Awful Customer Service with Qantas

By Shaswell | Apr 11, 2018, 03:12 PM
Hey all, first-time poster here. I run a non-profit and plan to be traveling overseas and domestically a few times a year for the next two years for business and also for leisure. I was posting to ask about experiences with compensation after experiencing a website glitch and repeatedly poor service from Qantas staff.

I booked flights on March 23rd for a conference I am attending in PHL, and paid points+pay. Earlier that day I had purchased a flight voucher with points in the Qantas store, but unbeknownst to me the points hadn't been deducted yet (despite receiving a confirmation email regarding the purchase), and thus the website let me pay more in points than my balance actually was after the voucher purchase. I didn' t notice, my credit card app pinged right away that I had been charged the amount agreed on by points+pay and I thought that was that.

After a day or two, the charge disappeared from my credit card, my booking still said "processing" and I contacted Qantas web chat three times over one week to ask what was going on (receiving unhelpful/untrue responses like "you'll receive confirmation within 48 hours") each time. I finally rang on 30th March and was spoken to by a rude and condescending person who told me I couldn't pay the amount owed in cash, said I had no choice but to cancel my booking altogether and rebook (and shoulder the price increase), and told me I should have known my exact points balance was different to what was displayed. I asked to speak to management and she refused saying I would get the same response. Then I asked to be transferred to FF dept to ask about purchasing enough points to cover the mistake made by the website. The FF staff was kinder, told me the first woman didn't know what she was talking about, and let me pay for the whole flight on credit card. So by the end, it seemed resolved, but this phone call (including hold time) took 1 hour and 20 minutes in addition to the 60+ mins I had spent over the last week on web chat. After this call, another week went by where I had to contact them again via webchat asking what was going on, before my credit card was finally charged on 6th April.

On top of this, I contacted them once about signing up for the Qantas Club and received very confusing information about overseas lounge access that was contradictory to what I later found on the website, by another unhelpful and unfriendly person.

I was hoping to use Qantas as my business' flight provider but have been really turned off after this service. I want to complain about this and was wondering if you more experienced FFs would recommend it and what sort of compensation I might request to make up for my time and frustration. Or if it's even worth it given the level of customer service they seem to be displaying already!

Thanks for your time and for reading this epic if you did!
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By mannej | Apr 11, 2018, 03:40 PM
OP, what compensation do you deem realistic?
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By Shaswell | Apr 11, 2018, 03:52 PM
Hey there, thanks for responding. I guess that's what I'm trying to figure out from more experienced flyers. I have never experienced such consistently rude and unhelpful service from any company, let alone an airline. Given that I run my own business and am pretty busy, having to spend so much time following this up over a few weeks (and not even knowing if I'd end up with the booking) was a real drag. That being said, I'm only just starting to fly for business so I don't have status and I'm not sure if it's even realistic for me to ask for or expect anything. I'd be happy with some points or an upgrade though (but I might be dreaming!)
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By hutch | Apr 11, 2018, 03:54 PM
By all means, complain about service... but I what was your actual loss? You may lucky to get some QFF points and maybe an apology.
Airlines are rocks or diamonds. Sometimes great service, sometimes terrible service.
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John

By Matt_01 | Apr 11, 2018, 05:30 PM

Reading your OP if you are new to the booking game and using vouchers I would have thought that purchasing GV via the QF store is not a good use of points. I have not looked into this in any great detail however looking at the price to purchase a $50 GV via the store the price is 9850 points. If you were to use points and pay via the QF site 9850 points would be approximately $66.00 in value. It would seem like the use of points and pay represents a better use of points based on a couple of bookings I looked at.

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Shannon

By John Phelan | Apr 13, 2018, 01:41 AM
You won't get a lot of sympathy here, I'm afraid. Whilst the QF system should be smart enough to not allow you to overspend on your FF points balance, the agent was right to say that you should know how many points you have in the kitty when making bookings. Hell, it's on the top right of the web page.

As to compensation - I'm from the camp that believes you should complain about the service and wait for them to make an offer (which I don't believe they will do in this case). Asking for compensation is demeaning to the asker, in my view.

And a piece of advice - abandon QF web chat as an authoritative source of information or assistance. The web chat people are often wrong. Not good enough on Qantas' part, I know, but it is the reality. I'd rather wait for a while on hold and get the right info than get an instant response that may well be wrong.
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John

By Doubleplatinum | Apr 14, 2018, 03:45 PM
Yep like John Phelan said you can clearly see your points balance at the top of your profile page, hardly the airline's fault.
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By wanderingvan | Apr 14, 2018, 11:54 PM
If you just have Bronze level then 1-2 hours wait on the phone is the norms, especially during peak time. (aka evenings) and the person you get to speak is of a variable quality. At least QF still have their call centres here in Oz. Hence good luck with trying to get compensation for the time you spend.

QF is not perfect, like everything else, but for us here in Oz we don't have much options if it's the flexibility and the convenience that you want for your flights. My advice is don't waste your time with a complaint and use that instead of reading about the tips and tricks here. You can get back at QF by earning lots more QFF points and Status Credits by not spending more but be smarter about it. Just my 2 cents.
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By jared7825 | Apr 15, 2018, 04:09 AM
I have had flights booked and itinerary not confirmed and had to chase it before but this was due to a system error apparently. Usually I get though in a minute or two to the call center but last week even at Gold status the phone que was 35min, use the call back service

What do you think is fair or entitled too. Agree that it should have been noticeable that the points didn’t deduct and allowed you to book more then your balance, same happens with some HR systems with annual leave when employees book holidays, and I divert to the balance is displayed at the top of the screen

Small business with approx $50k annual spend and have not had major issues
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By Shaswell | Apr 17, 2018, 02:40 PM
Just to clarify and respond to a few of the comments- my complaint is that the points balance on the top of the page was NOT reflective of my balance after the voucher purchase. A few hours after my purchase, the website hadn't yet deducted the points from the balance that was both on the top of the page and in the points + pay slider. So I just spent the amount of points that it told me I had in 2 different locations on the website, which I had thought would have been my balance after the purchase.
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By Peter_G | Apr 20, 2018, 04:17 PM
My experience with the QFF help centre has been poor. They provide incorrect information and are very quick to come up with reasons why you are not entitled to benefits/compensation for their mistakes. Improvements to the web page would help (as then I wouldn't have to call them) but don't expect anything from them. Occasionally you might be pleasantly surprised.
I've found forums like this much more helpful & knowledgeable than Qantas staff.
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By lw1962 | Apr 20, 2018, 09:54 PM
Chalk it up to experience and look forward to your flight. Stuff happens, not always in your favor, but at the end of the day, it's invaluable information to remember for next time. Don't abandon an airline unless you intend to skip from one to the other for the rest of your life. They all have their moments.
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By sdtravel | Apr 23, 2018, 05:16 AM
I dont think all the Qantas call centers are in Oz now. I believe that one might be left in Hobart maybe. But the rest are South Africa, New Zealand and Philippines I believe. Certainly chat is in Philippines as well.
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By patrickk | Apr 23, 2018, 10:23 AM
I would stick with them (QF) if you are doing a lot of domestic and international travel as the choice for both together is not great (VA doesn’t have great domestic schedules) Once you get to Gold or even better platinum the service standards and wait times improve quite a bit and Platinums get the Oz call centre. Jumping around to different airlines will be frustrating as you will get poor service from most for one off bookings. If I am getting nowhere on a call centre I offer to call back which gets me a different person who may be much more helpful. Being friendly to them early in the call (hows the day hows the weather etc) also helps, as most people they deal with aren’t. You might even open an Account with them if you do enough flying and you may get a dedicated call centre.
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By Powerledger | Apr 23, 2018, 04:40 PM
I dont think all the Qantas call centers are in Oz now. I believe that one might be left in Hobart maybe. But the rest are South Africa, New Zealand and Philippines I believe. Certainly chat is in Philippines as well.

Correct
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