mobile telephone Apple iPhone 7
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

The One Time Exception is Slowly Returning

Many companies have been forced to accede to customer demands which are normally not part of their policies once the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic swept around the world and forced millions of people to stay in their homes — and that includes companies within the travel industry, who have extended expiration dates on points as well as elite status levels…

The One Time Exception is Slowly Returning

…but I have been noticing a slow return of the “one-time exception” — you know, through which the customer service person is letting you know that even though what you want is against the policiy set forth by the company, they are being generous enough to grant you an exception and give to you what you are seeking…

…however, do not expect it to happen again. You had your one shot at getting what you wanted fulfilled — supposedly, anyway.

One time exceptions may include getting miles and elite status credit which you earned on a flight — but the flight was more than six months ago — as one of numerous examples: “Ma’am, normally we would not give you this credit; but I spoke to my supervisor, and she is willing to make an exception and offer to fulfill your request just this once.”

Sometimes the phrase “one-time exception” is clearly repeated during the telephone call — the phrase can also be used via social media — just to ensure that you are listening with fair warning in the event that you attempt to have that request fulfilled again.

If you are the customer, do you bow on your knees and kiss the earth, gratefully thankful that you received your one-time exception — or do you feel like the customer service representative is being condescending to you?


Companies tend to give customer service representatives some leeway in granting a request — which may not be a part of company policy; or conflicts with the rules which govern the source of the request…

…but of course, companies understandably do not want to condition customers to think that they can bypass the rules every time there is an issue or a conflict; so as to lend some good will and not lose a customer, you are told “I will grant you a one-time exception” by the customer service representative or manager; and usually have the issue resolved in your favor. Some companies do tend to firmly adhere to their policies and rules and deny a request no matter what if it is granted a second time.

Ultimately, that one-time exception is better than nothing at all — but I would prefer if a company did not adhere so strictly to corporate policies to the point that they are perceived as unfriendly to the customer. Still, you get a better chance at having your request fulfilled than by not asking at all.

Have you encountered being told that you are being given a “one-time exception” — and have you noticed that phrase is increasingly being used in recent weeks? If so, please post your thoughts and experiences in the Comments section below.

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!