‘I’m sorry, I didn’t get that’: agents vent over Jet2 phone bot

By Harry Kemble
Home » ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t get that’: agents vent over Jet2 phone bot

Agents say they’re getting wound up by Jet2’s voice automation technology, which verifies both trade and customers calling about bookings.

Jet2, which overtook TUI earlier this month to become the UK’s largest tour operator, launched the technology in November last year.

The voice automation system was set up to help save time when managing flight and tour operator bookings, but many agents have criticised it.

Bugbears include the fact it’s ‘long winded’, ‘bl**dy awful’ and ‘a pain’. Others say it doesn’t understand regional accents.

And agents also say that, once they get through, they have to give the same information all over again.

One agent, posting on Travel Gossip’s Facebook group, said: “It is bad, and to make matters [worse], the operator then asks everything again.”

Another told Travel Gossip: “[The technology] has been absolutely terrible. The system doesn’t recognise reference numbers that are seven or eight digits long.

“It literally only understands the Queen’s English, but 90% of the callers originate outside London.”

The Yorkshire-based homeworker went on to say that unless the caller was named ‘Jack’ or ‘Jill’, the voice activated system struggled.

He added: “It must look ridiculous for the retail agents who are sitting in front of their customers in the shops.”

However, some agents said it’s possible to key in reference numbers rather than read them out, making the process smoother.

And one agent advised industry colleagues to not say anything and just wait to be transferred to a real person.

A Jet2 spokesperson stressed the system ‘works very well with the vast majority of enquiries’ and insisted it saved customers and agency partners time.

The spokesperson commented: “To provide the best experience for direct customers and independent travel agents who contact us by telephone, we operate voice automation technology that takes callers through a small number of pre-screening questions.

“This means that our colleagues have booking details to hand when they pick up the call, so that they can then provide our usual award-winning service.

“From the feedback we receive, as well as the data that we hold, we know that this system works very well with the vast majority of enquiries, saving customers and agency partners time too.”

The spokesperson added: “There may be a very small number of instances when the automation may not pick up exactly what the caller has said, however the call still directs to our call centre.”

Editor’s note: At least the bot makes a change from Jess Glynne.

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