Last Friday, I got all giddy and excited as soon as I opened the email announcement about the Cebu Pacific piso seat sale.
CEB allots 100,000 seats for our sought-after P1 seat sale to all destinations!
Travel June 15 to September 30, 2010.
So I went to the website and started looking into the dates I wanted. Unfortunately, most of the weekends on my preferred dates had no promo rates. I had to check my 2010 calendar, and finally found some weekdays in August where I think I will be able to squeeze in a few days off with the hub.
Now with my dates, I started searching again. Bummer – no more promo seats in the more popular destinations. And the site was sooooo sloooow. So I decided to call it a night.
I checked Naga (jump-off point to CamSur). Well, whadya know? There are open seats! So I quickly grabbed the flights and went through the booking process. Bummer again – an error occurs after I enter my payment details.
“An error has occurred. Please try again. If the error persists, please contact the airline.”
There is a “Start Over” button at the bottom. So, thinking it was really an error, I clicked on the button and booked the Manila-Naga-Manila flight all over.
Bummer yet again – error for the second time. Argh, this isn’t my lucky day. Well, the Naga getaway isn’t meant to be, I think to myself.
So again, I checked the less popular destinations. Aha, I see promo seats for Laoag. Hub and I have never been to Pagudpud. I’m getting these!
I go through the booking process again. But, guess what?? I get another error just right after entering my payment details!
Error message while booking Cebu Pacific piso seat sale
At that point, I got a feeling that I should check with my credit card. So I immediately called Citibank. True enough, all three bookings were charged to my card.
I asked the Citibank customer service rep if there’s any way to reverse two of the three charges. I was told that I will have to speak with Cebu Pacific customer service. The rep also added that the charges will still float for 14 days until confirmed by Cebu Pacific.
I was calling the Cebu Pacific Metro Manila call center number 02 7020888 almost all afternoon but I could not get through. I decided to send an email instead. (As of writing time, my email remains unanswered.)
Sunday morning. I finally got through to a Cebu Pacific call center rep. I told him the circumstances of my complaint – that despite the errors that I got while booking and not getting any confirmation message from CEB, I still got charged three times.
My request was for the two other trips (the double-booked Manila-Naga-Manila flights) be cancelled, since I will take the Manila-Laoag-Manila flights instead.
The rep said my case will be subjected to an investigation by their e-commerce. (Whatever that means.. I asked what e-commerce meant, is that their IT department, or is it Navitaire? He said “Basta po, e-commerce po ang mag i-investigate sa case nyo.” I guess this is part of the de-kahon flow-chart response he was trained with.) The investigation will take one week daw.
Furthermore, he told me that I will pay for surcharges because I booked for different destinations on the same travel dates. Duh, I did not deliberately book those flights on the same dates! Who can be in two places at the same time, anyway?
Oh yeah, refund will take about 60-90 days – CEB policy (“Ganun po talaga ang policy ng Cebu Pacific,” said the rep). Why should it take that long when Citibank says the charges are still floating???
So, the short of the long story: I will wait for a week while e-commerce investigates my case. I am to call back again after a week to check if my request for cancellation of the two Naga flights. Meanwhile, the rep gave me the reference numbers of the 3 flights.
Judging with the many complaints on errors during Cebu Pacific piso seat sale online booking logged in this Facebook page and among my SNS (Plurk, Facebook) friends, of course it was a glitch on Cebu Pacific’s website!
So, NO – customers should not be penalized with surcharges, and NO – customers should not have to wait so long to be refunded!
Why should customers suffer because of a glitch, an error that is obviously Cebu Pacific’s?
That there were so many users booking flights and the site must have been overloaded are unacceptable, flimsy excuses; CEB should not even attempt to use them. In the past Cebu Pacific piso seat sale, the same glitch apparently happened to this blogger. These error bugs, apparently, are not new. So why weren’t they fixed yet?
My only consolation is that the flights were really cheap. But even so, I should not pay for something I did not buy, right? I did not receive any confirmation message at all – nothing to say my flight reservation was processed. Just that stupid error page.