Chase Travel Portal and Generally Making Refunds Difficult

I felt compelled to share my poor customer no service experience, which isn’t unique to the Chase Credit Card Travel portal, but this seems like a good “case study” in how these companies are playing games with customers. These games seem designed to ratchet-up the amount of time and effort it takes to get what is promised and so likely cause customers to give up in getting their problems resolved.

I bought an airline ticket through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel page because I had points to use. I didn’t have enough points, so spent all my points, plus had the remainder charged the Chase card. During the purchase process, they make it clear that if you cancel within 24 hours, your money and points will be refunded.

So, without talking it over with the boss, I booked, knowing I could get out of it without financial consequences. Sure enough, my wife explained how I’d overlooked some things, and the trip would be a bad idea. I went back the next morning and cancelled on the Chase travel site, and got a refund confirmation code that I kept, along with a screen shot from that page.

Today, the credit card bill comes and there’s no refund. I spend one hour and fourteen minutes (1:14) with a person who probably doesn’t have the authorization to fix anything. They do say that the airline has cancelled the reservation, but plans to offer a coupon. No. That’s not what your company promised, and if that was the deal, I never would have purchased without checking with the boss. Also, the points haven’t been refunded either. During this whole time, I kept asking if they needed the refund confirmation number and I even read it out to them, but I don’t think their system had anywhere to put it.

So after hanging on the phone for all that time, they finally said they would call me back after they “get through to the airline”. This saga will be continued, I’m sure. I would be surprised if it will be refunded without more hours of fiddling around.

That leads me to the more general observation that companies have figured out that all they need to do is cut staff on the call center staff that do refunds, or cut staff on the refund desk at the store, and magically, they process fewer refunds, and so make more money. I’m sure they realize that are alienating customers, but that’s something that takes time to hit the bottom line.

I know Clark and staff keep tabs on “Have we heard many complaints about X company?”, well, log one for Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal…they lied about refunding, and now I’m struggling to get them to do what they said: refund my money and points.

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