This line should never be part of a customer service message “If you have requested a response to your email, you should hear from from [sic] us within 23 business days.” In other words, thanks but we will take more than a month to respond. It takes chutzpah to send such a message, especially after the customer was directed to the email system as the phone system was overloaded. The source? Northwest Airlines. The result: A customer who will endeavor never to fly the airline again and will pay competitors a little more for that option. It is not just this experience that fueled the decision. In fact, I am willing to listen to companies’ apologies and stay loyal if the over all experience is solid and some amends are made for the poor service at issue. What is impressive is that NW has had several chances to change my impression but instead it has shown that NW is a consistent sign of source and quality – just poor quality. The full details are a bit comical and are below the fold along with some observations about customer complaints, brand strength, goodwill, and market opportunities.