Eurostar Earns a Second Chance

Last Updated Jul 1, 2010 6:08 AM EDT

In my last post, I had some harsh words and pointed advice for Eurostar's customer service team. Over two weeks from my initial inquiry, Eurostar's Traveller Care team responded.

Here's how I graded the end-to-end experience.

  • Responsiveness - Poor. Two-plus weeks for a response of any kind is just too long.
  • Expectation setting - Poor but improving. Had Eurostar's automated response indicated that I should expect a response within 14 days, I might not have liked the time lag, but at least I would know when to expect something... anything.
    A better plan of setting expectations and then better execution in meeting those expectations can preclude angst and mitigate consumers' ill will. To its credit, once Eurostar moved to respond, it set a refund payment timeline (which they met).
  • Flexibility - Above average. Better than the airlines and better than I expected. Eurostar refunded my expenses in full and did so without charging a "handling fee" as the airlines do.
What else did Eurostar do right?
  • Trusting customers -- Eurostar required no letter from a surgeon prior to issuing the rebate, whereas airlines do. Companies that fail to trust their customers set in motion a wheel of mistrust. They tacitly convey "we don't trust you, and you shouldn't trust us either." Are abuses possible? Absolutely! Nonetheless, it is incumbent on companies to set the tone of trust. Essentially, "we trust you, and you can trust us."
  • Human service -- Eurostar demonstrated a sincere concern about the hospitalisation and wished us a speedy recovery. By extending the concern, the Eurostar's representative (who I'll never know) created a connection between consumer and company. Commerce, and the world, benefits when people are treated with respect and compassion.
Eurostar proved companies can recover from a slow start. It's unclear whether their response (24 hours after my post) was prompted by my public complaint on BNET or just a [slow] process which finally reached a conclusion.

Regardless, once Eurostar's Traveller Care team leapt into action it was simple and painless. Based on this "fair" experience, and in keeping with 90 percent of the population, I'm willing to give Eurostar a second chance.

Which companies have earned second chances with you and how did they earn it?

(Photo: AlyssaLMiller, CC2.0)