Last week they refunded me $54 for 4 award tickets due to "The refund amount reflects all applicable service/cancellation fees associated with your ticket(s)." It definitely sounds bogus. My itinerary included a sector on CZ.
PM me if you find a lawyer or a way to fight this. I think you will get an automated email like me.
Location: Um...I don't remember. I need to check my boarding pass.
Programs: Lots of shiny cards
Also, when I've seen award ticket fees before (taxes, etc.), there has always been the disclaimer that it's an approximation until the itinerary is ticketed. Hitting the OK button on the browser switches it to confirmed status, but it isn't ticketed until there's a 006 number (not a PNR, which is for confirming) attached. This can take anywhere from a minute to a couple of hours after you hit the OK button.
The comments and opinions expressed here are my own, and are not an official representation of Delta Air Lines.
In my case, the refund came a few days AFTER the 012 ticket was issued. So I don't think just ticketing locks in the amount.
My theory is that when partner carriers are used, the fees and taxes are estimations - and to be fair, and avoid any future lawsuits, they are needing to check the exact amounts after ticketing - and then adjust accordingly.