Out of the blue, without warning, when everyone thought there was peace and safety – BAM – REDJet cancelled all its flights indefinitely last week. Despite all their fluff, it was clearly a calculated move to force its government to give it some financial assistance.
While REDJet may get what it wants in the short-term (government subsidy) – it is in danger of losing what is really valuable in the long-term: the loyalty, trust and support of people all across the Caribbean that were rooting for the underdog.
Look at what has occurred since REDJet’s impromptu cancellation. The Jamaican ministry of Foreign Affairs has been scampering to “find the quickest and safest mode” to transport a number of stranded Jamaicans home.
The Problem of REDJet’s Refund
REDJet has offered refunds, yes – but those refunds will take up to three weeks to become a reality. That means that REDJet left its passengers stranded, without any option but to find the additional fare on their own – if they wanted to travel.
Now, anyone who has traveled before knows that at the end of a vacation or trip overseas, very few people have enough money left over to purchase a new ticket (especially when the MAJOR reason you had traveled in the first place was the allure of LOW COST flights).
My point of view is, any business that leaves me stranded when I most need them has failed in the gravest way. They don’t put me first – actions speak louder than words.
Incompetent or Calculating?
Anyone looking on can see the problem with the REDJet scenario. How do you launch two new routes in one week and then shut down your company in the next week? How do you diversify when you are not sure your core can stand? It makes no sense.
In fact, it is so nonsensical that it is demonstrably a mark of calculated, underhand macro-economic arm twisting. REDJet is aware of the social and economic fallout that would happen if it fails (especially after the government of Barbados did so much to endorse it). The loss of jobs, the failing of a major indigenous Barbadian business – it would not look good.
The Clear Conclusion
The clear conclusion is that REDJet decided it was better to screw-over its clients than uphold its obligations. Being bigger, they knew no one would sue. They have the handle, we have the blade.
Businesses are free to operate however they want – no matter how unethical it may be. The customer however must never be a causality. The customer is the King, not the slave. The customer’s comfort is the end, not the means. The customer is never to be overlooked, used, abused or stepped on and that is exactly what REDJet has knowingly and consciously done.
P.S. REDJet, You Guys Suck. [<- This post is coming next. If the ethos of your business model is that the other guys are overcharging and that you can deliver quality service for less, then it is ridiculous to make yourselves out to be victims for not being subsidized.If you need to be subsidized to operate then clearly your business model is false, fraud and very Madoffish. Tomorrow.]