Continental Airlines Complaint - Ever try to change a reservation with Continental?
HOUSTON TX 77253-3046, TEXAS -- On May 9th I went online to Continental.com to make a reservation for a round trip from Tampa to Austin. I mistakenly made the reservation for first class and promptly went to Continental's refund page to find out what to expect. The following was copied verbatim from the link below:
"Effective Aug. 24, 2008, all customers booking travel at Continental.com or Continental Reservations will be required to purchase tickets at the time they make their reservations. Customers will have the flexibility to make changes to reservations within 24 hours without incurring change fees. This includes canceling your reservation and requesting a refund to the original form of payment."
I then called the reservation 800 231 0856 and spoke with Lori, a very nice lady who was working from home. I know this because I could hear her cat meow in the background. She changed my reservation to coach and that the difference would be refunded to the credit card within 48 hours. This was a big deal since the difference was over $600! I got off the phone only after looking up the reservation number and confirming:
a) the seating change from first class to coach.
b) the corresponding price drop.
Everything looked correct, so I got off the phone.
Fast forward to the end of the credit card billing cycle.
Bad News, Continental was still charging for the first class ticket.
Well there must be some mistake that would be easily handled by Continental's exemplary customer service, and promptly. I called the reservation line and confirmed that the ticket was for coach class. When I asked why the charge was for first class, I was advised that the refund could take up to two billing cycles to appear, and that I would have to contact the Refund Department for more information.
I then called the refunds department and spoke with Lois first. It really seemed like she did not want to help customers or even be polite. After putting me on "hold", which was actually mute for over 5 minutes without asking, I hung up and called back.
I called back and spoke with Alice, who was very polite and was the only employee who actually seemed to care. She informed me that the refund had "already been processed". When I asked her why it had not shown up yet, she told me that it could take up to two billing cycles for the refund to process. She also stated that I should have never been charged for the first class ticket "per Continental's policy" since I called literally minutes after mistakenly booking the first reservation. Unsatisfied with this response, I asked to speak to a manager.
After about five minutes of hold time, I was put on the phone with June. She did not announce her name at the beginning of the call as phone professionals everywhere do. I only found out here name after saying:
"I'm sorry, I didn't get your name."
To which she replied:
"That's because I didn't say it."
At that point I knew I was speaking with a real piece of work. I advised her politely that I had gone through one rude representative already, and that given the circumstances would appreciate patience or at the very least some empathy for the situation, neither of which I received from June the "refund manager". She curtly asked If I was the cardholder. When I replied that I was not, she said that she could not discuss the reservation with me. I asked her why the two previous reps could, and why I could even make the reservation in the first place since I was not the cardholder. The very weak answer she gave was:
"I can't help it if other reps don't follow the rules, but the cardholder would have to call the credit card company."
"Fine, have it your way." I thought. I called the cardholder, a 65 year old retired widow without any immediate family around her. I conferenced the two together and was absolutely appalled at how rude and condescending "June the Refund Manager" was. She told the cardholder that she should call
"the little 800 number on the back of your credit card"
to resolve the issue, after interrupting her numerous times.
I really could not believe how incompetent and lacking the customer "service" was.
I would not fly free on Continental.