CPP might eventually sort the mess out
There’s always a grain of truth in the old saying that you don’t get something for nothing. And this very definitely applies to those customers of British bank, Barclays, who are offered the Airport Angel service free with their Premier Life account. See our original story from 2008 here. The app which goes with this service was originally developed for iOS and is now available for Android here. Quite frankly we’ve never encountered an app which generates so may negative responses as this one. How it rates 3 out of 5 on Goggle Play, we don’t know. But GoMo has been able to chat to some-one at CPP which operates the Airport Angels service about it, though.
In essence, there is a design flaw. Those who download the app cannot gain access to any of its facilities until they have properly registered it.
This is a big mistake as it means that ordinary folk (who know they should have access to the Airport Angels facility) cannot discover any information until they have logged on.
To activate the app you need the system to recognise the mobile phone number you are using and the PIN number which was sent to the phone via text.
At this juncture, we’ll quote one typical GoMo News reader, Mr T Gibbons – “I’m still awaiting registration confirmation from AA which took place over two weeks ago.”
He continued, “Not a satisfactory Barclays service when literature specifies three different email addresses for registration and I was given a fourth different address by my local branch which I had hoped was going to prove successful.”
In effect, regular folk sign up just before they are due to travel and find to their dismay they can’t use the app because no PIN number arrives.
Consequently, they are unable to utilise the facility which they are most desperately seeking – namely is there an Airport Angel lounge at the airport from which they are travelling?
GoMo News spoke to Joanne Gibbons, head of customer propositions with CPP – which inherited the original service from the Leapfrog group.
Gibbons admitted that CPP intends to move from the ‘closed’ nature of the existing app to a more ‘open’ one.
The open version will let anyone who downloads the app utilise its facilities save for the all-important facility of being able to book lounges.
However, Ms Gibbons gave no timeframe of how soon we might expect the more useable version to be released.
There’s also the thorny problem of customer support. Even though the facility is ‘free’ for Barclays Premier Life customers, if you want to speak to anyone you have to dial an ’0844′ premium number.
The calls are expensive from land lines but astronomical from mobile phones.
Luckily, Saynoto0870.com has come to the rescue and in the UK customers can try 0161 606 0731 instead.
GoMo has discovered that there are customers of Citibank in the USA who can also use Airport Angel.
The relevant support number is 1-877-288-CITI [877-288-2484] – but sadly we don’t know if there is a cheaper version of that number.
Ms Gibbons explained that with the Barclays version of the app, one of the best facilities is the fact that you carry a copy of your membership card inside the app.
Currently that digital card isn’t machine readable and Ms Gibbons was unable to throw any light on whether this was because the airline industry uses Aztec mobile barcodes whereas the industry standard is QR codes.
Hopefully, the damage this app is causing the Barclays brand will dawn on the bank and some pressure to upgrade the app – the Android version of which dates back to February 20th 2012, will be put on CPP soon.
In the meantime, GoMo News has become the epicentre for those complaining about the app and there’s no sign that those complaints will abate.