Ryanair staff abuse customer and then refuse to apologise

25 February 2009

Fuck me. I didn't want to start a post with such profanity, but I simply don't know how else to begin in this instance.

Yes, it's another Ryanair story, but it's one that demonstrates the unbelievable arrogance of the organisation in dealing with its customers. Travolution has reported the tale of an Irish web designer and blogger Jason Roe who wrote about a bug he discovered in the Ryanair booking system. What followed in the comments section is a torrent of abuse aimed squarely at Roe, from somebody claiming to be a member of staff at Ryanair. This is one example:

And this is another:

In fact it was a member of staff from Ryanair. Not only did the IP addresses lead back to the company, but Ryanair confirmed the fact in a later statement. Given that the blogger was never rude or offensive in his manner, you'd expect a company to apologise for the repeated abuse meted out. Not so:

"Ryanair can confirm that a Ryanair staff member did engage in a blog discussion.

"It is Ryanair policy not to waste time and energy corresponding with idiot bloggers and Ryanair can confirm that it won't be happening again.

"Lunatic bloggers can have the blog sphere all to themselves as our people are far too busy driving down the cost of air travel".

Stephen McNamara, Ryanair

Couple of points, then:

  • It's "blogosphere"
  • Your website appears to have been designed by a partially sighted seven year-old in 1996 (largely irrelevant to this story, but satisfying to point out)
  • Whether there is a glitch in the Ryanair site or not is now irrelevant; you have proved yourself to be perhaps the most arrogant, petulant company on the face of this planet. A customer has criticised you, rightly or wrongly, and you have responded by repeatedly abusing him in public, then refusing to apologise and in fact continuing to insult him.
  • If you think this situation has been managed in a reasonable and fair way, you don't deserve to stay in business.

[Travolution]

34 comments

  • Andy B.
    The ryanair website is truly one of the worst websites of a large organisation I have ever had the misfortune to use. You fail to point out that the seven year old who designed it was obviously colourblind, but not as colourblind as the person who designed the lairy inside of a ryanair plane.... but i digest.
  • Liddle m.
    Doesn't surprise me. I've found Ryanair staff at several levels of the organisation to be rude and aggressive when dealing with complaints. I reported another case in an earlier article on BW which led to my decision not to use Ryanair again, given the choice. I wonder what position Stephen McNamara holds in the company. Anyone know?
  • Paul S.
    He's always referred to in news stories as an official spokesperson for the airline.
  • Liddle m.
    I've just seen that Stephen McNamara is an official Ryanair spokesman. Shameful letter from someone charged with representing the company.
  • Chopper
    wow.... just... wow. Their company obviously needs a few lessons in public appearance. I'm a developer and if someone spots a bug (even an anomaly) I would just get it sorted, not start ranting like that... Wow... just... wow.
  • The B.
    Anyone who's travelled Ryanair knows what they're getting in to, presumably why most of us tried it once and then swore never again.
  • Dank
    Un-be-live-able. What a bunch of utter cretins. This Stephen McNamara sounds like a complete and jobsworth - guess we can say what we like about him seeing as he is so preoccupied in trying to "drive down the cost of air travel," single-handedly no doubt.
  • Single F.
    What a reasonable, civilised, professional response from Ryanair. Hope their pilots are chosen with more care than their PR staff!!
  • Liam
    I would rather nail my bollocks and press them in a vice rather than travel with Ryanair again. Michael O'Leary is a jumped up prick too. Lets hope the recession brings them down.
  • Mike
    But hes right (this first comment) and that's all that matters
  • MinstrelMan
    Epic blogging! I litterally lolled all the way through the original blog, what amuses me most is not the public display of disgraceful customer service, but indeed the actual lengths on bullshit tech knowledge these spotty faced teeenage telephone operaters have read up on to try and sound convincing in their threats of hacking any website hosted anywhere in the world. Maybe these ever so intelligent call centre staff should stop watching movies like "Swordfish" and go out in attempt to get laid and not "drive down the cost of flights" as stated by Steve Twat-a-lot
  • Martin
    Ryanair will profit from this anyway. Ryanair .. in news .. cheap flights .. sold. It is amazing how many people say they will never fly Ryanair again (or never again given the choice - whatever that means, you always have the choice) and then use them again when they realise the same or a similar route plus local transport is significantly more expensive with another carrier. In a way it is refreshing to see that some companies have senior people that are human.
  • gravy
    I hope their maintenance engineers don't have the same attitude as their webshite team. Don't bother with the improbable things - just get the main things sorted for the majority - what with our limited resources. Sometimes it is refreshing to see O'Lairy have a pop at various taxes (hypocritical though it is) but in the main - he seems to be a bit of a bell.
  • gravy
    haha - love some of the replies to Ryanair in the comments: I have found some other bugs on your website. For some reason it always has some crappy holiday insurance chosen by default when purchasing a flight. (why?) For some reason the price goes up by 10 euro when you choose your credit card. (You should really change your payment gateway if they are charging you this much per transaction) And also, I don’t now if I am using an older browser or something (Fi
  • -=Mike H.
    Ryanair are driving down the cost of flying by employing complete fucki*ng twa*ts like Steve, then they give them 2 jobs, in this instance it looks like Steve holds the positions, Spokesman and web designer. If customers give staff shit then they can give it back, if they cirticise positively then there is no excuse for reposting with this kind of attitude.
  • Ryanair H.
    [...] http://www.bitterwallet.com/ryanair-staff-abuse-customer-and-then-refuse-to-apologise/8202 [...]
  • Brad
    Is it just me or would it been quicker to just sort out the bug instead of the long tirade against someone else on a blog even though they dont want to waste time and drive down the cost of air travel.
  • Haleema
    OMG,I am just so disgusted with ryanair! What gives them the right to act and behave like this? This Roe guy didnt even write down anything offensive or abusive so why be like that back with him? Im due to fly out with ryanair soon but I probably DEFINITELY wont now!
  • Liddle m.
    @ Martin: "never again given the choice - whatever that means, you always have the choice" Actually there is such a thing as no choice. I regularly fly to Marrakech and sometimes have to do so at the drop of a hat. The last time I went easyJet was the only option available - the other two carriers, one of which is Ryanair, had no availability. It is equally possible that Ryanair will be the only carrier with seats available next time I book (unless you want to be pedantic and suggest that I fly to a third country and book another flight to Marrakech from there, then I effectively have no choice....). So I stick by my original statement ;-)
  • James R.
    I reckon that the RyanAir website IS designed NOT to be customer friendly for the very reason that you just give up looking for the elusive and probably non existent bargain flights and book whatever crap you can find. But, in defense of RyanAir – they’ve always said that you’re paying peanuts so why do people get so upset when all the get is monkeys and planes that smell like public urinals. Let’s all give a cheer to RyanAir for keeping costs down with nothing more than a warehouse full of monkeys….hip…hip….hooray….
  • JT
    I will NEVER fly with Ryan air. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryanair#Criticism "Channel 4 broadcast a documentary as part of its Dispatches series, "Ryanair caught napping". The documentary criticised Ryanair's training policies, security procedures, aircraft hygiene and highlighted poor staff morale. It filmed Ryanair cabin crew sleeping on the job; using aftershave to cover the smell of vomit in the aisle, rather than cleaning it up; ignoring warning alerts on the emergency slide; encouraging staff to falsify references for airport security passes; and asking staff not to recheck passengers' passports before they board flights. Staff in training were falsely told that any Boeing 737-200 (now no longer in service with Ryanair) impact would result in the death of the passenger sitting in seat 1A and that they should not pass this information on to the passenger."
  • Harry P.
    Sounds like a dirty protest is in order! Fill your face full of pie and beans whilst in departures, then take a healthy dose of ExLax courtesy of the Boots also in departures. By the time you're on the flight you should be getting some good movement down there, so just let it go. They want to give shit, well they can have some back.
  • ChorleyMark
    Man sitting in the bar in departures at a busy airport. A beautiful woman walks in and sits down at the table next to him. He concludes that because she's got a uniform on, she's probably an off-duty flight attendant. He decides to have a go at picking her up by identifying the airline she flies for, thereby, he trusts, impressing her greatly. He leans across to her and states the Delta Airlines motto: "We love to fly and it shows" The woman looks at him blankly. He sits back and thinks of another. He leans forward again and this time delivers the Air France motto: "Winning the hearts of the world" =0 A Again she just stares at him with a slightly puzzled look on her face. Undeterred, he tries again, this third time quoting the Malaysian Airlines motto: " Going beyond expectations" The woman straightens herself up, looks at him sternly and demands: "What the f*ck do you want?" "Ah!" the man says, sitting back with a knowing smile on his face. "Ryanair"
  • Ryanair F.
    [...] Originally Posted by andersons_left_foot fine then if thats what there gunna do ill just pee in the middle of the floor see how they like it .. fools was thinkin that haha hopefully no employees are reading this, something like below link may happen Ryanair staff abuse customer and then refuse to apologise | BitterWallet [...]
  • Another B.
    [...] past week has seen the chief exec scrap check-in desks at airports and allowed customers to be treated like the shit on his show. Now O’Leary has told the BBC that he’s considering toilet doors on flights fitted with [...]
  • Is b.
    [...] BitterWallet [...]
  • Ryanair B.
    [...] online strategy. Who cares if you don’t understand the point of blogging or if you defend outrageous and offensive blog posts made by your staff. And does it matter that your website still looks like an educational tool for colour-blind [...]
  • Carolyn
    Ryanair very much has the attitude that if you have a problem with its third-world business practices, you must be stupid. We followed all of their rules for online check-in and accessing boarding passes only to be told that we didn’t have a firm enough grasp of the English language to have done it correctly and therefore they were going to charge us 40 euros. Then they claimed our bags were overweight and charged us 15 euros per kilo. This turned out not to be accurate — at check-in for our Delta flight two hours later in Madrid we learned our bags were only 1 kilo over the limit. Given that even a bankrupt airline such as Delta prefers having customers as opposed to having no customers, pissing them off and treating them like idiots, Delta allowed us to shift out belongings from suitcase to suitcase so as not to be charged extra. We also were charged for two bags we didn’t have and were not allowed priority boarding, for which we had already paid. All in all, it was a disaster, and I will never fly Ryan Air again, nor allow anyone I care about to be their customer. That would include all people who believe in human dignity and decency. On the flight, it was freezing, and even with my daughter’s teeth chattering we were simply told in a cold, dispassionate voice that they had no blankets.
  • jean i.
    I have just come back from Germany to Madrid and I was supposed to pay for an only 1 kilo extra charge, that is 35 euros. I was appalled how the person who would ask people to check the luggages. It was like being simply treated as animals. The lady, an insensible and absolutely rude, mistreated an Irakian one who almost would beg her knelled down to let him go and not paying the money for the extra charge. She would simply repeat "do you think I am stupid?" ignoring that the luggage was filled up with medicines. He was an ill person. That lady would not care that much. He had to open everything and let it there at the sight of everybody, in a very humiliating and bothering situation. 20 minutes it took begging for a forsake or something and she eventually asked for the payment. I was shocked the way she would not forsake anybody, and after all the process I came up with counting around 25 persons who had to pay from 35 to 70 euros and more for their kilos plus. Then I understood that after all you cannot bring much of things with you, because of the limit weight per luggage. It is not that the aircraft would crash because of my extra charge, all the contrary, they take advantage on a very simple need to bring stuffs that would surpass the limit they say. That is a very lucrative way which more and more prove that in fact the condition as a low cost company is not that low as they say. There should be something to prove that the way Ryanair impose the limit weight per luggage it is indeed abusive. There should be someone smart enough to prove how illegal is that and make it that way to put an end to such of embarrassing situation. After paying the 78 or something for the ticket, adding the 35 euros that was like 113 euros more or less. I had to come from Bonn to the Airport. I had to pay the train, 66 euros plus the buss Bohr one that cost me 12 euros. 72 euros plus 78 euros, it took me after all 150 euros. I am simply astonished and almost shocked since I understood that there is no way to make people at that company to be responsible for who they bother the customers with their terms and conditions. In the airplane, all the way, there was no chance to get a comfortable sleep after a long night travel from Bonn to the Airport. Being so tired I would simply need to sleep. I could not since every time they would sell products of any kind making the promotions through the megaphones. You know how miserable sound this, then how miserable is when a bad English women with such of irritative voice speaks through the phone. It was like washing brain campaign. They came up with selling lottery and bothering issues like that. Is there really anybody able to something against that situation? Is there any way that we people mistreated make a one voice and do something against that Company?
  • ryan
    i really dont see what the hate is all about they are the cheapest around FACT! no Frill air BUS! what do u expect HONESTLY? they bring you there and back!simple as! Stephen Mc namara and Micheal Oleary are very Savy business men and know exactly what they are doing and how to play u guys coz at the end of the day the joke is on you the next time ur on a ryanair flight!
  • jean i.
    Ryan you are so hypocrite and so superficial with such of opinion. What coincidence to be a so called "Ryan" who has posted that comment here. You might associate you name with this bullshit of the Company and that makes you happy and feel so yourself in your shoes, but we associate our travel experience with the lake of respect this Company shows to us. You may not have been hunted for your extra luggages kilos,yet! You may be the one who laughs at people because you find about yourself that you are so correct. But HEY! I want to see you judging again when you make your mistake 35 pounds or euros extra money for them ...And hey!, you know we are human. We accept the terms and conditions of this shit of Company and we assume we have to pay for our mistakes, The Mistakes market that fuel the account of Ryanair. I understand it! But the respect it's priceless. Hey funny RYAN, you proud of yourself, answer that question: How much should we pay to be respected, given your dumb reason that everything is so cheap? Is the character, yours and Ryanair's that cheap that you don't see people complaining because they are humiliated, because they are pushed to get rid of their own things to get the 10 kilos admitted? Answer this and I will try to understand your superficiality.
  • Dodgy
    Stephen McNamara is a gob shite and a coward - he hides behind the fact you cannot contact him!!
  • Dear B.
    [...] let’s be honest here – pouring an awful lot of PR horseshit down his throat. Ryanair does ‘understand’ social media and that blogs are generally based on opinion (which is why we generally ignore them – unless [...]
  • Mr M.
    The best action: Send a letter to your local airport authority requesting that the airport allocate slots for the same destinations to airlines different than Ryan Air (Polish, Checz, Portuguese, Austrian, Scandinavian, etc..). They have about the same fares and do a much better job especially at check-ins and security gates. The seating and organization is much better as well. The aim is that Ryan Air has fewer slots in your local airport so you have a choice of good airlines for your destinations. There are plenty of better airlines in the world, make sure they operate in your local airport instead of RyanAir Forward to all your friends...

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