I am making this complaint because I am concerned about deceptive practice on the part of Chase Bank or on the part of British Airlines in conjunction with the BA Visa. I received an offer from BA in March, 2008 indicating that if I signed up for the Visa card that I would be able to receive a companion pass on any flight and any class of service. (I was recently able to locate the information on this
I applied for the card immediately knowing that I could use the card on an upcoming trip to the UK. I got an email message that it had been accepted, but received nothing on the companion airfare offer. I had subsequently deleted the email extending the offer since I assumed I would receive information when I got the card.
I did not receive the card for two months but did receive a bill for the annual fee plus a late charge. At that time I called Chase and explained that I had not received a card. They indicated that they would send me a new card and remove the late fee I had for not paying. I immediately paid the annual fee so I could use the card when I received it. I stressed that the main reason I took out the card was the companion offer and wanted to make sure I would be sent details so I could go ahead and make my reservations. The customer service representative assured me that I didn't need to worry, I would not need any information, but just to call British Airways (BA) whenever I was ready to get my tickets and they would be able to make the reservation and give me the companion pass. I questioned him, but he reassured me that was all I had to do. So I trusted him.
The card did not reach me until late June. There was no information included with the card that told me anything about the companion offer that was so important to me. So once again I called Chase and told them I did not know what to do since I had not received any information on the companion pass. Again, I was assured that there would be no problem - just call BA and they would make the reservation with a companion pass.
I called to make my reservation the second week of July. At that time, the BA representative told me that the offer was pulled on June 30. I was devastated since I had never received any information on the rules - the only information I had was the assurance from Chase that BA would be able to make the reservation whenever I was ready to make it. I was not told there was a deadline. And I had not received any information indicating that.
I was on the line with BA for almost a half hour trying to get this resolved. All I was told that I could get an a companion pass for a full-fare World Traveller Plus ticket which for two tickets would cost close to $4000. Since I could buy two economy tickets for about half the price, I didn't find this helpful. And, since I was promised a companion ticket on a regular World Traveller Economy class, I did not feel this was fair.
Finally, BA told me there was nothing they could do, but to call Chase. I called chase and spent about another hour on the phone with both a representative and then a supervisor. They told me they had no information on any offer on a companion pass at the economy rate. At that time I did a Google search and found the above website which showed that there was such an offer at the time I originally applied for the card.
After all the time on the phone with them, the supervisor took a report and attached the details from the website and said she would send it to the marketing department. I asked what I should do next since I needed to make my flight arrangements. She said that I had to wait to get a formal letter from the marketing department. I asked how long that would take and she said about two weeks. Again, I practically begged her to have someone call me, but she again said that they liked to reply to these investigations by mail.
At that time, I also sent a message to both Chase and BA customer service. Chase emailed me back and said there was nothing they could do but would give me an additional 2,500 miles on my card which a far cry from a companion ticket. Today, someone called me today from BA and left a message to return the call. He left his name, Gary Pestka and a number with an extension 1-800-436-7969 X4517.
I tried to call the number but there is no way to put in an extension. I went through three customer service representatives who would not assist me until I gave them my card number and several security items, but was told each time that there is no way to reach anybody by extension. One even acted like I was lying to her.
The third representative told me she would try again to dial the number to see if she could add the extension, but instead of doing that, she dialed the number and released me so I was back where I started. I went through yet another customer service rep and I finally asked to wait for a supervisor.
After another short wait I reached a supervisor. I explained everything again, and she offered to look up the person by name. She then said she would connect me. I was connected to yet another supervisor, Oscar Castanedo, who asked for all the information again, but told me that he wasn't able to connect me to Gary Pestka. He was not able to give me any new information. I told him I waned the annual fees refunded since at this point I had no intentions to use the card. He told me he couldn't help me with that and I would have to write customer service at their main office.
So once again, I spent over a half hour trying to reach someone who called me and asked me to return his call. This was a total lie since there is absolutely no way to return a call to the number and extension he gave me.
I feel like BA and Chase have screwed me and now I have paid an annual fee for a card, I won't be able to get the offer I was promised. I personally feel like this had been some kind of gimmick - some kind of fraudulent offer. I was not given needed information and in fact was lied to by Chase employees. It has been over a week and I still have not received a response to the email I sent to BA customer service. I have waited to purchase a ticket thinking that the companies would do the right thing, so fares have increasing gone up. I have wasted hours on the phone trying to get help.
This is totally unfair and some of the poorest customer service I have ever received. Beware of any offers from Chase Bank and definitely not trust them when it is combined with BA. I want to know what I should do. I don't understand why it should take three months to get a card and still get no information on the offer I was promised. This type of service and actually lies needs to be stopped.
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