06/02/2011

easyJet et Minder : playing for time!

Not only football teams, but also governments and big companies, use time-wasting tactics when convenient. easyJet and the Swiss parliament have just adopted this tactic.


Coming back from a short holiday (far from an airport!) I caught up on the news via TV and the papers. Two items caught my attention: the vote of the Swiss parliament to delay for (at least) a year any vote on the initiative of Thomas Minder "Contre les rémunérations abusives" and the report in the magazine "Bon à Savoir" of the golfer who had to pay dearly to have his golf clubs brought back from Morocco. Both involve unacceptable delaying tactics.

The vote in the Swiss Parliament has lessened even more my faith in politicians. Whether or not one approves of the text of this initiative, the fact remains that it was submitted over 3 years ago, in February 2008. Natural justice (and perhaps the Swiss laws) would dictate that it should be voted on by the Swiss within a reasonable time, with or without any counter-project that the Swiss Parliament might propose. I have difficulty in seeing how the fact that, apparently, no suitable counter-project can be agreed upon should be considered an acceptable excuse for not putting the original proposition to the vote.

The second subject, the report of the golfer who had to pay over 100 Swiss francs to have his golf clubs accompany him on his easyJet flight back from Morocco, was of particular interest to me. As a golfer, I have frequently taken my clubs on flights, including to Morocco, without ever having to pay any extra. When I read the article, what struck me, however, was not that this had happened (the low-cost airlines, struggling with the price of jet fuel, are adopting all sorts of tactics to take extra money from passengers), nor even why it only happened on the return trip, but the remark that it had taken the owner of the golf clubs seven e-mail enquiries to get a proper answer.

Regrettably, this confirms my own observations that it is difficult to get a proper and informed reply within a reasonable time from easyJet (Swiss or UK). The last time that I tried this myself, I had to wait over a month just for a simple acknowlegement that my message had arrived. I equally know someone who, months after the event, was still waiting for compensation from them for a suitcase damaged in transit (wheels broken).

I am sure that many people reading this could also find examples of unacceptable delaying tactics apparently designed simply to play for time, in the hope that any complainant will just give up in disgust. All that I can offer as advice is that, when sending e-mails, it is possible to ask for a confirmation that the message has been received and read.

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