BA's predatory cancellation policy

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Old May 25, 17, 12:01 am
  #226  
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Originally Posted by Dambus View Post
There are only three basic transactions possible on an existing ticket.

Change.
Cancel.
Do nothing.

I am moderately confident BA agents can be trusted on the third of these.

It seems honest and accurate advice on the other two is just too much to ask.
Well - since the 3rd one is what the passenger did on the phone call , then I take it that you accept that BA did provide honest and accurate advice
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Old May 25, 17, 3:00 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The agent answered the question asked and there are people here who believe that the agent ought to have been a mind-reader and answered the question not asked.

Those who suggest that agents should go beyond the question asked and that BA ought to start sending memos out to that effect are simply going to lead to a situation where agents are trained to say, "I am not permitted to answer that because you might really mean to ask something else. If you have a question about the contract or fare rules, you should read them and you will find our answer there."

Imagine the Greek chorus of "poor BA service" then.
Personally if it was it me i would have gave the cancellation rules. To me it would follow almost automatically that if cancellation is being discussed as an option i would give the rules. Its sharing useful knowledge that actually away from this forum a lot of people are unaware of. I mean it also leads naturally into it you could cancel but: these are the implications if you do.

Of course having not heard the conversation i wont speculate on what was or wasnt said.
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Old May 25, 17, 8:35 am
  #228  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
Well - since the 3rd one is what the passenger did on the phone call , then I take it that you accept that BA did provide honest and accurate advice
And I assume you also feel this is a highly representative and excellent example of the quality of BA customer service?

Perhaps we should draft a short case study and a nice infographic to share with the world?

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Old May 25, 17, 9:17 am
  #229  
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Originally Posted by Dambus View Post
And I assume you also feel this is a highly representative and excellent example of the quality of BA customer service?

Perhaps we should draft a short case study and a nice infographic to share with the world?

Originally Posted by Anonba View Post
Personally if it was it me i would have gave the cancellation rules. To me it would follow almost automatically that if cancellation is being discussed as an option i would give the rules. Its sharing useful knowledge that actually away from this forum a lot of people are unaware of. I mean it also leads naturally into it you could cancel but: these are the implications if you do.

Of course having not heard the conversation i wont speculate on what was or wasnt said.
Given the OP hasn't contributed to this thread in a while, I think what you see in Anonba's post is arguably the closest we may get to understanding what a BA agent would most likely do in the circumstances - although equally it does sound like it's not a standard procedure, which is a massive weakness in BA's procedures. Whether that's deliberate or not I couldn't say .

We'll never definitively know what was said during the conversation, and how much the OP actually understood of what they were being told, but it might be a glimpse into the other side of the story.
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Old May 25, 17, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by NWIFlyer View Post
Given the OP hasn't contributed to this thread in a while, I think what you see in Anonba's post is arguably the closest we may get to understanding what a BA agent would most likely do in the circumstances - although equally it does sound like it's not a standard procedure, which is a massive weakness in BA's procedures. Whether that's deliberate or not I couldn't say .

We'll never definitively know what was said during the conversation, and how much the OP actually understood of what they were being told, but it might be a glimpse into the other side of the story.
I notice you mention 'standard procedure'. The calls arent scripted but there is obviously common sense so to speak and the judgement of each agent.
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Old May 25, 17, 10:01 am
  #231  
 
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This thread is great evidence that I'm entirely justified rolling my eyes whenever someone tells me that "consumers are capable of making informed choices". When most of them can't even be bothered to spend some time actually informing themselves. Such as reading fare rules.
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Old May 25, 17, 11:40 am
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Talking of agents advice, I worked for a hotel company many years ago and we had a few special package rates - and the cheapest was always Sunday for two nights.

One day someone called me asking for a stay for Saturday for two nights, lets say the price was GBP295. Trying be helpful, I told her that there was a special offer on Sunday which was GBP 99 for 2 nights. She booked four rooms. I think they were non refundable.

The next day, her mother called me screaming that the company had lied to them. They couldn't get flights cheap enough (because at that time there were still Saturday night stay restrictions on most flights) so she booked Saturday back Monday, and wanted the Saturday for two nights at GBP 99, not GBP 295.00, which I could not do.

Lessons:
- the initial caller couldn't even remember my name... but she remembers I sold her a dud deal.
- my advice was based on my knowledge of the product I was selling, not other aspects of what the caller needed to get there.
- as an agent I stopped making suggestions that could save people money because there were so many unknowns.
- advice you give will nearly always be misunderstood

So I see why the BA agent answered truthfully that you should cancel and rebook, without necessarily going into detail. Or, expecting the OP to call back to cancel since they'd used this method of contact before - perhaps she thought she'd get a chance to do that.
I had to apply to cancel a booking within the 24 hour window recently, and saw that screen about "BA's refund decision is final" and took fright and called them to cancel!
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Old May 25, 17, 12:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Sealink View Post
Talking of agents advice, I worked for a hotel company many years ago and we had a few special package rates - and the cheapest was always Sunday for two nights.

One day someone called me asking for a stay for Saturday for two nights, lets say the price was GBP295. Trying be helpful, I told her that there was a special offer on Sunday which was GBP 99 for 2 nights. She booked four rooms. I think they were non refundable.

The next day, her mother called me screaming that the company had lied to them. They couldn't get flights cheap enough (because at that time there were still Saturday night stay restrictions on most flights) so she booked Saturday back Monday, and wanted the Saturday for two nights at GBP 99, not GBP 295.00, which I could not do.

Lessons:
- the initial caller couldn't even remember my name... but she remembers I sold her a dud deal.
- my advice was based on my knowledge of the product I was selling, not other aspects of what the caller needed to get there.
- as an agent I stopped making suggestions that could save people money because there were so many unknowns.
- advice you give will nearly always be misunderstood

So I see why the BA agent answered truthfully that you should cancel and rebook, without necessarily going into detail. Or, expecting the OP to call back to cancel since they'd used this method of contact before - perhaps she thought she'd get a chance to do that.
I had to apply to cancel a booking within the 24 hour window recently, and saw that screen about "BA's refund decision is final" and took fright and called them to cancel!
Its an assumption that advice will be misunderstood, it isnt a reason to withold reasonable knowldege that can help.

Last edited by Anonba; May 25, 17 at 4:56 pm
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Old May 25, 17, 12:40 pm
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Not exactly what I intended to say. More that if someone wants to stay on Saturday for two nights, why say "Actually what you should do is change your dates?"

If the caller is open to dates fine. But after 30 years in customer service - and I was good at it despite what I seem to have implied above!! - I realised the adage "no good deed goes unpunished" was pretty apt!
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Old May 25, 17, 2:51 pm
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Imagine the whining complaining the British - who were unaware of the concept of sales tax being added at the till - could do about predatory lying checkout operators trying to rip them off in American stores because nobody proactively told them about it when they entered the shop.

Just because non-refundable doesn't actually mean that in the US, it doesn't follow that it is the same here.
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Old May 25, 17, 9:21 pm
  #236  
 
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Originally Posted by Aeschylus View Post
Imagine the whining complaining the British - who were unaware of the concept of sales tax being added at the till - could do about predatory lying checkout operators trying to rip them off in American stores because nobody proactively told them about it when they entered the shop.

Just because non-refundable doesn't actually mean that in the US, it doesn't follow that it is the same here.
You realize "here" is the US for the OP, right?

If a US store opened an outlet on Oxford street and labelled its prices ex VAT you really would see some whining!
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Old May 25, 17, 11:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Dambus View Post
You realize "here" is the US for the OP, right?

If a US store opened an outlet on Oxford street and labelled its prices ex VAT you really would see some whining!
I am aware that the OP is in the US.

However, here is the UK.

Perhaps we are just more used to the fact that non refundable means just that, and also don't expect to have our hands held to protect us from our own stupidity.
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Old May 26, 17, 12:11 am
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Originally Posted by Aeschylus View Post
I am aware that the OP is in the US.

However, here is the UK.

Perhaps we are just more used to the fact that non refundable means just that, and also don't expect to have our hands held to protect us from our own stupidity.
Actually no. ""Here" non-refundable in this context means no refund and no credit. In the US it means no refund.

There is a difference between getting your money back on whatever payment means you used and having credit towards a future purchase. In the UK the two have been conflated for airfares, but it doesn't mean the US more literal meaning is stupid for an American.
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Old May 26, 17, 12:49 am
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Originally Posted by windowontheAside View Post
Actually no. ""Here" non-refundable in this context means no refund and no credit. In the US it means no refund.

There is a difference between getting your money back on whatever payment means you used and having credit towards a future purchase. In the UK the two have been conflated for airfares, but it doesn't mean the US more literal meaning is stupid for an American.
Is the credit part of US consumer laws, or is it just habitual practice?
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Old May 26, 17, 6:54 am
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Originally Posted by Aeschylus View Post
Is the credit part of US consumer laws, or is it just habitual practice?
As far as im aware no it isnt. BA added the further flexibility to US/Canada originating fares maybe 2-3 years ago. I think it was done so BA are in line with conpetitors as others have mentioned being able to get a credit is common practice in the US.
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