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AC customer says she was wrongly billed for flight in U.S. dollars

AC customer says she was wrongly billed for flight in U.S. dollars

Old Jun 19, 15, 11:18 am
  #1  
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AC customer says she was wrongly billed for flight in U.S. dollars

http://globalnews.ca/news/2063684/ai...n-u-s-dollars/

TORONTO — A Toronto frequent flyer who books regularly with Air Canada says she got an unwelcome surprise when she returned from a trip to Greece this spring. Her credit card bill was almost $1,000 higher than expected.

“They said it was my error, I made the mistake, I went into the wrong website,” said Maureen Gordon, a retired banker and loyal Air Canada customer who flies with the carrier at least six times a year.
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Old Jun 19, 15, 11:46 am
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Every AC.com page has the country version flag at the top. The currency is put in bold letters at the top when selecting the fares.

The price at the end has the currency explicitly stated. Then you see it again after you put pax info in. Both times in bold letters on the same line as the dollar amount.

If for any reason the website doesn't know where you are, it will ask you on a big splash screen.

The website could misconstrue where you are for any number of user-related reasons. A common one might be the user is using a VPN.

I'm not seeing a way the airline is at fault here. Could it put up USD numbers by accident when everything says CAD to the user?
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Old Jun 19, 15, 11:50 am
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From the article:

“A Canadian customer connecting to the website of a Canadian device on a Canadian network should not have to validate and re-validate that she is, in fact, a Canadian consumer who expects to pay in Canadian dollars,” Levy said. “Air Canada has been caught with its technological pants down.”
Carmi Levy's a pretty smart guy, but I'm frankly surprised by this statement. I equate this to being able to buy the same product from amazon.com or amazon.ca while in Canada. I don't want amazon to decide what currency I pay in -- that's part of my purchase decision making process. And I'm sure AC knows exactly which site the transaction came from; it's hardly a case of being caught with its pants down.

As for Ms. Gordon saying she "logged into the site the same way as always," that's a bit of a poor excuse for either ignoring or missing the fact that she was being quoted in USD. I'm sure if 24Left was making this accusation, there'd be screenshots offered as evidence
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Old Jun 19, 15, 11:59 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by ffsim View Post
.....I'm sure if 24Left was making this accusation, there'd be screenshots offered as evidence
I take that as a compliment. LOL


Seems to me either of these pages have the option





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Old Jun 19, 15, 12:06 pm
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Happened to me too

It's actually an easier mistake to make than you think. I had the exact same thing happen to me last year when booking a flight. I went to aircanada.com (from home in Canada) like I normally do, but it automatically directed me to the U.S. website, and I didn't notice. Yes, there is a small icon at the top right, but I didn't notice it at the time.

On the screen where you actually select the flights, there's no indication of currency. And when you go to finalize the payment, it does say "Grand Total - Canadian dollars" on the text over at the left, but there's no CAD or anything like that adjacent to the currency amounts, and your eyes tend to gravitate towards the $ breakdown on the right, not the jumble of text over on the left.

I'd noticed it directly after I booked when I was reviewing the receipt email, and called up AC within a few minutes. Because it was within 24 hours, they would have refunded the fare, but I'd get hit with the credit card FX charges twice, so I just stuck with the booking in US$. In the end, it probably cost me about $80 extra in credit card FX charges due to paying in USD. And yes, I didn't get as good a deal as I thought I was getting due to the US vs. CDN dollars, but really the only difference where I was out $ was the foreign transaction fees.

I didn't do anything different that time, but for some reason, it automatically sent me to the U.S. website without any type of prompting/notification. Unless you happen to notice the icon at the top right, it's a fairly easy mistake to make.
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Old Jun 19, 15, 12:20 pm
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Originally Posted by gcashin View Post
It's actually an easier mistake to make than you think.
Of course it's an easy mistake for the consumer to make. That doesn't mean AC wrongly billed her or that AC was caught with its technological pants down.
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Old Jun 19, 15, 12:41 pm
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I'm surprised this was not a CBC news story!
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Old Jun 19, 15, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by ffsim View Post
From the article:



Carmi Levy's a pretty smart guy, but I'm frankly surprised by this statement. I equate this to being able to buy the same product from amazon.com or amazon.ca while in Canada. I don't want amazon to decide what currency I pay in -- that's part of my purchase decision making process. And I'm sure AC knows exactly which site the transaction came from; it's hardly a case of being caught with its pants down.

As for Ms. Gordon saying she "logged into the site the same way as always," that's a bit of a poor excuse for either ignoring or missing the fact that she was being quoted in USD. I'm sure if 24Left was making this accusation, there'd be screenshots offered as evidence
Carmi Levy is wrong. I think he is the one who got caught with his pants down. Why is this a news story anyways. You make a mistake, take ownership yourself. But with todays entitlement, she pasted the buck. AC did not make anymore $$$ for her mistake, only the credit card company on the crazy exchanged rates. So she paid maybe a extra $20, cheap mistake in my books.
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Old Jun 19, 15, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
http://globalnews.ca/news/2063684/ai...n-u-s-dollars/

TORONTO — A Toronto frequent flyer who books regularly with Air Canada says she got an unwelcome surprise when she returned from a trip to Greece this spring. Her credit card bill was almost $1,000 higher than expected.

“They said it was my error, I made the mistake, I went into the wrong website,” said Maureen Gordon, a retired banker and loyal Air Canada customer who flies with the carrier at least six times a year.
"At least six times a year". At least she wasn't one of those "This is my third trip this year. I'm a VERY frequent flyer!" types

Originally Posted by ffsim View Post
From the article:

“A Canadian customer connecting to the website of a Canadian device on a Canadian network should not have to validate and re-validate that she is, in fact, a Canadian consumer who expects to pay in Canadian dollars,” Levy said. “Air Canada has been caught with its technological pants down.”
Carmi Levy's a pretty smart guy, but I'm frankly surprised by this statement. I equate this to being able to buy the same product from amazon.com or amazon.ca while in Canada. I don't want amazon to decide what currency I pay in -- that's part of my purchase decision making process. And I'm sure AC knows exactly which site the transaction came from; it's hardly a case of being caught with its pants down.

As for Ms. Gordon saying she "logged into the site the same way as always," that's a bit of a poor excuse for either ignoring or missing the fact that she was being quoted in USD. I'm sure if 24Left was making this accusation, there'd be screenshots offered as evidence
I'm a Canadian customer who often connects from within Canada on a Canadian network, but that certainly doesn't mean I want to pay in CAD.

Likewise, sometimes I buy with CAD when I'm in the US.

Maybe there's something to be said about the automatic selection of country, but flights aren't like most products or services you buy.

I live in SFO, I take a trip to YYZ. Then I get a call and I need to be in YOW. So now I'm trying to buy YYZ-YOW, while I'm in Canada, but I absolutely expect to pay in USD.

Anyway, without knowing exactly how she ended up paying in USD, I find it hard to take a side. I was recently stuck on the eUp site in French, and it took me about 20 minutes to figure out how to get it in English. So... yeah. I'm not sure whose fault this is.
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Old Jun 19, 15, 12:56 pm
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
I was recently stuck on the eUp site in French, and it took me about 20 minutes to figure out how to get it in English.
Surely if you are familiar with the site, would have been straightforward to request the upgrade in French, no?
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Old Jun 19, 15, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Wpgjetse View Post
So she paid maybe a extra $20, cheap mistake in my books.
We're back to reading comprehension again. Right in the first post it was stated the difference was $1,000. If that's cheap to you, want to send it to me?
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Old Jun 19, 15, 1:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Jagboi View Post
We're back to reading comprehension again. Right in the first post it was stated the difference was $1,000. If that's cheap to you, want to send it to me?
If she booked on the CAD site, she would have paid $4000 - according to the airline. So the difference is not $1000 - even if that's what the passenger thinks.

The customer did not pay more than she would have booking on the Canadian site,” Fitzpatrick said in an emailed statement, arguing the fare paid by Gordon was equivalent to the Canadian dollar fare after conversion.
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Old Jun 19, 15, 1:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
Surely if you are familiar with the site, would have been straightforward to request the upgrade in French, no?
I did, but that's not the point.
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Old Jun 19, 15, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Jagboi View Post
We're back to reading comprehension again. Right in the first post it was stated the difference was $1,000. If that's cheap to you, want to send it to me?
The price difference was not $1000. The exchange rate is not 0.
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Old Jun 19, 15, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Wpgjetse View Post
But with todays entitlement, she pasted the buck.
In case anyone needs a reminder:
entitlement |enˈtītlmənt|
noun
the fact of having a right to something
This story has absolutely nothing to do with entitlement whatsoever. If anything, it has to do with not owning up to one's mistake, regardless of who made it.

Originally Posted by ChrisA330 View Post
If she booked on the CAD site, she would have paid $4000 - according to the airline. So the difference is not $1000 - even if that's what the passenger thinks.
And this is the *only* part of the story where I sympathize with Ms. Gordon. It's not unreasonable to think that she might not have purchased the ticket if she knew the cost was $4,000 CAD. As it stands, her mistake cost her $1,000 -- and possibly $4,000 -- which explains why she's so upset.

Still doesn't make her right in accusing AC.
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