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.