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refunds from Qantas

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RooFlyer

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It may not provide clarity.. but here's an analogy.

Go into a store and buy a $2,000 TV. Pay for it and await delivery in 2 weeks time.

Store rings up a week later and says sorry we sold all our remaining TVs yesterday and we aren't stocking them any more. He's a voucher for anything else in the store, such as a bookcase, bed, sofa etc.

Customer says I don't want or need any of that stuff, I wanted the TV , or nothing. Give me my money back.

Store: Here's your voucher. We are keeping your money without delivering the TV you actually bought and if you don't make your mind up in 2 years we are keeping your money and not giving you anything.

Would the naysayers here actually be OK with that? I don't believe the expiry of an unfair time period cancels the right of the consumer, in general, of complaining about it. If the voucher had a month time frame, would it still be 'bad luck' to the customer in the view of the naysayers here?
 

Pushka

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Yep. Agree RooFlyer.

It's going to depend on what the daughter was advised at the time of cancellation.

If an offer of a refund was refused by the daughter in place of a voucher then Q are ok. If a refund was never offered or Q refused to provide one in full then the time period is irrelevant.
 

OzEire

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It may not provide clarity.. but here's an analogy.

Go into a store and buy a $2,000 TV. Pay for it and await delivery in 2 weeks time.

Store rings up a week later and says sorry we sold all our remaining TVs yesterday and we aren't stocking them any more. He's a voucher for anything else in the store, such as a bookcase, bed, sofa etc.

Customer says I don't want or need any of that stuff, I wanted the TV , or nothing. Give me my money back.
This happened to me with a major Aus based retailer, except it was a $2000 fridge not a TV. The store was very apologetic that they had sold stock, taken money and couldn't ultimately make it work (they did consider ordering it from the supplier but that was too costly). In the end they offered credit toward another fridge, which I refused since by then the sale was over, or money back, which was the end result. I got a credit on my Cc account and a $100 gift card for the inconvenience, along with a very nice letter apologising for everything.

Im sorry but I dont think the OP will get the same from Qantas. To be fair though, the TnCs are clear (yes I checked when the fridge thing started and QFs TnCs are available if somewhat complex) and a voucher was agreed to by the OPs daughter at the time.
 

DaveB

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Re: refunds form Qantas

Yep. Agree RooFlyer.

It's going to depend on what the daughter was advised at the time of cancellation.

If an offer of a refund was refused by the daughter in place of a voucher then Q are ok. If a refund was never offered or Q refused to provide one in full then the time period is irrelevant.
Totally agree with QF deceptively leading the customer down one clearly substandard route when the customer had likely not been made aware they were entitled to a full refund.
For those that rather dispassionately placed full blame on the daughter, I wonder how many are actual employers of people and ever run a business. I have climbed the corporate ladder to the very top before starting my own company and can say there is no comparison when it is your own capital and typically roof on the line.
 

Pushka

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<snip> and a voucher was agreed to by the OPs daughter at the time.
But it will depend on what she was told. If Q said that was all she was entitled to, then that was not an agreement and the consumer was misled into the agreement.
 

harvyk

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It may not provide clarity.. but here's an analogy.

Go into a store and buy a $2,000 TV. Pay for it and await delivery in 2 weeks time.

Store rings up a week later and says sorry we sold all our remaining TVs yesterday and we aren't stocking them any more. He's a voucher for anything else in the store, such as a bookcase, bed, sofa etc.

Customer says I don't want or need any of that stuff, I wanted the TV , or nothing. Give me my money back.

Store: Here's your voucher. We are keeping your money without delivering the TV you actually bought and if you don't make your mind up in 2 years we are keeping your money and not giving you anything.

Would the naysayers here actually be OK with that? I don't believe the expiry of an unfair time period cancels the right of the consumer, in general, of complaining about it. If the voucher had a month time frame, would it still be 'bad luck' to the customer in the view of the naysayers here?
Of course not, and that would be illegal on behalf of the store (and there have been many stores hauled over coals for such actions), but if the store simply said "we're sorry that it happened, here is a voucher to use in our store" that would be perfectly legal on behalf of the store and would be considered a legal resolution right up until you said "no, I just want a refund" at that point in time the store would be required to give you a refund.
 

RooFlyer

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Of course not, and that would be illegal on behalf of the store (and there have been many stores hauled over coals for such actions), but if the store simply said "we're sorry that it happened, here is a voucher to use in our store" that would be perfectly legal on behalf of the store and would be considered a legal resolution right up until you said "no, I just want a refund" at that point in time the store would be required to give you a refund.
It was more the time frame that I was addressing. Should the rights of a customer to choose an alternative be limited by time, set by the merchant, after which the merchant keeps the money? If yes, then would a 1 month time limit still be reasonable? 6 months?
 

harvyk

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It was more the time frame that I was addressing. Should the rights of a customer to choose an alternative be limited by time, set by the merchant, after which the merchant keeps the money? If yes, then would a 1 month time limit still be reasonable? 6 months?
Well yes, I think once an agreement has been made on the appropriate action required to remedy the problem that should be it. From QF's point of view they came to an agreement with the OP's daughter over what was to be considered an appropriate compensation, and the agreement reached was that a voucher would be provided. If the daughter changed her mind a month later, I would say that it would be up to QF to decide if they are happy to reneg on the original agreement.

Whilst the daughter had every right at the time to say "no, I just want my money back" once the agreement of a voucher was reached as far as I'm concerned is matter closed. It's not QF's fault that the daughter did not use the voucher wisely.

However, if the daughter could prove that she did ask for a refund and QF said no, then that's a different story. Whilst she would be pushing it uphill since 2 years have passed, then I could understand and I'd even support the daughter's position.

Once of the things that consumers need to start being aware of is they should never be forced to make a decision on the spot. If a company calls you up and states that something isn't right, you are perfectly entitled to ask for some time to consider your options.
 

JohnK

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I honestly don't think there is a lot you can do considering the voucher was issued 2 years ago.
This is real money we are discussing here not some gamble on puts and calls.

I don't understand why people continue to side with stupid terms and conditions from the airlines. Just because you agreed to the terms and conditions does not make them right.

I agree that they should have asked for a re-route or refund when the service was cancelled but $2000 is $2000 and it does not expire that easily.

I would not let this drop. Not that easily. And I get my way most times when I persevere.
 

burmans

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I don't know many of the participants here and if you are actually consumer lawyers but I suspect Consumer Affairs will have better advice about this that some of what in some cases seems like fairly uninformed opinion rather than good legal advice. You're all entitled to your opinion but it's the latter the OP needs.
 

leadlegs

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Thanks everyone. I'll be getting on to consumer affairs tomorrow. I don't expect a quick reply, but I'll post again when I have some sort of outcome.
 

Pushka

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Consumer Affairs just advises. From my dealings with them they can't actually enforce anything.
 

markis10

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harvyk

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Consumer Affairs just advises. From my dealings with them they can't actually enforce anything.
Yes but their advice carries a lot of weight. Often you'll find that just the mere mention to a company that you have raised a complaint with consumer affairs (coupled with the complaint number) will result in the company escalating the issue to the "super super managing director of public and customer relations supervisor who can do anything", and more often than not IME if the company is not 100% sure it's on solid ground, and the amount is not a huge amount, the company will back down and refund / or if possible offer the service as promised.
 

burmans

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Yes but their advice carries a lot of weight. Often you'll find that just the mere mention to a company that you have raised a complaint with consumer affairs (coupled with the complaint number) will result in the company escalating the issue to the "super super managing director of public and customer relations supervisor who can do anything", and more often than not IME if the company is not 100% sure it's on solid ground, and the amount is not a huge amount, the company will back down and refund / or if possible offer the service as promised.
This is so true. Aside from anything else dealing with regulators can be very costly in terms of management and legal time that the company would rather be expending elsewhere.
 

Pushka

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I've found the relevant Ombudsmen were much more helpful and got results.
 

markis10

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I've found the relevant Ombudsmen were much more helpful and got results.
Thats true for many things, where they have specialist knowledge and powers, however in this case its outside the time limits required (12 months) and they are a toothless tiger

http://www.airlinecustomeradvocate.com.au/_lib/Docs/AnnualReport/Annual_Report_2013.pdf

No surprise their top complaint:

Cancellation/refund request 32%


As to their success:

Across the airlines, almost 70% of complaints were resolved. Of the 933
complaints finalised, 644 (69.03%) were resolved.
 
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