Back in 2 January I was coming back to London, from my Xmas holidays with the family, and had my pre-booked Gatwick Express ticket to London. Surprise, surprise! The service was disrupted on that weekend due to works.
Nothing we could do apart from waiting 1 hour for the next Southern Railway train which took 1,5 hours to get into London, rather than the usual 25 mins the Gatwick Express takes – reason why I paid much more for the ticket.
Obviously I contacted Gatwick Express customer service, via email, asking for a refund. The automatic acknowledgement email came back stating it would take them 20 days to respond (call that express service!).
And they did. On the 22 January I received an email asking me to send the electronic copy of the tickets. Problem was, I bought them on the train station and I already had attached a picture of them to my original email.
The response was quick. The advisor asked me to go online, download a form, fill it in and send it via post to the “Refunds Team“. I was obviously not happy with this and tweeted about it @GatwickExpress. Unlike times I praised them, and they came back asap thanking, this time no one replied.
There are many things wrong here, and I will list them below hoping that someone from Gatwick Express customer service can read it:
- Disrupting trains on a weekend where thousands are coming back from their Xmas holidays is obviously not a good idea.
- An SLA of 20 days to respond to a customer’s email is absolutely ludicrous.
- Asking a customer to send the tickets when he already done it shows lack of organisation and attention to detail.
- Asking a customer to request a refund via post is appalling (does your customer service even live on the XXI century!?)
- Forcing a customer to use post is a deliberate manoeuvre to make it harder for people to request refunds, hoping they will quit.
It is clear to me that Gatwick Express…
- Does not have a customer centric strategy
- Does not have a customer experience focus
- Does not have a 360-degree view of the customer
- Does not have joined up operations and systems
- Does not worry with customers expectations and effort
- Does not want to go the extra mile for its customers
- Does not want to embrace the digital world
Maybe they are happy with the amount of customers they have, and not worried about retaining them or acquiring more. As far as I’m concerned, I will start using the competition (Southern Railway) whenever I need to go to Gatwick Airport.