- Report: #1128572
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Cheap-O-Air
Cheap-O-Air135 W 50th Street, Suite 500, New York, NY 10020 U New York, New York USA
Cheap-O-Air Unauthorized charges on bank account, bad customer service New York New York
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Cheapoair Unethical Business Practices For the sake of easy reading, I'll list the problems I've experienced with this company in point form.
1) None of their numbers can be contacted from Australia, even the "Australian" numbers provided by them. If you want to speak with them, you have to email them and hope they call you back sooner rather than later.
2) They are an international business located in the United States, so if you are purchasing tickets from any other country, you will be charged an international purchasing fee, which is added on top of the overall purchase. Something they conveniently omit when you are about to make a purchase.
3) Their call centre staff cannot speak adequate English as it is all outsourced to India. Also, because their employees are based overseas offshore in a third world country, the employees don't hold themselves to the same quality of customer service you'd usually expect. [continued below]....
4) They also charge an agent fee which is just deducted from your bank account. It isn't listed anywhere in the total costs as you're making the purchase, or even after it. It is just automatically deducted from your bank account. I sent an email asking what the amount was for the agent fee, pretty simple question, they didn't answer it.
5) I had to change my departure date for my flight, and they quoted me 305 dollars as the total cost that would be involved over the phone. Upon checking my bank statement, I realised the quote was in United States Dollars, not Australian Dollars, so the cost ended being about 343 Australian Dollars. The guy at the call centre did not specify it was USDs, he knew I was from Australia. Deliberate or accidental?
6) To make matters worst, just by looking at my online statement, cheapoair deducted 1756.53 AUD from my bank account for the "agent fee." Then I get refunded by Air China 1747.43 AUD the same day (I booked my flights with Air China via cheapoair, Air China played no part in this rip-off) which is 9.1 AUD less, and I get charged an international purchasing fee of 43.91 AUD! I understand international purchase fees are unavoidable if you are buying tickets from an overseas company, but I didn't authorize cheapoair to deduct an agent fee of 1756.53 AUD, or 1557.85 USD! (I wrote this just before my trip in mid-January, and sent in a letter of complaint on the 12th of January, 2014; cheapoair gave me an adequate reply on the 17th of March, 2014! ,ore than 1 month later. Horrendous customer service to say the least. See photos below).
7) Also, CheapOAir is littered with complaints all over the internet. There are countless, and I mean countless, of consumer complaint sites detailing other peoples experience with cheapoair. Just do a search and you'll see what I am talking about. The only positive reviews of them online are from reviewcentre.com. It's convenient as well too that all the people who have posted positive reviews about cheapoair have only posted that 1 review. Is cheapoair going into damage control by writing fictitious positive reviews, amongst the litany of bad reviews online? I suspect cheapoair has a team of people who go online utilizing spin control to beg the question and try and deflect some of the negative reviews. Do a google search on them and you be the judge.
All in all, I got overcharged 90.60 AUD. 37.59 AUD for the misquote on the change of departure, 43.91 AUD for the international purchase fee I didn't authorise, and 9.1 AUD for the discrepancy between the 1756.53 AUD deducted as an "agent fee" and the 1747.43 AUD refunded. This isn't much compared to some of the other complaints about them online, and I'm thankful for that, what annoys me isn't the actual amount they overcharged, but the principle of it and their unethical business practices. I have also blocked them from making any further deductions from my credit card as well. Steer clear of this company. I know a lot of other fellow travelers, and have told all of them to avoid cheap-o-air at all costs. If anyone out there reading this already has had a bad experience with them, I suggest you spread the word amongst your friends and colleagues, as nothing will force them to get their act together quicker than a dwindling customer base. My booking number: 19449553 Be careful everyone! Cheers, David
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/05/2014 03:38 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Cheap-O-Air/New-York-New-York-500/Cheap-O-Air-Unauthorized-charges-on-bank-account-bad-customer-service-New-York-New-York-1128572. 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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