Travelstart April Fool’s Prank

You know that sinking feeling when you send a WhatsApp to the wrong person? That “I take it baaaack! Where’s the delete button?!” sensation is exactly how we felt on Saturday morning after sending out our rather misguided April Fools’ Day prank, the consequences of which we admit that we failed to predict.

Because we believe that transparency to our customers is the key to trust, we want to talk about what happened, why it happened, and what now?  

Sending an airline promotion disguised as a reminder upcoming trip to Rome email to our customers on Saturday 1 April had entirely good intentions. It was meant to excite (Did I just get a free trip!?), confound (Hmmm what’s going on here?!) and evoke a little wanderlust (Oooh a trip to Rome is just what I need!) in our recipients who, upon clicking on the banner, would land on a webpage where the April Fools’ joke was revealed, and where the incredible Iberia Airways sale was promoted. Unfortunately, many of our customers missed the reveal, became panicked that the email was real and the result of a security breach.

For that we apologise to our customers. The prank was misguided and no matter how many times we imagined how the scenario would play out in our heads, we did not predict the worry and stress it would cause the recipients.

The feedback we received was twofold, and we’d like to thank each and every person who reached out to us and helped us learn from this ordeal. We had truly positive and applauding feedback from Travelstart customers who saw the joke the way it was intended. And we had many disgruntled customers contacting us too, who were quick to point out the error in our ways and the implications of our joke.

We realise that we messed up, and now we’re focusing on both rebuilding our customers’ trust, and moving forward as a wiser, but still slightly zany team. We can’t promise we’ll play it safe, but we will definitely play it smart. Smarter, because here are all the things we’ve learnt from you in the past 3 days:

  • Always put yourself in the customers’ shoes and properly consider the ramifications of any campaign properly before going live.
  • Never joke about money or make customers feel unsafe about transacting with Travelstart.
  • We need to speak more to our customers about how their details are safe with us, thanks to our secure payment gateways and fraud department. We’d never put your security at risk.
  • Team work is important. We rallied together to answer a few hundred emails from concerned customers in the past 2 days and we need to keep improving collaboration between departments.

We won’t let this hiccup squash our creativity, we’ll still be brave enough to take risks and do the crazy, sometimes controversial campaigns for which Travelstart is known and loved. We’re learning and constantly improving though, and will be taking our learnings from the past week forward in all we do.

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