United Airlines / American Express Complaint - Deceiving business practice and a system that allows your money to be taken without remedy
Dear Friends and fellow consumers,
This review comes to you after 3 months of attempts to get things corrected with both my CC company and the United Airlines.
During a business trip I was in line at the easy check-in machine. During that experience and while speaking to two of my colleges I was given an opportunity to buy a first class upgrade on my return trip. I was flying from Richmond VA to San Francisco CA. It was two hops to get home, one to Chicago, IL the next back home to San Fran's airport.
The first leg was the shorter trip and the offer was for 145 US dollars, I refused and then the next Upgrade appeared to be 147, for which I thought was for the second longer leg. I accepted the offer. The machine printed my tickets and I immediately looked for my first class ticket. Instead I received a bill for and notice that I had upgraded my miles for an additional 4000 + and it cost me 147 US dollars. I went to the counter to explain that I had made a mistake and that I wanted my money back. I was told that I couldn't be helped but that here is a number to call. I had some time so I called to find out there is no refund on award miles. How could this be, I am a frequent flier that already has over 250,000 miles to my name. I tried to escalated only to be treated in a hostile manner and then hung up on. The customer service agent when requesting his ID, told me it was MAN, I hardly believed this to be true.
I called my CC company, Americann Express, that customer service agent told me that it was not in the system so no dispute could be made. I waited patiently for it to appear on my online statement and I disputed it. I called in and explained the above. Later in the month I saw that the dispute was denied, I called again and the American Express person place the dispute again after hearing the tale that you just read. 30 days later I received a notice from AmEx that I would need to place my dispute in writing. I did with 36 hours mailed my written letter to AmEx.
United came back to say that I had used the "Upgrade" on the flight and they would not return the funds. I called back and explained even in the abstract where I did get the miles, with 250,000 in my account, I could easily have used the first 250,00 and not the last 4000 that I was duped into buying.
I ahve canceled my credit card with AmEx as they did not reach my claim but took United's response at face value. I have ceased to fly UA from this moment forward and think that everyone should be aware of the gouging that United Airlines uses to take money from weary travelers.
Now I am flying AA, lets see if their customer service is geared towards the consumer as well as the bottom line.