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The Unofficial Jetstar Refund Policy

Mingwei Shen

After my long battle with the Jetstar Customer Rep, I decided to post this online so that Jetstar users at least know what they are getting into before calling for a refund. Here is the Unofficial Jetstar Refund Policy Guidelines:
- Offer of a full refund is not a commitment that Jetstar will refund your fare.
- After receiving the offer a full refund, you may call customer service to ‘request’ a refund.
- There are no defined guidelines that determine a refund request’s success.
- Jetstar’s decision is final and will be made known 15 business days after you make your refund request.
- No refund policy will be made official at any point in time.
- Requests for our refund policy to be made known will not be entertained
- If you’re feeling lucky, go ahead and try to refund and switch to our competitors.

Didn't realize there's been so much bad experience with Jetstar online until I experienced it myself.

My itinerary was changed 1 week before my scheduled SIN-HK 9am flight. The 9am flight was cancelled and I was notified via email. In the email, Jetstar offered me a choice of a full refund or free change to an earlier (6.40am) flight. So I called to ask for a full refund and use a different airline since I would have a long night the day before and didn't want to wake up at 4am, cab to the airport and reach HK 3 hours early, which was why I wanted to fly on the 9am flight in the first place.

But, turns out that the offer of a refund, was well, not even an offer (some would call it a lie). The rep insisted that I fax in a detailed explanation why I wanted a refund (I thought I was being offered a free refund? Or was I being offered the opportunity to make a refund request?) because Jetstar was so kind as to give me a free (the rep practically raved and harped on how good they were) change to the next available flight, nevermind what I wanted. And it gets better, after 15 business days, Jetstar may or may not refund me my fare.

Well, I thought, fine, let's give Jetstar the benefit of doubt that they have this procedure to follow, since the rep said he can't change anything and I had to follow Jetstar's refund procedure. I asked him, what's the criteria for a refund. Guess what? There is no criteria. After 15 business days, Jetstar will tell you whether or not you are entitled to a refund.

Ok so, I can request a refund if I type a letter, fax it to Jetstar and maybe I can get my money back after 15 business days. Feeling risky, I thought let's give it a shot since well, Jetstar offered me a refund didn't they? I told the rep, ok, I'll fax the letter, take the risk of the uncertainty involved in the case-by-case refund policy. Just send me an email confirmation that Jetstar is processing my refund, and inform me the refund amount and that there is no defined criteria for this refund. (Note, I asked for some black-and-white because the rep was unable to show me where on Jetstar website can I find Jetstar's refund rules or the current procedure that I was about to undertake.)

You know what? The reply was: "Sorry, we don't have email here, I am only able to email you your itinerary".

Wow! Jetstar has all bases covered. No rules governing what is refundable. No black-and-white refund policy to defend against. No need to honor written correspondences.

I was intrigued, why even bother to tell the customer that you are willing to offer a full refund when you have absolutely NO intention of doing so? My guess is, most people just agree to the change and think that wow, Jetstar has a full refund policy. Well, Jetstar has a full refund policy until you try to get it. Then, it's good luck to you.

Having seen this before on tv, I asked to speak to the rep's supervisor. And, you probably guessed it, the rep put me on hold for 15 min, and then told me oh, all our supervisors are currently busy, do you want to be on hold longer? That's when I decided, well enough is enough, I don't feel lucky enough that Jetstar will honor anything and I should feel lucky that I even have a flight that will take me to the right place (I'll find out next week). So, I gave-in and took the superb free offer that Jetstar has so nicely arranged for me to be on the earlier flight. Jetstar 1 Me 0

And in true professional customer service fashion, the rep signed off with "Have a good day!"

I don’t know about others, but in the end, I felt more upset that Jetstar was pretending to offer full refunds than the fact that I had to take an earlier flight. Something to think about regarding making empty promises, you better not get caught out.

Ps. Something the rep said during the call, “this call is recorded for quality purposes and tracking”, made me realize that I need to record all my calls with customer service reps in the future. Since Jetstar already covered themselves by not having anything written that could be used against them, this may be an option for any refund wannabes.

Comments:

What they dont tell you about refunds is that the person you talk to doesn't decide if you get a refund or not.
But they WILL tell you that they have processed your refund and you just have to wait 15 days to receive it.

What actually happens is they send a refund REQUEST to another department, and that department will decide if they give you a refund or not (and it takes 15 days to make this decision).

I recently learned from someone in the financial industry who had studied Jetstar financial reports & supporting docs that 50% of Jetstar profit comes from people who buy a ticket and don't fly.

I'm not saying that 50% of passengers tear up their ticket- what I am saying is that 50% of Jetstar PROFIT is derived from passengers who buy a ticket and ultimately don't fly on that ticket.

Hard to imagine? Not really - because after all Jetstar not only pocket the ticket price, but also the taxes and fees involved. In a low margin business you only need maybe <5% of passengers to check-in late or otherwise not fly on that ticket to double the profits this way. A flying customer earns the company maybe 5% margin, a non-flying customer earns 100% margin.

Jetstar is an airline that derives 50% of it's profit from NOT FLYING PASSENGERS, something to think about that next time you book a ticket..

Phil, tell this friend of your to get this info out! Someone needs to put these crook in their place.

To whom it may concern
We would like to make a serious compliant regarding our baggage being lost on the flight from Auckland to Cold Coast (Flie number G002959)

I flew the flight JQ238 from Auckland to Cold Coast on 11th March Friday morning and couldn’t find my checked in baggage after landing. After speaking to the baggage staff I was told my baggage was left behind and located in Auckland Airport and will be put on next available flight which is scheduled same time next day and courier to my hotel in Cold Coast

However, 3 day past, I still see nothing; I rang local baggage service several times with no idea where my baggage is. Our holiday was totally ruined without all the staff in my baggage like all clothing, personal cleaning, swimming wears etc. We ended up spending a of lot money in Cold Coast just to buy those things from head to toes, not mention over $30 just speaking to your baggage service team.

We really had enough; we really should relax while in holiday rather than worrying about our baggage. Anyway, we will be flying back to Auckland on 15th March. If we still can’t get my baggage back by then, I will take legal action and contact media about my horrible experience. Although JetStar offers cheap fair, your service quality are very disappointing!

I have also a problem with Jetstar, I has a ticket from Perth do Singapur. They change the hours of flight. I canceled the ticket and I wait for a refund until 21 March 2011. Now I wait 5 weeks ! And everytime when I call there I heard a same think : Next week you will get the refund on your credit card ! Fucking airlines !!!!!!

Why would anyone fly JS for business (as it appears you are doing?).

Phil, your post doesn't surprise me now after my recent experience with booking 4 tickets where JS couldn't find my payment in their account and forced me to contact my bank and get the bank to fax JS with evidence that a transfer had been made to thei JS account.

if what you say is correct, and I don't doubt it, then it is time that the Australian Government intervened and have a thorough enquiry into this pathetic excuse for an airline. after three weeks of phone calls to JS to wrench my booked tickets out of them, at various stages I feared that I had lost my seven hundred dollars, Keith no sign of my booking on their web site, the only evidence of my booking was my bank transfer. for a lesser amount, say $100 or under, I probably would have given up my battle to get my tickets.

from all the accounts I have read on this site and now my own experience with JS I can only come to the conclusion that it is not just incompetence, but company policy to make profits from losses of their customers, lost bookings, lost transfers and payments, cancelled flights and so on.

time for JS to be " thoroughly investigated" (quoted form the member of the JS "Escalation Team" who finally managed to find my bank transfer, booking and tickets in the space of one day after I mentioned referring the matter to a lawyer.

Jetstar promised me a refund.
they said "It takes fifteen business days".
So, nineteen days later, I called 13 15 38 to ask where it was.
They said:
It takes fifteen days to make a DECISION.
Once made it takes fourteen business days to PROCESS the refund.
I said "But a payment is cleared by most banks overnight..."
They said "Our payments take fourteen days for our finance department to process."

Hmmmm. I wonder what I could do with that infomation?
1). post it here
2). go to the ACCC

Well, 1). is done. Let's see how busy I am this afternoon for 2).

I would like to add that even AFTER they send you an official email saying that you will be refunded, they may call you one day later to revoke the offer like they did for us!