Thursday, August 30, 2012

An incident with Tiger Airways

Congratulations, you have won a travel voucher to Singapore from Tiger Airways!

That's the subject line on an email I received on July 11, 2012.

my immediate thought - SPAM

Then my memory came back to me... I did entered into a lucky drawing... still suspicious, I went on Tiger Airways's website and entered the voucher code I was sent and it worked!!!  well, I guess Lady Luck must have smiled on me that day...

However, Tiger Airways... you have disappointed me... not only your travel website failed, your CSRs do not respond to inquiries timely, and your call center is literally dead at all hours...  I understand I didn't pay full fare for the tickets but is that how you treat customers who won free tickets from you?  I thought you are trying to promote your company and build goodwill... ingenius!

So here's what happened -

I went online to buy my tickets expecting only having to pay for fees (e.g. baggage fee, premium seats, etc).  Instead, the system shows that the voucher value only covers the base fare.  Unfortunately for Tiger, I am one of those people that actually read the fine print...

v)          Voucher credit is applicable only on base fare and taxes. Any additional charges and fees to be borne by passenger upon booking

Of course I had to call and inquire... nobody picked up at their call center... I called twice on different days and different times but all within their business hours as stated on their website.

I proceed to send an email asking the original CSR who notified me about my prize... she was out on vacation... at least she had her out-of-office on so I know who else to email when she was out.  Got a short response from one of the substitutes but she didn't really explained what happened to the tax...

For the record, there was a promo going on so a round-trip ticket (direct flight) from Macau to Singapore was only MOP1,080 (base fare).

After 2 weeks of waiting for a response that doesn't seem would ever arrive, the total base fare for my itinerary has gone up to MOP1,694 per person and the associated tax is now HKD444.  For HKD444, I gave up.  It's not worth losing my seats.

Alas, as I clicked the "purchase" button, my credit card was denied!  Fantastic!

After trying different credit cards and at the 3rd attempt, it finally processed...  halleluja!

Of course I was quite pissed off by then I had to email Tiger.  The date of my email was July 23, 2012.  I even followed up with another email on August 8, 2012

Exactly a month later I got the following response:


Hi Christina

Very sorry for the delay in our response.

We have checked and you were only charged once. 

Also on the taxes, we will be refunding you the HKD444 in taxes as there was a system error. Our customer care team will contact you via email very soon to confirm the refund of HKD444. You only need to pay for the baggage charges.

Thank you for your patience in the meantime, and once again, our sincere apologies in this matter.

The date of the above email was August 23, 2012.  So far, I haven't received any email from anyone at Tiger Airways yet.  Maybe Tiger and I had a different concept of what "very soon" means... Maybe when I come back from my trip (September) and wrote up the entire recap, there will be a slim chance I will heard something?

I just hope I won't have the following conversation when I walk up to the check-in counter:

"Sorry we were unable to find your reservation."

That would truly be a W - T - F!

Update:  finally on October 3rd 2012 I got an email (after 2 more follow up emails from me) from Tiger saying "our finance had reversed the charges today earlier on, and you would be able to receive the funds latest one week from now".  I have verified the refund was processed and this incident finally come to a satisfactory resolution.

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