Problem with Iberia – help wantedBack to Forum
I have run into an issue with Iberia and welcome any advice. Perhaps Business Traveller might lend some assistance?
I booked flight in March to travel via Madrid to PMI.
Iberia changed the time on the first leg of my return via Madrid. The initial connection time was tight (60 minutes) and I received an email from them to accept the time change. I now had 55 minutes connection time in Madrid and because this was below the minimum required, their “manage my booking” requested me to either 1) select a later flight (4 hours later) or 2) accept a full refund. To get the refund I needed to call their call centre. I opted for the refund of approx. €400.
I eventually got through after 4-5 attempts (via their USA number) and after lots of discussion with an Agent(20 minutes +), he eventually agreed to the refund. I There was a lot of back and forth with this Agent who initially said no refund was appropriate because the time change was only 5 minutes. He seemed to be unable to access the refund offered.
He eventually managed to find the refund offer (I was on hold for quite alot of time) and he then said “your refund will happen within 10 working days and gave me a Case Number. He asked me if I was sure I did not want the later flight but I said the refund would be my choice. I expected maybe an email also but this did not happen.
20 days later there was no sign of a refund, so I contacted Iberia via facebook messenger. I gave them my case number (and booking reference) and enquired when the refund would happen.
The Iberia Facebook messenger reverted after a day saying that “We never agreed to a refund”. I replied that I had spoken with an Agent and he had agreed that the refund was applicable and would be paid within 10 days. I expected that having a case number was proof enough that I had called etc.
They asked me for the date and time of the phone call and the number I called and the number I called from. I provided all this to Iberia including a screen shot of my phone record.
A few weeks went by and I enquired again.
Today I received a Facebook messenger message from Iberia saying that no refund would be paid making no reference to the phone call.
I recently spoke with BA on a different matter and mentioned my issue with Iberia. They said that all calls are recorded and logged in case of a dispute.
Any ideas how I should proceed from here?26 May 2022
@Backof the plane
Do you ever read the BT magazine? (If you did you would see that BT sometimes contact providers on behalf of letter writers to the magazine… I seem to have hit a wall with Iberia)26 May 2022
I entirely agree. However, in this instance the OP started by asking BT if they could lend assistance in this matter.
As I also said, I have every sympathy for the OPs predicament. He / she is facing a level of service that would drive anyone to distraction but which, unfortunately, is becoming more and more the norm rather than the exception.
My point is that I’m not really sure how appropriate it is to come onto the forum and specifically ask BT for help.
If others feel differently, fine. If BT does want to get involved, great for the OP.
Good luck with Iberia.30 May 2022
SwissExPat I really feel for you. I also have had problems with IB and aired them on this forum. I was not alone in having bad experiences with their “customer service”. I now simply do not trust them or have any confidence in them to be accountable for the services they offer, and feel they treat customers with contempt and total lack of care and consideration.
And of course IB is part of IAG with partner BA. I have often praised BA Gold line customer service on this forum, but my sister has to make a change on a booking she has, and is told by the website to call their CSD. And of course that is impossible as the message simply asks you to call later and them the line is cut.
Going forward I now have no desire to fly IB, short haul and especially long haul, which I had been contemplating.
Re Tom at BT contacting Iberia, it will be interesting to see if they bother reverting.31 May 2022
The main reason I aired this problem on the forum is that this is likely something that has or could affect every forum member who ever has to call an airline to perform a transaction (or generally any service provider).
Once I speak with someone over the phone and a course of action is agreed, then I expect this to be carried out and that if there is a subsequent disagreement about what was agreed, there is a mechanism for recounting what was discussed and agreed. It could be the price for a change or in my case, the provision of a refund.
If such a change was performed online or via email then there is a record of the event (via screen prints or follow up emails) and any subsequent dispute can be verified.
In my case, once the Agent had called back the agreement and gave me a case number I expected that this would be my “proof” but this looks not to be the case and I am currently in “no man’s land”.
If we cannot rely on phone calls to large organisations and then what was agreed being actioned, then what can we rely on?31 May 2022
To manage expectations of our intervention, I think the odds of hearing back are low.
The airlines at the moment are in a terrible state. It’s very easy to load flights into th3e booking system, but as we’ve all now seen, they don’t have the staff to operate all of them. At the same time, whole swathes of ‘management’ have gone – including in marketing and communications. There are very few people left to answer emails… or take calls, or answer complaints, whether in customer services or the comms dept. And as for IT….31 May 2022
Early in 2021 I had a similar albeit not exactly identical problem with TAP Air Portugal: due to Covid, TAP cancelled my flight and I was promissed a refund by an agent I had reached on the phone after many attempts. Almost a year later the refund had not yet appeared on my credit card statement. I called the Barclays credit card I had used to pay for the ticket almost 12 months earlier and I asked them to reverse the charge (roughly 3200 USD). The Barclays card employee said they would call TAP and my account would be credited if my story could be verified. I had used a Barclays card issued in the US (their Aviator card if I remember correctly). Two credits appeared on my statement the following month, each for the full value of the ticket: a refund issued by TAP and also the charge reversal I had requested from Barclays. So I went from no refund to – briefly – a double refund (I called Barclays immediately and they cancelled the now superfluous charge reversal).
You may want to try a similar approach to resolve your dispute with Iberia, knowing that it may work less well if the card you used to pay was issued in Europe (the European credit card market is much less customer friendly than the US market in my experience). I’ve also had good luck getting charges reversed by American Express when a service promised and paid months before was ultimately not delivered.16 Jun 2022
Thanks for assistance and comments on this topic but I regret to say I have lost on this occasion.
@ LetsGoOutside, I did follow your advice and contacted my Credit Card provider (Credit Suisse “CS” Amex) and requested a charge back. I called Credit Suisse and explained the situation. The Agent suggested filling in the online chargeback for (which was quite limited in terms of being able to explain the situation).
The CHF 400 was refunded but CS informed me that the other party had 45 days to challenge this.
After one and a half months, CS wrote to me and provided me with IBERIA’s challenge which was a photocopy of the original booking where I had ticked to accept the terms and conditions of the original ticket sale (noting the ticket was non-cancellable). That was all. There was no reference to the phone call (subsequent to the online booking) where a refund was agreed “and would be repayable to my credit card within 10 days”).
I wrote to CS and pointed out the phone call (and the time/date/number called) and asked them to challenge the Merchant on this matter. They wrote back to me and said they were not interested in this. They then levied the CHF 400 back on my account.
My final (and I though my ultimate saviour) was contacting my Rechtschutsversicherung (“Rights protection Legal insurer “Orion Basel”). After filling in their form, I was met with the (for me unexpected) excuse form them that as Iberia was not a Swiss company with no legal presence in Switzerland, they could do nothing. If the dispute was with SWISS, then they could proceed.
So, in then end, I have been blackguarded by IBERIA. They have simply blanked me following my phone call in March 2022.
Thanks to Tom who did make some representation following this thread. Iberia did send me an email saying I would not be getting a refund and in this email, they quoted the reference number given to me by their Agent on the phone call where the refund was confirmed and agreed. This reference number (13 digit) was only ever communicated to me once and this was on the phone call which I thought was proof of the transaction.
All I can do not is “review” my future patronage of IBERIA, CREDIT SUISSE and Orion Rechtschuts Basel.24 Nov 2022