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EasyJet but not easy service – be warned!

Submitted by on 12/03/2010 – 01:31

It’s late…you’ve been browsing budget airline websites for hours to snap that final few £’s off the lowest price, and then you eventually decide to push the “continue” key to purchase. But what’s this? Somehow your local PC has cached some surplus data and the ticket you’ve just purchased has the wrong date on it! Disaster!!!

But you know your rights…don’t you?

Well, under aviation ticketing good practice code, as indeed your statutory purchase rights, you have a 24-hour “cooling off” period when purchasing airline tickets. In fact, when you book a schedule airline they often hold your seats as “reserved” for 24-hours before completing the financial transaction for this very reason.

So, there I am, 11pm at night calling the EasyJet helpline on an 0845 (National rate number), only to be greeted by a message saying the “…customer helpdesk is closed until 9am”. Just to cover myself, I raised a web notification through their website – timed at just 14 minutes after hitting that “continue” key.

At 9:15am I ring the EasyJet helpline, this time greeted with a message: “…due to severe weather conditions our helpline is unusually busy“. I listened to that message for over an hour before being cut off. Needless to say, contact in this way was impossible. I updated my web notification and wrote a letter – both now being some 10 hours after hitting that darn “continue” key.

12 weeks, 6 letters, 4 web notification updates later and where am I? £44 refunded so far from the £216 paid. In week 10 I did receive one letter from EasyJet presenting me with a script of 1/2 HTML code, 1/4 English and 1/4 in some weird language that seemed to be a mix of Polish, Russian and Chinese – it said they were “…sorry for the delayed response that was due to severe weather conditions.”

The moral of this story is (apart from clearing your cache before hitting that dreadful “continue” button) EasyJet clearly do not support, endorse, enhance or favour customer service and you, as a consumer, need to know this in advance. Whilst I am sure most transactions go through correctly (this has never happened to me before and I use web commerce daily) if you are unfortunate enough to be victim of a problem, you are on your own and whether right or wrong, in law, ethics, principle or just good practice, EasyJet will invariably take the stance that you will run out of puff before they do.

You have been warned!

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