British Airways & credit card hassles

Old Sep 8th, 2004, 07:36 PM
  #1  
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British Airways & credit card hassles

Has anyone else out there encountered problems with BA and their CC charging practices? Prior to my trip BA incorrectly charged the wrong account(s) for the tickets which I had purchased, and through a series of snafus finally corrected the problem. Then my credit card was charged two consecutive months for the same tickets! Attempts to contact their Customer Relations department are equally frustrating...There is no hope of actually speaking to a representative directly. I am tired of allocating time from my schedule to deal with THEIR mistakes (faxes, phone calls, letters)! Am I "special" or are there similar stories?
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Old Sep 8th, 2004, 08:03 PM
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I've never had that kind of problem with them, although I had some scheduling problems. How could they charge the wrong account, did you give them two credit card numbers?

I know some people have complained about Travelocity, but the snafus I had with BA on scheduling (them selling me tickets for a nonexistent flight and then re-routing me with a 10 hr layover without asking, etc) were handled by a Travelocity agent (where I bought the tickets) who personally called BA several times, including special offices, and spoke to them and took care of it. They took care of the whole thing for me. Now, I did talk to BA personally through their phone line in trying to figure out what the heck they were doing with my schedule so I'd know what to request, and I had no trouble speaking to real people.
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Old Sep 8th, 2004, 08:11 PM
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I'm curious too what you mean by they charged the wrong accounts. If you mean they charged your tickets to someone else, then good. But this sounds like they charged it to a different card of yours than you wanted. I can't imagine how that's possible unless you gave them the other number. What are we missing?

One thing I've learned with those horrible phone systems and the constant pressing of buttons. Usually when the process starts I press the 0 key one really long constant press. Often I get a recorded message that they couldn't understand my response so they will connect me with the next available operator.

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Old Sep 8th, 2004, 08:32 PM
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BA, while IMO a very fine airline, displays a mixed bag of competencies on the old internet and e-commerce front. Want to book a trip that originates in London but you live in N. America? Oops. Phone time. Log onto the BA UK website and see a good deal that you'd like to book? Go for it - all the way to the credit card confirmation screen, when you discover that cards issued outside the UK are inop. Phone time. Can I get the GBP rate (converted to dollars) that I saw on the BA/UK website. Sure. That'll be $XXX.XX. But wait, that looks like you're converting £1 = US$2. Not $1.80 or whatever the current extortion might be, just $2. I don't know, that's the price my screen says.

Not bad float, given that you're paying them serious money 30-90 days before they use it anyway.

Ring up BA's US/Canada customer service to complain about this? Hoo boy. A fine selection of musical treats for your amusement.

I talked to the US BA "round the world" desk recently, to price a RTW itinerary we're assembling for next year. The (US-based I think, or maybe Delhi) guy was somewhere to the left of clueless, quoted me a price that I knew was off by, oh, around 300%. To guess who's benefit? I mumbled cheerio or some such, phoned American Airlines (who can also issue these things) and talked to a woman who evidently had been trained well, or who had paid attention in class, and who combined competence with good humor and sound advice. Phew.
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Old Sep 8th, 2004, 08:43 PM
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Was your booking direct with British Air or thru a travel website or travel agent? I've had only reasonably great experiences with BA, 4 trips west coast USA thru Heathrow, except for their hesitation at pre-assigning seats outbound. I researched on the net but then paid the extra $10 for a telephone reservation and paper ticket. Not saying this is any sage advice but had no problems (as recent as 2 weeks ago).
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 02:34 AM
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I had a problem with BA and my CC years ago, back when BA actually cared about customer service, so it was corrected fairly quickly (for them, at least). Now, I won't even fly with them because the customer service both on the ground and in the air is nonexistent.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 02:57 AM
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I assume you contacted your CC company about this and asked them to dispute the charges.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 06:10 AM
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I've given my story before about the time BA loaded all of us onto a plane in London that they knew wouldn't fly. We passed the mechanics coming off saying, "why are they putting all these people on a plane that can't take off?" Yet the entire staff kept insisting, "oh, yes it's only a delay, the plane will be taking off shortly". As soon as they loaded us on, they served dinner on the ground then announced there was a problem and the flight was being cancelled. Hell, we knew THAT when they put us on. So if an airline will stand there and deliberately lie to 300 plus passengers, how could you possibly expect their phone representatives to be honest?

I have no use for BA. Why couldn't they have just told us that the plane couldn't fly, and they were putting us on anyway to feed us the meals that would go to waste otherwise and they'd have to give us meal tickets instead? Oh, yea. I guess that's why. It would have started a revolt, so better just to lie.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 07:46 AM
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BA tends to route all their calls to call centers in India - you frequently get people who are totally clueless and read from a "script". Their Customer Service is one of the worst for a major airline. I've had my share of frustrations talking to their reps in India. If you ever e-mail them you get the same thing - a scripted response.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 08:11 AM
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wow - guess I was lucky I used a consolidator to book my BA fares!
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 09:11 AM
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Lori-call centre reps are now required to tell you where they are located if you ask. I always do it just for fun, and they get very flustered.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 10:54 AM
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I have flown BA for many years and never had this kind of problem. I am not happy with the changes they have made in the last year with their FF club, but I have gained new respect for them in the last month. If you click my name, you will find a thread called Emergency Landing on BA in Houston. It was a terrifying ordeal, but they handled it brilliantly and kept us all safe and alive, and I can never forget that.

P. S. I know that's irrelevant to your question, but I had to mention it anyway. I don't think your problem happens often w/BA, nor do engine fires, as I experienced.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 11:01 AM
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Ann41, is that a new law? I have read articles about call center reps in India for various companies making up American names, personas, and locations in case they are asked by customers.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 12:59 PM
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It is a relatively new law (sometime this year), but I'm sure not all call centres are following it.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 04:58 PM
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Gardyloo

I went through all that business on the BA website too. Now I just book BA through Expedia and all is well.

cindiRed - If it is a CC problem, it is best to handle problems through your credit card company. They will (or ought to) act as middleman for you, and will save you this hassle.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 07:31 PM
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For clarification, I booked the tickets directly with BA. They originally charged the tickets to someone else's CC rather than mine, and then called me to let me know that an error had been made. I had to return the tickets to them via FED EX. While they scheduled the pick-up, I incurred the cost for mailing. I realize that the expense of doing so was insignificant as related to the entire cost of the trip, but STILL! Since then they correctly charged my CC. The problem is they did so in June, and AGAIN in July (hence the duplicate charge). Yes, I did contact my CC co. and they are holding the amount in dispute. While my in-flight experiece was very positive I have had very poor experience with the Customer Relations end of my travels with BA. Their CRel phone number now tells you that, due to the high volume of calls, to email, fax, or mail your complaints. I've enjoyed your responses. Thanks!
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 08:10 PM
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Thanks so much for posting, I really appreciate knowing the details.
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Old Sep 10th, 2004, 04:53 PM
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suze, I share your frustration with the inability to book seat assignments in advance. I guess I have been spoiled by our Domestic carriers on that one! Have a safe trip. Enjoy!
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