Customer Service & JetBlue

Seth writes, "If I ran JetBlue, I'd go to each of the people affected (and it's not that many) and give each person 40 free round trip tickets. Or maybe 50. More than any person could use for a long, long while. Let them fly with as many friends as they like until they've used up 50 seats."

Incredible point! JetBlue may never recover from the PR nighmare that they've created. Already Congress is roasting them and proposing a Traveler's Bill of Rights. Seth's suggestion may be the only chance for JetBlue... and for the entire industry. As much as I'd hate being on a plane for 8 hours, I'd hate the government deciding what 'reasonable' is. I've been on many a canceled flight because the crew is 1 minute past some government standard. So JetBlue can strike before the government does. And imagine the positive PR of 50 free tickets!

So when dealing with restrictions, go overboard! The Zune has a cool feature: beam a favorite song from one to another... but only for three days or three plays, whichever comes first. Why not 10, 25, 50, 100? The reason the record companies are so freaked out about piracy is the possibility of losing sales of a million copies... so they'd rather anger thousands than lose a dollar in sales. But the 'regular' iPod or Zune user isn't going to post to Limewire; they're just sharing with a few friends. Apple doesn't want that song or video downloaded to a thousand computers; neither do the studios. But isn't it reasonable to let customers download it to three computers? Or their dad's and son's? That's small potatoes as they say.

When setting maximums, take a normal normal and mulitply times ten to get a ridiculous value. What you're trying to do is stop theft, not stop reasonable use. Don't treat your customers like criminals.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.

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