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Old Apr 5, 2012, 2:54 PM
Patricklarvie Patricklarvie is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2
Default TAM's deceptive, dysfunctional web sales

TAM airlines has taken thousands of dollars of my money, hours of my time and refuses to acknowledge or respond to my complaint.

I attempted to purchase a J class ticket from San Francisco to São Paulo on their website. After entering all the data they asked for and hitting "enter", i received an error message telling me that the transaction had failed and that I should re-enter my credit card details. I did so only to receive the same message a second time. I gave up.

The next day, I noticed that $11,000 had been blocked from my credit card - it didn't appear as an expense, but it was missing from my credit line. I called my credit card company and sure enough, this sum corresponded to the two failed attempts to purchase the ticket.

I was left with no ticket, no reservation and $11,000 gone from my credit line. I asked the credit card company to intervene to correct the situation. They did - they called TAM and despite the difficulties their telephone sales personnel presented (asking again for the credit card number, refusing to cancel the transaction), they were able to reverse the transactions.

I was able to obtain a reservation from TAM, but only by paying more money than they had charged on their website. Since my schedule did not permit me to travel on other dates, and the airline I would ordinarily use did not have seats, I had little choice but to pay.

I tried to file a complaint with TAM, but they wouldn't take my complaint unless I had a Brazilian CPF (the US equivalent would be a Social Security number). I called back and asked to speak with someone who could speak English, which was the only way to get past this hurdle.

I asked for:
- An apology from TAM airlines.
- An explanation of why their website puts out unhelpful error messages that make the problem worse
- Reimbursement for the difference between what I had been quoted online and what I was asked to pay over the phone.
- Compensation for the frustration and lost time.

I received:
- A form letter saying that I should join TAM's Frequent Flyer program, as this would make using their website much easier.
- An explanation saying that the problem was my credit card, and they were just trying to protect me.

Obviously, I'm still furious. Not only did they fail to ensure that their website was able to sell tickets, delivered error messages that help users or provide a way to recover from errors, they appear to have hired a clairvoyant in order to bring Kafka back from the dead and put him in charge of their public relations.

I'm sorry I have to deal with this airline and I find it hard to believe I'm the only one who has had this experience.
Old Apr 11, 2012, 2:04 AM
Patricklarvie Patricklarvie is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2
Default Follow-up - TAM is now the worst airline in the world, bar none.

So I called their "talk to the president" line (which lists a number that can be called collect from the US) and here's what happened:

- The number listed does not accept collect calls.
- When I finally got through (via Skype), I was connected to someone who told me that there was nothing that could be done and that I should send an email.
- The email addresses given to me (including the one on their website) didn't work and refused to accept email.

Fast forward three days, and I get a notice from United Airlines (I'm a UAL frequent flyer and used this # to get mileage on my TAM reservation). The message said that the itinerary had been changed and that the ticket needed to be reissued.

I called UA and, after waiting 30 minutes, was told that the TAM ticket was not valid because one of the flight segments had changed. I was told that they needed to reissue the ticket after accepting the change. I was further told that I had to call TAM and have them do this since United couldn't.

I called TAM and they told me that it was United's fault, that they would take no action and that there was no problem. I repeated that United told me that they would not accept the ticket as written and that I would be denied a boarding pass. Still, "Alejandro" (the total jerk in charge of the English speaking lines at TAM's Buenos Aires call center) assured me that this was my problem and that he would do nothing.

So far, this is precisely correct. TAM refuses to take action and I am without a valid ticket.

At this point, my only recourse is to call the credit card company and have them intervene. I will not fly TAM anywhere, for any reason.

Without a doubt, and without any caveats, I'm comfortable saying that TAM is the worst airline in the world, bar none. This is the lowest I've ever seen an airline sink.
Old Jan 4, 2013, 3:41 PM
Ren Ren is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
Default Similar issues with TAM/LAN yesterday AND early December 2012

I have recently had a similar experience: not once, but twice - the first time with LAN, the second with TAM (although a LAN controlled flight).

I attempted to buy a ticket via lan.com in early December, but experienced several issues navigating their website - choosing instead to call their Call Centre for assistance. They took all of my details, including credit card - and deducted money 2 days later. I never received the itinerary/confirmation.

I rang the Australian Call Centre to lodge the complaint and was provided with a reservation code and email address and was asked to send a copy of my CC statement (I should note that I also included copies of my CC and my passport as supporting documentation); without a response. Two days later, I sent an email again asking for an ETA, and the next day - forwarded the information again. All three emails went without a response.

I then went to their office (the day before the flight) in Guayaquil (Mall del Sol) and spoke with a girl there - I also took a Spanish speaker with me (my Spanish is good, but when I am upset/angry - it becomes a little difficult) - again without help - although they did acknowledge that their Call Centre was experiencing technical difficulties that day. I visited the office again that day AND rang the Call Centre again; all without help/assistance/resolution.

The next day I went to the airport and tried to fix it there - without success, I missed the flight (without my friend with whom I should have been flying) and had to find another hotel for the night.

I was then told that the only solution was to purchase another ticket the following day - which I did failing to find another avenue. I have since lodged a complaint via their website and followed up with 2 additional visits to the LAN offices in Vina del Mar: my case is currently 'assigned' althought their site does not indicate what this means exactly nor does it provide an ETA on the solution.

So - then needing a flight between SCL and GRU, I purchased a ticket through tam.com (not wanting to deal directly with LAN again). This time, they took the money AND issued me with an email confirmation but again - the ticket did not exist and I was, once again - forced to purchase another ticket: this time almost $350 more than the original purhcase price. I have submitted a complaint via their website (I think) which was how I was told to chase the issue - but as it is all in Portuguese, I am not entirely sure of how successful my complaint has been. That is one language that I don't speak...

I was told by the sales girl that I am not the only one that this has happened to (admitting fault?) and that the problem appears to be with the TAM website.

So, I have purchased 4 tickets, for 2 flights at an expense of +$4000 AUS...

In each case, my bank has confirmed that the money has been accepted by LAN/TAM...

Has anyone ever received their money back?
deception, fraud, tam, website

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