Questions of Cash: Qatar Airways flight mix-up wiped the smile off my face
Friday 09 August 2013
Q. I have a problem with Qatar Airways. I booked and paid for a business class flight from Luxor to Doha, flying on 9 March, paying with my Barclays debit card. On 9 March I was advised by ground crew at Luxor airport that there was no business class cabin on the flight. I was given the options of flying business class the next day, flying economy class and receiving a free business class flight from Luxor to Doha for a later date, or flying economy class and getting a refund of the difference between two fares, plus $150 (£98) compensation.
I accepted the latter option and flew economy. On my return I emailed Qatar Airways for details of how I could claim my compensation. It took six weeks for the airline to respond, only to tell me that I was not entitled to anything. I complained and after another three weeks I was told that all I was entitled to was a refund of the difference between the two fares. I have complained by email another three times, but I have not had a response. LS, by email.
A. We also had difficulty communicating with Qatar Airways. Emails to several of its listed contact points bounced as undeliverable. Given those difficulties, we contacted Barclays and requested that it regard the transaction as in dispute. It was essential to do so promptly as there is a time limit to consider disputes under Visa chargeback rules. Barclays subsequently issued a chargeback against Qatar Airways, so, as things stand, you have not paid for the flight.
In the meantime, Qatar Airways contacted you, apologised for the quality of service and made a new offer, which you accepted, equivalent to a free return business class ticket from Luxor to Doha – a journey that you do frequently. Richard Oliver, country manager for UK and Ireland for Qatar Airways, says: "[The reader] had booked a return airfare online from Luxor to Colombo in business class with special conditions. The Luxor to Doha section of the flight was changed to only operate in economy and [the reader] was informed of this change prior to reaching Luxor airport.
"Due to the special restrictive fare that [the reader] had booked, there was no fare difference due when the cost was recalculated for the one-way Luxor-Doha section of the flight. However, [the reader] is entitled to compensation of $125 (£82), which he can collect from Qatar Airways in Luxor."
In effect, you have been fully refunded for the flight ticket twice over. We suspect that this may be corrected in due course. We are concerned that while Qatar Airways told us that it would provide you with a cash refund, in its email to you it proposed a solution involving the award of loyalty points that could be redeemed as a new flight. This difference may not be important – if it causes problems, please contact us again.
Q. I am hoping that you will be able to help me sort out my Bank of Scotland credit card account. Bank of Scotland claims that I made three transactions over the internet – for £100.99, £43.00 and £133.98 – which I did not. I am disabled, deaf and have an inoperable brain tumour.
On the day I was alleged to have made the online transactions I was actually in hospital. I cannot communicate with banks over the phone, which they do not like and it is best to contact me by text phone. I am desperate for help and have no one else to ask. AC, Glasgow.
A. Your disabilities caused you to write to us, rather than emailing as we prefer. This unfortunately caused a delay in us receiving your request. By the time we did, the Bank of Scotland had resolved this problem. A spokesman for the Lloyds Banking Group, which includes Bank of Scotland, says: "We are sorry [the reader] experienced difficulty resolving his complaint and, by way of an apology, we have paid him £50 in recognition of the distress and inconvenience caused. We also credited an additional £43 to clear the outstanding balance [on the credit card account]."
He added that the bank has strong procedures to combat financial crime, but where fraud does occur "we ensure [customers] do not sustain any financial disadvantage".
Q. I bought a Sony Vaio laptop using the Windows 8 operating system from PC World. The staff persuaded me to buy Norton Gold security. I have had problems accessing emails, the internet and other functions. I had to pay the relative of a friend £20 to show me how to use the laptop. There are still problems, including the regular message "Norton is not installed", even though it is.
Eventually I decided to return the laptop to PC World and request a refund. Staff at PC World were very patient, explaining there were no problems with the laptop and told me how to use it. But when I got home and tried, I spent hours of frustration and was in tears. Why was I not told when I purchased the laptop that Windows 8 was causing so many problems? If I had known I would not have bought the laptop and carried on using a PC at the library for my limited needs. MG, London.
A. As you imply, Windows 8 has been widely criticised – to the extent that Microsoft has had to redesign aspects of it. The big problem is that it is a touchscreen-based system, which many people who are unused to smart phones and are attuned to keyboards find difficult to use. We took this up with PC World. Its staff again tried to sort your problems out, but it has recognised that the Windows 8 operating system does not meet your needs. PC World has therefore taken the laptop back and given you a full refund. You are very happy with this.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
How to protect your assets if the stock markets begin to head south again
Child Maintenance Service to replace Child Support Agency - but is it better?
A student's guide to financial survival: You don't have to drown in debt at university
Bargain Hunter: Kit yourself out in sports gear - at a healthy discount of up to 75%
Energy firms found guilty of bad practice could have licences revoked under Labour government
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 4 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 5 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global investment management fi...
£65000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(CCIE, CC...
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Analyst - (CCIE, C...
£60000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(Design, ...
Day In a Page
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony