Ryanair's customer support breaches EU law, trapped in the 1990s
We often say this, but despite being the biggest bunch of douchebags in the sky, we've a sly admiration for Ryanair. Perhaps it's their unshakable belief that they can treat their customers however they see fit because they realise that price really is all that matters. Or perhaps it's the way they dismiss minor inconveniences like, say, the law whenever it suits them.
This is Money reports that the European Commission has told Irish authorities it must uphold rules which require internet based companies to provide a contact email address.
Ryanair doesn't bother with that. While it's happy to trade on the intermaweb and demand you check in online, the only way to contact Ryanair is through its two premium phone numbers - one a priority line that costs £1 per minute - or by letter. Or fax. Welcome to 1994, kids.
Having a customer service policy firmly entrenched in the previous century is obviously a concern - not listing an email address is 'incompatible' with demands of the E-Commerce Directive. But wait, here's some bullish brilliance from chief mouthpiece Stephen McNamara:
'It won't keep me awake at night because our process has worked for the past 15 – 20 years. We aim to reply to letters and correspondence within 7 days of receiving it. If we do implement an email address then it will probably just slow down the whole process.'
There is a point in this; while many consumers are rational and logical folk, there are plenty who are quick to dash off a furious email and threaten companies with Trading Standards and Watchdog if they don't get their own way, sometimes over the most minor of misdemeanors. Allowing customers to contact Ryanair by email would open up the floodgates, chiefly because there's an awful lot to complain about - and that means more expense for Ryanair in employing staff to deal with them.
Still, you can't have it all ways - Ryanair wants the convenience of online interaction only when it suits them, and that's a lousy way to treat customers.