British Airways, easyJet and Thomas Cook ..... they want you to Pay to Complain!

Editor
Flight delayed? Airline lost your lugguage? It could cost you another £25 if you want to complain!

The Civil Aviation Authority used to deal with complaints for free, but they are no longer taking on this role. An independent group have taken over customer service poblems with major airlines.

British Airways, easyJet and Thomas Cook along with 19 others, have all signed up for a new system which means you could be charged £25 to complain about lost luggage or delays!

Paying to complain, it's just wrong and will likely result in a big drop in the amount of people complaining about shoddy service.

If a complaint is successful, customers will not be charged.

For those, who can't just afford £25 on the off chance their complaint is not dealt with, or acknowledged .... well you'll just have to put up with bad Customer service.

What do you think?

14 Comments

Paying to complain, it's just wrong and will likely result in a big drop … Paying to complain, it's just wrong and will likely result in a big drop in the amount of people complaining...



Pretty much sums up the reason for doing this as I imagine complaints against airlines have risen due to recent changes in law.
Edited by: "RossD89" 22nd Aug 2016

Try to complaint, take case to Small Claims or walk away as a customer. That was how it was with British manufacturered goods and services and still the case now. And effort to complain to British Airways, Heathrow Airport Authority has always been more effort than the £25 worth. Even without the £25 levy, it is quite time consuming to find out who is responsible as as soon as you probe, all of a sudden, they are no longer one entity, the Brand is one, but behind the brand is so many different outsourcing companies.
Edited by: "splender" 22nd Aug 2016

Outrageous. I can see a niche developing for an airline 'we offer free customer service' ...

This needs someone who knows what they are doing to make a legal challenge on this. It's incredible that they are allowed to just do this.

It'll probably cost you 25 quid to complain about them now charging you to complain hehe

You can win your case with the CAA but the airline can still refuse to pay out and they can't enforce it, so it may not be worth it anyway.

You may find employing a legal firm is the only way forward. Yes, they'll take 30% but they have the expertise.

Currently fighting with Norwegian Airways over a cancelled flight. For info, most airlines will now claim 'extraordinary circumstances' to try and avoid compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004 but simply 'going tech' isn't classed as this anymore.

If a complaint is successful, customers will not be charged.



How is it possible to judge the "success" of a complaint? And who would be charged with that type of adjudication?

poolman

You can win your case with the CAA but the airline can still refuse to … You can win your case with the CAA but the airline can still refuse to pay out and they can't enforce it, so it may not be worth it anyway.You may find employing a legal firm is the only way forward. Yes, they'll take 30% but they have the expertise.Currently fighting with Norwegian Airways over a cancelled flight. For info, most airlines will now claim 'extraordinary circumstances' to try and avoid compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004 but simply 'going tech' isn't classed as this anymore.



You're right, but according to the article, decisions made by the CEDR service under the new system ARE legally binding. That's about the only good thing I can see about this.

Just wrong. It's like being charged for free speech.

rdwarr

How is it possible to judge the "success" of a complaint? And who would … How is it possible to judge the "success" of a complaint? And who would be charged with that type of adjudication?



I suppose a 'successful' adjudication is one where there airline admits there were shortcomings in the service. The CEDR would make the adjudication. CEDR stands for Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution. That's their purpose.

*Could* be charged.

There will be an insurance product to cover this or it will be part of some credit cards or rolled in to normal travel insurance!

By coincidence, £25 is also the cost of issuing Part 27 proceedings in the County Court via the Money Claim Online service at moneyclaim.gov.uk - Part 27 deals with money claims for up to £10,000, and is often (wrongly) referred to as the "Small Claims Court".

But neither party can claim legal costs in Part 27 proceedings, so if it's going to cost you £25 anyway, then you might as well just issue a claim in the County Court against the airline or whoever... and the bonus is that you will be offered mediation via the Court Mediation Service for free!

Anyone who is confident about filling in a form can easily issue such a claim, and the neat thing is that the costs of administering and dealing with the claim fall on whoever is responsible, not the CAA, and the company expecting huge profits for dealing with these complaints gets... nothing!
Edited by: "GraceCourt" 24th Aug 2016

I should have clarified that the £25 fee is for claims up to £300 - there is a scale of fees above that but it's your choice, you can just limit your claim or pay the higher fee if your claim is more than that and you believe that you will win the claim in Court if it is defended... don't be put off, the last defended claim I made involved the Defendant - one of the UK's three credit reference agencies - being represented by a barrister, and their costs were over £3,000... but even if I had lost (I didn't) these wouldn't have been payable by me.
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