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Reservations
COMPLAINT: I have empathy with employees of Etihad who have to work with a faulty website

 
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  #1  
Old Feb 17, 2010, 12:05 PM
GeorgeWeirs GeorgeWeirs is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3

I have always been dealt with most politely and thoughtfully by the Eithiad personnell in the UAE and Thailand but it seems they may well be as frustrated as me in trying to come to terms with a website booking system that has an inbuilt error!
My story is not unique - so I have been told by an employee of Eithiad. There must be others like me who find it very worrying and stressful to be in limbo having paid for a ticket on the Eithiad website but after two days still having no receipt for the money or an electronic ticket as booked.
Fortunately for me I had a bank that detected a possible fraud and stopped the second payment for a second flight.
I will start at the beginning;.
First I booked a ticket from Bangkok to Heathrow on the Eithiad website. The website through up an error message - 'timed out' 'rebook'. With a inward groan, this is what I did.
This second time the bank refused payment.
I now made an international telephone call to my bank in England who checked and double checked and declared that the first payment demanded by the Eithiad website had been paid and gave me a reference number (Santander Bank ref no 929570).
Thirdly I then made an international call to Eithiad in UAE. They told me that they had two bookings in my name, neither paid for and that I should check with my bank to determine whether payment had been made.
Forthly I rang my bank in England to double check and they confirmed the transfer.
Five and Six, I made two other telephone calls to UAE without success. I measure as getting the ticket I had paid for from the airline!
Eventually I gave them all my bank details and they said they would investigate the matter and let me know in six hours time - that was yesterday.
When the six hours past they told me they still had not received my money and to wait 24 hours to determine what they would do.
Today, I received a telephone call from Eithiad in UAE. They said they would refund my money that I have paid but that it would take at least four or five working days to transfer the money back.
The helpful lady, working within her remit, said she would try and get me the ticket I had paid for because if I have to wait five days for the ticket there is no time to buy a new ticket to fly on the date booked and certainly no time to sort out my visa when I do not know when I can travel.
My complaint is rather a question.
If I can get confirmation that Eithiad has received my money in full from the Santander Bank as an individual citizen - Why cannot Eithiad make a similar enquiry and confirm they do indeed have my money. I perceive that Company Customer Service is about going the extra mile - putting the customer first and reacting to correct mistakes immediately when it is patently obvious that their web site is in error.
It is a little worrying to hear from Eithiad that I am not the only one with this problem - I would appreciate a word with the IT Manager and to determine when or if they are going to resolve this on-going issue
Thank you
George Richardson
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  #2  
Old Feb 17, 2010, 1:10 PM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Posts: 1,109

No offense at all intended but your perception of customer service that you mentioned is way off target. What may have been in the past is no longer. Most airlines seem to have gone downhill and in some cases, hit bottom in the CS department. Sad but true.

To your complaint/question.......I'm confused. For most of the complaint, you are saying Ethiad stated they had not received payment. Then you mention you received a phone call saying the will refund your payment. Then mention again about whether they have your money or not. I would venture a guess that if they are refunding your money, that they have it. Also, give it more than the 5 days to show up on your statement. They may give it back to Visa, Mastercard or whichever credit card you used in 5 days but it may take a billing cycle to show up.
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  #3  
Old Feb 19, 2010, 7:24 AM
GeorgeWeirs GeorgeWeirs is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3

The Judge
Thanks for your reply and constructive comments.
To clarify. My bank confirms that Eithiad have my money. Eithiad does not confirm or deny, they say, if they find the money they will return it within four or five working days. The dilemna for me is that I want the ticket, not the money because the booking date is very close to any five day window of waiting.
I may be cynical but suspect when I come to buy a new ticket it will cost me more!
Thank you
George
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 7:46 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,109

If either reservation is still active, tell them to apply the money they've already taken to one of them. If they continue to dilly dally about whether they have the money or not, ask them to call your bank while you are on the line to verify this. It may take a whole lot of persuading on your part but I don't know what else to tell ya. If the bank says the money is in the airline's hands and the airline won't tell you either way, I would believe your bank. If they absolutely refuse to work with you, you will probably be better off purchasing a new ticket on another carrier now so, as you said, you don't end up paying more for a ticket later and then wait for Ethihad to refund your disappearing money.
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Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 7:52 AM
GeorgeWeirs GeorgeWeirs is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3

Troy
I will let you know what happens as the story unfolds.
What about their faulty web site? Eithiad doing nothing does not seem to be a realistic option for them even if they have only a limited perception of customer service!
George
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 9:11 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

In regard to the website, bad publicity is the only thing you can really do... you might try a letter to the CEO, but it sounds as if they know this is aproblem, but havn't sorted a resolution. One other option is to write to Readers' Rants which is a travel complaints forum in the UK Sunday Times. The newspaper will often contact the airline for a response and the airline knows that it will generate adverse publicity.
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