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The HfP chat thread – Monday 29th November

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Comments (586)

  • Terri says:

    Just off a long online chat with BA trying to reschedule my B2B INV-NYC (bought with evoucher) given the INV flight has been rescheduled to 5 hours earlier than I booked. Wanted to move to the 19:05hrs to Lhr and then off to NYC next morning from LHR. Chat assistant says staff been instructed to refuse this option – no overnight connection allowed – take the 11:35 hrs or get a voucher.

    Wondering why BA have given this instructon to staff which would put BA in breach of their own standard rebooking conditions on a schedule change.

    • Asim says:

      If they disallow an overnight stay, then they will save themselves duty of care (overnight stay) costs.

      If your INV-LHR flight has been cancelled (ie new flight number), and not just rescheduled, then you can choose whatever flights you want – you’ll need to quote EU261 to the BA rep when rebooking

      • Terri says:

        Unfortunatelty it’s kept the same flight number –

        Last week wasted more time calling BA to rebook my cancelled Malaga flight – several we are too short staffed to bother with your phone call cut offs. Finally after 45 mins on hold got an assistant who spouted so much misinformation it was embarrassing – then despite repeating 3 times i wanted the Ba2717 at 16:10 hrs – the assistant booked me on the BA2711 at 7:10 hrs ! Now have this mess to sort out as well. So thought online chat would be less painful. Didn’t work out that way!

        • Lady London says:

          Terri call BA asap and get that recording. This one is looking like they’ll deny you asked for the other flight.

          On Inverness, actually I would have trouble making 11.35 flight on any day. I’d insist on the 19.nn simply being unable to make any earlier time. Though I might consider paying my own overnight at LHR.

          If you’re still unhappy call again, as a courtesy advice the agent at the beginning of the call that you’ll be requesting a copy of the call at the end of it, get them to acknowledge they moved it 5 hours, ask them about the t’s and c’s, request the flight you can actually reach and if they still refuse, ask them would they kindly put their refusal in writing, and close with a request for copy of the call.

          • Terri says:

            Thank you for your advice Lady London. I asked for the call recording for the Malaga flight mix-up. I was informed that because the assistant was based in India there would be no recording.

            I did save a transcript of the chat about the Inverness flight. I just wanted the flight sorted, not looking for cost of a hotel at Heathrow. My family is good humoured about a B2B but not if it means no sleep the night before, which is what BA bringing the Inverness flight forward by 5 hours will mean.

    • Pete M says:

      I really wouldn’t bother with chat. Every time I’ve tried I have been given wrong information or they just wouldn’t help at all. When you eventually speak to them on the phone suddenly many more things are possible…

    • Harry T says:

      Chat are tragically ignorant of even BA’s own policy. Unfortunately, if it’s not the simplest problem ever, you need to call.

      • Blenz101 says:

        Almost certainly the ticket will not allow for an overnight connection under the fare rules so no real breach of their policy.

        They are offering a same day connection or voucher / refund which seems about right. If a reroute via another airline is possible closer to the original times then that may be an option.

        However a B2B from INV sounds like the trip itself may be immaterial.

  • David says:

    Two questions:
    1. Does anyone know when BA will be notifying customers for SA if their flights are cancelled? I’m scheduled to fly out on 9/12 and fly back 28/12. I’m not going anyways but would prefer a refund to a voucher.
    2. Any ideas when the BA site/app will start crediting previously flown flights from the last few weeks? I got back from NYC a week or so ago and no credit as yet. When I try to report online the form doesn’t work.

    • davefl says:

      Keep checking the app or mmb. Don’t rely on them to tell you.

      In my recent experience – BA cancelling 3 of 4 on my cyprus booking and AA moving up a flight by 121 minutes – neither ever notified me. I only found out by checking manually in both cases.

  • Chris says:

    Re Creation IHG Premium Mastercard
    Just got off phone to Creation customer care team. I was aware the premium IHG card account I hold would be closed on 3rd Dec but wanted to check why my free night voucher (due earlier this month) and points were not appearing on my IHG account. I was informed that any customers who had used the card with Curve would not be awarded any IHG points and nor any free night voucher. They still took my £99 card fee this month! I was furious and raised a complaint as I was never told anything about points/free night vouchers not be awarded. Has anyone else had any similar experience?

    I now await the Creation complaints team to contatct me but Creation customer care is generally hopeless so don’t really anticipate a satisfactory resolution.

    • Reney says:

      everyone who is being closed down has not received points or free night. Most people whose annual fee has been taken after August has had that refunded in the last week or so. So you will probably get that back soon enough. some people have complained and got shut down earlier. I think/assume some others are going to complain after 3rd.

    • Richard G says:

      My wife didn’t even get her welcome bonus points (she signed up the month they started sending out those letters). Seems like they’d be on shaky ground there legally given it was an incentive to get the card (and as best I can tell she broke no T&Cs by using it with Curve).

      Plus there’s the small matter of the points earned being shown on the statements…

    • Mark says:

      In a similar position. No-one has told me so far that they won’t honour my current year anniversary night (for which I’ve hot the spend threshold) or outstanding points, though I sent a follow-up enquiry to a previous complaint asking them to confirm why my card was being cancelled and that they would award the outstanding night and points. They raised a new complaint to answer those questions for which I’m awaiting a response.

      Their customer service team is clearly now snowed under, but when I get a response I fully intend to pursue it through the Financial Ombudsman unless the answer is positive. Apparently they are charged £750 per complaint, so you’d think it would be in their interests to do the right thing. My previous complaint, which they upheld, was around not having received my previous anniversary night due to IT/process issues. When that was put right (and they also paid £150 compensation) in September they’d already prevented the cards being used with Curve but still credited my overdue night voucher and confirmed that issue had been resolved meaning that my next one would be credited automatically.

    • Char Char says:

      Basically they are throwing their toys out due to the fact that their credit card was already based on a money losing formula which Curve helped acceleate

      • Mark says:

        Exactly that. I do feel that NS&I and Curve both dropped the ball in allowing what was clearly blatant abuse to go on for as long as it did, by which I particularly mean people who were repeatedly cycling money through NS&I in some cases to obscene levels. It now appears that Creation is using it as an excuse to jettison a cohort of customers that are likely to be particularly loss-making since Curve will attract people who seek to avoid or minimise things like foreign exchange fees and, by extension, probably pay relatively little in interest as well. It doesn’t change the fact that the product was designed such that a significant proportion of their customers were always likely to be loss-making.

    • Lady London says:

      Plenty of coverage on here in the daily comments across the past week or so, of Creation’s apparent nastiness and stupidity in trying not to honour the contract promises on the card run in the name of IHG because they’ve changed their mind about things.

      Anyone who’s used their card reasonably should get fee refund at least pro rata, any earned free night even if earned early in card year, all IHG points credited IMV also partially earned nights via a reasonable cash % of what you planned to use the night for.

      Start by making an official complaint, word is not much will be done for 8 weeks, JDB says if they then ask for a 2week extension let them have it, then take them to FOS. Personally I’d MCOL for breach of contract.

      Remember 2 things : your contract with Creation is individual. Doesn’t matter if someone else got x or y your own use case and what is owed to you is what you go for and you have your own result. So start the official conplaint to them asap.

      Also remember if they do unilaterally refund your 99, even if you’ve had the opportunity to use the card for any of the months covered, unless you agreed to it, Creation can’t offset any part of the £99 against nights and points still owed to you.

      • Lady London says:

        *past three weeks

      • JDB says:

        @Lady London the MCOL guidance notes link to the Civil Procedures Rules (that are statute). This states that litigation should be a last resort where there is another remedy open and mentions Ombudsmen. Going to MCOL first, and disregarding this, puts people at risk of having their case thrown out or costs awarded against them. Also, to the extent that people have had their fee refunded, is the remaining points/voucher claim actually a money claim at all or is it in fact a ‘loss of chance’ claim (that could not be pursued via MCOL) ?

        • Track says:

          FOS cannot adjudicate on breach of contract, only Small Claims track of the Crown Court can.

          • JDB says:

            The Crown Court is for criminal offences! The FOS can and regularly does deal with the terms and conditions of financial products, and alleged breaches thereof.

  • Peter says:

    Much appreciated for your help please.

    Few months ago, Amex suddenly decided to suspend my Mrs’ three Amex credit cards ( plantium + 2 other cc) by its credit check team. We then provided the bank statements but Amex still decided to cancel them all as “our bank statements don’t meet the earing figure when we applied the credit card”. It’s ridiculous as we never lied but chose to put big portion of our salary into the pension hence the bank statement shows less amount with net salary, however, we never missed any payment for Amex CC . Having tried to complain but no feedback.

    Today Amex sent me email and now they decide to cancel my Amex CC as well. I called Amex which won’t do anything but suggest me to request the SAR document then review it.

    I have been using Amex for years and never missed any payment. Only issue withouth Amex now is that we have few companion voucher to use and it is impossible to use them without being paid by Amex CC. Can anyone please suggest what’s the best to do now? Thanks.

    • Reney says:

      Can you not get a payslip which show your gross salary and share that with them?

      Any friends and family Amex you can use to pay for your flights? Does shutting down mean you can’t open another one in the future?

      • stevenhp1987 says:

        Really depends what you got shut down for.

        Sounds like your wife failed an Amex Financial Review.

        Getting your account closed without any information is probably an AML thing (cannot tip off).

        Done anything dodgy to warrant a CIFAS marker or similar?

        A lot of information is missing here. It could be anything from you committing fraud, to MS.

        • Peter says:

          The only explanation from Amex was that the income figure that I mentioned. And the bank statement didn’t support the figure in the application as we both put big portion of salary into pension. But we have been using Amex for many years with £20k+ spending every year and never missed any payment. very frustrated.

      • Peter says:

        thanks. I asked if Amex wanted to see my P60 and tax return etc, the answer was no, they are not interested. Just thinking we are cheating when applying for the CC. The truth was that I only even input our partial income in the application…

        NOt sure if I can use my friend’s Amex to pay for the companion vouche. And I think I probably won’t be able to apply for it in next few years. Just wonderring if it’s only my case , or other person had same issue? Very annoyed tbh.

      • Blenz101 says:

        I’m pretty certain one indicator financial institutions institutions use and share is declared salary. Where this varies between applications it can set off alarm bells.

        In fairness to Amex they are assessing applications and credit limits on affordability. If someone is putting a disproportionately high amount of their salary into a pension which they can’t actually access then they may not have been eligible for a card to begin with once other credit lines are considered.

        • Lady London says:

          Blenz101 if they manage the card ok and make payments on time then surely it is no business of Amex if they choose to make large pension contributions from an income they can prove. Pension contribs can be switched off by choice if the income is needed.

          Sounds like someone new on a team in Amex does not understand that salary sacrifice contrib to pension, ie made to pension directly by employer, does not pass the person’s money via the bank account.

          Quite worrying that we’re hearing more cases where card providers are hiding behind AML provisions to ensure their true reason for auditing or closing an account, which might be nothing to do with AML etc.,can’t be scrutinised. How do we know Amex isn’t being racist and trying to hide it this way?

          • Blenz101 says:

            I’ve no idea of the circumstances here but something will have triggered the audit to begin with. If a borrower looks stretched, perhaps by taking out further lines of credit since their Amex card was issued then it is pretty responsible of them to make checks.

            If disposable income justified 3x Amex cards alone then the credit check team would have had no issue. Anybody who reads this site knows how much Amex invest in customer acquisition and they print the years of loyalty right on the cards. For what reason would they have a team of racists shutting down cards?

            Just because payments are being made on time now doesn’t mean they will be in the future. Card providers work with actuarial science, nobody is going to be individually considering if Mrs Peter is going to cancel her pension contributions in order to make her bill payments next month.

            I don’t think there has been any suggestion of AML here, just responsible lender.

    • Rob says:

      Find a friend with an Amex and use their card when redeeming the companion voucher.

      • Peter says:

        Thanks Rob. Did I read here sometime before that you have to use either of person’s Amex CC to pay for the companion vouche?

        • Rob says:

          You can use any Amex, from anyone. Amex doesn’t do name recognition as a security check.

    • GeorgeJ says:

      Why do you think that you need an Amex to pay for the companion tickets? You might want to use Amex to get points/insurance benefit, but if they have cancelled you will need new card/insurance anyway.
      Its the same question as “I cancelled my amex can I keep the companion voucher” (answer yes).

      • Peter says:

        I think I read before that you had to. That’s how I did when I used my former companioin vouchers.

      • Mark says:

        It certainly was the case last time I redeemed a companion voucher, albeit some time ago. At the payment stage it showed Amex as being the only valid method of payment for the taxes and fees.

      • Reney says:

        You do have to use an Amex to pay when you are using a companion voucher. It just doesn’t have to be in your name or the card that you earned the voucher on. This is covered in HFP articles, hence Rob has replied to this chain with a suggestion.

      • GeorgeJ says:

        Tried to double check T&Cs but BA link rather unhelpfully doesn’t go anywhere.

      • Rob says:

        You DO need an Amex to pay the taxes when you redeem a 241 voucher. There is no way around this.

    • Yorkie Aid says:

      I had the exact same thing a couple of years ago with Amex. No amount of data and statements I sent made any difference, they just closed the account. I had been a customer for over 18 years and likewise never missed a payment. Had never even churned cards either! Complained and then took to FOS which was a total waste of time. FOS was sympathetic to my case but said there was nothing they could do because if Amex decide they don’t want to deal with you anymore they can simply chose not to. End of.

      • Reney says:

        did you manage to open an amex again at a later date?

        • Anna says:

          One of the regular commentators here (though not seen him for a few days) managed to persuade Amex to have him back as a customer after something similar. I’m sure he’ll confirm if he’s happy to share again!

          • Polly says:

            He got suspended for very liberal shop small spending IIRC…like many of us did in those early days, but we didn’t get suspended. That was when it was spend 5 get 5 back. Well worth spending a Saturday out and about shopping.

          • Anna says:

            Hi Polly, I meant similar as in Amex ended the relationship, not the reason for it! Sorry for any ambiguity.

        • Yorkie Aid says:

          @Reney – I’ve never bothered to try – I’ve just written them off personally. It was a shame because I had been planning on using the global transfer route to establish a credit rating in USA.

        • Alex says:

          I had a similar situation in March 2020, Amex asked for a financial review and then decide to close my Amex platinum. They explained the reason for review is unusually highly spending in December around 6k while normal spending 1-2k monthly. To be fair to Amex my income dropped quite a bit during all those lockdowns, I could not show income I declared while applied for the card so I did not challenge and accepted their decision.

          Applied and got Amex platinum again this month.

    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      I’m sure Rob has said on here before that it can be any Amex card (i.e. transfer funds to a friend with an Amex card and get them to pay it on your behalf).

  • Paul says:

    Vaguely remember some people having a VACC voucher returned to their account when their original booking used 2 and subsequently achieved gold / with the changes last year, only required 1 to be used. Is this correct?

    I have a booking that was originally made with 2 VACC vouchers (upgrading 2x travellers return from Premium to UC, one used on each leg). Now a Gold member so this txn would have gone through using just 1 voucher on a 241 basis.

    Is it worth my while dropping Virgin a WhatsApp and asking them to return 1x VACC voucher back to my account?

    • Mark says:

      The two aren’t equivalent. In many (all?) cases using two vouchers for two return Premium to UC upgrades requires less Virgin Points than using one voucher for an UC 2for1 redemption. That was particularly true of our recent Antigua trip that required 70K for two upgraded tickets at standard pricing as opposed to 115K that would have been required for a 2for1 if we’d had Silver or Gold status. No harm in asking though and see what they say, though.

      In our case as Red members 2for1.5 would have set us back 172.5K points for the same trip, so was definitely worth using two vouchers….

  • Patrick says:

    E-rewards related question: do you still get surveys? It’s been a while since I had one (almost a year)

    • Paul says:

      Usually 2 or 3 a day…

      • davefl says:

        Ditto, at least 2-3 whining “got time for a survey’ emails per day. Sometimes 2 an hour.

        Always get – you dont qualify for that one so here’s another.

    • Andrew says:

      Yes, but my Erewards emails always go to spam though…

    • Paul Pogba says:

      I don’t get emails but if you log in there’s usually a few. I did go through a barren period and when I emailed to enquire why they said there was a query with my account that was now resolved. Might be worth sending an email?

    • James says:

      Do you have the app? There’s always a fair few on there, also if you keep clicking on the link in any email there’s usually more as well

    • John says:

      If you aren’t getting any they’ve decided you are a fake account – delete your account (if possible) and sign up again with different details (can’t remember how to get a signup link as I don’t have time for surveys any more anyway)

    • Rachel Robinson says:

      They’ve probably suspended you. They’ll give a boilerplate response as to why but will review it if you press them. Depends how keen you are to do surveys as to whether it’s worth your while.

  • Mark says:

    Question re BA Holidays…. I’m mulling over doing a NYC Club World Booking for the New Year with BA Holidays to get the Double Tier Points offer, booking WT+ and upgrading with Avios as opposed to a flight-only 2for1 redemption.

    The Terms and Conditions talk about being able to get a FTV within the last 3 weeks prior to travel in the event of UK government restrictions preventing travel or requiring hotel quarantine, but say nothing about destination entry restrictions/quarantine preventing travel. However as it falls within the Abta rules presumably such an eventually would be covered (and if we can’t travel due to it being disallowed by government rules that would qualify for a refund under Abta rules rather than a voucher).

    Any thoughts?

  • trader363 says:

    Any recommendations for hotels in Chiang Mai? Staying 24th-28th Jan

    Saw Mr and Mrs Smith at £293/night but didn’t seem worth it given the other 5 star hotels are a lot cheaper.

    FYI there is a Melia opening there in mid-feb!

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      293 for Chang Mai is a rip off. Can’t remember from when I went but there are loads of much cheaper and equally as good options

    • BP says:

      Anantara? When it was The Chedi, it was one of my favorite hotels in the world. It’s now Anantara – not sure if standards have been maintained.

      Tamarind Village was nice and very well located.

      Parasol Inn was great for £15 a night while backpacking!

      • Elguiri says:

        Do a days cookery course whilst in Chiang Mai – thaifarmcooking were great

    • trader363 says:

      Thanks both

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