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United to Turn Off Customer Complaint Line

AOL Travel reports that [[United]] is shutting down an Indian call center as a first step to disconnecting its customer relations phone service entirely. Instead, passengers will be asked to submit complaints and compliments via email or letter. The phone number will be shut off and removed from circulation by the end of April.

While this may seem like an extremely customer-unfriendly decision, United claims to have done a lot of research and learned that customers are generally more satisfied with the responses they receive from written comments. The airline’s theory is that customers put more thought and detail into emails and letters, which enables customer service reps to respond more effectively.

I’ll let you be the judge on this one: Do you prefer speaking to someone on the phone or composing an email or letter? Both come with big negatives—being put on hold for hours on the phone, and waiting and waiting and waiting for a reply to your email—but clear positives as well. Weigh in with your thoughts and leave a comment below. Thanks!

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