• Report: #140061

Complaint Review: Northwest Airlines

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  • Submitted: Sat, April 23, 2005
  • Updated: Thu, July 03, 2008

  • Reported By:bozeman Montana
Northwest Airlines
NWA.com Nationwide U.S.A.

Northwest Airlines has a rude staff, withheld money from my bank account, and ticket error Minneapolis Nationwide

*Consumer Suggestion: To Jane

*Consumer Comment: Check Card/Credit Card processing

*Consumer Comment: Wayne

*Consumer Suggestion: Delay in credit

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I could not go on a trip that I had planned for Jan. so I had 2 NWA tickets to use up within the year, value $360 each. I called an agent and she gave me information on how to change my ticket. So 3 months later I called back to make a new reservation using my already purchased tickets. I was aware of the change ticket fee and that if the new ticket was more expensive that I would have to pay the difference. I got Jim in Seattle. Starting off on the conversation I was already aware of the flight I wanted to go on, by researching on the NWA website. It was cheaper than my orignal flight. Jim said the flight didn't exist. We went round and round. Finally he told me the flight that did exist was $660 each and that it would cost me $800 to change my tickets, the difference plus fees. I hung up with him and called back 4 hours later, and got Kate in Baltimore.

Kate was very sweet and helpful. We talked about her family and her job. She found my orignal request right away and the tickets were only $325 each. she also mentioned an earlier flight that I couldn't see. So I said well put me on that one. She said "Let's stick with our orignal plan because it's probably more expensive." So we booked the flight. My total cost was to be $144. We ended the call.

A few hours later (11pm), I get a phone call from Kate saying a horrible mistake was made on my reservation to call back right away. I called back and got Emanuel form Balitmore. I told him what the message said, he said that he didn't see a problem. I asked him to check farther. Still no problem, he replied. I hung up.

The next morning I woke up, checked my bank account and $650 was missing. The agents said it was from NWA. I called NWA, they said their was no problem. Put me on hold then sent me to the customer phone survey.

I called back, got Amy. I told her the problem, she said everything was fine, so I asked to speak to a supervisor. So she put me on hold for 20min. Then she came back, not a super, and said, excitedly, "Wow, a horrible mistake was made, we charged your card fullfare (duh) and your daughter is on a different flight, please hold!!!" I said "what?" but by then I was on hold again, for 45 min. Then instead of coming back to me, she sent me to the phone survey.

So I called my bank, still the money was missing.

I called back NWA got Dave. He was extremely rude and said they credited back my bank account. I told him they hadn't and he hung up on me.

6 days later the money was still missing from my account.

Finally they put it back, so I wrote NWA an e-mail reporting the errors and the treatment. Plus I found out the earlier flight was the same price as the one Kate had put me on- and I was a little miffed about everything. So I sent an e-mail, got a response back offering me a coupon for 20% off to try them again. I wrote back that what I wanted was an apology from a live person (I wanted a phone call) and that they could keep their coupon.

I got another e-mail stating that a computer dicates how to respond and that they are not compensating for any error with the coupon, it is just to be nice.

I wrote back saying that I did not want a coupon, that I would not use a coupon, that If they wanted to be nice that they would put me on the earlier flight, and call me.

I got an e-mail stating that they are not in negotations with me, and that they don't have to be nice.

I e-mailed for the manager, she e-mailed me back and said no. And that they woulld not respond to me further.

So I called customer service. The first person hung up on me during transfer. The second person, Coleman form MN, asked me when I made the reservation. When I told him I made it a month ago for Sept, he said that the incident was in the past and to "Get over it." He really said that!!! I told him what I really wanted was an apology and he said flatly, "sorry" then hung up on me. I am shocked that in this day and age, where airlines are trying to avoid bankruptcy, that they would have such appalling CS agents. I wasn't even asking for an upgrade or free tickets. I just wanted an apology and to be put on the earlier flight. After our trip I will never fly them again.

Ginnell
bozeman, Montana
U.S.A.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/23/2005 08:55 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Northwest-Airlines/nationwide/Northwest-Airlines-has-a-rude-staff-withheld-money-from-my-bank-account-and-ticket-error-140061. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

To Jane

AUTHOR: I Detest Scammers - (U.S.A.)

Putting an authorization to hold on an account and a company having to issue a refund of funds to your account are two different things that take two very different time frames to clear up. I've dealt with this as a customer and workign for companies and having to issue refunds. The first thing you have to realize is that you are not dealing with NWA's bank, you are dealing with a customer service agent at the computer at NWA. NWA makes the request and has to go to their banking system to be processed. So let's say the refund request is made by company A. So in company A's system the transaction is done. The transaction shows in company A's bank, the bank processes the request, depending on the time it can be the next business day (many banks change business days at 3 pm). So you are in day 2 of the funds transfer back. Banks do not usually work hand in hand so that transaction usually has to go to the federal reserves or another big computer finance house. It can take anywhere from 2-3 days to get to your bank from there and then it is up to your bank to process the transaction. Usually they will give you a time frame of 5-7 business days before you see your money. It is not a scam or hodge posh, it is how credit/debit processing works...
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#2 Consumer Comment

Check Card/Credit Card processing

AUTHOR: Bryan - (U.S.A.)

Purchases and refunds made with a Check Card or Credit Card take 2-3 business days to post to an account. The only real difference between a purchase and a refund is that while a purchase places a hold against your account immediately, no provisional credit is given for a refund. So, you'll usually see purchases immediately, but refunds will take a bit longer to show up.

This is a policy created by Visa/MasterCard/etc... that I believe should be changed. However, I doubt it ever will. Just wanted to make you aware!
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#3 Consumer Comment

Wayne

AUTHOR: Jane - (U.S.A.)

That is the best explanation that I have heard thus far but I dont believe it. I have purchased gas from the local station and it is debited from my account prior to starting my car. I have literally filled up and called the automated line to check my balance and the amount of that transaction is HELD nearly INSTANTLY! So this hung up in the system stuff is baloney!

Truth is probably closer to the fact that they can charge and make a signifigant amount of money by holding EVERYONE's money for the extra three days
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Delay in credit

AUTHOR: Wayne - (U.S.A.)

I've posted on other reports the same information regarding the CC refund. NW did process your refund the day you talked to them. I can tell this because of the number of days it took to post. After the transaction is put into the system it is out of their hands. The transaction has to then go through a number of banks and finally be sent to yours. Even once recieved your bank does NOT have to process the transaction right away. The reason being at each step transactions are queued. They don't just send out each transaction as it happens. The communications systems couldn't handle that. Along each step of the way it gets queued to go to the next bank/processor until reaching your bank. They then have leeway as to how quickly they post it. A general rule of thumb in the CC industry is that it can take two cycles after the refund is entered for it to show up. It's never "instant", but a lot of the times it's within a two to three days.

It doesn't matter if it's NW, Wal-Mart, or your local gas station. They all process CC transactions the same way.
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