-2

The issue

Before coming to Turkish Airlines office I could refund both tickets online.

After the simulation only one ticket was available, I directly ask for cancellation of the remaining ticket online and got refunded after a week.

I couldn't refund the second ticket for a technical issue caused by a staff internally.

It is not my fault if the second ticket got detached and yet they refuse to refund me now.

I believe that my right has changed somewhere.

The contract

The contract says refundable or exchangeable with cancellation fees.

The facts

Here are the facts. I am a french and European citizen. My friend is a Nepalese citizen that my family is inviting to France. She holds a Schengen visa that was granted to her after we issued an invitation letter to EU.

For that reason I have made a purchase online using my personal credit card attached to a french bank account on Turkish Airline online gateway. Through this purchase I believe that I became the owner of both tickets and I am therefore protected by certain EU consumer rights.

This is also why the invoice name and address are different from the passenger name in the case of my friend.

The visa being granted after the departure date I then decided to go to the Kathmandu office to ask for a price simulation.

The price difference being too important I decided to ask Turkish Airline for cancelling and online refund because that is my right as stipulated in Turkish Airline policy as well as the EU consumer act.

When I came back online to cancel and ask for refund only one ticket was available, the second ticket being detached during the simulation process I asked the Turkish Airline’s staff to put everything back as it was when I first arrived.

That is when the Turkish Airline’s employee started to behave unprofessionally stating among other things that it was not possible, that I had to ask the call center and finally sending me to an equally ranking staff member that was not part of the process from the start.

Even if I consider that Turkish Airline’s staff should have asked a manager or call the Turkish Airline center themselves they said that they had no access to any landline and they started staring at their computer screen without responding to me or even looking at me.

I felt humiliated and since it became impossible to establish a clear communication I decided to leave the place and report it by email on the Turkish Airline’s platform. Upon sending the email a first auto response told me to wait 7 days and after 9 days another auto message told me that the issue was still under investigation.

I then decided to borrow a mobile phone and call a supposingly Turkish Airline toll free number. After 2 minutes the phone balance went out and I had no other choice but to follow up on the previous ticket by email.

My second email must have call upon Turkish Airline attention because the Kathmandu sales contacted me the same day to give me an appointment.

I came back for the second time and this time the staff member told me and my friend to write a letter of consent for cancelling and refund. I did write the letter because it was my credit card and I am the one asking to be refunded and not the passenger.

Turkish Airline’s staff then asked for a signed authorization from my friend to cancel and refund.

When we refused he told us that we were in Nepal and that cancelling and refund would then not be possible if we would not accept to complete the full process. The irritated tone of my voice final made a Manager come out from the back office and ask for explanations. After more than 2 weeks I was surprised that the Turkish Airline’s manager was not already aware of the situation.

The Turkish Airline’s staff that did the changes was not at office to answer so the other Turkish Airline’s staff said that I had requested a change of ticket from call center and that it was now impossible for me to cancel and refund it online.

I replied that it was not true and that I had never call the Turkish Airline’s center and never give my consent for my friend’s ticket to be separated from my initial order, and certainly not the ownership of the ticket.

The simplest way to prove it is that Turkish Airline record every conversations made to the call center and Turkish Airline won’t find any call prior my first visit to Kathmandu office because I never called Turkish Airline’s center before my visit to their office.

Turkish Airline’s manager finally asked for my bank account information but asked my friend to sign the information together with a refund receipt written in Turkish. Neither my friend nor I speak Turkish but Turkish Airline staff insisted and under the pressure my friend signed both papers and we left the room once again humiliated.

Two weeks later Turkish Airline is contacting me saying “In light of above determination, we regret to inform you that we are unable to meet your demand positively.”

Question

Here are the questions that I want to ask to anyone who can answer them:

1 — Is it legal for Turkish Airline to charge a EU citizen online and grant full rights over half of the amount of the transaction to a none EU citizen without the consent of the buyer?

2 — Is it legal for a EU citizen to require the signature of an invited passenger to get refunded?

3 — Is it legal for Turkish Airline’s staff member outside the EU to manually modify an invoice issued online with a credit card attached to a EU bank account and force a none EU citizen to give her consent for the refund to be approved?

4 — Is it legal for Turkish Airline’s staff member to change the logs to cover the fact that a transaction manually modified through help desk was instead modified through the call center and can the Turkish Airline prove it without record of the call and therefor client consent?

5 — Is it legal to retain around $200 of cancellation fee for an online transaction and force the client to come back 2 times physically, call 1 time on the phone, send 3 emails, write 1 letter requesting the cancellation and ask a none holder of the credit card for authorization letter and signature?

6 — Finally, is it legal for Turkish Airlines to refuse to refund a cancelled refundable-ticket purchased online?

If anyone is interested in seeing the conversation logs between Turkish Airline and I, please let me know.

  • There's a fair number of related questions and answers at Travel. – phoog Oct 17 at 3:57
  • not if you read the issue in detail – RafaSashi Oct 18 at 15:24
  • Sure, they're not the same, but they are similar, so they may be of interest (if not to you, then to others who have found this question for one reason or another). – phoog Oct 18 at 15:31
  • Please read my comment on user6726's answer and advise me accordingly. I will edit the beginning of the question because I can't find a similar issue on the platform. – RafaSashi Oct 18 at 15:34
  • Unfortunately I don't have much to say in response to that comment, except to note generally that a system not allowing something doesn't affect your rights. This is a point that is often lost on customer service agents. In such cases, the system must be changed, or a solution must be found through other means, outside the system if necessary. – phoog Oct 18 at 15:46
4

Turkish airlines states its cancellation policies here – this is what appears to a person in the US, content in Nepal or elsewhere is anyone's guess. The possibility and cost of cancellation depends on whether the ticket is domestic or international, and what the fare class is. For example no cancellation with refund is possible under the international economy promotional fare. There are various charges associated with other fares. So, it is legal for them to refuse to refund a cancelled ticket, depending on the facts. Or there could be some charge for rebooking. An airline does not use force to compel a customers to do things, but they can legally make it inconvenient for you to obtain a refund or rebooking. There is no law requiring that transactions with an airline be concluded by phone call within some number of minutes, or online, or by going into an office.

They also provide information on changing someone else's ticket here.

Can I travel using a ticket issued in someone else’s name?

Topic: Reservations and bookings Last modified: July 03, 2015

No, only the person whose name and surname is written on the ticket can use it to travel or make changes to the booking and route. For this reason, you can only travel using tickets issued in your own name. For more detailed information please visit our booking page.

Although you may have paid for the ticket, it is not your ticket. This page also addresses buying tickets on behalf of a third party:

I want to buy a ticket for someone living in a different city. Will they be able to collect the ticket in the city where they live?

Topic: Reservations and bookings Last modified: July 03, 2015

The person you buy the ticket for can collect the ticket from their nearest Turkish Airlines sales office. This process can also be simplified by using an e-ticket. You can purchase an e-ticket in the other person’s name either online or from our call center. For more detailed information please visit our reservations page.

The question about changing logs doesn't have an obvious answer, since said "log" is probably a company-internal record and not a governmentally-regulated record. It would not be legal to falsify evidence in a legal proceeding. In case of legal dispute, you can present whatever evidence you have that tends to support your side of the story, and the court will decide whose version of the story is most credible.

  • 1
    I think there probably is an implicit law that transactions be concluded by phone call or online or by going into an office; the company can't refuse to honour its obligations unless you send a carrier pigeon – Tim Lymington supports Monica Oct 16 at 22:23
  • Before coming to their office I could refund both tickets online. After the simulation only one ticket was available, I directly ask for cancellation of the remaining ticket online and got refunded after a week. I couldn't refund the second ticket for a technical issue caused by an internal miss use of the system. It is not my fault if the second ticket got detached and yet I have no way to get my money back now. It proves that my right has changed somewhere right? It doesn't depend on any kind of hidden policy. What do you think? – RafaSashi Oct 18 at 15:31
4

You would need to read your contract

A few points to note:

  • International air tickets are subject to the law at the port of origin irrespective of the number of flights. So if your return flight starts in Paris it will be under French law, if it starts in Kathmandu it will be under Nepalese law.
  • Your nationality is almost certainly irrelevant. If the contract is under Nepalese law then it doesn’t matter if you are Nepalese or French or Angolan.
  • EU consumer protection law is only relevant to contracts subject to it. A contract for airline tickets under Nepalese law isn’t - Nepalese consumer protection law applies.
  • it’s not your ticket. Paying for something on behalf of someone else doesn’t make that thing yours.
  • Poor customer service is not illegal
  • Please read my comment on user6726's answer and advise me accordingly. – RafaSashi Oct 18 at 15:33
  • I am not so sure about the second point because there is a billing address, there is personal and corporate taxes involved, my bank is in France and furthermore I have never purchased any ticket in Nepal or on a Nepali platform but on Turkish Airlines website. – RafaSashi Oct 18 at 15:57
  • Regarding point number 4: If it was possible for me to be refunded online before, and if I was the one with that access then how can we not consider me the owner? After the change made by the staff I lost that access and indeed it doesn't seem that I am any longer in charge. – RafaSashi Oct 18 at 16:01
  • @RafaSashi what does your contract say about all that? – Dale M Oct 18 at 20:24
  • The contract says refundable or exchangeable with cancellation fees. I finally got my money back. After the help desk told me they had no access to my invoice I requested it through a request form using the ticket numbers from the email receipt. It is unclear what exactly happened at support level. The fact is that each ticket has a unique number generating a unique invoice. One purchase do not lead to one invoice, it depends on the amount of tickets. Each invoice has in fact the passenger name on it and the VAT was 0% regardless the nationality of the passenger. – RafaSashi Oct 21 at 7:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.