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Damaged Case on CX: Four Months Later and No Information

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eosphoros

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Four months ago, I travelled on CX105 to MEL in paid J and upon arrival found by 6 week old Rimowa case with a massive dent in the side. To cut a long story short, I still have no idea when I will receive compensation for my damaged bag, which is in the possession of CX and or its agents.

I reported the damage to the baggage handler, Menzies, at the airport and was given a claim number and was told to drop the bag off at CX's repairer in Melbourne, Walkalong, for assessment and repair. I dropped the bag off at Walkalong a little less than a week later for assessment. I never heard back on assessment of damage and repair status. Instead, I was told that a replacement bag could not be sourced in Australia (despite the exact model appearing on the Hunt Leather website) and that CX had to source one from Hong Kong. I assumed based on this that the bag could not be repaired.

A few weeks later I was called by the repair agent and told that CX was unable to source one in Hong Kong. I found this extremely difficult to accept. Upon asking about the details, it appeared that 'CX sourcing one in Hong Kong' involved someone from their office here in Australia going over and purchasing one to bring back on an already scheduled trip to Hong Kong. In the event that person was unable, for want of time, to go and purchase one. Again, I found this tale of events very difficult to accept: Why would CX as such a large company require an employee to physically go and buy one from a store and take a pax replacement suitcase with them on their trip?

I was presented with two options: (1) be given an alternative bag, for which a Samsonite was suggested, or (2) produce the receipt for the bag and receive the purchase monies. I opted for the latter. I forwarded my receipt with a purchase price of HKD10780 to Walkalong 2 months ago. I never heard back and so a week later I called back to ask about progress. The response was that the CX representative in Australia (I assume Sydney) dealing with my claim was on leave and that it was decided that it was best to wait until he was back until proceeding further with my claim. Again, I waited.

About a month ago, I again called Walkalong in Melbourne -- the CX rep would clearly have been back from leave, it having been almost a month since my last contact. At that point I was given some excuse (I really can't remember what) and was told to contact CX directly. I was asked email my reference number number so he could email me back the details of the CX rep in charge of my claim. I never received a reply. I called Walkalong again a few days later again and pressed for the contact details. The guy said he would email me that evening. That never happened.

In the intervening period I had exams and so didn't have time to chase up the claim. Today I called CX's reservation office directly in Sydney. Upon explaining to them what happened, the CX rep on the phone said that all damaged baggage claims are handled directly through head office in Hong Kong. That is in direct contradiction to the repair agent in Melbourne's story that someone from CX in Australia was handling the claim. The CX rep on the phone asked for my claim number and upon looking up the claim on her system, she said there were no details on the claim.

I am at a loss as to how to proceed. This has been an extremely frustrating series of events. It has not been helped by the complete ineptitude of Walkalong to communicate with me or act as CX's agent for damaged baggage claims. It is not uncommon that I find myself travelling in CX in premium cabins and this has left a very sour taste in my mouth. I am sick of trying to get CX to pay me through their agent.

[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Does anyone have any advice on how to proceed? I have thought about posting publicly onto CX's Facebook page as it appears increasingly clear that complaints on social media get addressed rather quickly. Has anyone dealt with a similar situation? [/FONT]
 

MEL_Traveller

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I would contact Walkalong to see if they still have a record of your claim, and get the claim details from there. Maybe the CX system thinks the issue is 'closed' (given the length of time) and has removed it frmo their system?

Then you can email CX in HKG. perhaps even ask walkalong if they can scan any of their paperwork on the issue and email it to you.
 

Sprucegoose

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Persistence is the key here. Keep pressing your claims and send a copy to the CEO. A Facebook campaign won't hurt.

Coys that don't respond to me receive a daily fax........I note a daily activity in my phone. Persistence will win the day
 
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anat0l

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Social media is not a bad idea at all.

Make sure you have kept all evidence possible in the paper trail. Claim numbers, tracer numbers, Walkalong's job references, the receipt you forwarded - everything.

I don't know how much time you had delayed following up due to exams etc., but even if we conservatively say two months cut out for delays on your part, two months for a claim to eventually come to a verdict of, "we will reimburse you the cost of the bag," and still nothing is ridiculous. I wouldn't buy the excuse that the CX rep is on leave. They obviously need a rep in Australia to handle some things beyond just baggage; it would be inconceivable that they could just go on leave and no one else was left there in charge. Even if it were delegated back to some sod in Hong Kong (central), it is unacceptable to make you wait for it.


I assume Walkalong has a physical address or office. If you feel up to it, go to the site and press them about the claim. Bring documentation, especially theirs that they have given you. How are you expecting to receive your compensation - Walkalong gives you a cheque/credit, or a cheque directly from Cathay Pacific? If you don't know, ask and confirm. My guess is that Walkalong will either parlay you off to Cathay Pacific (in which case, you should have grounds then to really pin down CX on the matter, since the agent will not do anything), or they may tell you that you are still being processed, in which I would demand an explanation why it has taken so long and an ETA.

Once you somewhat confirm that Walkalong is powerless to act further to compensate you, you can at least be reassured that you are dealing with one less party in this mess.


Overall, I find this series of events really odd. If Walkalong is just a baggage repair agent for CX, why would you need to send them the receipt to be compensated? Walkalong would (or should) simply inform CX that the bag cannot be repaired. CX would then present your two options - if the replacement Samsonite was to be commissioned through Walkalong, then that would be the only other contact you would have with them. If not, why would CX not just handle the rest of the claim on their part - it makes no sense to push this down to the repairer. I don't see why the repairer would cut a cheque for AUD 1500 for the customer to then re-invoice CX (or, perhaps more accurately, CX's baggage representation in Australia, e.g. Menzies) for the compensation plus time and labour.


All else failing, is there anyone here who could comment whether the OP has any legal recourse? Whilst it is "just a bag" (a very expensive one it seems)...... the trouble I have here is what kind of legal charge could the OP pin the airline on?

And let's not kid ourselves here - ultimately the airline has sole responsibility for compensating the OP. Not the agent, not the repairer... the airline.
 

MEL_Traveller

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All else failing, is there anyone here who could comment whether the OP has any legal recourse? Whilst it is "just a bag" (a very expensive one it seems)...... the trouble I have here is what kind of legal charge could the OP pin the airline on?

It's fairly simple. The contract of carriage states the airline has responsibility. They can contract that service out to someone else (which they have). But if that doesn't yield results, you can take it up directly with the airline.

As the OP has lodged their request for repair within the stated timescales, the delay by the airline won't affect the right to claim.

While this got complicated, it will work itself out in the end. The OP has a strong case. Nothing much (except the time/hassle) to worry about.
 
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