Even a monk couldn’t stay calm and composed while dealing with customer service executives of United Airlines.
It is quite natural to get upset when dealing with customer service executives over the phone. Talking with these representatives often makes you feel like banging your head against a wall. But surely you don’t expect a monk, of all people, to lose his cool, no matter who they are talking to.
However, for Brother Noah it was, quite literally, unbearable having to explain the inefficiency and ineptness of the United Airlines’ staff. Brother Noah, a spiritual leader of the Monastery of Christ in the Desert in New Mexico, confessed he failed to stay peaceful while dealing with United Airlines on the phone, reported the New York Times. Interestingly, Brother Noah uttered the following words, which he believes were angry.
“I said to her something like: ‘Thank you for speaking. God bless you. I will pray for you. But you have not been helpful,”
When David Segal, author of The Haggler, column, suggested this did not sound like much of an outburst, Brother Noah said he knows the tone of his voice “manifested anger.”
Brother Noah had every right to be upset, owing to the bungling of the details and the handling of his case by the United Airlines’ customer support. Fortunately for Brother Noah, he wasn’t the one who had to endure flying with the airlines. Brother Noah’s friend at the monastery, Brother John Baptist, had to fly to Malawi in southeastern Africa to see his sick mother on a $2,489 round-trip ticket. The traveling arrangements and the payments had been completely taken care of by the monastery, and Brother Noah was in charge of managing the itinerary.
Upon arriving at the destination, Brother John Baptist realized he had to extend his stay by several weeks, and accordingly, requested Brother Noah to reschedule the return flight, who in turn, made the dreadful call.
The customer service staff of United Airlines informed Brother Noah that the original purchase was fraudulent. This was despite the fact that his fellow monk had already completed half of the journey, or in other words, utilized half of the ticket. To make matters even more complicated, the United Airlines representative reportedly suggested the monastery’s leader to undertake a three-hour drive to a United Airlines desk in Albuquerque to work everything out. In essence, no matter how he put it, matters only became worse, lamented Brother Noah.
“Everything became our fault. There was no evidence that Brother John Baptist had been placed on a new return flight. No record of the conversation with Mark. I really struggled to remain calm and charitable. My monastic life is about staying peaceful in all circumstances. I failed during this call.”
The “angry” letter began as follows.
“Blessings to you! Christ in the Desert is having some difficulties with United Airlines. Perhaps someone reading this will know a way to help,”
Update: The airlines, perhaps realizing they had done something extremely wrong by aggravating a monk, has swiftly rescheduled the flight and even credited $350 as a gesture of goodwill.
[Image Credit | Nicholas Karlev]