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Dear Airborne Moron
An e-mail from the spinmeisters at USAirways:

In a message dated 10/31/06 2:34:59 PM, dividendmiles@myusairways.com writes:

IMPORTANT NOTICE
DON’T LOSE YOUR DIVIDEND MILES

Dividend Miles #: XXXXX
Member Since: 1994

Dear AMY ALKON:
It’s been a long time since you’ve used the US Airways Dividend Miles program. As an important customer, we want to make sure you keep the miles that you’ve earned.
Mileage balance: 4,500
Your last activity date: 06/11/2004

Several months ago, we introduced a new policy that rewards our customers for keeping their Dividend Miles account active. Effective January 31, 2007, you must earn or redeem miles within a consecutive 18-month period in order to keep your account active. If you don’t have activity by January 31, 2007, you’ll forfeit your miles.

No, you introduced a new policy that punishes customers who don't use their accounts very often, and I can't decide whether it's amusing or simply irritating that you think all your customers are stupid enough to believe this spin. I'll make an effort to fly other airlines in the future. Or to transfer my miles to United. Hmm...you could say, I'm introducing a new policy that rewards airlines that appear to treat me less crappily than other airlines.

You know, more and more, I'm convinced, with consumer rage being what it is, somebody could open a business that's more expensive than other options in its area, but make money simply by offering (not just mouthpiecing that they offer) "excellent customer service." As in, you call, a human answers the phone, speaking the language of your country, and with enough brain cells and training to actually solve your problem.

Oh, and US Airways, why not just write me an honest note? It wouldn't make me dislike you any less, but it would help me respect you. Here, I'll give you a template -- out of the goodness of my tiny, coal-like lump of heart:

Dear Customer, We've noticed you haven't flown us for a while, and we think you really suck. We plan on fucking you up the ass the only way we can -- we'll just hoover up miles you rightfully earned. Fuck you! Die painfully! Over and out. --US Airways

Posted by aalkon at November 2, 2006 10:54 AM

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Comments

A possible response to the US Airways weasel worded message…

Dear US Airways:

Eat shit and die.

Forever Yours

Posted by: Roger at November 2, 2006 6:41 AM

'...somebody could open a business that's more expensive than other options in its area, but make money simply by offering (not just mouthpiecing that they offer) "excellent customer service."'

They have. Every luxury item sold, from Rolex to Rolls-Royce, survives because of this attention to detail and customer service.

Posted by: Hasan at November 2, 2006 6:55 AM

An ariline, Hasan! We want an airline! We'll pay a modest premium for a modest amount of dignity.

Posted by: Crid at November 2, 2006 7:11 AM

Also, every corporation in America should be required to hire teenagers, including inner-city types (if you get my drift), to answer the phones and replace the automated computerized systems. The kids would learn to handle insane customers dispassionately, work for the man, and show up to a job on time in the morning. The customers would have much of their frustration alleviated.

They do this in Oregon with gas stations... It's illegal to pump your own gas, so a lot of young people have jobs.

Posted by: Crid at November 2, 2006 7:14 AM

I love that idea, Crid. When I worked customer service jobs, I was always commended on my handling of customers, but I wasn't doing anything other than smiling, using good manners, and making an honest effort to set them up with the product they wanted to buy! I think it helped that I assisted in the family business when I was a teen. These skills come in handy in life, and learning them as teens would really help kids learn that ditching the "teenage attitude" (I use quotes because some people never seem to grow out of it) really helps one get ahead in the world.

Posted by: Melissa at November 2, 2006 9:20 AM

Last time I was in New Jersey, they had the same gas-pumping law as Oregon (can't say for sure if they've kept it). It certainly did wonders for the politeness of the youths there.

Posted by: justin case at November 2, 2006 9:58 AM

Crid, yeah, you notice airlines are having a rough time of it lately. Still, Air Japan, British Airways, Lufthansa. Heck, I have a decent experience and a cut rate price flying Jet Blue.

Posted by: Hasan at November 2, 2006 11:27 AM

"The kids would learn to handle insane customers dispassionately, work for the man, and show up to a job on time in the morning. The customers would have much of their frustration alleviated."

That's really astonishingly sound thinking, Crid. Particularly as it's a concept that complements ever expanding internet-based services.

'Attitude' without experience (Rebel without cause, if you want to be romantic about it) is such a self-defeating bummer for teens. They just don't see it.

Melissa put it better - I'm sounding pompous!

Posted by: jody tresidder at November 2, 2006 11:35 AM

> It certainly did wonders for the
> politeness of the youths there.

Twist the knife, fucker, twist the knife.

I remember driving to New York for the first time as a 17yo Indiana punk, and stopping for gas in Ridgewood. The attendant approached with a full accent: "So, use guyz goin' ta Manhattan?" I thought it was a joke. I thought he was kidding, that voices like that were only from the movies.

Posted by: Crid at November 3, 2006 7:20 PM

DITTO TO THE COMMENTS ABOVE!!!!

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Posted by: Danifg at July 17, 2007 11:07 PM

jaqwq1 First of all, theres no one else like YOUyour story is unique and you can tell about people, times, and places that only YOU can share.

Why not tell your grandchildren about you.plus their grandparents, great-grandparents, and even their great-great grandparents (thats

your grandparents)! Its really about creating a loving, lasting bondpreserving not just life stories, but relationships, for

generations to come.

Of course, you can also give them your own advice about love, work, and how to lead a good life. Here was my grandmas advice to me: Be

what you want. If you do something, do it the best you can. Because its my grandma, it means so much more. Ill always be able to

remember what she said because it was actually written down. Whats your advice for your family? This is your opportunity to write it

down.

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