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Old Aug 18, 2015, 4:36 AM
thevictors51 thevictors51 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Exclamation Virgin Australia's practices mislead their own customers

TLDR: Virgin Australia's "Fare Promise" is misleading and has to be done before booking. That is not stated on the Eligibility Criteria Page but rather on the VERY bottom of the FAQ Page...very sneaky.

Today I just booked a domestic Australian flight though Virgin Australia. I booked through the company’s website largely in part because of the “Fare Promise”. My fare totaled out to be AUD 838 which to me was a little high but I had confidence that if I found a lower price I would be able to get the difference due to the “Fare Promise”. Later on in that day I found a flight through a Australian travel agent that cost AUD 668 (200+ dollars less!). I was excited and I promptly called virgin’s Guest Contact Centre to get a “Fare Promise” claim started. I spent a while with a very polite lady and after she was able to verify the website and the price (and that the site met all the other eligibility criteria), the system said there was nothing she could do. She talked to her senior manager and told me the manager said I had to do file a claim before booking. I was upset with hearing this because nowhere in the Eligibility Criteria section does it say “Has to be done while (or prior to) booking” So I ended up talking to her senior manager. While talking to her senior manager she proceeded to lecture me on what a purchase means “it’s a contract” and “finding prices lower after you purchase things happens all the time”. I pointed out that this doesn’t align with the intent of the “Fare promise” and that they are not standing by it because my request met all the criteria set forth on the Eligibility Criteria section. Once again I reinforced there is no location on the website that says the claim has to be filed before a flight is booked. Upon making my argument the senior manager put me on hold for 30 mins. After she returned she directed me to the FAQ section to the VERY BOTTOM of the page where there is a question “Can I make a claim if I have already made the booking” A: Not at this point in time.

Wow, the whole “Fare Promise” is very misleading. It’s advertisement states “Find an eligible fare cheaper and we match it, plus give you 500 bonus velocity points” To me ( and I am sure most people) it makes its seem like Virgin Australia will match a lower price no matter what (as long as you met all the conditions on the Eligibility Criteria Page). Instead the true “Fare Promise” is basically this; you need to find a lower fare before you book then call virgin and then have them match it and then book through Virgin Australia. What kind of sense does that make? If I would have found the lower fare somewhere else I would have booked there, I wouldn’t have gone through the hassle to call Virgin and go through all the steps for them to price match and book. I booked with the Website because of the “Fare Promise” however, now I will never book with this company again because I feel like I was wronged.

So in the end I hope this saves a customer from getting screwed by false marketing. The “Fare Price” is only good before you book NOT after, this is VERY misleading and its doing a disservice to customers, in fact its ripping them off. When any other company states that they will match someone price for the same item, they usually do. They don’t try to find an out and point you to the very bottom of a FAQ page which is sneaky and a deceptive practice. Not being able to do the “Fare Promise” after booking should be put in the Eligibility Criteria Page NOT hidden in the FAQ page. I urge anyone who is reading this to do research before booking and go with the cheapest price out there. Do NOT use the “Fare Promise” because a company that tries to hide things from potential customers (Having to go to the very bottom of the FAQ to find out that I have to file a claim BEFORE I book is obnoxious) does not deserve everyone’s hard earned money.

Sincerely,
Pete Ward
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