Theory conflicts with my frequent—and less than satisfactory—encounters with large firms. In the last two weeks I have travelled extensively and regularly have encountered instances where large firms clearly and intentionally scrimp on customer service, management of web sites and possible maintenance of aircraft.
Over my 22 years at Penn State, one out of three or four airplane departures from and to my little down has triggered a delay, or cancellation. On two recent occasions, staff at United Express’s Commuteair, took over 90 minutes to attempt a light bulb repair. They achieved success in one instance and gave up in the other. Mainline United cannot seem to get its old or new inflight entertainment systems to work: the audio jacks break, or the new Wi-Fi system doesn’t work. On an 8 hour flight from Frankfort to Washington, Dulles a light bulb turned on and off repeatedly for the duration of trip. Minor inconveniences, but what do all these screw up say about United’s commitment to maintenance big and small?