Questions of cash: Internet booking mess is no laughing matter
Saturday 04 June 2011
Q. Hertz has charged me twice for a single period of car hire. I paid in full and six months in advance for 14 days' car hire at Funchal. The flight was delayed badly at Glasgow, and as there was no phone number on my Hertz voucher, I was unable to notify of the delay, or advise that we would collect the car the next day. At the airport I asked the woman at the Hertz desk to notify the relevant staff of the delay and to explain that we would collect the vehicle the following day. She told us this was "fixed". But on my return home it seemed that Hertz had charged me an extra £255.22, which seems to be a duplicate charge for the car hire, plus an extra £2.26 – for what, I don't know. VL, Isle of Arran.
A. Hertz has now fully refunded you for the duplicate charge, plus an extra £10 for out-of-pocket expenses. It also sent you a €25 voucher for future use – which you have thrown away, saying you will never hire a car from Hertz again.
Q. I recently attempted to buy two tickets through Ticketmaster's website to see Michael McIntyre at Wembley Arena. When I reached the payment page I found that Ticketmaster does not accept payment via debit card. I rang Ticketmaster to try and purchase the tickets over the phone where I was advised through an automated message that, due to high call volumes, my call would be terminated without me speaking to an adviser. I asked my sister to purchase tickets for me using her credit card. She did this and in her confirmation email was advised that "each original purchaser and any person accompanying them to the show must be present" in order to gain entry. As she does not intend to go to the show, this caused her concern. My sister and I have several times attempted to contact Ticketmaster to query this. On each occasion we have been advised by an automated message that, due to high volumes, our calls would be terminated without speaking to an advisor. I then wrote to Ticketmaster, via my sister's email address. Ticketmaster added, addressing my sister: "you were informed that as you are the cardholder, you have to attend the event, customers were advised that if the terms of sale cannot be adhered to, then a booking should not be made. Your brother will not be able to attend the event unless you are attending as well. I'm sorry but there is no other option we can provide." This is very frustrating and if we had realised this, we would not have made the booking. DW, London.
A. You tell us that as a result of our intervention, Ticketmaster has swapped your paperless tickets with paper tickets for a different part of the arena: a solution you are happy with. Ticketmaster confirm it has reached a satisfactory resolution with you, while declining to provide any details. A spokesman for Ticketmaster added: "For the Michael McIntyre events ... paperless tickets were used for selected seats in the house. This means that customers buying these selected seats for these dates would not receive traditional paper tickets, but paperless ticket confirmation instead. The event organisers, Off The Kerb, wanted special measures put in place to make sure that only fans who get these tickets through the initial online sale would attend the events. Before purchasing tickets customers were presented with information alongside clear terms and conditions explaining that the original purchaser must be present at the event and provide the card used for purchasing the tickets, along with valid photographic ID, to gain entry. Customers purchasing tickets for seats elsewhere in the venues would be supplied with the more traditional ticket formats and not required to present the card used to make their purchase. Ticketmaster does accept payment via a number of different cards, including debit cards, American Express, Mastercard, Maestro, Solo, Visa Delta, Visa Electron and Visa."
Q. I have had a PayPal account since 2007, using my standard email address. I also use this email address for my business. My trading on eBay is my only form of income and PayPal has been the lifeline of my business. My problem came when I created a second account for personal use with a different email address – which I don't check frequently. I received a notification of a limitation on my business account, asking for information to resolve difficulties relating to my personal account. I provided the required information and my business account continued to receive funds. Later that week, I was informed that my business account had been permanently limited as I had breached a PayPal rule. The next day my personal account was cleared to use as normal. When I phoned PayPal, the agent I spoke to was so rude it was as if I had committed fraud. I tried to explain that I had not done anything wrong on purpose. Since then I have sent numerous emails to appeal and apologise. I'm the main provider for my family and I wouldn't jeopardise that by consciously breaking a PayPal rule. Now I have been told that my personal account will be blocked soon, so I had no choice but to close that account. I really need to have my business account reinstated. DM, by email.
A. PayPal's spokesman says: "the problem arose when [the reader] created another PayPal account. As part of our anti-fraud measures, we placed restrictions on both accounts as we had concerns about the identity of a credit card that was being linked to the account. [The reader] gave us all the necessary details about the credit card and proof of identity. We lifted the restrictions on the new account, but unfortunately didn't do the same for his original account. Following your intervention, we've now done so." Your business account is now available for you to use again.
Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But if you have a financial dilemma, we'll do our best to help. Please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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