Getting screwed with online payments
Which airline was it Stu?
Yes, you are right to be outraged. I think you may have to take this a little higher than the initial point of contact with the bloke on the help line.
Third, as you had informed the bank immediately and technically the funds are there, you shouldn't have to pay the dishonour fees. Document it and forward to the bank, I'm sure they will waive the dishonour fees. It has happened to me and I just threatened to walk. I got a curt email that as a gesture of goodwill, the dishonour fees would be waived based on my previous banking history. Good luck.
Banks! Necessary evil, can't stand 'em.
That's the problem with service industries. Once the cash is locked in, they couldn't give a rats.
I pay 90% of my business and personal bills by hand at the bank/post office/convenience store. Sure it takes up a bit more of my time, but I know exactly where I'm at. I too have been put off direct debit.
I'd say your first call is Expedia and take it higher. You might want to mention tha fact that you have a web business that has a direct and daily link to thousands of travellers- that should give you some extra leverage- ha ha. Good luck once again.
I agree with Zen.
Do you know your branch manager? Even if you don't, ring and make an immediate appointment. Instruct them to sort out the mess with the airline, as you have entrusted them with your money so it is their responsibility to ensure you are not unnecessarily penalised. You are providing them a service by having your money entrusted with them.
If they give you bullshit banter, don't put up with it, tell them you are closing your account immediately, want all your funds in full and goinging elsewhere.
It sounds heavyhanded but they are fucking you around and inconveniencing your every day living and costing you money in the meantime. You pay them fees, so make them earn it. Play the game straight back at them.
Ben - doesnt take long to threaten to leave, just to follow up on the threat. But the "I'm gonna leave card" is best played with someone who actually makes a difference ie branch manager. My wife is a classic - Telstra have caused us a few run arounds over the years, she demands recompense. They agreed to waive an amount off future bills which consisted of how many hours it took her to sort out the problem (which was their problem that then became our problem) based on our company's hourly rate. I imagine the same could be requested of a bank based on them waiving fees. They wont like it but it is a good way of shifting the true cost of their problem (that they made yours) back to them. Or force them to take notice and fix the problem pronto.
Good luck with that by the way Ben! That sort of stuff gives me the shits.
@thermal , glad you got that sorted, with the dollars you spent on your tickets was there a big saving by doing it online....as to using a travel agent to handle it all ?
Good that you got it sorted Stu- 8 days mind you.
What price do you put on your time though?
So used to Stu's 'rants' as you put it- ha ha!
So, last week I booked three return flights to Europe for me and my two girls (off to see the Irish family for a few weeks). Paid with a VISA debit card. Came to around $6,500 all up.
As I paid for the booking, the airline immediately placed a 'hold' on this account of $6,500. Fair enough.
Three days later, they debited three amounts from my account (one for each ticket), which came to the total price of the flights. All cool.
But, the previous "hold" of $6,500 was not removed - even though they had already banked my money.
And now - seven days after the booking was made - it has still yet to be removed.
Because the balance in that account (used for bills, groceries, etc) is less than $6,500, I can't touch a cent of my own money. And I also can't transfer any of the money already in the account - all of it real - into another linked account.
Even worse, we have a number of bills that are direct-debited from this account on a weekly, fortnightly and monthly basis. Even though there ARE funds in the account to cover these bills, because of the airline's $6,500 "hold" on our account, these bills will be rejected by the bank. And every time this happens, I will be charged a 'dishonour' fee.
I spoke with someone the bank on Monday morning. They "can't do anything", and suggested the airline send a fax to them advising them to "release these funds as they are no longer required". I will have to wear the dishonour fees, apparently.
I then spoke to someone at the airline for over an hour (!) on the telephone. This person said that they would fax the requested information to St George.
However, the funds still have yet to be released (48 hours later), so I can only assume that the airline person didn't do what he said they would.
Am I right to be outraged? I paid upfront for my airline tickets but now am at mercy of either the bank, VISA, the airline booking company or the airline. Meanwhile I can't access my own money and am being charged dishonour fees when I know there's enough money in my account.