1K Line Wanted To Charge a Fee

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Captain Oveur, Jul 25, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    I have a VDB voucher in my name I wanted to redeem for a family member (this voucher is Post-Merger UA, with the PIN number, etc). Called the 1K Line, hash out all the flights, etc. Then the lady said it would be $25 for a telephone ticketing fee since it wasn't me, and a general member flying on the ticket.

    United.......really?

    (edited to clarify when the voucher was issued)
     
  2. Sedosi

    Sedosi Gold Member

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    Ah the changes.....the changessss....my preciousss........
     
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Shouldn't the fee be waived no matter what since you (presumably) can't use it on the website?
     
  4. Sedosi

    Sedosi Gold Member

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    Wasn't there something like this on a previous thread where somone couldn't do something online but was still charged a fee? Possibly on TOBB?

    Let me poke around maybe I'm misremembering but I think I'm not.
     
  5. mherdeg
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    mherdeg Silver Member

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    I'm confused — what PMUA vouchers had PIN numbers?

    Were you trying to redeem an old PMUA paper voucher (where booking fees should properly be waived)? How were you going to ticket that over the phone? I thought they required ticket-by-mail or ticket-at-airport.
     
  6. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Sorry, I'm getting my terminologies confused. This is a POST-meger United VDB voucher.

    But I still think the fee should be waived simply on principle.
     
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  7. lightangel

    lightangel Silver Member

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    I may be wrong, but I think the one with a pin can be used online.
     
  8. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Yes it can.
     
  9. Black Cloud
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    Black Cloud Gold Member

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    Hang-up, call back.
    The data point isn't statistically significant of anything, but I recently used a voucher issued to me for a non elite flyer on UA and didn't get charged a ticketing fee.
     
  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Nope.

    First off, the vouchers can be used on the website. And even in cases where there is something which cannot be done online the policy is to charge the fee. Not particularly customer friendly but it does avoid issues where people claim something cannot be done even if it can.

    Beyond that, I'm curious where the line should be drawn for not charging fees in cases where the elite member calls to do something for a different passenger. Award change fees and such should still be charged, right? Is there really any difference here?

    And, as Black Cloud noted, you do have a decent chance of getting it waived anyways depending on who you call, but that is a courtesy, not a policy.
     
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  11. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    What about cases where you're booking an award for someone else out of your own account? Fees waived then, right? I would assume fees would still be assessed if someone else had bought a ticket (revenue or award) on their own and you're just calling to get things taken care of.
     
  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    My answer was based on the question asking about PM UA merger cents (pre-merger). That was corrected later.

    I have never received a post-merger certificate, but pre-merger UA DBC vouchers were not usable online as far as I recall. And it would be rather... rude to charge customers a fee to use such vouchers, whether they have status or not.
     
  13. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Yes, because the status of the miles used is how that is calculated. But an elite buying with cash or a voucher for another passenger doesn't get that benefit.
     
  14. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    In your world, maybe.


    You hit the head on the nail with the part I put in bold.


    I'm curious if you think that the fee should be charged for a passenger who is 1K, has flown for almost two million miles, AND helped out United in an overbooking situation.



    It's a problem from the top, not with the individual.
     
  15. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    I think UA should be charging this fee if the transaction is wholly for passenger who would otherwise be charged a call center fee. Otherwise, what's to stop all of us who are 1K/GS from calling UA every time our friends or family want to book a ticket that can't be done online or because the friend/family doesn't want to use the website?

    Now, if the 1K/GS member is also part of the transaction then the fees should be waived IMHO.

    -RM
     
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  16. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    In this case, yes. It isn't for you, it is for the person you are buying the ticket for.

    And while charging for things which cannot be done online isn't necessarily the best policy, there are reasons it makes sense. I also fail to see what that has to do with this scenario since the TCVs can be used online.
     
  17. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Then we have a difference in opinion.
     
  18. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    I am in full agreement that the 1K Line should not turn into a travel agency for friends of 1K members.

    However, the problem here is inability to understand the situation by the front-line employee.

    If I physically gave this cert to my family member and said "call the 1K line, here's my M+ number," that would be way out of bounds.

    But I am calling this special line not only because I earned the privilege to do so, but also since I have never used this type of certificate before.

    Seriously, think about it. You have a 1K flyer, who is about 5k miles short of re-qualifying for 1K in 2013 and is almost a 2MM (those last two points I really don't know if they can see on their screen), and who bailed UA out of an overbooking situation by virtue of having this certificate in the first place, AND is paying more cash to cover the entire cost of the ticket. Then you ask to collect $25 on top of that?

    Like I mentioned earlier, I don't fault the individual on the other end of the phone. It's the CULTURE of customer service. Creating the right CULTURE that Jeff Smisek consistently beats his chest about in those pre-flight videos that is way out of alignment with reality.

    Failure to empower your front-line staff comes from "the corner office of a skyscraper," another thing that Jeff Smisek proudly says he is not doing, yet is the axis of what everything is wrong with United right now.
     
  19. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    And yet this is exactly what you are asking them to do.

    While they're waiving the call center fee they may as well open up the expanded award inventory for non-elites too, right? After all, even though you're redeeming from a non-elite account it is an elite making the phone call.

    You're claiming as a lack of customer service culture based on some expectation that the company owes you something. They don't. You've got certain benefits prescribed to you based on your 1K status. That's it. You don't get to randomly choose to extend them elsewhere on a whim.
     
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  20. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Read the entire post, the parts that you truncated, and you get the entire context of my point.

    I know you will have the urge to reply to this again, but I will just re-iterate that you and I are going to have to disagree.
     
  21. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Ok, I'll quote your entire post but give you the same answer as Wandering Aramean. Sorry if you don't like it. But what you are asking for is against the rules that UA has come up with.

    There are always agents who are willing to bend the rules and help out. But technically what you are looking to do carries a fee.

    You already used the privilege of the 'special line' by virtue of dialing it and getting right through to an agent ahead of hundreds of other people who are stuck in a queue listening to horrible on-hold music. Benefit received.

    As for bailing out UA - they do appreciate it and they gave you the bump voucher to show you how much they appreciate it. But honestly you didn't help them that much - they'd just as easily IDB'd someone or VDB'd someone else if they wanted to. IDB numbers have historically been higher on CO so just one more isn't going to hurt them. Stock investors aren't looking at IDB numbers.

    Personally I think you should chalk this up to a lesson learned about the $25 call center fee and move on. If this is the straw that breaks the camels back and you don't want to do business with UA anymore over $25 that's entirely your decision. But some of us are trying to help you understand why the fee is there and why UA is charging it.

    -RM
     
  22. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I did. That was the part where you completely contradicted the initial statement you made.

    You don't want the 1K line to turn in to a travel agency for your friends, except when you call to make arrangements for your friends. You cannot have it both ways. Remember that is isn't just you they have to scale to handle it with; it is all elites. So if they do it for you then it is for everyone. And that's just what you said you didn't want.

    Pick a side; you cannot have both. ;)
     
  23. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    I no longer have status with UA and have found when booking award tickets it's 50/50 wether I get the booking fee waived. Usually the outsourced call centers are better with waiving it in my experience.
     
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  24. Steve GadFly
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    Steve GadFly Gold Member

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    If Captain Oveur wants one of his friends to receive the same 1K benefits he has, then being a million-miler, he can bestow his status on them for the year. Problem solved. Otherwise, non-statused friends of 1K's aren't entitled to their benefits. Gotta side with Wandering Aramean, Skyvan, and UA on this one.
     
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