Mole is, by nature, a quiet creature, but has recently embraced Twitter, following a handful of brands. So we were startled by BA's retweet of a racist comment.
BA Good afternoon, British Airways customer relations, [name] speaking. How can I help?
Mktg Hi, I want to talk to someone about the racist tweet that was sent out.
BA The racist tweet...?
BA Right. I don't have any information on that at the moment.
Mktg Is there anyone that does?
BA I don't think anybody has, I'm just looking at the emails we've received… no, there's nobody you can speak to at the moment, but if you've got something to say about it, I can certainly log your complaint.
Mktg It was highly offensive. I would really like an explanation from BA. It was quickly deleted, but I don't understand how this happened in the first place. It was exceptionally racist to Asian people. It looked like some kind of mistake, but how can this mistake happen in the first place? It's gone out to thousands of people on social media. I find it ridiculous that you haven't been briefed on this.
BA No, they may have – I've just been on leave, to be honest. We probably have been briefed on it, but I haven't myself as yet.
Mktg Right. There's no one else you could ask or that I could talk to about it?
BA If you want to send an email in, we can respond to that. I have heard today that there is a Twitter team dealing with it. I haven't read through the whole information that's been sent to us as yet, but we will be taking this seriously.
Mktg So I have to send an email, I can't talk to someone?
BA No, I'm just saying that we are taking this seriously and procedures are being put in place regarding this issue. I do know that the Twitter team have been in meetings all today about it, but I don't know any more than that at the moment.
Mktg So there's no one...
BA I know what you're saying, it's a huge thing and I know we're investigating it, but I don't know anything else about the issue. I'm not trying to be vague, but I know we are investigating it. I'm sorry I can't be any more help than that though.
Mktg Alright, thanks. Bye.
The call-handler, while polite, was not briefed for this enquiry, despite the wide media coverage of the case. They also failed to offer a chance to talk to a better-informed colleague, which is disappointing considering the gravity of the matter, even if it was the result of an error.
This article was first published on