A 74-year-old blind Attleboro (US) woman was shocked when she got a letter from the city saying a lien (a form of security interest) would be placed on her home and a penalty of $48 imposed unless she pays an overdue water bill over a total of 1 cent owing with the stamp to send the letter costing 42 cents.

It is fortunate to note that it took a former city councilor to write a check for one penny. He says he was “irked” by the fact that the federal government can spend billions for bailouts, yet a senior citizen was threatened with a lien on her home over 1 cent.

Truly, the error was owing to mass generated overdue payments by the system. What is important to note is that was it really simply a system running a set procedure that was at fault or are you more angry at all this fuss over a 1 cent exaggeration?

Being a part of the communication department, I have seen frequent complaint letters of similar nature ridiculing the AirAsia system and our “absurd” approaches towards our guests’ grouches and complaints. On a humane ground, I believe that AirAsia would simply love to grant everyone their requests but a system is never perfect. Nor can it bend to suit everyone. Everyone has his or her own complications but the system exists with no regard for each circumstance and functions in the way it knows best, to achieve efficiency and efectiveness.

But on the grounds of being fair, there are times when I have seen my colleagues follow their hearts more often than they should refer to their heads. I believe there are those who feel we can and should be doing more but we try to do our best with the system and business model we believe in.

What are your thoughts?



  1. A good system is open to change and is flexible. It also constantly seeks improvement.
    Thank you AirAsia for at least have a vehicle to voice any suggestions, improvements, criticism and jobs well done through your blog. I have dealt with to many other organisations that just a supply verbal or an email reply which only is a feedback of corporate policy. At least you feel like your opinion is heard with AirAsia blog. Even if you can’t change systems.
    At least if enough responses are heard/read, you can recognise that a problem does exist for the customer.

  2. In life there is a need to be able to listen and a good business module is to train its staff to listen especially in service industry whereby you are selling a so-called service thus inevitably when someone listen to your comments or grouses or any other elements of dissatisfaction or even compliments, finally you will be satisfied though the follow-up action might be a bit later or maybe sometime later. To be acknowledged is precious and should be appreciated.

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