American Airlines issued a statement disagreeing with a STELLAservice survey that placed its average customer service hold times in last place during Hurricane Irene. During the eight calls placed by the survey team, the average hold time they experienced was 1hr and 32 minutes, while American Airlines say their internal metrics showed an average hold time of 21 minutes.
American Airlines said to Consumerist:
We disagree with the findings of the study. We believe it is highly inaccurate and based on an insufficient sample size – eight calls and 12 tweets on average – that skewed results and does not represent reality. We handled more than 100,000 calls on Friday, and during the period in question our customers waited an average of 21 minutes – far less than alleged and in line with most of our peers. Our response time for AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum and Gold customers averaged from 30 seconds to less than three minutes per call.
American Airlines turned the knife further when the NYT reached them for comment, adding to the above, “We believe the publication of such a study without giving us the opportunity to respond is unprofessional and irresponsible.”
In response, STELLAService CEO Jordy Leiser told Consumerist, “STELLAService used random sampling and multiple interactions, including more than 200 engagements via phone and Twitter at multiple times throughout the day, to generate a reliable, representative snapshot of how each airline was handling customer service inquiries during the hours leading up to Hurricane Irene. To evaluate the airlines’ customer service performance, the study sought to have one interaction per hour between 12:00am and 6:30pm ET on Friday, August 26th.”