Continental Airlines Complaint - Overcharging consquences hurt consumers
CALIFORNIA -- I was recently overcharged by Continental Airlines, early March 2007. It impacted my finances to the point where I was left broke for a while. An additional $100 was deducted from my checking account that I did not authorize (a result of being charged TWICE for a fee, bad processing on Continental's part). While it didn't alter my life to the point of homelessness or starvation, it put me in a financial bind. I had to borrow money and rearrange funds to avoid an insufficient funds charge from my bank...and I didn't have access to money I budgeted and relied on for my expenses.
They admitted to the problem and promised the money back in 24 hours.
The money was not returned after 24 hours and so I called back and was told another 48 hours. 48 hours passed and nothing yet. It took a week to get my money back. It took close to 1.5 hours on the phone combined with the three calls I made to get clarity on this issue. Bottom line Continental took my money without my permission and was misinformed by Customer Service that I would get it back quickly.
This link below is almost an identical situation with Continental. I was amazed to see it happened last year and nothing was done to prevent it (at least not told)
Yes it was a mistake on their part...but in a way it's stealing...isn't it?!! In situations like this Continental should expedite a refund.
I did send a formal complaint and a recommendation that they review their processes to prevent similar mistakes and refunding procedures when it's their fault. I did this via e-mail and I did get a response. It was one paragraph giving an apology stating that they do have a process. Well isn't that so...it doesn't work!
NO MENTION or ACKNWOLEDGEMENT that what happened was wrong and that they will at least review this incident to improve their service.
I was upset because this meant more than just the money. Continental is a mega-airline that yields millions if not billions of dollars. I didn't want to let it go without a fight. I don't think any of us should either...especially given the other review I noted above experienced the same situation. Here is their response to my forst formal complaint, followed my second response.
CONTINENTAL: "Mr. Nunez,
Thank you for your email, I do apologize for any inconvenience that Continental may have cause you. Mr. Nunez a refund was requested for you account on March 20 2007 for $100.00. We do apologize, but there is a process that we have to follow. We are sorry to hear that Continental will not be your first choice whenever you decide to travel. Hopefully you will reconsider traveling with Continental again.
Customer Care Manager
TRACKING NUMBER: A00002799277-00016315036"
ME: "I will not reconsider returning to Continental after my experience with this reservation. To see that you apologize, BUT resort to saying it's a process you have to follow is not customer service. In the real world, you pay interest or you offer something of worth to remedy a hardship you caused on a PAYING CUSTOMER. Additionally, the fact that Continental didn't even note that they would look at their procedures to ensure similar situations are prevented is unfortunate and upsetting.
Clearly the efforts I went to to obtain my money back from not having it in my bank account as a result of Continental's mistake is too insignificant to warrant such a response. Therefore I will take my business and customer service expectations elsewhere. "
It just makes me so upset.