YEP Says (Nov 3): Lesson to firms to put customers before profits

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Travel firm Thomas Cook has been castigated for putting profits before customers in a damning report following the deaths of Bobby and Christi Shepherd on a holiday in Corfu.

The report makes 49 recommendations in its criticism of the firm’s customer service, health and safety and crisis management in light of the Horbury youngsters’ deaths.

Thomas Cook, during the whole of the legal process, was careful to ensure it protected its reputation and took decisions conscious of the legal situation before it gave any consdieration to the family and their feelings.

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This situation was clearly guided by legal advice, as it remained the same throughout the tenure of three chief excutive officers at the company.

It is only now, since the legal process has ended, that the current CEO Peter Frankauser has shown any real compassion for parents Sharon Wood and Neil Shepherd.

So today’s offer by Mr Frankhauser to join Sharon as a director of the Safer Tourism Foundation, is welcome but smacks of trying to make up lost ground.

Lessons need to be learned, not only by Thomas Cook, but by other corporates.

Without customers, they have no business, so when things go wrong, they should consider beyond legal advice how they can properly ensure they deal with them compassionately.

PIC: Simon Hulme

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