Bad Experience With Zest Air (now Air Asia Zest)

My bad experience with Zest Air (now Air Asia Zest) started on August 17, 2013, after we were informed via text message that our flight from Cebu to Manila was cancelled. My friends and I were happily chitchatting in our hotel room when I got the message around 11pm. We were shocked. We didn't expect the late notification and we didn’t expect that there’s no “flight transfer” to another airline.
In progress. Our refund status as of today, 7:17 am Manila Time. It's "in progress" for more than 60 days now.
Our Day 2 in Cebu was ruined because of the cancelled flight. Instead of “touring the city” as planned, we ended up in an internet cafĂ© near our hotel to book with another airline. We searched for available seat sale on that day but we didn't find any. We booked with Cebu Pacific which, of course, was an added on cost on our end. We are not “high-earners” and such additional cost (Php2000+/head one way fare) is an added burden to us. On Zest Air’s part, we were offered a full refund.

08/16: My message to Zest Air after we got the flight cancellation message. PM sent in Cebu.
We waited for the refund. I couldn’t anymore recall how many times I messaged Air Asia Zest on Facebook and Twitter. I thought the refund process will only take maximum of fifteen days as stated on their Facebook message. Unfortunately, as of this writing, no refund has been credited to the credit card that we used despite Zest Air’s commitment to expedite the issue. I was informed, too, that the issue has been escalated. I also called their customer support several times but I didn't get any representative. All I got was a recorded voice saying that their “representatives are currently engaged in a call.” It was only on November 1st that I was able to talk to a representative named Chloe.

08/27: Please take note: "we have already escalated your refund with proper department."
During the call, Chloe informed me that they have technical issues/system update – reason why she will not be able to check the status of my refund. Because my friends and I have been patiently waiting for the refund, I asked for a supervisor. As a call center protocol, Chloe tried to deescalate. She informed me that her supervisors are unavailable because they are engaged in a call. I told her I will wait and she placed me on hold for more than 15 minutes. No “refresh” at all. When she went back to me, she asked for our booking number and when I gave it to her she told that that our refund has been forwarded to BDO. Chloe gave me a batch number which proves that refund has been endorsed to the bank. Chloe also informed me that the issue was forwarded on October 24th.

10/14: Our refund status is still in progress. 
On November 3, 2013, I called Air Asia Zest again to verify if I was given the correct information and, luckily, I was able to immediately get a representative. I spoke with Rain. Rain told me that the issue was “in progress” and she gave me the Batch number upon my request. Contrary to what Chloe told me, Rain informed me that my issue was forwarded on October 14th to the credit card provider. Rain further informed me that we should contact the bank and if the refund, which normally takes 30 days (well, it’s more than 60 days now), hasn’t been applied to the credit card yet, we can call Air Asia Zest again.

10/26: Unreachable. I called their CS phone number but to no avail. Refund is still in progress. 
On the November 4, 2013, we called BDO but we were informed that no refund has been applied to the credit card yet. I felt bad but BDO assured that once the reversal has been processed on Air Asia Zest’s end, then, the refund will reflect immediately. We were advised to call back the next day.
11/10: I attempted to follow-up my refund, however, I saw this message "You cannot reply to this conversation/ Either the recepients account was disabled or it's privacy settings don't allow replies."
On November 7, 2013, I called Air Asia Zest again around 9pm. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to talk to a live representative. All I got was a recording saying that their representatives are engaged in a call. Frustrated waiting, I dropped the call.

Knowing that I can n o longer send messages to the old FB page, I checked Air Asia's FB page. and sent them another message. No response yet as of this writing. 
On November 8, 2013, I called Air Asia Zest again and I talked to Eunice. She informed me that our refund has been escalated and forwarded to their finance department for processing. I complained to her that I felt sad and frustrated of what is going on. I told her that we have been waiting for the refund for more than sixty days. She apologized to me but I told her that it wasn't her fault. On the latter part of the call, Eunice gave me a reference number and she told me also that she will personally follow-up the issue.

I often visit Air Asia Zest’s website to check the status of our refund and during these visits I noticed their seat sales. It’s enticing but I didn’t mind booking with them again. Just like my friend who is also a frequent traveler, I’ve learned my lesson: Never fly with Air Asia Zest again. There are other airlines out there – PAL Express, Cebu Pacific and Tiger Airways – which offer a relatively better service than Zest Air.

Today is November 9th and we are still waiting for the refund. Air Asia Zest doesn’t even do call back to its customers to inform us of our refund status. I think I will wait forever. Calling the attention of Air Asia Zest Air’s management. Update 022014: We finally received our refund. Big thanks Air Asia!!!

Comments

  1. Hi! Unfortunately we do have the same problem with ZestAir ticket refund...mine took 3mos and up to now no credit yet.. 5k is 5k! So frustrating!!! Airasia has been using our money for so long!!! The nerve!!!! But dont give up..its our right to demand our money back.

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