Profit from panic: The MakeMyTrip strategy✈️

How is that a company listed on NASDAQ in US does not have an email id on their website for customer complaints ? Difficult to digest, right? But this is the case with the online travel company MakeMyTrip. Their answer is a customer support link that lets you cancel or re-schedule an existing booking; but where do you register a challenge you face with the existing booking and is looking for a amicable resolution?

You can try the call centre and in the present coronavirus pandemic situation, rest assured that you will take a minimum of 30 min (if you are lucky) to get a call connected to an executive. This is understandable, considering the large volumes of calls from people who want to modify their travel arrangements.

But then, you think MakeMyTrip has pan India operations, you can approach any of their retail offices right? Wrong. The retail offices cater only to the holiday packages, all flight and hotel booking are handled through their call centre. Hence even if you reach their office in the city, you will be dialling to the call centre and waiting in queue.

But the worst is yet to come.

Profit from panic
Profit from panic

The Government of India has issued a directive stating that Indian nationals are strongly advised to avoid all non-essential travel abroad considering the coronavirus pandemic. Subsequently the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) came out with a notification telling airlines to waive cancellation / re-scheduling charges. Keeping these in mind any responsible individual will plan to postpone or cancel his travel plans.

Let’s consider the re-scheduling of the travel plans. You call the respective airlines asking to postpone the date of travel free of charges, they ask for the booking id. You reply saying it was made through MakeMyTrip and their reply is then you will have to go through MakeMyTrip for any changes. 

And at MakeMyTrip the standard Customer Support link does not allow for waiver of charges. The usual cost of re-scheduling is charged plus any increase in fare going forward. It is at this moment that you wish to speak to an executive or send out a mail asking for support. They have no email id to address this and well the call centre….half your day will be wasted without any resolution.

The executives at the call centre claim ignorance of any waiver of charges either for cancellation or re-scheduling. They say they have received no such information, usually circulated via internal emails in their office. You know it is a lie – a travel company unaware of the government directives and airline polices cannot exist. And they continue saying that for any such waivers, you have to approach the airlines themselves. This is exactly what you tried in Round 1, where the airlines said you have to go through the booking agent. Ask the call to be passed to the supervisor, they executive will say the supervisor is busy and that they have the same information.

It is at this time that you realise that unless MakeMyTrip initiates the request for waiver of charges  for cancellation or re-scheduling, the airline will not accept; unless you made the booking directly with the airlines. And MakeMyTrip will not do any such thing, they will not loose out on the revenue received. They are the middlemen after all. What do you do? You just lost you money booking through MakeMyTrip without even given an option of altering the travel plans.

The trust with a company, its management, its products and services are built on how they react and help the customers in a crisis and MakeMyTrip has proved that they intend to profit from the panic.

Till next post, take care!!

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