SCHAUMBURG, ILLINOIS -- I need to alert others to a fraudulent, devious marketing scam being conducted by United Marketing Group with headquarters in Schaumberg, Illinois. I received a very official looking postcard in the mail addressed to me with the following offer:
Front side: Final Notice James: An Unclaimed Reward worth up to $100 in Savings is being held for you at our main Distribution Center. To receive this REWARD, please call us now, toll free, at 1-866-991-5478. WARNING: Failure to call will result in an AUTOMATIC FORFEITURE of this REWARD. Please call at once for details. YOUR RELEASE CODE: 041861988
Back Side: "Dear James Our records indicate you have an unclaimed reward. We are holding $100.00 in Savings for you good at Wal-Mart, Target and more - in your name! Please call us toll free at 1-866-991-5478 to claim this reward!
When I called, the sales representative informed me I will receive a $100 Gift Card and a free $50 Dining Certificate good at many locations. All that is required is a $4.95 activation fee charged to a credit card, then I will be transferred to a Manager who will verify the info and give me an Activation Code needed to activate the rewards after receiving a mail packet. Merely answer each of the following questions with "okay" to complete the process.
This all sounds simple, right? What happens next is there are several other recorded offers presented, each with another $4.95 Activation Fee, a short 10-14 day trial period followed by a monthly fee charged to the credit card unless each is canceled prior to the end of the trial. If you say "no" to any of the offers, the whole deal is off, you get nothing, no activation code is received for the initial rewards, and they keep the initial $4.95 fee.
Their ploy is that you have to "Okay" and pay $4.95 to activate all/each of these offers, with the hope you will fail to cancel them before the monthly, non-refundable charges begin. Their whole marketing strategy is to force you to listen to and "okay" all of the offers to get the "rewards" and then continue with each after the trial period.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- If you think buying hotel/airline package will save you money, think again. CheapOair (a pawn in this Ponzi scheme) got me $914 deal for ticket and four nights when I flew from Boise, ID to Northwest Arkansas. Come to find out (because they are big and powerful) United had gobbled up $700 of that total for a Basic Economy ticket. If you have ever traveled Basic Economy be careful not to get trampled by the other animals in steerage. That left a meager $190 for rooms for 4 night and if you can imagine, Bethlehem's stable has better accommodations!
Days Inn was filthy and I and most other guests had to have sheets changed prior to going to bed. There was a line at the front desk with complaints. And when you called CheapOair to switch accommodations, Andre in India was apologetic but needed to visit with the hotel manager who never showed up.
It was a blight on my time in Arkansas with my son and grandchildren. I dreaded going back to the hotel which reminded me of a crime movie. The walls were stained, handles missing and one wasn't sure even the water was clean! Much less worrying about bed bugs. I am avoiding both in the future! Thugs and slugs.
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA -- United States Post Office service is the worse! Don't think you're ever going to get someone to answers the phone at 800-222-1811! I have waited almost a week for a letter that was mail priority. The text alerts that say the package is out for delivery is a lie. I could go on about the service but I have learned that bad service is actually the norm at United States postal service.
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- First if all, on June 28, 2016 United Airlines lost/misdirected 1 out of 3 of my bags! OK, that happens. But in Tampa THEIR agents unable to "track". I promptly submitted info/paperwork AND sent detailed email directly to "United Customer Service"! (as website directed)
There was NO REPLY FROM THEM until almost 2 FULL WEEKS LATER (July 11 evening). Then, an email: They said "We committed to providing excellent customer service", but they were just now,1st time, asking me about the luggage - what did I lose, they would start to try & find it. I was in 1st Class, & this was their 1st contact/reply??! 2 weeks?!
I replied tactfully, but expressed dissatisfaction! Then I was sent a quick automated form: Asked if I had an contact with C.Service Rep on a specific date. It was NOT THE DATE; so I clicked "no". That was the last I heard from their "SERVICE DEPT"! What LOUSY customer relations!! I am truly sorry to have been such a long-time customer of United Airlines!!!
Unbeknownst to me, when making an online purchase from "Better Senior Living" apparently a part of "Taylor Gifts", I was subscribed to "Money Ahead Now" and "Travel Entertainment" and my credit card was charged $14.95 for each, monthly until I noticed it finally. I have contacted my credit card company, the Montana State Consumer Protection Services and have received credit.
What I don't understand is how this fraud continues with no federal action to shut down this practice. How many people, especially the elderly, are being scammed by this??? Is it the responsibility of the catalog companies or the credit card companies to police and shut down this practice? I continue to search for answers.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- Well-managed airlines factor the lifetime value of a customer into their decisions. United apparently does not. My wife and I secured two United award tickets on 12/12/14, traveling from Cleveland to Barcelona on 9/5/15 and returning from Istanbul on 9/20/15 to Cleveland. Just this past week (first week of July 2015), United informed us that the scheduled return trip from Istanbul, with a stop in Houston, was being changed to a flight that did not provide sufficient time in Houston to clear customs and make our connecting flight. This forces us to reschedule our Istanbul flight; however, the options, at this late date, are severely limited for award ticket travel.
United refuses to place us on any of the remaining flights because they “no longer have award seats available.” This is of course a choice on their part. They could redesignate two seats as award seats if they wished. These flights did however have award seats open when we first scheduled our reservations in December.
United's response is (1) to place us on a series of flights with between 3-4 stops between Barcelona and Cleveland (as opposed to the one stop we had scheduled) and (2) to cut short our stay in Barcelona by half a day (out of a five day stay) by insisting that we depart early in the morning. Alternatively they suggested that we stay overnight in Houston at our own expense and fly back to Cleveland the next day, causing us to miss a day of work, again at expense to us. We did not cause this problem. United and its partners did this to us. They have a responsibility to fix a problem they created. United Airlines: please fix this.
GARLAND, TEXAS -- United HealthCare has AWFUL and I do mean AWFUL customer service. Since returning from Hong Kong I needed to get health insurance. What a job it has been to get them to take my money and possibly get me signed up (possibly). I won't go into details. Bottom line: NO customer service. One can NOT email them, unless you get special permission from a supervisor. They are too busy to deal with issues. If you have one it is your responsibility to follow up. You should KNOW insurance ease and know what to ask at what point. Ridiculous! Unless you must use United HealthCare run from them.
Perhaps all insurance companies are the same, I don't know. It looks like that I will go without coverage for a short time due to their incompetency and inability to get a fax from their mail room on to the system. I can, of course, pay full price to doctors should I need to see a doctor until they get this issue fixed. They will reimburse me. I am sure this would take a minimum of 6 weeks. This system is broken. I know I am singing to the choir as many of you already know this. I am seeing red. I have done what they asked me to do. Most of the time on the day the request was made, others the next day. It was not good enough. One month is not enough time to get a policy...
INFURIATING BAIT AND SWITCH AWARDS PROGRAM: I am a frequent flier (Silver Medallion level) on United and have several times used my miles for international r/t business and first class tickets. When I book, the agent tells me they only can confirm my desired class on the outbound because Singapore Air does not release their partner award seats until two days before travel, so they issue the return ticket as economy class, but still deduct up to 120,000 miles from my account as if I am receiving first or business both ways.
I have been told that it is possible that Singapore would release the return award seat within a few days of departure, and I should call them to request my upgrade to the proper class. In each of the cases, I have been denied the return flight in the class that I "paid" for with miles, even though once I boarded the flights both classes nearly were empty. I was even denied entry to the first and business lounge, even though I spent 120k miles to receive the service, which was especially infuriating since my layovers were typically more than 8 hours, and I had to sit in the airport through the night (one time while very ill).
I pleaded with both airlines to accommodate me, and showed them that I paid with miles, according to their own awards program rules, but they each passed the buck to the other. Singapore told me they could not upgrade me unless United requested it, and United told me the same about Singapore -- a classic catch 22. It was recently revealed to me by a Singapore agent that they couldn't possibly authorize an upgrade or let me use the lounge because United only paid them for the upgraded class one way WHEN THEY INITIALLY BOOKED THE TICKET, which means United never intended for me to get the full value of my miles.
I then requested United reimburse my miles for the unused portion (since I was forced to return via economy) and was refused and referred to customer relations, who also stonewalled me. I know this has happened with every other awards program traveler to Asia, and probably other international destinations because it is INSTITUTIONALIZED POLICY, and I have witnessed other fellow travelers having much the same heated exchanges with airline agents. In my view constitutes CONSUMER FRAUD and should be exposed by the media.
Perhaps the airlines feel that award travelers are "getting something for nothing" and they deserve to be shortchanged, but miles are earned with loyalty and FREQUENT TRAVEL, (and I suspect higher airfares to cover the award flights), so is in effect a "volume discount" and not a "gift". It seems that there is a possible class action lawsuit that could be filed that would at least compel airlines with such hidden "bait-and-switch" policies to, at the very least, reveal them to frequent fliers before they sign up for programs or book award flights. Additionally, they should only deduct miles to reflect what the award traveler actually uses.
I would like to be compensated for all of the flights where United deducted my miles, but did not give me what I paid for. I would like to see posts from other travelers and encourage them to report similar complaints to all consumer fraud blogs, websites, and write to the airlines with your complaints.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Me and my wife's vacation was largely ruined by the aggravation and inconvenience, the lack of true customer service United Airlines caused on a planned trip to Burlington Vermont. The flights were overbooked to start as we received notice the night before when doing on-line check in. We checked our bags at the counter at MCO. Unproblematic flight. The nightmare begins in Newark. We get a text message to contact an agent when we disembark from the plane as UA4894 was canceled by air traffic control.
Problem is, no one was there to deal with passengers, the few agents manning the whole terminal were facing long lines and many many counters were simply empty. Telling folks to contact an agent but not having nearly enough agents is just the start of this saga. The next text we get is to tell us we are rebooked for Saturday morning leaving at 930 am which is two days later. My wife gets in line at what seems to be a “service counter” which has 5 or 6 stations but only two agents, and in excess of 50 people in line which is not moving at all.
I call UA while my wife is in line and it is virtually impossible to get a person. This is part of the grand design, as this theme will repeat over and over again. My wife never does get through the line, but after 49 minutes per my cell phone records, I got through the endless wait time for an agent on the phone and started considering an alternate flight with a partner that would have put us in BTV around 1130 pm after flying via Washington D.C. No help form the automated kiosk for rerouting which is only telling us the Saturday flight is our only option.
However, in the meanwhile due to nearly 30 passengers being in line, my wife and I learn UA agent is offering a bus to transport to BTV (6 hour ride) but it would get us to BTV by around 800 pm. Several individuals including us asked about the baggage (my medication unfortunately was in my checked baggage).
The agents actually refused to release our baggage, offering some assurances or promises that while there was no room for us on a 500 pm flight (still not sure why our flight could not just take off later as other planes were leaving all day long), but there was room for our baggage and it would be there before our bus would arrive and we would just have to claim it. That would be the first of multiple lies. To be fair, it seems different things were told to different people at different times, with some being told they had no idea when baggage would arrive and it could well be Saturday or Sunday.
We were in the group that was refused luggage release and assured the bags would be there. This was important to me due to my medication. Well, if things went according to promises there would be no letter. We would just lose the half day and suffer the fatigue of the bus trip. Evidently the gate agents there at BTV had no idea nearly thirty people would be showing up, betraying poor organization and communication and a careless disregard for traveling passengers. They had no idea what promises were or were not made about the baggage and there were some unhappy campers arriving late and tired at BTV. We were given claim forms to file.
Our two bags got put under my wife's name and given a file number (see above). The folks at BTV could provide no information or estimate on bag arrival. We were told by the UA agent/employee/representative to contact the baggage resolution center, but to do this as soon as we could get Houston and “before the phones get turned over to India”. What an ominous warning and admission of the deliberately negligent and insufficient service delivered by UA. No such luck for us. It was immediately apparent we had India.
After multiple repetitions of the issues and even 4 or 5 tries with the file number with someone who could not understand English I requested a supervisor... lots of resistance to that, told they did not know when or if our luggage would arrive, or where it was despite my explaining this was critical to me due to the medication. Put on hold for a supervisor... 11 minutes on hold then the call was disconnected, I redialed, tried again placed on hold again for supervisor, this time 14 minutes on hold with no supervisor – exhausted, I tried calling the Houston number which is provided as a second number on the file form… no luck, obviously India again.
Sent online forms using UA system for baggage problems and due to my concern about being without meds also the personal injury claim online... so, that system is nothing but a mirage. The only thing worse than not providing customer service is making pretend you do. My vacation is now running into day two trying to get a guess of when I can get my clothes supplies and medicine. We already miss one dinner, and I spend 38 minutes Friday morning finally getting a supervisor.
Supervisor seems more understanding of the urgency of getting an answer on luggage delivery but cannot explain the initial lie, or why a second bus could not have taken the luggage, or the same bus could not have made a second trip to Vermont with a fresh driver. Supervisor tries to call Newark to find out if sending a bus with the luggage is possible, but (scroll back to how many people are actually there to make pretend customer service is important)... cant get anyone in Newark despite a long hold. We get authorization to buy some clothes, I ask for at least $150 each which he “approves”.
We cancel plans for the rest of the morning (it is now Friday around 1100 pm) and are now in the second long day in our clothing (all my clothes were in my bag along with some of my wife's as I was carrying business papers a laptop and photography equipment in my carry-ons). My wife had no carry-ons either as she does not want to lug anything. Her things are split between her checked bag and mine.
Both of us are in light casual Florida summer wear and we head off to get replace Vermont rainy cold weather clothes and shoes / some supplies we had packed in our baggage which still has no known time for delivery (We were told there were no Newark Flights to VT till Saturday) but no assurance it would be on that flight. Also told we were misinformed that Houston handles any baggage claim service, and that they (India) are the only providers or people to talk to.
I had my doubts since the small flights had been overbooked and there was no apparent room on the 500 pm flight 6/12/14. My faith and belief of anything emanating out of UA is fading and my wife complaining she would never fly UA again. Not a great start to vacation.
At the hotel lobby we get some info on where to get some clothing and told that the same thing happened to the hotel clerk and this apparently happened to a number of her friends – getting bused and no luggage sent with them. We call relatives in the area and one took a taxi on a return trip from Houston and her husband delayed for 10 hours on return from California. This was just the beginning of countless UA BTV nightmares we collected.
Get to the mall to get at least some clothes. We are now soaked in our 2 day Florida clothes. I am not a big clothes shopper, but it becomes quickly clear to me shoes suitable for the planned activities, dinner clothes, and other items are going to be a lot more than $150 each, never mind women's clothes, shoes and wife's needs. Search the UA baggage claim thing on the internet for the phone number and baggage policy limit which is $3500. I try to call Baggage claim, obviously India again. Have real trouble communicating.
I told her we were coming from Newark to BTV, then she would ask where were you coming from. Either not listening or not comprehending. She refuses to speak with me or help me, claiming she cannot find my file without my file number (a lie) and that without the file number she cannot let me talk to a supervisor (another lie, and not impossible, its either a policy or wanton obstruction).
Cannot tell me what baggage claim rights I have, a number of someone at UA to complain to, a legal department number, a complaint department number, or confirm that the baggage claim limit listed on the baggage claim website is accurate or pertains. Thus the baggage claim department cannot state or confirm baggage claim rights, rules or responsibilities.
I am continuing to be upset now since there is nothing but poor baggage claim service and deliberate obstruction in trying to get to superiors who might be able to understand English or are empowered to do anything, Its now well into Friday afternoon and we are not starting any of our “vacation”. The mall does not have anything my size (I am 2xl to 3xl) but my wife finds a few things, so we head downtown to see if we can find shoes/sneakers other needs and eventually pick up what we need before making a final stop to get some toiletries before heading to the hotel to change. We get a call on the way to the hotel that someone is delivering our baggage.
Would have been nice to know that before we spent the day running around for clothes and supplies, but I think at least don't have to stop at a pharmacy to see if I can get meds before my doctors office closes on Friday. Wrong. Wife's bag is there, but only has some of her stuff, as the rest is in my bag, and worse for me, my meds are in my bag. There is no way to call UA in BTV, in fact I learn there are no phone numbers on the internet for any UA local gates – it all goes to the 1800 system.
In short to ask if my bag got left behind in BTV while my wife's was delivered, I have to call, gulp, India again???, And India seems to have no more luck getting a hold of any UA agents at the airports than I do. This time I desperately try to get an agent and make it through to someone in the U.S. Express my gratitude for that and she seems to understand why I refuse to let her transfer me back to baggage claim in India.
She learns my bag is still in Newark and that in fact an error was made at MCO where my bag claim number was assigned to my wife's bag and her bag claim number to mine (a homeland security issue when you can't even get the bags to match up right with the passengers – careless at least) and that my bag as of Friday night when we got back to the hotel was still in Newark. She could find out exactly where it was by calling the million miles phone line. Evidently that can be done, but not by the terribly useless baggage claim service which after lots of time could tell me nothing. She could not tell me when it would be delivered.
Saturday morning still no luck with getting answers from India baggage claim “service”. Supervisor unavailable. They can't confirm the information I was provided the prior night. After holding for supervisor, told again no supervisor available. They promise supervisor will call me back, take all my contact numbers. That was another lie, NEVER got a call from a supervisor.
It's the stuff Saturday Night Live parodies are made of: Hang ups while on hold for supervisors, endless holds for supervisors, lies that supervisors will call back, internet forms to fill out that are never answered, no phone numbers for local airport UA, computer phone menus that only send you back to India, refusals of requests to speak to a department in the US or a department that can handle customer complaints, and lies about what your system can and can't tell you (such as actually knowing where the bag is; being able to look up my account without the file number), and lies that there is even another bag claim service in the US.
Without my medication I really had to limit my food intake and activities we spent the day Saturday hiking, and attending commitments since at least now we had clothes and apparel appropriate for activities. I again don't have my claim number with me but anxious about my medications and trying to determine if I need to go to a local ER or physician for an emergency supply of meds I call the dreaded baggage claim line. Surprise!!! It's Houston! Houston baggage claim!!!
Evidently the wonderful folks in India had posted an early obituary on their American competition and frankly lied to me I could not call or deal with Houston. Lying and misinformation at this level is not just one misinformed trainee – this is systematic obstruction and delay. Still no response from the on-line inquiries. Houston seems a bit confused as the system (consistent with what I could see on the computerized system) stating it was out for delivery and only noting one bag (evidently the system did not clear that my wife's bag made it). They seemed reassuring anyway that somehow it was on its way, but could not tell me where it way.
Before returning to the hotel, since we did not get a call like we did the day before, raising my anxiety, I tried calling baggage claim again. Lightning did not strike twice, I did not get Houston again. I was patient and fortunate to have a little better service from India this time. She could inform me it was my black bag that was going to be delivered and that it would “go out for delivery” at 1130 pm, and I would get a call (as we did on Friday) while it was en route to the hotel. We never got the call and as we returned late a bit exhausted from the day's activities and the endless calls and dealings with your system very much discouraged there was no call.
Fortunately the nice people at the Marriott hotel, all sympathetic as they all seem to have had personal UA nightmares or knew people who had, were exemplary in terms of great customer service. On sight, without our asking they announced my bag had arrived. So we got to enjoy Sunday without headaches of calls to your customer “service” before being cramped on return flights and having my right knee knocked by a flight attendant with a cart since though I am barely outside of normal height I cannot put my legs fully behind the seat with hyperextending my knee and suffering cramps.
So now though I had a busy day at the office after my not so restful or healthy vacation, I am spending hours filling in your claim forms, getting copies of what you require and writing this letter before I will spend some more time making copies and faxing the claim to whatever customer “service” handles these claims.
Now, the 1800 fax number for claims gives me a no signal message. Call... India again! They repeat that is the number. After getting irate at repeated attempts to make the operator understand I am not an idiot and can understand fax error messages, I ask for supervisor. No supervisor, but did get a different baggage claim fax number. My fax to them asked for them to acknowledge receipt of the fax when it arrived... nearly 12 hours later, no response. Emailed UA counsel, president and other officials last night and 3x today. No reply.
DENVER AIRPORT, COLORADO -- BEWARE! BEWARE! UNITED AIRLINE. Cheap price = Cheap service. In recent economy of America. I am an American to support America. I used UA for my vacation. But I disappointed completely after used them. Their cheap price = Cheap service = Bait. When you start at airport you will start to pay more for their service for luggage, drinking water, etc. After all of those = Expensive price = Terrible service.
I had booked a flight from John Wayne. (SNA-CA) airport to Orlando International (MCO-FL) airport with one connection at Denver (DEN-CO). On December, 19. 2012. On December, 19. 2012 I had come SNA-CA at 10.00 am to check in ready by schedule. On flight UA431 depart at 1.51 pm to Denver (DEN, CO) at 5.10 pm. At that time weather in SNA-CA was good day with clear sky and temperature was 53 F. But my flight delayed 1 hour by UA operate (They delayed my flight for get more guests go to Tampa-Fl. Had come in late that day) Then flight could leave SNA at 2.50 pm (1 hour late).
UA4314 had come DEN-CO at 5.50 pm late 40 minutes by schedule and I missed my connection Flight UA353 by schedule departed 5.40 pm. After few hour waiting I feel badly by cool weather at DEN-CO airport that day (Cool-Snow & Rain) I had contacted UA customer service for a support they gave to me a phone number of their partner hotel in Denver, I tried to call them but their price was unacceptable.
I contacted UA customer service again and explain my health situation that time with them and their answer was, I must stay in airport with that situation and they will reschedule my flight to earliest flight to MCO-FL in next day. If something happen, their insurance will take care all. Late in that day under that weather condition my blood pressure went up at airport and got an emergency service to University of Colorado Hospital that night. I came back airport at 6.00 am in early morning December 20, 2012 and got reschedule my flight on UA 850Y departed at 10.15 am and came MCO on 3.40 pm.
At MCO one more time I got trouble because my luggage did not came in with my flight. After an hour looking for my luggage I knew they came in another flight earlier my flight (this is a deceitful and deceive of United Air Line Customer Services). When I got home and received a bill from University of Colorado Hospital and Emergency Service was 15.000,00 (for about 3 hour service without any treatment) After my insurance paid a co pay is 150.00 us.
I had been contacted Mr. Jeff Smisek, Chairman of UA and Insurance department of UA to pay this Co pay. Then last their answer is, they do not guarantee flight times and reserves the right to adjust flight times as necessary.
This answer show out disrespect and unreliability of United Air Line with their customer even they was wrong of all. BEWARE & BE CAREFUL with United Air Line. The worst airline company. Get away with them when you see UA If you don't.