Letters – January, 23 2009

Letters – January, 23 2009

Booking Pattern

I was interested to read the letter from Ray Klein in the September issue regarding his efforts to obtain two first class tickets to Australia in January 2009. I have had the same experience in seeking a United Mileage Plus award of two business class tickets to Sydney in January 2009.

I telephoned the first day the flights were listed in the computer and tried every day for three months thereafter with no luck. Since then I have telephoned intermittently with the same result.

I then tried writing but always got evasive answers until a recent letter which said:

“The booking pattern for revenue seats on United international flights is close to departure because most revenue customers do not plan that far in advance. Please note that our inventory planners allocate seats first to people who will pay for seats in United first, United business and United economy. Our inventory planners do review and update seat availability on a weekly basis. When they have a better forecast of how many revenue passengers to expect, they will release award seats centered in part on the information. Therefore, it is not unusual to have award seats available until closer to departure.”

I also was a Premier Executive or Premier–until I retired. Now except for a couple of trips a year most of my miles are earned using the United credit card. It is obvious now that United has changed their method of allocating seats and people that accumulate miles on credit cards are out of luck. United seems to be ignoring their obligation to credit card users despite the fact reported by you recently that they received $600 million from Chase as an advance payment for miles.
Edward G Winrow

Web Site Sabotage

I just spent hours online trying to send Qantas information to add missing mileage to my Frequent Flyer account. It was impossible! They had me fill out a form and press submit, but when I pressed submit, a window would pop up and tell me my number was wrong. It wasn’t. I tried over and over again. Once they accepted my account number, something else would be wrong, and another window would pop up. This continued.

I even had my son check all the info. He was just as frustrated. It became obvious, they had the site set up to sabotage your request to add missing mileage points. There must be some way to report this fraud to a consumer organization. Does anyone know how to handle this?
Barbara Kennedy

Editor’s Note: Barbara, we feel your frustration, but we doubt that Qantas set out to deliberately sabotage your missing mileage request. Web sites do not always work the way you want them to. Perhaps the site does not work well with the Web browser you are currently using or there was another, possibly temporary, problem.

We suggest you call the Frequent Flyer service center, or you can email them via the Feedback form online, and let them know of your problem with their site. We’re sure they can work with you to get those missing miles into your account

Customer Service Loop

I have for the last two months tried to get my US Airways credit card statement with the year-to-date information. I show in August 2008 I reached the $25,000 spent mark to receive the 10,000 bonus elite miles.

What the problem boils down to is this: They say my statements with the amount spent per month are not correct. When I call customer service they tell me I need to go to customer service online. I have spent the last three weeks trying to get an answer, enclosed [see below] is a copy of the emails sent and received.

Basically they say I am wrong but they do not have any records to show what has been spent. So now online customer service is telling me I need to call customer service or wait until the year-end statement is available. However, if my monthly statements are incorrect then how can the year-end statement be correct? And by then the bonus offer will have expired.

Since online customer service and the call center customer service have been unable to assist me they are telling me now to contact the office of the President.

How is it possible that the customer service for US Airways MasterCard can operate with no records of their accounts?
Edward Ploughman Sr.

Email to US Airways: On my September bank statement I show I reached the 25,000 spending mark to receive the 10,000 elite bonus. When checking with US Airways I’m told my statement is incorrect. When I ask what amount spent does the bank show, and why I am coming up with a different amount, they tell me the correct amount they show is different. In each phone call with the customer service (Barclay’s) they do not have records and refer me to this online customer service as the only way to resolve the issue.

Email from US Airways: Thank you for contacting us regarding your US Airways MasterCard account. We do appreciate your inquiry regarding your earned miles. Please be advised that if you have purchased more than $25,000 in a calendar year, 10,000 earned miles will be converted to Preferred/Elite qualifying miles. Your monthly billing statement will provide you with a summary of miles earned during that period.

After your statement date, the miles will be transferred to your Dividend Miles Account. Miles will normally appear on your Dividend Miles account within seven business days of the statement date. Please note that the 10,000 miles that will be converted to Preferred miles are being processed by US Airways. To redeem your miles or confirm your mileage total, please visit the US Airways Web site or contact a US Airways representative by phone at (800) 428-4322, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We hope this information is satisfactory for your needs.

Email to US Airways: What my question was: In August I was told my charges were over $24,000. I have since charged more than $3,000. I show I reached the $25,000 in September and still have not received my 10,000-mile transfer. What amount do you show I have charged? I now show that there is over $28,000 in charges after this statement. In the last three months I have not received an answer as to the amount you show I have charged year to date.

Email from US Airways: Thank you for contacting us regarding your US Airways MasterCard account. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. In order to ensure that your inquiry is responded to in a most efficient manner, we ask that you contact us at (888) 232-0780 from 6:00am to 2:00pm EST. If you have any other questions and concerns, please reply to this email. We appreciate your business and look forward to continuing to service your financial needs.

Email to US Airways: I have talked to them. They say to use the online site, as they cannot help! So no one at your bank can tell me what has been charged on this account for the year! I still show that I met all the requirements in September and still no bonus miles have been transferred.

Email from US Airways:Thank you for contacting us regarding your US Airways MasterCard account. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. Unfortunately, we are unable to send you a summary of all your transactions on this account. Please be informed that your year-end summary is only available online. On the other hand, to redeem your miles or confirm your mileage total, please visit the US Airways Web site or contact a US Airways representative by phone. If you have any other questions and concerns, please reply to this email. We appreciate your business and look forward to continuing your financial needs.

Email to US Airways: I have called and talked to customer service!! They say I have to use the Web site to get the answer! You tell me to call them! I have to assume this is just a pass the buck loop!!

Email from US Airways: Thank you for contacting us regarding your US Airways MasterCard account. We understand your concerns and would like to apologize if you have received anything less than superior customer service from us. Please know that it is our goal to provide our customers with exceptional customer service and we regret to learn that we have not exceeded your expectations. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you a summary of all your transactions on this account. Pease be informed that your year-end summary is only available online.

Email to US Airways: I’ve already been told there is no year-end statement available at this time. My only assumption is that without the bank having any records for my account, the records you have sent must be wrong, but the bank cannot tell me why their records are wrong. So basically I am out the elite miles because the bank either has no records or there is no one that can read the records, by adding or subtracting. There seems to be no way for customer service to solve customer disputes.

Email from US Airways: Thank you for contacting us regarding your US Airways MasterCard account. We appreciate your concern regarding this account. Unfortunately, if you wish to dispute this issue further we would need for you to mail a letter to our Executive Office. Please mail the letter to the following address: Office of the President, PO Box 8885, Wilmington DE 19899-8885. The Executive Office will contact you shortly after the letter has been received to resolve the issue.

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