The difference between American and New Zealand Customer Service.

I am planning a trip to New Zealand. I am flying Air New Zealand. A Great Airline. I have flown them once and had no issues and felt very safe (ranked # 6 in the world in fact!). Very friendly staff and they speak English, which is helpful on international flights given my lack of foreign language knowledge.

Where are all the Hobbits at?
Where are all the Hobbits at?

Anyway like most airlines now, Air new Zealand has begun charging for checked baggage. With Air New Zealand, the first bag is free, the second will cost you (up to $125! YIKES).

Thankfully they are running a promotion where the second bag is only $1.


Pack up!!
Pack up!!

So I recently called the Air New Zealand customer service to add the extra bag for $1.  But sadly, I was not able to get the bag added for a dollar due to some issues.  Along with some interesting cultural differences for which I will now share:

Representative:  “I am sorry, but I cannot add your extra bag for $1 and you will have to buy it at the airport if you need it.
But, Why do Americans travel with so much stuff? You only wear 50% of the clothes anyway.  You don’t need an extra bag. Just back less stuff.”

Well, then.  I guess I will not be having an extra bag and be packing less stuff!  That is one way to solve my customer service issue.


Probably the result of overpacking
Probably the result of overpacking


Now this is a bit different than how things would be handled in the U.S.


The rep would have to bend over backwards to make things work. God forbid he/she/machine robot call center did not get the correct solution. Otherwise said customer would plaster the horrific situation all over social media, twitter and Facebook describing what a crap company he/she had to deal with.

Well, I guess I am doing that now. LOL. There goes my self-awareness!

But the point is still the same. The USA bends over backwards to satisfy people. Maybe we shouldn’t be always doing that?  I don’t know. Don’t listen to me. I am just some dude typing my thoughts into a screen. But there is something to packing only a small bag . How much stuff do I really need to bring? I can only wear one shirt at a time.

In New Zealand, the customer is not always right. In this case it actually cost the company money ( a nominal $1 fee), but maybe she was working in the company’s interest as if I want to check a bag, I will have to pay the full price (advertised at $125!!!) at the airport.
Tricky. Very Very sneaky!!!


George Carlin Said it best:

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