their online shopping portal. It took 9 weeks and 3 phone calls (2hours total) in order to get proper credit. Every time I had the buck passed with supervisors refusing to address the issue.
This is an example of how infuriating it is to deal with this company. Hyatt, Starwood and Alaska get problems like this addressed within 72 hours. My money goes there.
Still can’t book COPA or Avianca with Aeroplan.