‘Customer Relations’ – here’s a dictionary definition: ‘the department of an organisation that gives help to customers and deals with their problems’.

Which makes you wonder why British Airways bother with a customer relations department since it gives neither help nor deals with your problems.

I say this after having had a camera broken whilst being transported in the hold of a BA aircraft, and this despite the fact it was a ‘shockproof’ model and was in a padded case. BA’s response to my annoyance at this was to tell me to contact ‘…The Ombudsman Service Ltd who deal with consumer disputes. Please note that British Airways does not participate in the scheme.’ So that would be a really worthwhile use of my time then…

Compare this with Black Diamond ski equipment. I have a newish Black Diamond ski jacket on which the ‘pull’ on the main zip snapped off last week making it difficult but not impossible to use the zipper.

I contacted them about this and today a brand new jacket arrived in the post for me. That, BA, is ‘customer relations’ done properly. It also ensures that I will buy Black Diamond gear again and will recommend it to friends, unlike BA (Bloody Awful) with whom I hope never to have to travel again, and to whom I wouldn’t recommend my worst enemy.