EasyJet / fraud and scam
I am a regular Easyjet user, having booked some 30+ flights in the last 12 months. In general I am impressed with the service and price, particularly their reliable time keeping. Clearly not having to wait for connecting flights like the main carriers and not being able to afford any down-time has its benefits.
A recent incident caused me to question whether or not Easyjet has some dubious schemes to bolster their tight margins. Having booked on-line and printed off the confirmation for a particular flight I turned up at the airport as usual where I was told that I did not have a booking. Armed with my booking confirmation, after several phone calls I was told that my ticket had been withdrawn by Easyjet. [Note that the withdrawal of the ticket was not notified to me in anyway].
As my trip was important, and the airport staff said that I would have to put in a written claim, I was forced to buy a new ticket over the counter. Clearly an on the day ticket cost me considerably more than my original one.
Subsequently, after many expensive minutes talking to various call-center staff, I was informed that the credit card used in the original transaction had been black-listed and the ticket withdrawn as a suspected fraudulent purchase. I was told to contact my bank.
The issuing bank and Visa confirmed that the card is valid and has never been flagged as lost, stolen or used in any fraudulent transaction and that transactions on the card continue to be honored. Apparently Easyjet's internal fraud control had unilaterally placed the card on their black-list and of course for security reasons they are unable to divulge the information that lead them to this decision.
They have been unable to tell me why they have accepted the payment from a card that was supposedly black-listed. As original the transaction had been executed and the money transferred to Easyjet I now have a claim against Easyjet for the original ticket purchase, the difference in price for the ticket I was forced to buy on the day, the call-center charges and the interest lost on my money.
Moreover, I have been told that the card can not be taken off their black-list, so if I want to purchase on line, I need to get my bank to reissue a card with a new number - a further expense. My claim is being considered by Easyjet, however with 20 day communication turn-around times it is likely to be many months before I see my money - assuming Easyjet agree to repay, which is by no means certain at this time.
I have subsequently heard the exact same story from someone else, so I was wondering if could this be a systematic process to force people to buy more expensive tickets and earn interest from the monies held from the initial purchase - surely not! What is extremely frustrating is that because this related to a supposed fraudulent transaction I am treated with suspicion when I try to get information about my claim. This is ironic as there clearly is a fraudulent transaction, a fraud perpetrated by Easyjet! They have effectively refused to deliver a product or service for which payment has been accepted.
In addition to following the painful process through the call-center and web site, I have written to Andrew Harisson on this matter - needless to say he has not reply. I have also notified Easyjet under the data protection act that they are holding erroneous personal data on their systems that should be rectified.
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