Refund Nightmare

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by profpeabody, Mar 27, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. profpeabody

    profpeabody Silver Member

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    Recently I purchased 2 fully refundable AA tickets knowing that our business plans were subject to change. Sure enough, plans changed. I called AA on Feb 11th and cancelled the original tickets. Agent insisted they were non-refundable so I had to take vouchers. Rather than continue to argue, I took the hang up and call back route. Usually this is a good strategy. In this case, not so much. The 2nd agent confirmed that the tickets were refundable and tried to process the refund. Unfortunately, 1st agent had submitted the voucher request and 2nd agent spoke with supervisor who said they could not stop the voucher process. I was instructed to return the vouchers with a letter detailing the problem and a refund would be processed to my charge card. Vouchers arrived, I duly sent them off via FedEx to the Florida address I was given. No refund. Called last week to check on status and was told they had the vouchers and the refund should be posted within 48 hours. Called today and was told they had lost the vouchers and the agent was sending my file to "headquarters." I asked whom I could speak to about getting this refund processed (a refund I might add is only necessary because the original agent was completely wrong in refusing to issue a refund to begin with) and was told the only thing I can do at this point is to email customer service and "hope they will step in and take charge." My frustration with American is huge at this point. At every step there is a new wrinkle. Lost the vouchers??? This is a significant amount of money and AA seems to have no interest in letting it go. Now I have no vouchers and no refund in sight. Fortunately, I do have copies of the vouchers in my file should I need them and it looks like I might. Any advice?
     
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  2. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    Yikes, what a crap-up. :confused: Emailing customer service doesn't sound like a bad next step; get them aware of the situation in case they aren't already. Also you might print all the files related to the trip - when you booked, your email confirmation of the original ticket, and put all those things in the same place in case they are relevant.

    Legally, AA has only 7 (original payment credit card)-20 (orig. cash) days to provide a refund to you. If you have made no traction in the next few days, file a complaint with DOT. You've already been very patient, although they did appear to be helping in the beginning so your patience was initially warranted.

    http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer/file-consumer-complaint
     
  3. profpeabody

    profpeabody Silver Member

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    Thanks for the input. I submitted a request for help to customer service today and will follow your advice regarding DOT if nothing happens within a week. My mantra in these things is "make it easy for them to help you" but in this case, I am reaching the end of my rope.
     
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  4. Dublin_rfk

    Dublin_rfk Gold Member

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    Alternate / Parallel recourse: Contact credit card company, provide details and let them run with it. On the surface of what you have provided, AA's response is really close fraud.
     
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  5. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    In cases like this I would say make a good-faith effort to get the refund from AA...and then proceed with a CC chargeback request. No need to jump through hoops if AA is not making a reasonable effort to refund you your money in a timely manner.
     
  6. profpeabody

    profpeabody Silver Member

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    Just got an email from Customer Service saying they would check into this and also "share my concerns with their Leadership team." The matter has now been forwarded to the Refunds department and they gave me a fax number and snail mail address should I need to contact Refunds directly. Goes on further to say that it may take up to two billing cycles for the refund to appear on my credit card.
    Will post with the final resolution. At least they responded promptly.
     
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  7. socalgecko

    socalgecko Silver Member

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    Two billing cycles seems like a pretty loose interpretation of a 7-day refund window. Do they process them with a TARDIS?
     
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  8. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    if billing closes tomorrow and they refund the day after...that's 2 billing cycles.
     
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  9. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    Mattsteg is right, of course, but this hearkens back to a time when the only chance you had to see charges on your statement was the monthly statement you got in the mail. If you have remote access, you should be able to see it instantly when it happens.

    The reason I say to complain to DOT if AA continues to be unhelpful is so they know it happened. If they get thousands of complaints about the same thing, they know there is a serious issue. I'm sure some of you remember the DOT fined UA a total of $350,000 for untimely processing of 9,000 refunds between March and May of 2012 and a number of other reporting violations. I don't know how they initially found out about the refund problems, but it was probably consumer complaints.

    I don't want to see AA (or any airline) slapped with a fine undeservingly, but if they are making this a "business process," it is not acceptable, and we as individual consumers can do little about it but complain through the proper channels. Hopefully OP's refund just fell through the cracks because of the first agent's actions.
     
  10. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Whether it is a business process, or tg ey do not have a good way to escalate to someone empowered to make things right, it's wholly appropriate to pursue such avenues after a good faith effort to get the airline to provide the proper refund.

    1-2 contacts, including letting them know you are cobsidering this and a clear request of what they need to deliver, and giving them sufficient time to respond as specified in coc or cc agreements, seems to me to be enough effort to expend, unless clear progress is being made.
     
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  11. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    If you wait "2 billing cycles" you may exceed the time available to dispute a charge with your cc. Don't most of them have a 60 day period FROM THE ORIGINAL PURCHASE allowance for film a dispute? In addition when up file a dispute you usually aren't responsible for paying the amount until the dispute is resolved.
     
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  12. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I, too, was concerned about the expiration of your right to file a clam with your CC company. As a merchant who accepts card payments daily, I do know that there is a time limit. Card companies almost always err on the side of the cardholder if the claim is filed in a timely manner. We have had very few (but very memorable) battles with people who filed unjust claims in the past. The documentation required of merchants in these cases is much greater than that required of the cardholder.

    IME, most people immediately file a chargeback claim when they encounter the slightest resistance to a refund request. We don't offer much, if any resistance to refund requests, so I'm certain that you have already been more patient than most. If in your shoes, I would have tried to do it the right way, as you did, but when they lost the vouchers? Chargeback time. I would do it for my own protection.

    Immediately upon filing the claim, I would notify AA that I had done so and why. This would be mostly to protect my AAdvantage status, but also to help them avoid issuing double credit. This sounds more like a case of incompetence than intentional delay.
     
  13. profpeabody

    profpeabody Silver Member

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    I am happy to report that the refund appeared online in pending transactions today. Whew! Thank you all for the support and valuable advice.
     
  14. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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  15. profpeabody

    profpeabody Silver Member

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    Thanks Max. Sorry you had such a headache. It was a really frustrating experience and I was relieved to finally get a good outcome..
     
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  16. c23634697

    c23634697 Active Member

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    Thank you. AA at JAX ticket counter, hell for the handicapped. On going issues.
     

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