I received the refund of over $3000 a few days back. After keeping up incessant pressure on BudgetAir through Etihad, the refund finally found its way back. I can’t tell you what a relief it was. Also, it was a culmination of tireless efforts on social media.
After my last post, I reached out to IATA through email. Strangely, their response was very cold. I also lodged official complaints on both Etihad websites – international and Indian. I also sent an email to the Etihad Nodal Officer at Bangalore Airport. Etihad twitter and Facebook teams were the most useless. I would suggest that anyone facing a similar problem should reach out to Etihad through direct complaint on their portals. I had also emailed to Etihad CEO and India Head. Though, I did not receive any direct responses from them, I think it set the wheels in motion somewhere.
My story was also picked up by NewsMobile.in which helped in creating more pressure. As I had mentioned earlier, the refund process really got moving once Etihad took the grievance seriously after this post about their Atrocious Customer Service.
I was aware all along that BudgetAir were crooks. Left to their own machinations, they would have never sent the refund back. All their emails about refund were blatant lies. Why do I say so? Because, when I received an email from Etihad’s Customer Service saying that they were following up with the travel agency, we magically get an email from Travix, BudgetAir’s holding company, who now ask for our bank account details. So you see how they were just lying for weeks saying the refund was on our way.
For those of you who felt that Etihad had no direct liability in my case, here is an experience of a person who booked directly with Etihad who was made to run pillar to post to get his refund.
I was lucky to have my blog and support of so many of my virtual friends to see this through. And yet it took the time it took for the refund to come back. We were actually planning a twitter hashtag trend when the refund came back.
Anyhow, this is a lesson for all of us. I still get emails from people who are having bad experiences with BudgetAir. Please, whatever you do, do not ever book with them or any of their sister concerns like cheap tickets, Vayama etc. They are running a con shop and in the past two months I have read sorry tales by the hundreds, of people being cheated out of their money. I know I never will.
Once again, thank you to each one of you who helped and supported me.
Our fabulous European cruise was lost, hopefully it will materialize some time in the future. For now, we are going to Goa.