Ryanair gets thumbs down for customer service

The low budget airline has been voted the worst UK brand for customer service.

by Gabriella Griffith
Last Updated: 22 Nov 2013
Anyone familiar with Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary’s ‘opinions’ on customer service won’t be surprised to hear that his no-frills airline has spluttered in last, in a survey by Consumers' Association magazine Which? - judging the UK’s top brands on their treatment of customers.
 
O’Leary is famed for spouting such beauties as, ‘People say the customer is always right, but you know what - they're not. Sometimes they are wrong and they need to be told so.’
 
And MT’s personal favourite ‘You're not getting a refund so **** off. We don't want to hear your sob stories. What part of 'no refund' don't you understand?’
 
Now it seems his comments have come back to bite him in the tail fin.
 
Out of the top 100 British brands, Ryanair was voted as having the worst customer service, with just half of Ryanair’s passengers satisfied with their experience.
 
The survey contained three categories: knowledge, staff attitude and dealing with issues. Respondents were asked to mark the brand out of five for each. The airline was bestowed with just two stars in all three.

The airline has been quick to 'laugh off' the research calling it 'a useless survey of 3,300 people, including their pet hamsters, gerbils and goldfish'. Who knew gerbils had an opinion on cheap flights?

'We surveyed over 3m passengers on the Ryanair website last night – only two of them had ever heard of Which and none of them had ever bought it or read it,' crowed the airline.

'Ryanair’s survey conclusively proves that Which? magazine hasn’t got a clue about what air travel consumers actually do, because they’re too busy booking Ryanair’s low fare on-time flights to waste time filling in Which magazine’s tiny surveys.'

Carry-on bags at dawn.
 
Following in Ryanair’s villainous vapour-trail are NPower and TalkTalk, in joint second last place. But the pair’s customer satisfaction levels were still 5% higher than Ryanair’s. Ouch.
 
‘Outstanding service can leave you feeling positive, valued and likely to want to repeat the experience,’ said Richard Dilks, Which? policy adviser.
 
‘Terrible customer service can leave you feeling stressed, frustrated, angry and, in many cases, never wanting that experience again.’
 
Despite its dubious approach to customer service, Ryanair has historically is still one of the most popular travel choices for sun-deprived Brits. But the airline’s most recent results have pointed to a turn in its fortunes, with full-year profits expected to miss forecasts.
 
Could it be that holidaymakers are sick of Ryanair’s hidden charges, uncomfortable seats, lack of empathy and ridiculous triumphant ‘on time’ jingles?
 
Not that O’Leary will give a ****.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Subscribe

Get your essential reading delivered. Subscribe to Management Today