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Published on Friday, September 20, 2013

Ryanair rubbishes report after being voted 'worst' brand for customer service

Ryanair has come bottom in a customer service survey of 100 UK brands by Which? magazine.

The airline scored just 54% in the poll, compared to 88% scored by the winner, cosmetics firm Lush.

The Which? report said Ryanair, along with BT and Talk Talk, deserved special mention for 'poor' two-star ratings in every element of customer service.

"Passengers appear to agree with Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary's open admission that price is a priority over customer service," said the report.

It said one recent passenger had found Ryanair "aggressive and hostile towards customers. Staff are rude and unpleasant".

Another flyer related their poor in-flight treatment, lamenting "rude air stewards who make you feel like a nuisance rather than a customer".

"Others are unwilling to be treated badly, whatever the savings. 'I now prefer to pay £50 extra for my flights and to be treated like a human being,' concluded one of their experience."

But Ryanair laughed off the report, saying it was based on a "useless survey of 3,300 people, including their pet hamsters, gerbils and goldfish".

Ryanair's Robin Kiely said: "We surveyed over 3 million passengers on the Ryanair website last night - only two of them had ever heard of Which? and none of them had ever bought it or read it.

"Ryanair's survey conclusively proves that Which? magazine hasn't got a clue about what air travel consumers actually do, because they're too busy booking Ryanair's low fare, on-time flights to waste time filling in Which? magazine's tiny surveys."

Other travel brands featuring in the report scored more highly.

British Airways and Thomson were among the brands in 20th position, both scoring 75%, while First Choice was among those in joint 38th position with a score of 73%.

Virgin scored 72% and was in the 51st position bracket, while Thomas Cook and Flybe were just below in 56th position, scoring 71%.

EasyJet scored 69%, which put it in joint 68th position.

The report said the biggest bugbears for consumers were being kept waiting, lack of knowledge, poor problem solving, and not getting what they pay for.

** Meanwhile, Ryanair has announced today that it is to remove the Recaptcha security feature for individual passengers,  although it will keep it for high volume bookers, screenscrapers, and travel agents (see separate story).

Ryanair is also making other changes to its website to make it easier and quicker for passengers to navigate and is also making its downloadable app free of charge (previously it was €3).


by Bev Fearis


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    the best survey is their profit. Qantas Int doesn't make money (& hasn't for years) & is subsidised by Qantas domestic.

    By Michael Anderson, Saturday, September 21, 2013

  • Oh come on guys !!!

    When finally people will undertsand that you ALWAYS get what you pay for ! You want Quantas or Lufthansa service but pay a Ryanair or easyjet fare ! Well listen carefully : IT IS NOT POSSIBLE ! For the money paid (including all hidden costs) Ryanair is in my opinion a very good value for money. I am using the company for 5 years and as long as you follow their rules/terms, which you know in advance, all works nice and easy, no delays or any other problems. So STOP moaning or pay a 5 times dearer fare to get everything inlcuded in price.

    By Mixalis Fotakis, Friday, September 20, 2013

  • You have to admire the customer model

    The demographic of Which readers is a million miles from ryanair's traveller profile. So the airline has a point when it says the survey is 'useless'. But actually the trick of effective customer service is to set up an expectation and deliver against it. Ryanair is exemplary in this regard. It sets up an expectation of sh*te service, that is precisely what you get, no one is disappointed. Kerrching! Job done. Passenger demand just keeps growing; new routes are added; orders for another few hundred Boeing aircraft. It's a perfect virtuous circle....however dehumanising the ryanair experience is!

    By paul rickard, Friday, September 20, 2013

  • Hurt me again, I like it...

    "pet hamsters, gerbils and goldfish" The one thing Ryanair are good at - Ridicule!

    By Joe Curry, Friday, September 20, 2013

  • Tempting to consider worst as best

    Well it is good to be best. But I note that Ryanair may get more publicity from faring poorly in this "tiny survey" than anyone else will get from being atop the list. Their well-honed method of belittling criticism may even be something to learn from....turn it upside down and there is the germ of an ingredient for Good customer feeling and service. But it's a bit of a "down rabbit hole" trick to find it. Ryanair manages to be Monty-Python-like amusing - at least while their customers are not actually on board!

    By Roger Ellman, Friday, September 20, 2013

  • Are we surprised?


    By Peter Mannell, Friday, September 20, 2013

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