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COMPLAINT: NWA Coupon eCert PK161 $100 - Fraud

 
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  #1  
Old May 17, 2009, 6:52 AM
misota misota is offline
 
Join Date: May 2009
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I used some eCert $100.00 off coupons and received an email 2 weeks after using them stating that I had to pay back the $100 as they were found to be stolen coupons. They would not simply cancel the flight and let me start over. They cited that they were out $100.00 because they had to issue new eCerts to the people who they were ripped off from. (which is likely BS as some computer guru hacked their system, their algorithm, or NWA employee stole a bunch of these). Either way, I don't see why the customer service department couldn't just cancel the reservations without fees and let me rebook ( without ecert coupons this time!). They acknowledge that BOTH parties were victims of fraud, but only one party is going to pay (ME). They have some convoluted way to try and explain how they are out $100.00 - THEY ARE THE ONES ISSUING THE ECERTS, how are they out if they let me rebook without the eCerts???

They sort of have me hostage right before a trip and they know that. I found fares that were $100.00 cheaper out of a different airport that, if changed, would be a wash.. right?? No, they wouldn't change the res, wouldn't cancel it without fees. Pay the $100 or eat it.

Complex situation, but I can see who wins most of the time. At least they could do is provide a few options to remedy the fraud that happened to BOTH parties.
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  #2  
Old May 17, 2009, 4:04 PM
azstar azstar is offline
 
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I'm not sure what they're doing is legal. If you were given stolen certificates, you should be able to get a full refund of the amount you paid.
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  #3  
Old May 17, 2009, 4:24 PM
mars6423 mars6423 is offline
 
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you should write a complaint to their customer service, i am not too sure what can be done about it before hand and it doesnt sound right, they shouldnt be allowed to use that, especially since you paid the ticket and they gave you a receipt (booking reference), and you held up your end

i would deal with this after you get back from your flight, as i doubt much will happen before you leave, they may give you vouchars of some sort though

besides i am suprised that they wouldnt just take the 100 off to get you to fly as i hear the airline industry needs people to fly
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  #4  
Old May 17, 2009, 9:51 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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How did you obtain the e-cert that you used?
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  #5  
Old May 18, 2009, 4:29 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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PHX asked the first big question, the how, and if gotten say, from a friend, then how did the friend get them? I'm guessing, most likely, they were gotten from ebay (or craig's list), which is where you can usually get ecerts, travel certificates etc However I agree with the OP, cancel the entire reservation and move on. But I would not want to rebook after its cancel as you may end up paying higher costs on a current fare. You should call their customer service about that, maybe something can be worked out, because you shouldn't be at fault for buying them.
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  #6  
Old May 18, 2009, 1:49 PM
misota misota is offline
 
Join Date: May 2009
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I obtained the eCerts codes via a friend who bought them on eBay and ended up that he couldn't use them since the restrictions were tight. It was to be used on NWA or affiliate only flights ( not Delta or Operated by Delta flights) with flights in a certain range ( and tix purchased by May 31st).

So these very well may be stolen eCerts, but I would think that NWA could do a little better to prevent theft of their eCerts coupons and help remedy the situation in a more compromising manner. I can't see the harm in giving me the option of cancelling my flights altogether and starting over. But like Silent Bob says, the fares will likely rise the longer this goes on. It now may be too late to obtain ticket prices from a different itinerary (albeit a little more inconvenient) that could have been equivalent in price to the tix I found using the eCerts. At least the person at NWA was pleasant on the phone, even if they didn't budge on providing alternative options. They're wearing me down!
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  #7  
Old May 18, 2009, 2:27 PM
abutterfinger25 abutterfinger25 is offline
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I always thought that NW's eCert coupons were non-transferable, so once they were sold to your friend, they became null and void. Had NW change the policy on these coupons?
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  #8  
Old May 18, 2009, 4:05 PM
misota misota is offline
 
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Originally Posted by abutterfinger25 View Post
I always thought that NW's eCert coupons were non-transferable, so once they were sold to your friend, they became null and void. Had NW change the policy on these coupons?
Of course I looked this up after the fact:

13.Transferability: This E-Cert offer is transferable but not for cash or any other consideration. Purchased/auctioned E-Certs are subject to confiscation and travel will not be permitted.

My point to this is that if they will not permit me to travel then refund my money. Or better yet, verify the authenticity of the eCert before allowing someone to purchase tickets. Doesn't seem like too much to ask for. I have read on another website that people are getting their eCert numbers ripped off left and right causing all kinds of problems. And it sounds like this has been going on for years now.
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  #9  
Old May 18, 2009, 5:48 PM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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I know what the next "chapter" in this story will be: NORTHWEST to YOU—‘Since you obtained that certificate in violation of the terms you're due nothing.’ Suprise, you're sc***ed!

As to the situation of the "OP:" What is to prevent an airline from falsely claiming a given certificate was stolen or is otherwise worthless? Doing this often enough can save a lot of money! The government isn't going to do anything about it. Yeah, right, send a complaint letter to the DOT--ha!

Most honest businesses are very up front about the fact that they don't offer "free lunches." For some reason the government allows airlines to offer frequent flier programs and other promotions the "perks" of which all too often are not honored. Part of the problem with these promotions is the seemingly endless rules. I'm sure one poster on here will have us all believe any given rule can be located--on a computer, or through a phone call to a "friendly" agent--in a matter of seconds! Believe that and I'll sell you a baby dinosaur!

This is another example of why US-based airlines should be regarded as no better than a dishonest used car dealer. Purchasing a fully refundable ticket is the only way one can have a significant measure of protection against rip-offs. Based on the posts on this board non-refundable tickets seem to provide no transportation as often as they DO provide transportation. A $99 non-refundable trans-continental ticket may be a good "gamble." But one should always remember, it's nothing more than a gamble. If you "lose," will you be sleeping on the airport floor??
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Last edited by Butch Cassidy Slept Here; May 18, 2009 at 5:51 PM.
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  #10  
Old May 18, 2009, 6:39 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by misota View Post
I obtained the eCerts codes via a friend who bought them on eBay...
I thought so. Two words...Caveat Emptor!


Originally Posted by misota View Post
I can't see the harm in giving me the option of cancelling my flights altogether and starting over.
Originally Posted by misota View Post
Of course I looked this up after the fact:

13.Transferability: This E-Cert offer is transferable but not for cash or any other consideration. Purchased/auctioned E-Certs are subject to confiscation and travel will not be permitted.

My point to this is that if they will not permit me to travel then refund my money.
You just don't get it, do you? Wasn't there any hint of impropriety when you learned that these e-certs were purchased on eBay? What kind of above-board deal has one purchasing a dollars-off certificate on eBay? Northwest is already giving you the benefit of the doubt by not completely canceling your tickets and keeping all of the money you paid. They are allowing you to use the amount you paid and pay the difference in order to use your ticket. Just pay the additional $100 and chalk this up as a lesson learned. The e-cert was issued to the original party for compensation for a service recovery issue such as a delayed or overbooked flight. They aren't gift certificates that someone originally paid "real money" for.
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  #11  
Old May 18, 2009, 10:03 PM
misota misota is offline
 
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Originally Posted by PHXFlyer View Post
I thought so. Two words...Caveat Emptor!

You just don't get it, do you? Wasn't there any hint of impropriety when you learned that these e-certs were purchased on eBay? What kind of above-board deal has one purchasing a dollars-off certificate on eBay? <b>Northwest is already giving you the benefit of the doubt by not completely canceling your tickets and keeping all of the money you paid.</b> They are allowing you to use the amount you paid and pay the difference in order to use your ticket. Just pay the additional $100 and chalk this up as a lesson learned. The e-cert was issued to the original party for compensation for a service recovery issue such as a delayed or overbooked flight. They aren't gift certificates that someone originally paid "real money" for.

Gee, I really feel lucky that NW didn't stick it all the way in my a$$ by not cancelling my tix and keeping the money I paid ! No, I get it.. I took my chances and now have to pay the $100.00 back.. which brings the fare back to full price.. really nothing lost. Especially since alternative airfare has now gone up considerably.

There's no free lunches, but sometimes you can tickets heavily discounted as it's worked numerous times in the past with these eCerts (saving an average of $50.00/ticket for the last 10 years). But I would think that Northwest would simply offer the option of mutually cancelling the transaction altogether as it was invalid from the get go - that's my point. I had other coupons and itineraries that worked better. Am I trying to screw the airline? No, just trying to get the best deal possible - and if I happen to screw the airline along the way, well Jimmy Crack Corn cause I don't care. They've had numerous improprieties of their own and all I ever seem to get in consideration is a piping hot bowl of d!ck soup. If you've flown enough in coach clss fare you're gonna get the soup served to you occassionally.

I don't want to hear a bunch of BS about how the airlines need to make money, and all the DO GOOD BS.. save it for someone who gives a rip.
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  #12  
Old May 26, 2009, 3:29 AM
kwill kwill is offline
 
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Ecerts actually work....I've been using them for years, through purchase from sites like Ebay and never once have had a problem. The use of the $100 ecert was cancelled recently (I believe due to the completion and finalizing of the merger), and NWA is offering folks the chance to pay the difference. At this time the other alternative is to use a $25 ecert instead....at least that is something off.
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