17 Apr 2007 malcolm   » (Master)

Qantas Messes Up Request For Help

Qantas — the Australian international airline — sent out a mass mailing earlier this evening asking for people to volunteer for their Customer Advisory Panel. This option is available to Gold and Platinum level frequent fliers.

I don't mind participating in things like this from time to time and I try to support OneWorld airlines when I travel so that I can have some benefits from being a decent frequent flier.

Except it's been nothing but disappointment so far. The email contained a link to the initial entry survey, which I guess is part of the sign-up process, there being no other obvious way to sign up. The link goes to the right website, but returns an error. It's an opaque link, so no way to work out if there's just a typo. There's a second opaque link to the Terms and Conditions for the marketing drive (which is what this is) does work, though, and it mentions that the whole process is outsourced to a Canadian firm. So much for "buy Australian", but not a huge problem for me — I'm a citizen of the planet, not just one particular country.

Okay, so back to my error page... look in the HTML for any obvious problems. Nothing in the comments. Although somebody needs to run the generated page through a validator or at least something that checks to make sure all tags are closed. The trailing '>' character is not optional in HTML tags.

Let's try emailing their support address, which is linked on the page. Click on the mailto: link. Compose the email containing all the information, including my frequent flier number. Off she goes... hmm... back she comes... :-( Turns out the mail cannot be delivered. The target server did not accept the RCPT TO line and returned a 550. So the initial link is broken, the generated HTML is broken (minor point, but indicative) and the support email address is broken. It's just roses all around.

Now, why am I worried that the current Qantas takeover bid is going to screw around their so-called valued customers? I may have to join my bunker-mentality friends and start cashing in my frequent flier points if this sort of behaviour keeps up.

Syndicated 2007-03-30 19:44:35 from Malcolm Tredinnick

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