Airlines tend to have the “worst customer service” of any organisation, a new investigation from Newstalk has found.
In the first episode of Newstalk’s three-part Thank You For Holding series on Moncrieff, Simon Tierney investigates just how long it takes to get through to an actual person when trying to address issues with a whole range of organisations.
Simon rang up Government departments, phone companies, banks, delivery companies and energy providers - and what he found might surprise you.
“Generally, airlines had the worst customer service,” he said.
“Out of all the time that I spent waiting for companies to pick up, Ryanair had by far the longest wait time - that was 14 minutes and 52 seconds.
“Nobody answered at 14.52, I just gave up.
“So, I don’t know how long that would have gone on but I did not get to speak to someone’s customer careline.”
In a statement to Newstalk, Ryanair said:
"Ryanair is Europe’s number one airline for low fares, reliability and customer service with a customer satisfaction score of 85%.
"Should any of our more than 500,000 daily customers require assistance, they can contact our dedicated customer service team by phone or email, visit our comprehensive online help centre or avail of our live chat option at Ryanair.com."
I've been carrying out research on telephone customer service in Ireland. Will be discussing w/ @SeanMoncrieff at 3.20 today. I've surveyed wait times, functionality & hold music.
Longest wait: Ryanair [14 m 52 s]
Shortest wait: Dept. of Children, Irish gov [45 s]
A thread 🧵
— Simon Tierney (@tierneysimon) July 25, 2023
Notably, Government Departments were the only organisations that offered people the option of doing their business as Gaeilge and their staff were also much quicker at picking up the phone.
“The shortest was the Department of Children - which was reassuring,” Simon said.
“That was a very brief 45 seconds - almost instantly after going through the options.
“I called about five or six Government Departments and they averaged at one minute and 11 seconds.
“That compares to a general average of four minutes and 13 seconds.”
Aside from companies’ consistently “dreadful taste” in music, Simon found a lot were also having to warn their customers against scams.
“You can imagine in the current climate, a lot of people are calling up to get some kind of clarity on whether money has been stolen from their account,” he said.
“There’s been so many horror stories of late.”
Perhaps the most shocking horror story that Simon heard of them all was that of an Australian man who spent 15 hours and 40 minutes on hold to the airline Qantas - about 62 times the amount of time Simon spent on the phone to Ryanair before he gave up.
The second episode of Thank You For Holding airs on Moncrieff this afternoon.
You can listen back here:
Main image: Split of Simon and a woman on the phone.