Wednesday, July 05, 2006


I have lived long enough now in this country to stop getting wound up about everytime French customer service is lacking. There are so many other benefits to living here, you just have to live with the fact that the customer is very, very rarely right in the minds of those employed in the French service industry.

However, I do have to share with you a couple of pieces of recent communication courtesy of Air France and American Airlines. A perfect case study, some might say, in the extremes of these two nations.

I had contacted both companies to request a name change on their frequent flier programmes that I belong to. The American Airlines process was completed online. Air France, having failed to reply to my intial online query of what documentation was required, are replying to a letter that I sent along with a copy of my marriage certificate.

Both replies were received on the same day.


Nous avons bien reçu votre demande.

Pour nous permettre d'effectuer cette mise à jour, nous vous invitons à nous retourner un justicatif d'identité.

Nous vous remercions de votre fidélité et vous prions d'agréer, Madame, nos
salutations distinguées.

(Quick translation: Thanks for your request, in order to complete this update please send us a piece of identification. Yours sincerely.... )

Good Morning Mrs. Lxxxx,

Thank you for your e-mail. I'm delighted to help.

Congratulations on your marriage.

As requested, I have changed the name on your account.

Again, thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond. I look forward to assisting you in the future.

Have a great day and nice holiday.

Regards, Ms. P. Lee AAdvantage Customer Service American Airlines

P.S. I noticed that you're not earning AAdvantage® miles for your creditcardpurchases, which is so easy to do. For a limited time, with the Citi® PlatinumSelect® /AAdvantage® World MasterCard, you will earn 25,000 bonus miles after you make $250 in purchases with the card. And you will earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on purchases up to 100,000 miles per year towards award travel on American Airlines flightsor with AAdvantage® program participants. To speak with a Citi representative about enrolling, please call 800-640-1517 (be sure to have your AAdvantage number handy). Or use this link to visit the Web site:

Oh, how I chortled... then cursed as I had to trot off to the Post Office and send another letter and photocopy to Air France.

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