Slow Scoot update

It’s Wednesday. Been more than a week since the campaign started. I can see Scoot reading my FB messages but they don’t reply.

We know see how the customer service process works – there is no service.

The people on the phone listen and supposedly take notes and then tell you someone will call you back. No one ever does.

On social media they ignore. Then you keep going and they ask you to use FB messenger. I  presume this is to take it off of the public space and into private messaging. 

You send them the required info and then tbey tell you someone will call you. 

No one ever does.

Low cost clearly means low touch.

Low class.



Saturday now. No call.

FB message asking me to send a screenshot of my issue. As if it was some technical error.

Told them to read the notes from the many calls I made where I was told they were for thwere manager who would call me back.

No calls. Going on a week soon.


original post on tues.
Scoot replied on FB on Tuesday evening.

I sent them a FB message immediately after.

They finally saw the message as of Wednesday night.

It’s Thursday.

Speedy delivery…

Keeping tabs on how slow Scoot customer service really is

Wrote this yesterday ::

After weeks of calling it seems the only way to get a Scoot response is to do the whole social media shame thing. Which is lame.

Here is the FB thread – seems they don’t reply on phone, twitter or email so will keep tabs here ::

feel free to pile on and share your Scoot horror stories – sounds like everyone hates their customer service.

I wonder if they discuss this in the inflight magazine much? 😉

What sucks about low cost and Scoot

I try to relate the real world or my experiences to my craft of making product. Usually when I mentor or talk to startups one of the drums you will hear me beat is around customer service. It is a very simple concept – try to delight your customers with your craft but in the event something doesn’t go well and your customer asks for help. Be sure to reply quick, try to help and follow it up. It really isn’t rocket science, no growth hacking is needed and all you need is email.

I often wonder why I beat this drum so much and a recent terrible Scoot experience coupled with a recent great experience from Bosch has reminded my why I care about this so much. It is almost always the difference in that customer service from something low cost sucks and customer service from a luxury or higher cost brand is usually great. I believe this is worth paying for. More importantly as someone crafting an online product – you don’t have to be luxury to set your product or brand apart. Just surprise and delight your customer with great customer service. Something they usually associate with a a high cost item but when associated with a lower cost item – they will be your customer forever.

Back in my days selling enterprise software I used to have some awesome quarters and would get some extra cash now and then. I would try to upscale my wardrobe a bit since I was not known for being a snappy dresser. I was known for my mad tech sales skills. 😉

I happened to get introduced to Wilkes Bashford in San Francisco and would shop there exclusively for dress items. Service was amazing. They remembered me, catered to me and allowed trying to look better painless. It wasn’t the cheapest but I didn’t care. I had good quality items that fit me well and that looked like I knew how to dress.

For many years I was not making any money for a while and of course never bought any nice things. First world problems I know. So after a year or so while working again, this time at Yahoo, I stopped by a Wilkes branch in Palo Alto – happened to see a jacket I liked and picked it up. They fitted me, called my old sales guy from the San Francisco office, had it delivered there on my way to the airport on my way out of the city. Their service had not changed one bit and of course this is why it was very easy for me to slip back in and buy something. Like crack that shit is.

So let’s talk about Scoot. I used to fly AirAsia and after having some stuff stolen in our luggage we switched to JetStar. That worked for a bit but then one day I was one kilo over in my carry on and suddenly was paying like 70 SGD to get out of the airport. Okay. On to Scoot. Been flying Scoot for over a year for all of our regional travel for family and business pretty much exclusively.

Shit had to happen eventually and it did. The issue is not that something happened, that was inevitable, but the core of my hatred for Scoot is back to the customer service issue. They treated my family horribly and to this day have yet to return any of my phone calls. Not one time have they called me back.

I am not even sure it is worth getting into the specifics but basically the Nok Scoot counter in Bangkok made a mistake that prevented my wife from flying which meant we all had to stay in Bangkok till we could sort it out. The Scoot call center actually agreed that Nok Scoot made a mistake and was trying to fix it but yet they couldn’t. Seems people on the phone can’t tell people on the ground what to do – this is also the other issue with the way the cheap airlines are run with all sorts of joint ventures that seem to answer to no one.

To add insult to injury once we finally sorted the issue – Scoot had cancelled my return tickets because we didn’t use them. No one seemed to connect the dots to discover that Nok Scoot didn’t let us fly – we didn’t cancel the tickets. So it took 2 days on the phone to get our tickets back but I had to pay 300 SGD to do it. Highway robbery!

Upon returning home to Singapore, also giving us the chance to confirm with Singapore immigration that Nok Scoot had no right to deny boarding, I decided to call Scoot to get some help. I made close to 5 phones calls with each time being told there was no manager available to speak to and that the customer service person could not help us. I was told each time that a manager would call me back when available. No one ever called back.

In order to get Scoot’s attention I cancelled my card so I could deny their change payment. Now I am waiting for that phone call.

Scoot sucks but maybe this was all the fault of Nok Scoot. Regardless the issue is all about customer service. I might be paying lower rates but they could still provide excellent customer service. They choose not to. It reminds me of all that is wrong with discount air and how the consumer has little choice but to accept the crappy service or use a REAL airline like Singapore Air who I am sure would not have put us through this. After losing 3 nights in a hotel, time at work, and time at school for my kids – there is no way that the discount air price was worth it.

In short. Scoot sucks ass.

Let’s talk about Bosch now. Months ago I stopped into Courts in Singapore to find a vacuum cleaner. I did not do any research. I looked at the machines and then asked the sales guy what he thought. Lots of comments about different brands but in summary he simply said – I would buy Bosch, it costs more (not compared to Dyson though). However they have great after sales support with a local service center and spare parts in 48 hours. So I bought Bosch.

This past week I lost the filter for the vacuum cleaner. Probably ended up in the garbage. So I called Bosch. Answered the phone in seconds. Checked stock. Held the filter for pick up. Was even a reasonable replacement charge. I was in and out in 5 mins at the service center. They had snacks and coffee which I hardly had time to finish.

Point is. I will buy Bosch again. Their service rocks.

Scoot. I will avoid like the plague. Their service sucks ass.

Startups – use customer service to your advantage. It is your secret, affordable, weapon.

Enuff said.

I love cool people on Twitter

One of my pet peeves is when you tweet to someone and they don’t reply back. Of course I am not saying everyone has to but it’s when they do.

Take Don Melton for example.

I follow his podcast and hear him on other podcasts and I check out his encoding work.

I say him tweet something that I had a reply and some questions to. Boom. He replied.

I have had less famous people than Don never reply to – people with loss followers but who are so full of themselves they don’t reply.

I always unfollow these people.

Here is out tweet discussion for reference ::

Thanks Don – that was fun!

Forbes interview with Ross Levinsohn

It is a good read and you see some of the inside info that people don’t talk much about.

I think he could have gotten into a lot more detail but these are professionals – they are not going to tell you everything.

EJ: Tell me your views of Carol because the impressions of her changed a lot over her tenure. Was it adult supervision or did she lack consumer Internet background? What was your inside view of her and what has been missed in her portrayal?

RL: She was a good operator. Jerry was the soul of the company , and Carol was an experienced global CEO. She came in and got a really good group of managers around her to run a global business. I think she doesn’t get the credit for the type of people she brought it. Many of them are now CEO’s or leaders of substantial businesses. She helped stabilize the company in her first couple of years. Then the market got tougher on her. You get built up and then you get torn down in these high profile jobs.

She did a good job when she was there. I found her to be a great boss. She was hands on enough and there when I needed here, but let her executives do their jobs. She supported us. She was always available to me.

I also agree for the most part. I had issues with Carol but I actually think she did well given the hand she was dealt. And as Ross mentions in another spot – it is not like any one person can fix everything. It is a HUGE organization.

EJ: Marissa Mayer has come under criticism recently and one of the things she’s said in response to that criticism was that, before she showed up, very few people at Yahoo were even aware that mobile existed. That doesn’t seem to fit with my recollection of Blake Irving building out digital magazines. You were cutting media partner deals such as ABC News and CNBC. When you were there, what were you doing about mobile?

RL: That characterization is flawed and it doesn’t acknowledge a great deal of work that many Yahoo’s did long before she arrived. I remember my first executive staff meeting with Carol (in 2010) and there was a 45 minute discussion about the impact of mobile on our mail products and how we could fix that. A lot of our resources in 2010 were focused on Mail/Messenger because that was such a significant driver of our business back then. It probably still is. We didn’t have enough people focused on mobile then, but to characterize it that we had no one focused on mobile is inaccurate.

We had launched Livestand which Blake had championed, that brought content to mobile devices and platforms in a beautiful esthetic.

Agree on the shift to mobile. It was happening but takes time – Marissa in my opinion continued and accelerated the work but it was happening.

Livestand was a dog due to trying to use bleeding edge tech – it should have been a native app (not html 5 wrapped in a native container) and it might of worked. The core Yahoo audience, like my mom. loved it.

EJ: You were doing a lot of these media deals even before becoming interim CEO. It seems like Marissa’s carried on that strategy. What did you see when you were head of Americas to know that you needed to do deals with ABC News, NBC Sports, and CNBC?

RL: Our thesis starting in late 2010 was that Video was going to be the most important driver for our business, but we had to differentiate from YouTube. We believed there was “white space” around premium content, and that our technology could help personalize the experiences across our verticals. We had the #1, 2, or 3 ranked sites in every important vertical (news, sports, finance etc), and we had data and massive inventory.. The plan was to add premium content partners, and create more original content and “branded” experiences. We started investing in original programming including our own writers and video starting in early 2011. We felt video was going to be the most important element in the premium space so we invested a significant amount of money in original slates. When you looked at the numbers, we had 9 of the top 10 video series on the internet. I don’t know if that’s still the case.

Ross was going to buy Hulu as soon as he was made permanent CEO. A deal team was already looking into it.

EJ: Part of your plan was to cut costs. Why is it so hard to cut costs at Yahoo?

RL: What makes it hard for any company is that you don’t want to get rid of people. Yahoo is 20 years old now. Like most 20 year old businesses, it likely has to go through changes.

Yahoo really is a family, as much as everyone bitches and moans about things, you feel a sense of pride working at Yahoo. A lot of credit for that goes to Jerry [Yang] and David [Filo] and the environment they created. It’s hard to let your friends go.

During Carol’s time, we went through a variety of smaller resizing structures. Scott Thompson put through a more aggressive plan in place that we never did. I looked at it and thought that we had an opportunity to restart the company in a way. We looked seriously at repositioning the workforce. I thought there was an opportunity to get out of certain things we were doing and get out of certain countries we were in. When you looked at the math, it just wasn’t paying off. With a fresh start, you get a free year or two to reposition the company. Marissa obviously has tried to do that as well.

The way I viewed it, our strategy would have downsized in places and re-invested. It’s a bit like big government. There were a lot of ”corporate” employees and contractors. I thought we could reduce those areas, reduce non-growth businesses and countries where we not seeing any significant traction or impact to our business and redeploy people and capital to the growth areas. We needed more people in mobile, content, sales and engineering. We needed to beef up our platform and personalization technology. But the overall headcount would have reduced by a significant number.

Ross was going to layoff at least 5000 people – maybe more. It was the right thing to do. Yahoo is way bigger than it needs to be.

Good read but wish he had said even more.