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Forums Frequent flyer programs Virgin Flying Club Help needed! Virgin Atlantic suspended my account for fraud without explanations

  • bman4833 11 posts

    @Lady London I am trying to do what you are saying… I feel so small at the moment. I’m trying to insist they finish the job and bring me home but they won’t budge. They want to bring on the legal team. This is all they will respond with

    Hello,

    Unfortunately, we await to hear from your legal representative and will look to refer the matter to arbitration.

    Regards,

    Loyalty Fraud Team

    Lady London 2,142 posts

    take it to arbitration yourself.

    In their small print do they indicate which conciliation or partner they are with for conciliation?

    Under which country’s law was your purchase of points made? (ie which Virgin website did you actually make the purchase on? I am hoping Germany as the German arbitration service SOP is quite fair and decent from reports, and if a German resident / contract made in Germany / possibly just if German credit card, you can appeal to them. (no lawyer needed and I believe, free).

    If in UK and they have an arbitrator here, also should be a fair and reasonable arbitrator, also free.

    The key point is that you purchased the points from Virgin on their website as a non-expert consumer and it wss Virgin that basically took actions that denied you being able to achieve the *sole* purpose for which you purchased those points.

    In consumer-land that makes them the guilty party and fairness (which is what arbitration is about rather than just the law) says they have to put you in an end positon of where you started from after their actions meant you lost the seats you had puechased the points for. You can’t buy the same thing now as availability gone and in any case now would take more points so you want to be put back into the position you were in before you bought the points. As the points are now useless to you and you would not have bought them otherwise.

    You can also point out that this puts you only back in the position that you were in that you were in previously, and that there is no advantage to you more than that and nothing extra has been given as apology by Virgin either for trouble and stress etc – you are only asking to be put in the position you were in previously and Virgin hs not compleyed that as they have not reversed the points purchase transaction *they* made useless.

    They’re just trying to scare you by telling you to get a lawyer. Look at the small print first and find out which country’s law applies and who they name as their conciliation/arbitration entity and go for it.

    zotikus 20 posts

    @bman4833, I am so sorry you are having troubles with VS too. It was really a frustrating journey with them. I do hope you are strong facing all those and get what is right for you. It’s much more desperate for you as you are already in the middle of the journey, that’s horrible! You need to move fast or make a plan B for your trip. From my experience, the customer service and executive team really can’t override the decisions, so I would suggest you to write to the fraud team again(maybe start a new thread, that might give you a new case number), asking for an investigation/appeal, with all the documents/proof/explanations you can think of, to save some time. I am not familiar with your point purchase channel, but it sounds legitimate. I don’t know why they brought it to the legal side so fast, I believe that would be very difficult for us individual customers to go on that path, at least for me. Good luck and keep us updated!

    zotikus 20 posts

    @Lady London, I am still communicating with VS. My goals are:
    1. bottom line: get my justice back, reactive my account and points. [done]
    2. try to achieve: reinstate my canceled flights. [ongoing communicating]
    3. dispensable: compensation for my time and trouble. up to VS
    Last month’s struggle was really painful, and I see clearly VS is not a decent company. I don’t wanna waste too much energy on them, and I don’t know how. But I truly hope this shady company can be somehow punished for their nasty moves to the customers

    bman4833 11 posts

    @zotikus I got my back up flight. Lucky there were two seats left. I did what you said and started a new email. The first two emails I got were the exact same as yours. But I didn’t even purchase points. I transferred my credit card points to VA. So it’s shady that I got the same fraudulent emails.

    I don’t have high hopes which is depressing because I always hear how great it is to find good flights through Virgin Atlantic. But now I wonder if it’s even worth it

    JDB 4,663 posts

    @zotikus I got my back up flight. Lucky there were two seats left. I did what you said and started a new email. The first two emails I got were the exact same as yours. But I didn’t even purchase points. I transferred my credit card points to VA. So it’s shady that I got the same fraudulent emails.

    I don’t have high hopes which is depressing because I always hear how great it is to find good flights through Virgin Atlantic. But now I wonder if it’s even worth it

    It will be incredibly difficult to get any money out of Virgin for your replacement flights. The first step is to provide evidence to them that there has been no fraud on your account by providing an explanation and/or evidence for every item on your account for the last 12 months and assuming there has been no fraud, ask for the cost of the UA flights and they keep the points – assuming that’s what you want and you won’t get both. You will most likely have to take them to court to see any cash.

    bman4833 11 posts

    @JDB yeah I’ve sent them screenshots of my points transfer. I’ve even asked them what I can send to prove it’s me. But all I get is nothing. It kills me especially that it’s in the middle of a trip. It makes me feel small that there’s nothing that can be done

    JDB 4,663 posts

    @JDB yeah I’ve sent them screenshots of my points transfer. I’ve even asked them what I can send to prove it’s me. But all I get is nothing. It kills me especially that it’s in the middle of a trip. It makes me feel small that there’s nothing that can be done

    I’m sorry to hear about your situation and it’s clear that Virgin’s fraud team won’t do anything to help you in a timely manner. They seem seems to act very capriciously and precipitously but are then not only slow to correct patent mistakes but also don’t compensate for the effects of their erroneous actions. You will need to do more than just show the validity of your Bilt transfer – you need to validate every entry for up to 12 months. Once you can do that, you need to ask for the cash you have spent involuntarily buying new tickets from UA owing to Virgin’s wrongful cancellation based on no evidence.

    bman4833 11 posts

    @JDB thank you. It has definitely ruined my trip but I will try to salvage the rest of it. I hope they will at least give me a chance to show proof. I have screenshots of everything. Even while booking. Even on my VA profile where it shows where my points came from. If all else fails do you think I should even make another VA account or just give up getting flights through them?

    Froggee 993 posts

    @bman4833 both you and @zotikus have similarities in that you both got your Virgin points by non-flying, and you then redeemed for Skyteam flights not in the UK.

    I guess this probably loses money for Virgin and hence they are being heavy-handed.

    What we also learned from @zotikus is that persistence pays as genuine fraudsters tend to give up and move on.

    I would suggest sending all support for all transactions in the last 12 months if you have not done so already. I would also email the CEO as @zotikus did. I would be tempted by daily chasers given the timeframe and the fact that they have stranded you.

    Be polite, express your disappointment and stress, reiterate that you are a genuine person taking a genuine trip and have not done anything naughty. Save the lawyers and any potential nastiness for when it is beyond hope i.e. you are back in the US and they have told you to go away formally.

    zotikus 20 posts

    Hey guys, some updated here:
    1. As we expected, the fraud team didn’t reply me at all about my question ‘what triggered the false alarm and how I/VS can avoid such situation again’.
    2. My canceled flight can’t be reinstated, and since there is no more reward seats any more for the flight I planned, I can’t make a new booking with VS anymore.
    3. the customer care team replied but avoided my flight replacement issue:
    ====
    We do take the security of our customers regards the Flying Club accounts very seriously and your account had been suspended while the team were investigated this. I understand the account was out of use and I sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused by this.

    As a gesture of goodwill, I have credited 8,000 Virgin Points into your Flying Club account. I know this will not rectify what has happened, but I do hope it goes to show you how sorry I really am and value you as a customer.

    I realise that we cannot undo your experience this time, however we can listen, and I do hope that you are reassured of our commitment to great service and care.
    ====

    So I wrote them back making it clear that as there is no AF reward ticket, the cash price is now 1000eur for two, and if I book with UA, it will be 60k points for two. Let’s see how they react.

    dannyc 20 posts

    8000 points is an insult.

    It would be a pity if this issue was broadcast across Chinese social media and television channels next year on Consumer Rights Day (March 15).

    Keep pushing them @Zotikus – Really happy you haven’t given up. Good luck

    Froggee 993 posts

    At least they know 8 is a lucky number!

    maniacmartin 3 posts

    Whilst I understand that the Fraud Team have a duty to investigate fraud and suspend accounts whilst they do so, the way they handled this is very poor but sadly common nowadays:

    First, it seems that the documents that the OP provided were enough evidence to convince them that this wasn’t fraud, so why didn’t they just suspend the account but leave the flights booked for a while whilst they asked for these documents at the start, instead refusing to engage and saying multiple times that the action was final?

    Second, they appear to have outright lied in their latest email, saying the account was suspended whilst they investigated potential fraud, whereas previously they said they had banned the account and implying that any investigation (if any) complete. Both of these cannot be true at once.

    If they were conducting an investigation, then it would be premature to cancel the bookings until the investigation concludes, so the onus should be on them to put the OP back in the position they were in before. If the reward availability is gone , VS can always purchase cash flights at it’s own expense.

    Lady London 2,142 posts

    8,000 ? Really? A total insult.
    I’m saying it in the tone I’ve heard some serious theatre actresses say “…A *Handbag* ? in the play, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and make it ring sround the theatre.

    That and having made a mistake and being mean and bullying and not fixing the mess they made with your flights seems either Virgin is so up themselves or their noses they don’t care. Or actually they still think you’re guilty and are tossing you 8,000 pathetic miles hoping you’ll go away.

    I’d find an authority to drag them to to make a consumer complaint against them ideally one that has the sanction available to make Virgin pay the cost of funding flights to replace the ones their actions took, if they can award compensation for losses and stress that would be the cherry on the cake.

    zapato1060 717 posts

    @LadyLondon I fully agree but @JDB will be round chuckling that there is nothing they can be held to account for. 8k is an absolutely disrespectful number when only a year or 2 ago they gave 20k for opening a V bank account.

    Skywalker 759 posts

    8,000 ? Really? A total insult.
    I’m saying it in the tone I’ve heard some serious theatre actresses say “…A *Handbag* ? in the play, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and make it ring sround the theatre.

    😁😁

    I thought I was the only one that did this!!

    zotikus 20 posts

    Hey guys, more update here:
    after I wrote back, I got a call from Customer care. This time, a more experienced staff handled this case. He offered several flights options (strange this time there were reward seats available compared to last time I called them). So I could book a new reward flight, with a stopover in Paris over night (I like to spend some time in Paris though). The total amount of points and cash is more than what I booked before, but they will cover the difference. And as I mentioned the hotel in Paris during the Olympic time is quite expensive, they offered me 100 eur cash transfer as a good will. So I am relieved that I could get my flights back, it is an acceptable solution. At last, they deducted the 8000 points back, which means there is no compensation for all the trouble.. Do you think if I still should go for that?

    bman4833 11 posts

    Wow! I haven’t been so lucky. I’ve emailed the CEO and I knew I wasn’t gonna get a response from him but was transferred to the executive office and once again told to email the loyalty fraud team. Which I did and got the same generic emails

    Froggee 993 posts

    @zotikus I missed your post. I think it is time to stop. Any compensation would be reliant on Virgin feeling you are owed something else and given they have had someone more senior deal with it, I think they are done. Enjoy Paris and keep an eye out for good value redemptions with hotel chains as rooms come back into inventory.


    @bman4833
    – unfortunately generic emails appear to be part of the process. Just keep nudging.

    bman4833 11 posts

    I’m starting to lose hope. It’s getting to the point where they just won’t respond. Don’t think it’s worth making a new VA account or is it just not worth dealing with them anymore? They just have great deals sometimes especially with transfer bonuses

    bman4833 11 posts

    Do you think*

    Froggee 993 posts

    Making a new Virgin account is the sort of thing a fraudster would do!

    The problem is that your emails etc will get queued and dealt with in turn. I understand this is beyond frustrating for you but the best thing you can do is continue to nudge whilst being patient.

    bman4833 11 posts

    I’ve emailed the fraud team 3 separate times. I emailed customer service and executive team 2 times. I went through the better business bureau which just connects me to their customer service. I emailed the “CEO” email and that just got sent to the executive which then I was told to email the loyalty fraud team. I emailed the fraud team one last time two days ago with proof and I got this email this morning.

    “Unfortunately, owing to the enhance review conducted with our fraud systems we will not be reinstating your account. We will not disclose this information as it is owned by our fraud tool partners.“

    Lady London 2,142 posts

    @bman4833 As you’ve been told several times it might be unfair but you’re (1) going to have to produce the information such as @Froggee suggests and (2) you’ll have to go formal once you’ve covered all the bases that have been suggested here, to get anywhere.

    After getting your act together and sending them all that in a well organised way that means either raising a complaint with a public body in your jurisdiction or retaining a lawyer.

    I don’t think.they deserve to get away with it and unless you really have done something criminal, then they deserve to be hung out to dry and publicly shamed for abandoning you mid-trip away from home. But sadly now that we have bullies apparently rampaging out of control trampling innocent consumers in the financial area these days, doing all this work carefully and having the strength and resources to go after them seems the only way. But the other guy on this thread did so if you’re innocent it’s worth a go.

    I hope you do stick it to.them – please save every receipt for absolutely every out of pocket cost being dumped in the middle of your travel and subsequent work has caused you and claim off them too.

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