They Should Put In A Seat Warning To Not Sit Next To Them

, , | Right | August 31, 2017

(I am part of my travel agency’s back office team that processes customer requests for ticket changes and cancellations. Towards the end of the shift, we receive a very angrily-worded email demanding that we cancel a reservation made on our website.)

Me: “This is [My Name] from [Travel Agency]. I am calling regarding your request to cancel the tickets you booked with us last Friday.”

Customer: “Well, finally! You are thieves and scammers. You told me my card would not get charged! I was just checking availability on those flights, not booking them!”

Me: “Well, you have successfully completed the booking, which would require both putting in full credit card details AND checking the box that says that you have read the rules and you confirm the booking.”

Customer: “That is your representative’s fault! I was told that in order to see if there are seats available I had to put in full credit card details, but he said that if I didn’t want to actually book, I would just need to put in someone else’s card! I used my mother’s card! Why wasn’t the charge declined?!”

Me: “My apologies but that makes no sense. If you have put in full credit card details and the card owner’s ID number, why would the charge be declined? There was no inconsistency between payer details and card details. And why would anyone ever think that you need to put in full credit card details and ID number for ‘just checking’? You can see the search results without going through three additional screens to payment details.”

Customer: “I demand that you cancel the tickets RIGHT NOW and refund me in full TODAY or I will take it to the press! And just so you know, I am a lawyer!”

Me: “Well, as a lawyer, I am sure you are aware of the Consumer Protection Law under which…”

Customer: “Yes! Consumer Protection Law! It says I can cancel for free within 48 hours!”

Me: “…under which you will be charged a cancellation fee of 5% of the reservation’s total value so long as you cancel within 14 days from date of purchase.”

Customer: “But you can’t charge me cancellation fees! Your representative told me my card would not be charged!”

Me: “I can request the recording of that call if you insist, and we will call you back within 24 hours. Which phone number were you talking to that representative from?”

Customer: “Uh… You can’t charge me anyway. I am barred by court order from leaving the country!”

Me: “That has no bearing on your cancellation fees.”

Customer: “Did you hear me? Court order! It’s illegal for you to charge me fees!”

Me: “No, it’s not, but it just might make it illegal for you to purchase a ticket for yourself out of the country.”

Customer: “Okay, fine, I didn’t want to tell you because it’s personal but you’re forcing me. I have a medical reason. I’ll send you a letter from my doctor!”

Me: “I’m afraid consumer protection law fees are not waived for medical reasons. They are already a form of waiver as they are symbolic fees which, within the defined period of time, supersede the much higher fees of the products you purchase, like your non-refundable tickets.”

Customer: “I am serious. I have a valid medical reason! I had breast enlargement surgery!”

Me: “How is that relevant?”

Customer: “I can’t get the sutures wet! I can’t go into the sea! What would I fly to Cyprus for if I can’t go to the beach?!”

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