‘AB­SO­LUTELY SAT­IS­FIED’

Strat­ford wo­man pleased with full com­pen­sa­tion for lost lug­gage

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JIM DAY

Strat­ford wo­man pleased with full com­pen­sa­tion from Mar­itime Bus for lost lug­gage

Lynne Thiele is thrilled to learn Mar­itime Bus will foot the full bill to re­place all items in her lost lug­gage.

Thiele, 66, of Strat­ford told The Guardian Mon­day that she was dis­gusted with the com­pany’s ini­tial com­pen­sa­tion of­fer of $100 af­ter two suit­cases went miss­ing dur­ing a shut­tle from the Hal­i­fax Air­port to Char­lot­te­town on July 1.

She felt the com­pany owed it to its cus­tomers to deal with each case of lost lug­gage on an in­di­vid­ual ba­sis and not sim­ply im­pose a blan­ket pol­icy for lost lug­gage.

Mar­itime Bus ap­pears to have come on board.

Wenda Pitre, vice-pres­i­dent of human re­sources and cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence, told The Guardian Tues­day Mar­itime Bus would cover the full re­place­ment cost of Thiele’s losses, which Thiele es­ti­mates at roughly $3,500.

“In this par­tic­u­lar case, this was the right thing to do,’’ says Pitre.

“I felt this wo­man was le­git­i­mate. She suf­fered a loss at our hands.’’

Thiele says she is “ab­so­lutely sat­is­fied and happy’’ with the com­pen­sa­tion.

How­ever, she is quick to add the tim­ing of the gen­er­ous com­pen­sa­tion — 17 days af­ter her lug­gage was lost but less than one day af­ter the me­dia be­came in­volved — does not seem co­in­ci­den­tal.

“The me­dia al­ways in­flu­ences de­ci­sions such as this,’’ she says.

“That’s why I went pub­lic.’’ Pitre says Mar­itime Bus will re­view its com­pen­sa­tion pol­icy for lost lug­gage.

“This is a les­son,’’ she says. “Cer­tainly there are ar­eas we can tighten up on our poli­cies and pro­ce­dure.’’

Pitre adds Thiele’s sit­u­a­tion is not a com­mon oc­cur­rence. Lost bags usu­ally show up within a day or two.

An ex­ten­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­cluded the lug­gage was likely stolen.

“As pub­lic car­ri­ers, we cer­tainly acted as we should have,’’ says Pitre.

“We are not a big, bad bus com­pany. We are about mak­ing the cus­tomers happy.’’

Well, Thiele is cer­tainly a happy cus­tomer — one who plans to use Mar­itime Bus in the fu­ture.

For now, she is ea­ger to start her shopping spree to re­place her lost items.

The re­tired teacher, who loves to travel, was re­turn­ing from a cruise around Great Bri­tain when the shut­tle bus mishap oc­curred.

Next up is a trip to Nashville in Oc­to­ber with a cou­ple of Thiele’s old school friends.

JIM DAY/THE GUARDIAN

Wenda Pitre, vice-pres­i­dent of human re­sources and cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence with Mar­itime Bus, says the com­pany will “re­view its pol­icy’’ on lost lug­gage af­ter a cus­tomer be­lieved to have had two suit­cases stolen lost thou­sands of dol­lars worth of clothes and jewelry.

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