The new HFP chat thread – Wednesday 15th July

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We have decided to run this new daily chat thread on Head for Points.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the defacto repository for random comments and questions.  It is unlikely that the news flow will be so big over the next few weeks that we will need many ‘Bits’ articles, however.

The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.  At this tricky time, and given that many of you are stuck at home self-isolating, we want the HFP community to have a place to chat.

Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as its keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

By default, HFP shows the last page of comments under the article.  If you want to see the first page of comments and read them all from beginning to end in order, click here: https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/07/15/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-wednesday-15th-july/comment-page-1.  The page will refresh with this article but the comments will now show the first page and not the last page.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HFP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

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Comments

  1. Just a data point:

    Phoned Amex to cancel my gold card:

    I was offered 20,000 points or £180. I opted for £180.

    • Sorry, I meant the platinum card.

      • Andrew says:

        But 20,000 points is £180 at the moment if you just apply them as a statement credit it, so effectively the offer was “do you want £180 or £180, I opted for £180”

        • Peter K says:

          Not really. If you needed 40k Hilton points for a booking for next summer then 20k points works better for you.
          £180 credit added with no chance to forget would be better for others.

  2. Wally1976 says:

    I’m sure this has probably been mentioned (I can’t keep up with all the chat on here these days!) but a bunch of new Amex offers have appeared in last few days. None any use to me but might be to others. Check your accounts.

    • Andrew says:

      There was a new one for Harrods on my BAPP this morning – spend £150, get £30, available in store and online (although wasn’t clear if in store also applies to the new Harrods outlet at Westfield – the ‘participating locations’ link takes you to the Harrods careers site, also ironic seeing as they are shedding a load of jobs at the moment!)

  3. Andrew says:

    Good to see that as predicted, the big chains are passing on the VAT reduction – Starbucks, McDonalds, Weatherspoons – and once one does they all have to follow or risk the bad press of not doing so. Hopefully the hotel chains will do the same.

    • Lady London says:

      Accor hasnt passed it on on a booking I made yesterday with them. Rates the same but now 5%.

      TBH I dont mind the hotel keeping the points. Hotels are having a bad enough time already.

  4. Data point on BA Holiday refund. Got through on phone in 9 mins. They wouldn’t move the trip to 2021 ( beyond 12 months from booking), so cancelled it. Told by agent that they will confirm to my email which never arrived but refund back on my card in 48 hours. Pretty good for BA.

  5. Martyn Ford says:

    I cancelled a QR booking for April (cost €1,700) and took a voucher which I used for another trip which was to take place in October. When a leg of the second flight was cancelled I requested a refund. They have sent me €990 and charged me a cancellation fee on my original booking. Is this correct/fair?

    • memesweeper says:

      If you were leaving from the UK/EU that’s probably not compliant with EU261 rights given it was a cancelled flight — you should be offered a full refund. Now that might in your case mean a full refund _of the voucher_. Did you agree to the cancellation fee? If not I’d be kicking up a stink. I’m sure a better armchair lawyer than me will be posting more accurate advice shortly.

      • Martyn Ford says:

        Thank you. These were Ex-EU flights. No cancellation fee was ever discussed.

  6. eligold says:

    I am Absolutely fed up with the Customer Service at AMEX. Who’s with me?
    this is a chat conversation, and see how pathetic they have become:
    I’ve removed the CS agents full name for his privacy.

    You are now chatting with P.
    P at 1:26, Jul 13:
    Hi, Good Evening. How are you doing today?
    You:
    Hi, I got cut off from a chat earlier
    P:
    I apologize, your previous conversation got disconnected due to some technical issue.
    You:
    can you view the conversation i continued with S?
    P:
    Sure, please allow me few moments to go through with your previous conversation.
    P:
    Thank you for your patience.
    You:
    sure
    P:
    As I checked you have a query regarding the offer 2 bonus points per £1 at M&S Tesco Waitrose.
    You:
    correct
    P:
    Thank you for the confirmation.
    You:
    i’ve been promised to have it applied within 24 hours to the main and supplement card. and it’s been more than a week since that conversation
    P:
    I see..
    P:
    Thank you for sharing the information.
    P:
    Please don’t worry, I’ll certainly look into this for you.
    P:
    Let me access your account to get a clear picture at my end.
    P:
    Am I chatting with Mr E G?
    You:
    yes
    P:
    Thank you for the name verification. In order to access your account, I am sending a security question on this chat window.
    P:
    P has sent you a Secure Form: UK – 4 digit Numeric Password
    P:
    The following Secure Form has been submitted: UK – 4 digit Numeric Password
    P:
    Thank you so much for passing security.
    P:
    Please allow me a quick moment while I check the account details for you.
    P:
    Thanks for waiting.
    P:
    May I know the last 5 digits of the card you are referring to?
    You:
    92022 and the main card 92006
    You:
    it’s an offer specific to the BA premium card
    P:
    Yes, as I checked this is a targeted offer.
    You:
    indeed
    P:
    Just to confirm, have you received an email or able to see this offer in your online account?
    You:
    it showed up in the AMEX app but i haven’t got the option of saving it to the card
    You:
    thanks to repeated IT glitches on the website and app recently
    P:
    I see..
    P:
    Thank you for the information.
    P:
    Let me check the details for you.
    You:
    i’m waiting
    P:
    Thank you.
    P:
    Just to confirm, did you contact us via phone when we promised you for the offer enrollment?
    You:
    indeed
    P:
    Thank you for the confirmation.
    P:
    I am checking the details with my manager regarding your concern.
    P:
    Please stay connected.
    You:
    i am but can’t hang on much longer
    P:
    I understand your concern, I am trying to check the information for you as soon as possible from my end.
    You:
    as i said to Sharon, I’m paying £190 P/A for this card and gave been so disappointed by the service
    P:
    I can completely understand your concern as an customer.
    P:
    Thank you for your patience.
    P:
    As I got the update from my manager, I would like to inform you that we are raising a request to listen that call in which we promised you for the enrollment.
    You:
    ok
    P:
    As I checked the offer information, it is a target card members offer and we can not enroll card members from our end.
    You:
    it was friday a week ago
    P:
    Thank you for the information.
    You:
    but it appeared on the app without allowing me to save to card
    P:
    I would like to inform you that it will take 2-3 working days to check and get an update on this.
    P:
    Please don’t worry, I am sending an email to concern team about this.
    You:
    but i’m losing out all the time this is taking
    P:
    They will check the details and proceed accordingly.
    You:
    I’m paying the full annual fee and not getting the service expected
    You:
    I really think your manager should consider a refund of the card fee
    P:
    Let me check with my manager for this.
    You:
    the first time i waited on the phone 40 minutes till i was served. after hearing my query, the representative put me on hold and after 10 minutes cut me off
    You:
    the second time i was promised that by 24 hours the offer would be applied….
    P:
    Thanks for waiting.
    P:
    I understand where you’re coming from.
    You:
    earlier this evening my Chat was cut off. and here I am pleading for a simple offer which a can’t apply to my card because the AMEX IT has gone really bad recently
    You:
    i’m so fed up
    P:
    As I checked with my manager, I would like to inform you that you are the additional card holder of the account and there is no fee for the additional card .
    You:
    thanks but the main card holder is my wife and I pay the £190 P/A. that’s a real patronising thing for him to say
    P:
    I can understand that.
    P:
    Please be assured, we will check this for you and proceed further accordingly
    You:
    i wasn’t asking for myself to be reimbursed. rather for the card expense to be reimbursed for the lack of CS and time wasting it’s causing me, just to get a bonus i was targeted for
    yes,
    P:
    I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.
    As I checked the offer details that the offer end date is 12 September 2020.
    You:
    indeed but I have already shopped at M&S and Tesco and I’m still wasting my time trying to get the offer applied
    P:
    Be assured, we will listen that call and proceed accordingly it will take 2-3 working days time.

    Trust me, had it been possible for me I would have done it for you in very first instance.

    i would like to hear from the manager about my fee being reimbursed
    P:
    I understand that.
    You:
    can I please have the managers name
    P:
    As I checked with my Manager, I would like to inform you that the annual fee is charged subject to the benefits available on the card. It cannot be waived.
    Our Marketing offers are an optional benefit to the account and we reserve the right to target these offers at a selected Card member population. These are not a core benefit to any Card, and not all Card members are entitled to Amex Offers as a Card benefit.
    You:
    as i explained I WAS targeted
    You:
    i see I’m not getting very far. thanks and good night
    P:
    I am sorry, if you feel so.
    P:
    I have already raised the request on your behalf to the concern team.
    P:
    We will soon get an update on this for you.
    You:
    ok. thanks
    You:
    please understand i’m not complaining to you, rather about the terrible service recently
    P:
    I totally agree with you. As a consumer myself I would be just as upset if placed in this position, and can assure you that this is not indicative of American Express’s world class service.
    P at 2:12:
    I will certainly pass this feedback to concern team.

    THE END OF ANOTHER FUTILE TIME WASTING CONVERSATION

    • Andrew says:

      I don’t know when people will learn – don’t use the chat, ring up and ask to speak to Brighton – they are fantastic and will always sort your problems efficiently, accurately and politely. Chat can be tempting if you don’t like speaking to people, but in this case, it’s worth the nerves to just pick up the phone.

      • eligold says:

        I would totally understand of you didn’t fancy reading the whole back and forth but it clearly describes the terrible experience i had on the phone:
        Phone call 1:
        40 minute hold
        short conversation
        10 minute hold
        agent cut me off

        phone call 2:
        got through immediately
        long chat
        commitment to have the offer on the card after 24 hours
        END

        it’s now 2 weeks later and still NOTHING!!!

        my only conclusion is that AMEX are heading down the gutters sadly

    • memesweeper says:

      @rob you might want to edit out the name of the original customer services agent who is referenced in one line above

      • Grant says:

        I think it will be pretty hard to identify the specific individual concerned from that one reference

        • memesweeper says:

          … that depends exactly how many people they employ with that first name, in a customer facing role — which could easily be just one.

    • Offer is only valid for the main cardholder not supplementary. Says in t &c. I had a two minute friendly chat with Brighton to establish this…

      • Martyn Ford says:

        My experience of AMEX on the `phone is as good as I have known anywhere.

      • Travel Strong says:

        Also agree that customer service from AMEX via telephone is better than anything I have ever experienced with any other company

    • Peter K says:

      So you are not the main cardholder but wanted access to certain rights of the main cardholder (fee waiving)? I can see why they couldn’t discuss that with you.

    • My experiences in the last few months with both the Chat and calls have been dire and I am a long standing Platinum card holder. If you get Brighton on the phone its not so bad but the Manila support is scripted to a ridiculous extent and they cannot and will not budge from the script no matter the issue.
      I have no offers on my BAPP card and have not had any in around 3 months. Those on my platinum card are just pathetic though I have taken advantage of the Apple and Dell offers but neither of these is exactly a reward for loyalty during this plague.
      I tried to cancel my card around 6 weeks ago and got offered nothing. If it were not for the insurance I would not be hanging on.

      • Andrew says:

        When you get through to Manilla, you can ask to speak to Brighton and they put you through without hesitation.

    • Aaron says:

      People like you are the reason I could never work in customer service.

    • The Urbanite says:

      If you’re going to use the chat for any points related issues, the procedure is to get them to raise a complaint at the earliest opportunity and certainly before they offer to connect you with a “manager.”

      Somebody with technical knowledge of the offers and points will then review it and provide a sensible response.

    • Coucou says:

      Your attitude and sense of entitlement are appalling.

    • agree, their customer service is appalling now, a shadow of what it was a few years back. They used to be one of the best when it came to CS, always put things right and didn’t waste time in doing so. Now, totally useless. No doubt the result of offshoring and cost cutting.

      I’ve been trying to get the shop small offer added to my card and my supp cards. Some agents add the offer right away, some tell you it can’t be done, some send to back office where it takes weeks.

    • MadeUpName says:

      Wow, you really want those bonus points!

    • @mkcol says:

      TLDR

  7. memesweeper says:

    Question for anyone who bought a Playstation or similar voucher from Curries/PC World *mail order* (not click-and-collect). The voucher has arrived and says it must be activated at the till — do we think the mail order team have actually done this?

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Back in Zeek days I bought one or two and it was hit and miss! If not activated they would promise to collect and replace the cards but tbh it was very hit and miss whether that happened too and I often just lost the will to live…

    • I think Rob posted something about this the other day.

      • My understanding is that it can’t be done – activation can only be done alongside payment. This is why the ‘click and collect’ Netflix cards I got had to go back – the store couldn’t activate them as they were already paid for.

  8. Martha says:

    Hi. I have just received the following for my easyjet flight in August, with the outbound flight time being changed by over 5 hours.
    I really want to cancel and get a refund. What are my rights?
    Thank you very much
    1. Switch to an alternative easyJet flight* without having to pay a change fee. Our schedule of flights is available to book until (May 2021) giving you plenty of opportunities to fly with us at a later date.

    2. Claim a voucher for the full value of your flight.

    3. If neither of these options work for you, then please contact our customer service team on 0330 365 5000

  9. Jamie S says:

    Just booked the Kimpton Fitzroy for late September (15 year anniversary mini trip to london – making the best of the situation). 82500 points for a two night redemption (Friday and Saturday night standard room). Great value considering previously it was 70K per night.

  10. old bob says:

    I stayed in the Kimpton Fitzroy in the 90’s when it was the Russell Hotel , the place had an air of faded glamour about it. Small rooms but very willing staff, and a well stocked bar as I recall. The cleaning regime wasn’t really up to scratch, but I was delighted to find a couple of Jazz mags in the bottom of the wardrobe. Moving forward two decades and I had the pleasure of staying in the now renamed Kimpton, still the same rooms, slightly less friendly staff, and sadly no disgarded porn as the cleaning was significantly improved. There is a happy hour from 5-7 pm which is free to guests, I managed the equivalent of two bottles of rather agreeable red in the company of two attractive young ladies before passing out and being awoken by the bar staff at 11.30. minus my wallet.

  11. Some background on what amex and other credit card providers have been faced with:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53416676

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