Continental Airlines Complaint - Overcharge - Overharge for ticket
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- The Beginning
In late 2005 I booked two tickets from IAH to ORD on Continental using Yahoo Travel. Unfortunately, my father passed and I had to cancel the trip and was issued credits through Yahoo Travel. On June 30, 2006 I called Yahoo to rebook one ticket for my 10-year-old daughter to travel the same route but only this time alone. I told the agent up front it would be a minor child traveling alone and was told it would not be a problem. I was told the price difference would be $58.00 plus $100.00 rebooking fee and I agreed. The Yahoo agent (Jackson) at the time said he was having problems getting a confirmation number but if I would hold he could call Continental directly and obtain one for me. I agreed. After being on hold for a few minutes Jackson came back to inform me that it would be a $50.00 charge each way for the minor child traveling alone. I said that was fine and I would pay when I checked her in. I was put on hold again this time it seemed like a very long time. Since I was at work I decided to check my online banking and if the debit card I gave to buy the ticket was charged I would hang up and just obtain the information later. Much to my surprise there were several pending charges from Continental; one for $158.00, two for $100.00 each and two each for $58.20 so at this point I had no choice but to hold for the agent to return to the phone. When he did before I could relay what I saw Jackson informed me the Continental agent accidentally charged me for the two re-bookings instead of one and a credit would be issued in 24 hours. While I was unhappy about the situation, since the overcharges reduced the available funds in my checking account, I understood.
On the following Monday, I checked my account and saw no credit but decided it would probably post at the end of the business day. The following day was July 4th so I did not bother to check. On Wednesday, 07/05/06, I checked my account and once again no credit issued and much to my dismay both $100.00 and $58.20 were posted to my checking account, which put me in an overdraft. At this point I called Continental directly to try and resolve the situation. After a series of prompts and 40 minutes of holding I finally got an agent and retold my story. This agent told me only one credit of $100.00 was issued to me since that was the only amount of the overcharge and it could be up to 6 weeks before I could see a credit appear on my account. I said that was totally unacceptable since it took far less time than that to deduct the payments plus I had proof there was more than that taken out of my account since I was looking at a printout, which my bank faxed to me. She restated it was not possible. At that point I asked to speak to a Customer Service Manager. She put me on hold briefly and came back and said the waiting period was 61 minutes. At this point I asked if the Customer Service Manager could resolve the problem or did I need to speak to someone else and I also needed to discuss the overdraft to my account. I told the Continental agent I had called my bank since the overdraft occurred and the bank told me they would fax me over something and the over draft did occur because of the charges. Your Continental Customer Service Representative told me she had been working there for twenty years and in all that time no NFS charges had ever been refunded. I said I did not care; I was pursuing this because it was not my fault. She restated the holding time and said she could not guarantee I would be able to speak to someone even after 61 minutes because of the bad weather delays across the country hence Continental agents being backed up. I then asked when was the best time to call back. She then told me normally in an hour or two but today she would suggest 9p.m. I attempted to ask if I called back at nine would there be a Customer Service Manager on duty to handle my call but before I could she cut me off and said, “Call back at nine”. We went around and round before I could finally finish my question and when I did she reassured me yes because a customer service manager was on duty 24/7. At this point I hung up. OK –I confess, slammed the phone.
I did call back in the evening on Wednesday and got an agent who was polite enough to listen to my tell of woe before she pass me on to a Customer Service Manager who identified himself as Ed Andrews. He was short and very rude from the beginning and said he saw it noted in the records I refused to hold earlier when told it would be 61 minutes before I could speak to a CSM. Before I could finish saying I did not refuse he cut me off by saying the agent earlier noted when told it would be 61 minutes hold time I refused to hold. I once again said I did not refuse to hold but said I was at work and asked when was the best time to call back. Does that seem unreasonable?
Fast forwarding he did some research and discovered all the proper credits HAD NOT been issued and told me he was doing so at that time. At that point I attempted to relay the fact I felt owed a refund for my over drafts because it was Continental’s fault it occurred. However, before I could finish my sentence he cut me off and said no way was Continental responsible and it was Yahoo’s fault. I told him no because Yahoo told the Continental ticket agent it was a minor child flying along. He said no, that was not the case because he was looking at the computer (God knows that is “the” crystal ball). I said I was there and did not agree with the computer. Why would an agent inform me of the additional fee for a minor flying alone if she did not already know only to rebook only one ticket? I said I felt an honest mistake was made on the Continental side and felt the funds were due back to me from Continental. He continued to say no, it was not Continental’s policy to refund NFS charges (where have I heard that before?) and I would just have to suck it up. At that point I have to admit I lost my composure and started to scream. I felt as if I fell into the “WE SCREW U” department and was talking to the commander in charge. Yes I was livid but still tried to reiterate my point, which is: If the original agent failed to issue all proper credits, which she indicated in the computer system she did, then that would be a mistake. If she made one mistake while booking my ticket would it not be too far fetched to consider she made another? Mr. Andrews response was: “How much longer are you going to keep me on the phone talking about this?” I knew at that point I would get nowhere with this “gentleman” and decided to end the call but not before I said that during this entire ordeal not one Continental employee uttered anything similar to “Ms Johnson I am sorry for your ordeal or for the inconvenience to you.” His reply was dead silence and I hung up with the line of: “This is Customer Service? I think not!!”
I sent previously all the supporting documentation I had concerning this matter to your Customer Care department and have had no response. If the credit has been issued in a timely manner I would not incurred any NSF charges or only the first four totaling $128.00. Now I have been charges two more for $64.00 that I was told just to suck it up.
I have another un-booked ticket that I was going to use to in August but now I am seriously thinking of letting it default because I do not want to encounter this ordeal again.
I work in the travel industry and would be justly fired if I treated a client in the manner I was treated. I find the entire episode quite appalling.
Ten days later and I have received one credit of $100.00 only. I'm royally pissed and will start calling and writing again.