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Agent on phone promised a refund, but I donít see it. Now fear wasnít a UA agent.

Agent on phone promised a refund, but I donít see it. Now fear wasnít a UA agent.

Old Oct 29, 18, 10:41 am
  #1  
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Agent on phone promised a refund, but I donít see it. Now fear wasnít a UA agent.

Hey friends, let me know if this is the wrong forum but I need some advice. Back in late August, I was in Hawaii, and need to get home a couple of days early to avoid being stuck in Hurricane Lane. I called United Airlines reservation number and spent 4 hours on the phone with an 'agent' who I thought was very helpful. Over the course of that call, 'Ryan' exhausted all United options (there weren't any) then eventually found a flight out on a partner. The catch, it was going to cost ~$1400 for the two of us. However, he insisted multiple times that we would receive a ~$950 flight credit for the canceled original flight, in my United Account that I'd have 1 year to use.

It was 6:00am hawaii time and I'd been up all night trying to figure out how to get home (for a number of reasons I couldn't risk getting stuck). So I eventually agreed and paid the ~$1400 for the new flight and got home.

However...as I'm sure you can guess. While our original flight home was canceled immediately...no credit ever appeared. I have not been able to get ahold of the original agent...and United Customer Service hasn't been terrible helpful yet (I would assume they record calls but maybe not). The credit card charges for the new ticket include a hefty 'agent fee' (nearly half the flight cost).

Anyone have advice about how to go after getting my credit? Is there a particular contact at United I should try? Should I call my credit card company and claim fraud and ask to dispute the agent fee on the partner flight home? Am I just screwed?

Thanks in advance for your help.

-Adam
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Old Oct 29, 18, 10:51 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by wu_lee View Post
While our original flight home was canceled immediately...no credit ever appeared.
Not sure what you mean by "credit." If you canceled the ticket, you should be able to apply the value to a new ticket simply by referencing the PNR, possibly subject to a change fee (though I would think there would have been a travel waiver due to the hurricane such that any change fee would be waived).

More generally, it's not clear to me why you would have used new money to buy a ticket, rather than applying the value of the old ticket to the new itinerary. And I have no idea what you mean by "agency fee."

Finally, I don't really see evidence anyone "lied" to you. The agent may not have been particularly competent, but that's a far cry from dishonest. Suggest mods change the thread title.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 11:05 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
And I have no idea what you mean by "agency fee."
I didn't get that either. Did OP really speak to UA?


OP, go to: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/app...n/default.aspx and select CANCELLED; maybe your flight is still there and you can use its value for a future flight if it gives the option of: "Use future flight credit".
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Old Oct 29, 18, 11:08 am
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look in your UA account under manage reservations and lick on "cancelled" you should see it there and click on change flights
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Old Oct 29, 18, 11:25 am
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Sorry if the title is misleading. I'm pretty frustrated so may be reacting more strongly than appropriate. The 'lied to' part is referring to the customer service agent telling me I have to purchase the new ticket separately through them since it's not a united flight...then will receive a flight credit for the value of the original return flight...but that credit never appearing. Hopefully there's just an honest mistake somewhere that can be corrected...but it's been nearly 2 months and I haven't been able to get it resolved or recover anything.

If there's a way I can change the title of the post, and you think it's more appropriate to do so I'd be happy to change it. (I don't see an obvious edit post button...but while I'm a long time reader, I don't post often so I'm not super familiar with it).

Last edited by wu_lee; Oct 29, 18 at 11:26 am Reason: typo
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Old Oct 29, 18, 11:32 am
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Originally Posted by wu_lee View Post
...but that credit never appearing. Hopefully there's just an honest mistake somewhere that can be corrected...but it's been nearly 2 months and I haven't been able to get it resolved or recover anything...
Again, a misunderstanding might be in play. The credit you are expecting may be the unused remaining value of the original ticket, which is already sitting in your account. As several other have pointed out, if you go to past/cancelled reservations you will find the original booking. To make it easy for you, call United and ask what the remaining value on that ticket is. That is the value you have left to use on a future UA flight. When you book a new flight using the value, it will have that same confirmation code. United IS NOT going to send you anything in that case. The value is already sitting there in your account waiting to be used.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by wu_lee View Post
.......
Anyone have advice about how to go after getting my credit? Is there a particular contact at United I should try? Should I call my credit card company and claim fraud and ask to dispute the agent fee on the partner flight home? Am I just screwed? ......
Don't call the CC company about a chargeback, your course of action is to call UA back until you get someone competent. Do you have status with UA? That can help in getting something accomplished.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 11:52 am
  #8  
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Starting with perhaps the obvious, calling your CC issuer and "claiming fraud" when there was no fraud is fraud. So, don't do that.

Any UA agent ought to be able to pull up the ticket number (take a look at your original e-ticket confirmation and find the number beginning with 016-) and locate the status of the credit and also explain how it is arrived at. The agent will also be able to advise whether there is a fee associated with its use (hopefully there was a weather waiver in place and there won't be one).

It would be helpful to know the exact routing of our new ticket and the name of the "partner" carrier. Also helpful to know the breakdown, including the "phone fee" which, while annoying, ought to be very small.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 12:40 pm
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Originally Posted by wu_lee View Post
....However, he insisted multiple times that we would receive a ~$950 flight credit for the canceled original flight, in my United Account that I'd have 1 year to use. ...
If this was properly canceled, see How to get residual value from non-refundable flight for the process. However, you need to make the change within 1 year of the original booking, not 1 year from now. And it needs to have been properly cancelled.

Originally Posted by wu_lee View Post
....... The credit card charges for the new ticket include a hefty 'agent fee' (nearly half the flight cost).....
This is concerning.
UA fees at most are $35 per ticket. UA was waiving any change fees in response to the Hurricane.

There are bogus United Airline (or any other airline) help sites/phone numbers. They are scam "travel agencies"
They thrive on this sort of situations
Does you phone have a record of the specific number called?

And the booking of a new ticket on a different airline would be exceptional unusual for UA. What was the ticket number for the new ticket. Did it start with 016.... or something else? UA agents can only book 016 ...

There are a number of hints in your OP that this was not a true UA agent.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 1:10 pm
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In addition to the excellent summary of fraud indicators:
1. What does your CC statemetn show as the vendor for the new tickets you purchased. Is it United or something else?
2. Do you remember where you found the customer service number you called and if so, post it here.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 1:39 pm
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Thank you @WineCountryUA, that's super helpful. I've got another call in with United and they're looking into it. I'm increasingly alarmed that in my frenzied state I fell victim to one of the bogus UA help numbers you referenced and was conned into believe I was talking to an actual United rep. Other feeling incredibly stupid, and trying to take a life lesson from it, once I hear back from UA I'll try to figure out what kind of recourse if any I have with the scam travel agency if that is indeed what happened.

Thanks again for taking the time to suggest what might have happened, I really appreciate it.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 1:48 pm
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Originally Posted by wu_lee View Post
Thank you @WineCountryUA, that's super helpful. I've got another call in with United and they're looking into it. I'm increasingly alarmed that in my frenzied state I fell victim to one of the bogus UA help numbers you referenced and was conned into believe I was talking to an actual United rep. Other feeling incredibly stupid, and trying to take a life lesson from it, once I hear back from UA I'll try to figure out what kind of recourse if any I have with the scam travel agency if that is indeed what happened.

Thanks again for taking the time to suggest what might have happened, I really appreciate it.
But if they were part of this fraud scheme, how would they have been able to access your PNR and tell you the amount to be refunded? That's strange.

The other part is the hefty agent fee, that would been my first clue that something was off.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Redwood839 View Post
But if they were part of this fraud scheme, how would they have been able to access your PNR and tell you the amount to be refunded? That's strange.

The other part is the hefty agent fee, that would been my first clue that something was off.
If OP believed they were talking to a legitimate agent they no doubt at some point gave them the PNR and a name, armed with which anyone could pull up the reservation through "My Trips" and view the receipt etc.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 2:01 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Redwood839 View Post
But if they were part of this fraud scheme, how would they have been able to access your PNR and tell you the amount to be refunded? That's strange.
All you need to access a full itinerary on United.com — or the associated Global Distribution System, or GDS, where airlines share their information — is a confirmation number (Passenger Name Record, or “PNR”) and a last name. That information isn’t difficult to elicit: “Thank you for calling Not-United, Redwood839. Do you have that confirmation number handy? Ah, perfect. Yes, I see that your ticket was $XXX. Company policy requires that we charge a $500 Fraudlent Agent fee, after which you can use your $XXX credit by calling us back at 1-800-UNITED1, or online at united.com.” A particularly sophisticated fraudster would then cancel the itinerary as requested; the victim might never realize anything untoward had taken place.

OP: I don’t know anything about agent fees or anything else, and it was a little difficult to follow what happened, but the first thing I’d do is look at the cancelled / inactive tabs on your account to see if the reservation shows up, or check your email history to see if you can find the PNR. With that information, a legitimate United agent can give you the status quickly.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by wu_lee View Post
... then eventually found a flight out on a partner....
What was the new routing? carrier?
UA has no partners that fly Hawaii - USA.
AC flies Hawaii-Canada but AC would not be able to book Hawaii-Canada-CONUS (continental USA) - using AC aircraft. www.aircanada.com will not accept a booking Hawaii-USA.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Oct 29, 18 at 2:46 pm Reason: www.aircanada.com will not accept a booking Hawaii-USA.
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