Ryanair's customer support breaches EU law, trapped in the 1990s

11 March 2011

Bitterwallet - Ryanair new plane liveryWe 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.

[This is Money]

TOPICS:   Travel   World News   Scams

9 comments

  • Alexis
    "We aim to reply to letters and correspondence within 7 days of receiving it." Er, why not just reply to emails within 7 days of receipt then? Just cos the words are displayed on a magical light box, it doesn't make them special.
  • Nick T.
    Strange how these fuckwits turn to the law to try and close down Ihateryanair, but mock it when courts remind them of their obligations. Actually, it's not strange at all.
  • Jamie S.
    I refuse to give Ryanair any of my money. I will happily pay the 10% to fly with other low cost carriers like Easyjet.
  • smashingnicey
    Is the luggage crying? I think I would be if I flew with that bunch o dodgy sods
  • lumoruk
    LloydsTSB doesn't give out an email address either, should I complain?
  • Super L.
    Do they have to read their email or just have an address @Alexis Did you read it or finish at that sentence, giving out an email address would probably increase the amount of mail by 1001%
  • Dex
    So why don't the CAA or whoever controls flight licensing just revoke Ryan Air's until they sort thier shit out....the mind boggles..
  • Jeebus
    My god, for anyone who complains about Ryanair, try flying Aeorflot, SAS or Air France or anyone of a number of international airlines who fly in an around the EU. I'm an expat living in the Far East and have had the misfortune of traveling with many of these airlines. With Ryanair, you get what you pay for. I paid 2 quid for a return flight to Milan Bergamo and 14 euro for a return bus ticket from the airport to the city centre. Compare that with a 60 pound single using easyjet. Anyone who thinks BA or other "premium" airlines give a shit about them because they're paying 5~10 times the price is kidding themselves. For example Aeorflot, they can't even be arsed putting on flight attendants who can speak the language of the country you're flying out of, or SAS who make you check-in and bag-drop at different desks making you queue twice for the privilege of them ripping you off.
  • jr1961
    Dear Jeebus, All companies that you listed are miles ahed of Ryanair. Calculate the real price of your travel with ryanair, adding al airport and board extras, and the difference of land transport from their remote airport at nowhere. Take into your calculation that most of travellers do care about changing their underwear and clothes while on vacations, and they cannot fint into Ryanair's limit for luggage. All those other companies that you listed respect the IATA limits - much higher than Ryanair. Ryanair is flying to Slovakia, but they do not staff their aircraft with Slovak speaking attendants. Do all companied flying to Budapest have cabin crews fluent in Hungarian? Why do you need Aeroflot to do it? Don't believe that your language is one that everyone has to speak.

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