Budget airline Jetstar appears to be deliberately stinging customers with additional fees by blocking out booking access to add-on services (such as car rental) and then charging fees for simply making a support call.Consumers who visit the main Jetstar website to book a rental car are asked to provide several details relating to their booking, flight, airport where the car will be picked up or dropped off along with which car they want to book.
One also has to provide name, email address and a contact phone number.
I know, I found out the hard way when I went to book a rental car recently.
Despite filling in all the fields correctly the ‘Reserve This Car tag was still not letting me book a car online so I did the obvious, I phoned the help number which was located right under the problem booking form. This is the same number that has a big slogan above it saying “Can’t find what you you are looking for online? Give us a call”.
The operator who took the call found my flight details and made my car rental booking.
Not only did I identify the price of $283 dollars that had come up on the screen via the Jetstar web site, I also identified the type of car that I wanted to rent, along with the rental Company which in my case happened to be Avis.
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The operator said that the booking confirmation was being sent to me by email. When it arrived the bill had gone from $283 to $347.
When I called back a separate operator told me the reason for the increase was because I had chosen to call the Jetstar help line.
The operator then said that he was unable to cancel the booking as he “could not get into the system to cancel the car rental booking”. He said I would have to call Jetstar again and ask for another department.
Andrew Mcginness, a spokesperson for Jetstar, said that the matter would be investigated by Jetstar’s Customer Service team.
This is not the first time that I have encountered problems with the Jetstar IT operation, during recent trips to Sydney airport I was unable to either barcode swipe the issuing of my boarding pass or use my mobile phone to gain a pass.
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Instead I was forced to queue in a line where out of 8 desks, only two were being used to process hundreds of passengers who had encountered the same problem as me.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission claims that all additional charges must be outlined by a call centre operator prior to the buyer accepting the price.
In the case of Jestar this was not done by the operator.