Sample of reply to complaint letter: The Airasia Case

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Dear Valued Customer MR. XX XX,

Good afternoon, MR. XX XX we are so sorry to have replied to your letter in such lateness as we have received your complaint letter on 25 April 2011. Please accept my formal apology on behalf Air Asia BHD to have not provided with you, one of our most valuable customers, quality customer service experience due to our lateness in responding your letter and the most importantly, the disturbance that we should not have made to you regarding the ticket that you had purchase 13 February 2010 (ABCDEF) with the round trip from Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong with the going flight on 10 February 2011 and return flight three days later on 13 February 2011.

Firstly, let us extend our sincere apology again for any convenience caused as we have noticed that this unsuccessful purchase not only make you lose a trip to between Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong that you have been planning for a whole year and also the large loss which could not be measured I am afraid but had been caused to your company due to the unsuccessful trip.

Secondly let me try to explain how this much regretful technical mistake happened one year ago which should not have been left uncorrected for a whole year time. According to the record in our system, on 13 February 2010 (01:53 AM) you have purchase three round trip tickets in an Airasia Go packages from Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong with the going flight on 10 February 2011 and return flight three days later on 13 February 2011 (accommodation for two nights at Hong Kong Sweden’s Hotel inclusive) which generated the booking number XXXXX under the registered member account [email protected] The price of the ticket including the accommodations and all the tax and service charges was RM 699.00 per ticket and all together the total amount incurred would be RM2,097.00. And I believe that the above information has been confirmed by you as we can see from the content of your letter.
But unfortunately, things did not go as well and smoothly as we had hoped. Due to the high volume of website visiting because of the promotion activity, we had also experienced overload of the payment transactions in our payment system that had resulted in several times of temporary payment system down which last from AM 01:59 to 02:22, 2:40 to 3:22, 4:20 to 4:49 as recorded in our system log. And unfortunately though your transaction had been made on AM 01:53 before the malfunction of payment system, but the follow up work of the payment had been interrupted by the system down problems. And in order to avoid double booking from the customers, we had made a decision to send out an early confirmation notice to all those who had made the payment before the system corruption. This the print receipt that you had shown us in the attachment of the letter that you sent us. But unfortunately due to the technical problems we had not added the three names to the customer list of those two particular flights though the payment was successful as we had check with the financial department that there was an RM 2,097.00 transaction from your credit card account which proves that your credit card statement that you have sent to us is correct.

And actually in the same day after the system corruption that had directly resulted in the mistake on our side, we had carried out a routine job to double confirm that all the payment made at a time closed to the corruption period to ensure that all the bookings and payments were carefully handled with consistence between payment and booking made. But one of our agents did make a critical mistake by neglecting the booking payment that was tied with the booking XXXX. So the booking XXX without a relative payment record became invalid after the 24 hours’ pending period without a notice to the customers.

Now with your timely report, we had discovered this unusual error which could not be accepted by both our company and any customers in your positions. Again much regret and apology should be extended from our end on behalf of the Air Asia Group for any convenience and loss caused by this technical error that we had made in the old payment system.

With much regret, soon after the receiving your letter, we were astonished by the mistake and also we have been trying to seek some solutions in order to turn the case into a better direction and after the negotiation with the senior management, we now try to do something within our authorization and also offer you two options that we hope can be helpful in this case as a kind of compensations.

The first job that we will do is that we can issue a formal email or regular mail to you company to claim that our company had made this mistake which was fully our responsibility and this email or mail could be redirected to any party that your company needs to make the clarification to.

Below are two options that we could offer to you but please notice that you could only take up one of them.

Option 1: we can provide with you a full refund only to your original credit card that you had used to make the payment and the amount to be refunded would be RM 2,097.00. The credit card number would be XXXX XXXX XXXX 1254 under the credit card holder’s name: XX XX XX. If a different account to be refunded to is needed, please provide another account detail to us which should be under the same account holder: XX XX XX and should also the detail in term of account number, bank’s name and opening bank address should be provided. Beside the full refund, we will also provide with you RM 300 credit points which would be stored in your Air Asia account with the account name: [email protected] for you to purchase Air Asia ticket in the future. And please notice that the credit points could only be used to purchase tickets but could not be used to pay the hotel accommodation fee and its expiry day is the day after 3 months since the day it is issued. But you can use it to buy any tickets available on our online booking system for yourself or your friends.

Option 2: we will postpone your flight to any day within the next three months and also the accommodations will also be included. But please notice that you could not change the route which means that you could only change the days but not the destinations as according to our basic term and conditions. By considering that you and your friends may not want to fly at all, with special approval from our vice president we also allow you to change the names of the customers to other people’s names by providing the old customer’s and new customer’ scan passport if you choose to make the name change. What’s more on flight lunch would be provided to you and your other two friends during the flights if you choose this options.

Any clarifications and further negotiations, please contact our customer service hot line and provide the booking number and request to be transferred to the manager for further following up and what’ more I will make a note in your record so that when our agents see your account they could be able to view this special case and handle with care so that you don’t have to explain the case the them again and will be directed to me as soon as possible.

Your sincerely & with much regret
Customer Service Manager