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Bad experience with Lastminute.com - Allowed to post recordings publicly?


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Hello, I've had two very bad experiences with LastMinute.com (in 2018 and 2020) after requiring customer support to make amendments/cancellations. Both issues boil down to the same problem:

 

* Customer Support does not reply to any emails whatsoever (not after a month, not after 2 years), you might as well send them to a black hole.

* Every time I call customer support, they either have no record of the previous calls so I have to start from scratch, or they tell me "sure sure we'll get back to you in 72 hours we promise", and then they do not call back. (7 calls in 2018 - 4 calls in 2020).

* Impossible to get written confirmations of anything. The agents say they can't send emails (which has lead me to start recording the calls).

* Both times I have had to deal with the airline directly myself (which is their job not mine - I had to ask the airlines to make exceptions for me as normally they would only deal with the OTA).

* To add insult to injury their CS number is a premium number (however thankfully I used saynoto0870 to get their local number, so at least I did not get fleeced, but it's outrageous nevertheless).

 

I happen to have a phone recording of a customer support agent getting angry at me (asking to please send a confirmation email), raising their voice, and saying "it's not my job", twice! Then babbling about how they work from home so I shouldn't ask these things of them. Unbelievable level of unprofessional.

 

Is that okay to upload the recording to youtube to expose how this company deals with its customers, or would that be breaching their privacy? I do believe the agents should be already aware that the calls are being recorded?

 

Regarding the flights themselves. I have been trying to rebook since 6 weeks ago, impossible to achieve. I have since then changed my mind after calling the airline and I need to go through LM to get my full refund. LM are again promising me everything will be sorted out, I "just have to wait" and no they can't send me any written evidence whatsoever that I have requested a refund.

 

So I filed a paypal dispute and lo and behold, at least now I have a written confirmation that I requested a refund.

 

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It might be a bit naughty if you did give a warning or they were unaware – but go ahead – I can't really imagine that they would want to make an issue of it and have it more publicised than it already would be.

Send us a link when you put it up

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  • 1 month later...

Hello all, 

 

Good news. Paypal has ruled the dispute in my favor and I received a full refund.

 

I assume that Lastminute did not even bother to argue and just let the full deadline lapse out of spite, greed, understaffing, or a mix of the three. I'm enclosing here my complaint to paypal. And also my funny correspondence with lastminute's "VIP Service" (I wrote to the CEO).

 

I've run into problems uploading the conversation to youtube, but I might yet do it if I find the time to troubleshoot my phone.

 

This is my full correspondence with the CEO and his army of robots, after I decided to complain.
 
 
Sat 30/05/2020 00:05
 
Hello,
 
I am not impressed with your template response - which merely goes further in proving my original point.
 
I'm not asking for priority as you seem to have hastily believed in the 5 seconds you took to read my message.
 
I am telling you - with a detailed explanation - why your company has the worst customer service of any OTA I have ever used, and I can assure you I will do my utmost to convey this message to any of my contacts who would be unfortunate enough to consider using your services.
 
By this point, it is no surprise to me that you're still not getting the message.
 
"VIP" Service Desk, I do not salute you
XX
 
 

De : Team Assistance <[email protected]>

Objet : Re: Fwd: Customer Experience Breakdown - Ticket Id: 
 

Dear 

Thank you for your email to our CEO which has been passed to the VIP Service Desk for response.

Given the current worldwide Coronavirus outbreak, we are currently receiving a very high number of contacts. Our teams are working hard to manage all requests however, this does mean that waiting times are longer than usual.
If you are requesting a change or cancellation of your booking, or awaiting a refund, I can assure you that someone will be in touch as soon as possible, however, for the reasons stated above, we will be unable to offer any priority to contacts received through this channel.


Please be advised that agents will be unable to provide specific timescales for the management of your case however, if you have a question or query in relation to any other matter, you may be able to find the details in our website FAQ’s (www.lastminute.com) or in the My Area page.  Alternatively, you can contact or customer service teams on the phone number detailed on your confirmation email.
Thank you for your understanding.

Kind regards, 

VIP Service Desk

 

lastminute.com is a brand of lastminute.com group

This e-mail may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient (or have received this e-mail in error) please notify the sender immediately and destroy this e-mail. Any unauthorized copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in this e-mail is strictly forbidden and could be a crime.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: XXX
Date: Thu, 21 May 2020 at 19:22
Subject: Customer Experience Breakdown
To: [email protected] <[email protected]>
 
Good evening Mr. 
 
I am taking the liberty to write to you directly after becoming completely unable to establish viable communications with customer services.
 
I have used Lastminute.com twice in the last 2 years to purchase flights, due to the very attractive prices on offer. Sadly, on both counts I have had a very bad experience with Customer Services. Both of them boil down to the same problems:
  • My emails are not replied to.
  • Calls will result in the agent promising to take action and return contact, however, contact is not returned and action is not taken.
  • Being given different and contradictory information by a different agent every time I call. Notes not being saved between calls.
  • Being forced to deal directly with the airlines myself.
 
In 2018, I had to call a total of 7 times over 6 weeks to fix a typo in my name - which the airline had already agreed to fix. Every time I called, the agent didn't have records from past calls and I had to restart from zero. It was immensely frustrating, though I do admit the original typo was my fault.
 
This year, after my flights were, first changed, then cancelled, due to the coronavirus crisis, I have attempted for over a month to rebook the tickets at a later date. The emails went unanswered, and the calls invariably concluded in promises I would be contacted back shortly - which did not happen.
Frustrated by the lack of information, I asked an agent today if they could kindly write me an email confirmation that my rebooking was being looked into. The agent categorically refused, stating twice, and I quote: "it's not my job".
Trying my luck with a second agent, I was told to just contact the airline myself as lastminute would not do it for me.
 
Calling the airline myself afterwards, I managed to get a satisfactory response within a few minutes.
 
I am acutely aware that the unprecedented worldwide crisis is putting a strain onto everyone and especially travel agents, and that a normal level of service cannot be expected. But that does neither excuse the inability of CS to execute a booking change which the OTA is responsible for, nor the lack of etiquette of the first agent I spoke to today.
 
I am also disappointed that the calls to CS are being charged as a premium phone number, given the level of service is definitely not premium.
 
I am pained to let you know that regardless of the fantastic prices you provide on air travel, unless I am confident you have made significant overhauls to your customer experience, I do not intend to purchase a ticket with you again, and will be unable to recommend your services to anyone.
 
I do hope that you take this feedback onboard, so this can affect future customers positively.
 
Sincerely,
XXX
 

This is the content of my Paypal claim.

 

Original claim (complete with attached invoice)

 

24 May 2020

Your notes

I have contacted Lastminute customer service to ask for a refund but they have told me to wait and refused to produce a written confirmation of my refund request.

 

I have no confidence in their customer service, having tried to get in touch with Lastminute customer service for the last 6 weeks to rebook or cancel the flights. Emails receive no reply and calls end up with being promised to be contacted back, which then does not happen, so I can not establish viable communications with the vendor. Customer service have told me to wait and have promised that things will be sorted out in due time. However from my extensive experience with them failing to process any requests I have no confidence that my refund request will be processed in due time by the vendor.

 

As stated above customer service have refused on multiple occasion to provide a written confirmation of my refund request which further degrades the confidence.

 

I have also sent a complaint to Lastminute but it remained unanswered, like my other emails.

 

I am submitting this paypal claim as I believe it will be the only way to obtain a refund in due time. The flights were cancelled last week so being told to wait is not acceptable.

 

I have recordings of my calls with customer service if needed as evidence. Thank you for your understanding.

 

 

Escalated claim

 

1 June 2020

Your notes

Unable to issue refund with vendor.

Unable to establish viable communications with vendor.

I am awaiting full refund for flights cancelled due to Covid19.

Flights are still marked as active on website (cancelled weeks ago already).

Vendor does not reply to emails (no human reply in 6 weeks).

 

Customer service offer misleading and contracting information on the telephone.

They have sent me to call the airline in their place, and airline (MU) has confirmed I am due a full refund, but the refund has to be processed by Lastminute and they just aren't doing it.

 

They also categorically refuse to produce a written record that my refund request is being processed, which was the only thing I was asking for (I know that the times are difficult and did not expect immediate refund, but I do expect a guarantee that this is being processed, and they have refused to produced that).

 

Customer service consistently promise to call back or email back, but then they don't.

The only one call I have received from them in the last 6 weeks was to ask me to cancel my paypal dispute, however I have clearly stated I would only cancel it if they could provide the written confirmation I asked for.

 

They promised to get back in touch, but as always they havn't and I have now no other choice but to escalate as the time to claim will soon elapse, and I have no confidence in Lastminute's customer service after this experience. I have saved the emails and call recordings as evidence if needed. Please let me know if you require more information.

 

Best regards X

 

 

 

Long story short:

 

* Lastminute.com are required to process refunds for cancelled flights on behalf of their customers, however they do not process the refund for an extended period of time after flights have been cancelled and keep your money for as long as they can.

* It is impossible to get a response from Lastminute.com by email. They simply do not reply.

* When on the phone with them, they either fob you off to the airline (incorrectly), or they promise you to act, but then don't act. The phone line costs premium money.

* When on the phone I have spoken to 3 different agents who have all confirmed that they are not allowed to produce written confirmations of rebooking or refund requests. 

* When you file a complaint with paypal, LM will call you to ask you to cancel your complaint, but without offering any guarantees.

* They will then let the deadline expire so they can keep your money for 6 weeks before the deadline lapses and paypal refunds you.

 

Disclaimer: This is based on my personal experience with them over 2 separate bookings, and I have full records to back the above claims. Your personal experience with them may vary

 

Avoid lastminute LIKE THE PLAGUE!

 

I have purchased with other OTAs (Opodo, CrystalTravel) in the past which have had decent customer service when I needed to make changes to bookings.

 

I am considering whether I should sue lastminute to recover the £20 spent calling China Eastern offices in Beijing to do their job because they could not be bothered to. It's not worth the hassle but this is how much I am angry at them.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

🤣🤣🤣

 

I have received 2 days ago, an email from lastminute thanking me for my patience and telling me that my cancellation was accepted and they will refund me within the next 2 months.

 

Hilarious level of incompetence... I already got the money back 3 weeks ago from PayPal!

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