Thursday, March 8, 2012

Why you should not fly 1time airlines

For a long time now my family and I have been using 1time airlines. We were strong supporters of them as they serviced our city and as far as I know started up in our part of the world. The one time (pun no intended) I did have a problem with 1time.. the CEO contacted me and made an effort to help us. We were all really impressed and a bad situation was turned into a good situation by good management.

Our family have many businesses in East London and we often use 1time. Not just for their flights, but we use them for accommodation and car rental as well. We often purchase the complete travel packages from 1time.

I do not know what has happened recently but things have gone downhill. I think I can safely say that it feels that 1time believes it is above South African law and they are more interested in your money than they are interested in you.

My wife recently purchased tickets to fly from East London to Pretoria. My wife is studying to be a doctor in South Africa and she has to work with the HPCSA (whom are a little less than useful). Anyways. My wife was scheduled to write her exams in April, but this got changed to October.

So we contacted 1time airlines, fully intending to cancel our tickets now and purchase them again when we know the exact date of the next exam (which is only told to us later in the year).

My wife phones 1time and is informed by their call center that they do not do refunds? What?!? I said! The Consumer Protection Act from 2008 clearly states in Section 17 that a consumer is entitled to a refund. Especially when services have not yet being rendered. You can read up on the Consumer Protection Act here:
http://www.info.gov.za/view/DownloadFileAction?id=99961

So by now I am spitting feathers. Who the heck are 1time. I made a complaint on HelloPeter.com only to be told by 1time again that their terms and conditions state that we are not allowed a refund.

Our complaint can be found here: http://www.hellopeter.com/1time-airline/complaints/no-refunds-hurt-families-754727

So I am upset now. 1time are starting to give me the perception as a predatory "fuck-the-public" type business. This is not something I expected from an airline that my family have been supporting for such a long time.

So I phone the 1time and try tell the woman who answers that what 1time are doing is against the law. The the Consumer Protection Act has more authority than their terms and conditions. The woman flat out ignores this and we have some words. Eventually she says she is going to pass the call onto the consumer complaints divisions and I am then passed onto someone called, "Daniella" (or something along the lines).

She again uses the same line that the call center woman used about their consumers. So again I highlight the Consumer Protection Act protects me from their predatory business model.

The woman says that the Consumer Protection Act allows me to cancel my flight FOR A REASONABLE FEE. Daniella then goes on to tell me that the "Reasonable fee" is 100% of the ticket price. On what planet is 100% of the ticket price considered a "reasonable fee"?

This is an incredibly disgusting business practice and one which I feel needs to be talked about. People need to know with whom theyre doing business and how far these people will bend the law to screw you out of money.

From my side. I am issuing my own terms and conditions to 1time.

1.1  I will never be flying with your airline ever again
1.2  I will be informing all my family, friends, business collegues and business assosciates about your predatory business practices.

2.1 I will email every single consumer advocate agency I know and be informing everyone about your predatory  business practices
2.2 I will be making a long blog post (this one) about your predatory business practices.
2.3 I will be making a website (perhaps something along the lines of 1lasttime.co.za. I run an Internet Service Provider so have servers and web development skills).

3. I will be taking you to the NCC for screwing your customers over.

If you have been shafted by 1time in a similar manner please lodge a complaint like I am doing with the NCC:
http://www.nccsa.org.za/index.php/Complaints/Complaints.html

I cant believe how 1time are willing to lose a customer for life with such dodgy business practices. Have they no common sense? Do they not understand that by hurting your customers they hurt themselves?

I am highly pissed off and rightfully so. I hope they are able to resolve this, but I do not think so.




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