Ryanair to fight €550k fine for poor customer service


Ryanair. Image by Dirk Vorderstraße / CC BY 2.0

Europe’s largest airline, Ryanair, has confirmed it will fight a €550,000 fine imposed by an Italian anti-trust body for poor customer service.

The carrier was accused of employing customer service lines that charged premium rates but rarely resolved the problems that passengers brought to their attention.

The result of the case comes as an untimely setback for Ryanair which has striven to improve its reputation for customer service over the past few years, reports The Journal.ie.

The investigation over complaints into the airline began last June and the verdict now means the low-cost airline has been given 90 days to end the “extreme difficulty” and high costs faced by passengers trying to reach a Ryanair employee to discuss their bookings.

The airline has responded in a statement: “We note the ruling and have instructed our lawyers to appeal.”

The anti-trust body (AGCM) disclosed that customers who had found it difficult and unreasonably expensive to obtain reimbursements or alternative flights in the event of cancellations or to get detailed bills for tax/expenses purposes, made up the bulk of their complaints.

Further problems centered on the difficulty in changing bookings before flights or in getting information about arrangements for passengers in wheelchairs.

However, it was acknowledged that Ryanair had partly addressed some of the issues raised by getting rid of a premium phone number for passengers requiring assistance with boarding, reducing the cost of its main customer service line and introducing customer support via online chat.

These steps were not deemed sufficient to avoid a fine although the authority said the amount imposed reflected Ryanair’s efforts to improve customer service.

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