Probably not the best moment for new Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong: a high profile and humble apology following major problems with the airline's new website.
Goh, who took up the role earlier this year, sent a letter to customers yesterday to say sorry for a string of issues with the new website which launched seven weeks ago.
Visitors to the site found a lot of the functionality did not work properly, including changing flights, redeeming loyalty points, online check-in and logging in to membership tools.
"We make no excuses for our failure to deliver an acceptable level of online service", says Goh in the letter, before pledging to resolve the problems and claiming "significant progress" so far as it also looks to investigate why such a major series of issues went undetected.
"As with all new initiatives that we undertake, the intention behind the website revamp was to improve on our customers’ experience with us. I am truly sorry that the new website, with its technical problems, has instead caused much aggravation for many of our customers."
Fans of the airline's Facebook page are not in a particularly forgiving mood. One says:
"It took you two months to acknowledge a serious problem on your website... What is your time line to fix the issue? Two years? Why do you inconvenience your customer when the website is obviously sub standard... Why cant you test it in a non production environment.. Why do you even allow such a thing to happen in the first place?"
Others are angry that the airline has only offered an apology and not offered to compensate those who had travel plans cancelled as a result of not being able to check in or change flights.
The launch of the new site came just five months after Goh joined from sister airline SilkAir, replacing CEO Chew Choon Seng who retired at the end of 2010 after seven years in the position.