Chief Executive Officer
Jetstar Australia and New Zealand
PO Box 635
SUNSHINE VIC 3020
I recently had a problem with your company’s service and I am writing to you out of frustration to outline just how appalling my experience has been and to escalate directly to you the request for a refund that I have been promised, that Jetstar is obligated to provide under the Competition and Consumer Act and that has not yet been paid within a reasonable time.
On Monday 9th July your organisation made a decision to change your schedule for flight JQ973 on 10th September 2012 (upon which my family and I were booked ref K8EGTM). Unhappy with the schedule change I rang your customer service line to investigate the other alternatives available. To my disappointment your contact centre staff were very rude and unhelpful. In fact the consultant I initially spoke to hung up on me (twice) after telling me that both supervisors were too busy to speak with me, in spite of my willingness to wait until they were available, suggesting that I lodge my complaint via your online form and realising that I was the same customer that promptly called back.
I was eventually able to get through to a supervisor and after exhausting other available options which did not suit my family’s needs I requested a refund. Initially I was informed that a refund would take between 10 – 15 days. I consider this to be extremely unreasonable given that your organisation charged by account within 5 minutes of making the booking and there is no mention of the length of time a refund will take in your terms and conditions. I also wonder whether this could be considered a breach under the Competition and Consumer Act, in particular “Schedule 2, Part 2-2 Unconscionable Conduct”
I strenuously (not rudely) protested the unreasonable delay for processing a refund (given that it was your company’s decision to alter the schedule) and as a result your Supervisor promised a refund of the fare in full within 5-7 days. I specifically made it clear during the call that my expectation was for the funds to be paid into my bank account by close of business on Monday 16th July. It is now 19th July, 10 days (or 8 business days if there was any misunderstanding) and my fare has still not been refunded.
During the evening of Monday 16th July, I again rang your contact centre again and spoke with another consultant who informed me that the refund had in fact been paid and that I needed to check with my bank as to where the funds were. On making a reasonable request for provision of evidence that the funds had in fact been processed to my account and had been presented by my bank (ie cleared Jetstar’s account), I was told that your company was unable to prove that you had in fact paid me and that I should check with my bank (surely the onus sits with Jetstar to provide this information). On requesting contact details for your accounts area, I was told that there was no number available.
Again I strenuously (not rudely) protested Jetstar’s inability to either prove they had in fact paid me or provide me with contact details for someone who could find the answers. At this point she promptly hung up on me. Given my outrage, I am wondering if this is a deliberate tactic that Jetstar are using to leverage it’s “relative strength” and “bargaining position” to its own advantage. You can imagine my frustration.
In desperation I decided to seek information from fellow consumers via the internet and found and interesting website, www.dontflyjetstar.com which suggested I take certain steps to ensure that I was put through to an Australian contact centre. I decided to give it a go and I did get through to a contact centre in Australia and spoke to another consultant.
Again I was told that the funds had been paid and to check with my bank and again, on requesting that Jetstar provide some evidence that the funds had been paid was refused.
Again I asked to speak with a supervisor and was told that there was not one available and that in fact I had rung the wrong area and that she was told by her manager (that she had apparently telephoned) that she shouldn’t be providing any service to me.
Again I strenuously (not rudely) protested and was put through to an “acting” supervisor. I finally believed that I had gotten through to someone who had the intelligence to treat me with a little common decency and eventually he admitted to me that the refund had not in fact been paid rather it had only been requested. You can imagine how I felt at this point after being lied to and hung up on by two different consultants. I asked him why I had not been told this previously and e admitted that he did not know.
He apologised on behalf of Jetstar and committed to escalating the issue with your finance department manager and his own manager and promised that I would receive a telephone call the following day to explain the status of the refund and to speed up the process. To date (3 days later) I have not received a call or my refund which Jetstar promised and is obligated to provide.
Given that I am an average Australian with a family, I am sure you can understand that $1,500 is a significant outlay and as a result of your unacceptable changes to the service I paid for, I have had to purchase extra tickets from your competitor Virgin. This has placed some degree of financial stress on my family, while we wait for Jetstar to honour its obligations under the law and the commitments made by its employees. It is little surprise that Virgin appears to be gaining market share in the domestic market.
To be quite frank, I doubt that I would ever book a flight with Jetstar again because I am at the point where I am considering sending this letter repeatedly to as many press outlets and government members as I can find contact details for in relation to some of the practices I have encountered. Perhaps if I did this someone might stand up and hold Jetstar to account for their appalling service.
However, I am sure that you will not be keen to receive any bad publicity, or perhaps you are the ultimate driver of such conduct. In that case maybe I should make a complaint directly to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.