Cebu Pacific Piso Seat Sale – Fail!

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.

Saturday afternoon. After losing internet connection all morning due to typhoon Santi, my modem blinks back to life. Guess what site I hit first? CEB’s, of course.

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!

Cebu Pacific piso seat sale error message

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.

Lesson learned: never, never, never book online with Cebu Pacific. And never, never, never fall for Cebu Pacific piso seat sale crap again.

20 thoughts on “Cebu Pacific Piso Seat Sale – Fail!

  1. their policy sucks big time! i mean, yes, if you canceled a booking or changed your mind about it, thats one think but if it’s their fault, why should you be penalized for it! plus the waiting period is just crazy. in fact, they should pay YOU, the customer, for their mistakes!

  2. I’m sorry to hear about your experience. I remember reading your plurk about the repeated errors you received while booking flights online. Cebu Pacific surely has a lousy system and poor customer service.

  3. I’m sorry to hear this. I had a hard time booking a flight, too. And it’s my first time to book with CebPac (I’m not the one flying though). Buti naman hindi nag error. I hope you’ll get your refund soon.

  4. hello. i was actually able to book two international flights during the promo period. i was awake at 4am and had a sudden urge to check their website. so i did and what do you know? they had a promo! the site was not slow at all.. and i think it was the first day of the promo.. so at 4am on the first day of a promo, hardly anyone knows about it. 🙂 i guess i got lucky.

    the next day, my dad wanted me to book him flights, some local, some international. the site was so damn slow and i got the same error message you did. however, i got it before i entered my payment details.. thank god. well i kept trying anyway and it seemed they had no more seats left.. sucks for my dad.

    anyway, i guess my suggestion is a little bit crazy, but maybe you can check during the early hours of the morning whenever you’re free? 🙂

  5. so sorry about this .. hope you get your money back despite the stress 🙁 update us in 60 days …and hopefully not 90 days by then it’s Christmas and then it would take again a little bit longer…

  6. i had difficulties the last time i booked online too, and when their site starts displaying error messages, better stop. i normally restart the next day.

    they need to improve their site because it’s not a new problem for them. i think you’re not the only victim.

    i just did the same mistake at work, double-booking, but the customer service of the site called me up that same day to check if it was normal(i think less than an hour after my second booking – in french! to think that it was an international site, they could have contented themselves talking to me in english!). so i asked them to cancel the second one. i received the cancellation email 10 minutes later. i checked my amex account afterwards and the two bookings were not even debited yet.

    i think CEB still have a lot to learn in customer service.

  7. That’s ridiculous! They’re holding your money hostage for their mistake. What investigation do they need? Can’t they see the errors on their own freaking website? I really hate PI so called “customer service”. Hopeless. Just hopeless.

  8. That’s too bad to hear. Though my officemates are very fortunate to get discounts from Cebu Pacific. All of them are frequent flyers and they always monitor CP for promos on both internet and print ads.

  9. Good day, please see my complaint below,

    I guess you all will have a Merry Xmas, for me it will be a sad.. a very very sad Xmas. I’ll be alone with no companion this Xmas.

    Reasons are as follows:

    Incompetent customer service- been hanged up many time, some reps told me payment authorization will be removed ASAP 24 hours etc, its been more than a week but no but the charge from your company was never received. I understand what your supervisor told me that cebu pacific never didn’t get any confirmation that my transaction online was approved but it was your acquiring bank who should released this pending authorization. If that information was given to me even before I tried to resolved this issue my money should have been refunded back to my credit card. I was charged 3 times for an amount of 4300, I made a payment of 10k to my CC because I’ll be using your website to book my flight and in anticipation for promo rates this Xmas. Unfortunately since my vacation leave is pre scheduled and I don’t have enough money to book my flight I will not be able to see my family in my hometown, today is the 24th of December in a few hours it’s already Xmas, and this will be my loneliest Xmas ever because of what your company did to me.

    You might be wondering how I was able to get all this contact information, fortunately I have an excellent connection to TRIMEDIA.

    I’m hoping you can help me out with this the soonest.

    I will not stop until I get what I deserve, you should value your customer and treat them fair.


    From: Dhong Cueto
    Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2009 4:05 AM
    Subject: Worst Service I ever received from your Company
    Importance: High

    Hi Mr Romulo.

    I personally think it’s inappropriate for me to send you an email, unfortunately none from your ccompany were able to assist me. I just hope this email reaches you.

    I would like to think that I’m a valued customer of cebu paficific for the longest time. I used to live in Manila but I’m now assigned here in cebu for good. Every time I visit my parents I use your airline for transportation so far I received the best service from your company. Since xmas is fast approaching, last weel I decided to book my flight using your online website. I recived an initial email that it was on hold then later on it’s cancelled based on the email. Now I decided to go directly to your ticketing office in robplace cebu, I used my card but it wasw declined, I called up my bank and I found out that it was overlimit because your airline charged me 3 times the amount of the ticket price( 13thou). I went to a frnd who works in that branch and printed me a copy of a doc that shows all my attempt wasn’t charged, but you are holding on to that money. I’ve talked to more than 20 agents from your company and even some supervisor but they are all giving me diff timeframes and information. I need to leave today for manila because I need to be with them this xmas, this will be the worst xmas I’ll ever have I this matter cant be fixed, as of this writing I’m talking to your supervisor ( Chester Lozano) we will have another 3 way conversion with hsbc.- NO RESOLUTION STILL

    A few minutes ago I tried calling and I was able to talk to someone, a girl- when I requested for a supervisor she placed me on hold then hung up on me- is this the kind of customer service you train you people? This is unbelievable. I hope you can help me out, I’m begging for your help sir.

    If this will not be resolved I will, I will let each and every person I know how bad your service and how you ruined my Xmas. I’ve been working for more than 5 years in customer care but and we don’t treat our customrs this way. I’m hoping you all provide feedback to those agents who treated me like hell.

    I will not stop untill I get a resolution on this issue, I think that you are the person in authority to resolve my case. I’m beggging for your help

    Your Valued Customer

    Dhong Cueto

  10. Hi Dhong Cueto. I’m sorry to hear about your plight with Cebu Pacific.

    Please note that, to protect your privacy, I edited out your full name, address, contact numbers and email address.

  11. In my opinion, Seat Sale is just a marketing propaganda. If you noticed they will have a promo, but if you check all the dates there’s no more available seats for the promo..:( i’ll inform all the airlines company about this. We are not stupid Cebu Pacific….

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