Home > Strategy > I Was Their Loyal Customer Till Recently, This is How MakeMyTrip Lost My Trust | A Lesson For Other StartUps

I Was Their Loyal Customer Till Recently, This is How MakeMyTrip Lost My Trust | A Lesson For Other StartUps

I have always used MakeMyTrip to book my flights. Believe me, I always had a wonderful experience and never faced any challenge for booking, rescheduling or cancellation of my tickets. Over the last one year alone I would have booked about a two dozen national and international flights via MMT. MMT guys would call or mail me all the time to share details of new services, packages and discounts introduced by them. Everything was wonderful till last week. This one experience lost all the credibility and trust that MMT had built with me over last 6-7 years.

I had a Mumbai-Delhi flight on 10th February. One day before the flight, it was cancelled by the airline (GoAir). I was given an option by the airline to opt from the other flight options from the same airline or get a refund and book my own flight. I opted for the refund. On 13th February I got a mail from the airline that the refund has been made to the account of my travel agent (MMT). I trusted MMT to credit the amount back to my account. By any logic, I should have either got a refund in my account or at least intimation from MMT that the airline has refunded my money and is lying with them. I trusted them. But, I was wrong.

A few months passed and I booked a few more flights using MMT but never cared to check on the refund (my mistake, I should have). Meanwhile MMT folks would have mailed and called me numerous times to sell new packages, a co-branded credit card and scores of other things. But, only one thing they never told me on call or mail was that some of my money was lying with them.

Last week, don’t know why, I thought of checking my mails and bank account/credit card details to spot any refund by MMT. To my surprise, there was none. I called up the customer care to check on the refund and they agreed that the airline had refunded an amount of INR 7,846 for my cancelled flight on 13th February. On asking that why did the company not refund the amount back to me for almost four months when they had my money, I was informed that the customer has to initiate the refund against a cancelled flight and not MMT. Okay, I got it!

I tried to reason with the customer care team and their bosses that between the day the airline credited the refund to MMT and when today I called, MMT made tons or calls and wrote scores of mails to me, but never cared to intimate me about my 7,800 plus rupees lying with them. All they did was to repeat the company policy, which states that the customer has to initiate the refund and not the company. Furthermore, I had ‘agreed’ to the terms and conditions of the company while booking the ticket where, in some sub-clause of a clause, it was mentioned that the customer, and not the company, has to initiate a refund. Finally, I bowed down to the rules of the company and accepted my defeat. The customer care agent suddenly sounded so victorious and so full of confidence on using terms and conditions of the company to defeat my logic.

Still, I felt that I had been wronged. All the faith and trust that the company had build in my mind for last 6-7 years came crashing down. Although the company did nothing wrong if we go by the rule-book. And, yes I had signed on the rule-book by which they play the game. Still, this one experience has successfully replaced my trust in them with suspicion. It’s not about the money. INR 7,846 is not big enough an amount for me to bother. It’s about caring for the customer and communicating with him when it is actually required and is of importance to the customer.

Next time I might again use the platform to book my tickets, but it will be riddled with caution.

A lesson for other startups:

A startup, or for that matter any company, may safeguard itself with the fine-print in the “Terms & Conditions” or the “Conditions Apply”, and rightly so. But, a customer looks for transparency in communication. Predictability in the transactions that he has with your organisation. A customer will be happy to read your mails and listen to all your calls if you provide him with the information he needs and not what you want him to hear. If you keep bombarding the customer with all the information that he does not require but hide one information that is of utmost importance to him, you have lost the trust forever. Think about it.

Categories: Strategy
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