Monday, December 11, 2006

British Airways IT system

Is unbelievably uncustomer-centric. Here's my own example: I am an Executive Club member, but as I put my address as Nigeria when signing up a couple of years ago, my Executive Club office is in Joburg (there is no Nigeria office). A while ago, I applied for a BA Amex card (you get extra miles if you use it to buy tickets). I received the card recently, along with a letter saying that the card would soon be invalidated given that my Exec Club membership is not registered in the UK. Now, about 9 months ago, I thought I had transferred my Exec Club membership from SA to the UK (it took a lot of effort - the South Africa office are not easy to get on the phone - I had to fill in a form and post to them - they don't do email communication. I sent the letter off while in SA to make sure it got there). So now I find out that I am still registered with the SA office and I cannot use the new Amex card. Either the letter never arrived, or it was not actioned.

The point is, as customer, do I give a flying fart which Exec Club office I am registered with? Why can't I do all this tedious bureaucracy online? When I ring the UK Exec Club up, they have no information about me (they don't have access to the SA Exec Club database) and politely insist there is nothing they can do to help. A friend can tell even more tales of dis-integrated informations systems woe with BA. It is astonishing in this day and age that BA has such a clunky, uncustomer-friendly IT system. Why they don't have one integrated Executive Club database accessible from any office is beyond me.


Anonymous,  7:23 pm  

This is a typical case Nigerian Airways would have handled better :)

Anonymous,  12:28 am  

Jeremy, How do you buy your BA tickets with a Credit Card?

I thought I cracked the system a while ago, by leaving a copy of my passport and credit card with the BA travel shop in Bristol (about 30 miles from me). All I had to do was call the nice lady there and give her my internet booking reference and everything would be tickety-boo.

In their wisdom BA closed the Bristol shop and directed me to Heathrow or Birmingham to purchase my tickets. Why the hell would I bother to do that when Virgin will take my credit card on-line?

Also on BA Executive club It didn't seem to be possible to collect enough points to do anything useful before they expire. This is the same for my colleagues. You seem to travel quite often so perhaps you are more successful with this?

I've flown exclusively Virgin for the past 2 years, I'm now a silver member and I have just purchased a premium economy ticket with Flying Club miles and 25,000 miles left over.

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