On January 21, I bought an Air Blue ticket to Lahore for my wife, who was flying from Abu Dhabi. The ticket was purchased online and the payment was made using MasterCard. On the Air Blue website it said that the card holder must be present at the time of the flight if the ticket is not under their name. On the day of the flight I showed up at the Air Blue counter with my wife.
The staff started the check-in procedure and I was given a form to sign and was asked to show my ID card and credit card. After my wife's bag was checked in I was informed that she cannot board the flight until I provide a copy of my credit card or write my credit card details on a signed piece of paper. I called my bank and was told that the money for the ticket was already charged and that I was not required to give my credit card details.
I was also told that after card payment, Air Blue has the right to verify my identity, but they cannot keep a copy of my credit card. I also checked with MasterCard and got the same answer. My wife could not board that flight and I had to buy another ticket on a different airline for her.
If Air Blue is required to keep a copy of the credit card then why do they not clearly state that on their website? Under which law can they keep my credit card details on file when the payment has already been made and is against the credit card provider's policy? Finally, after issuing a confirmed ticket and receiving payment for it, can they refuse the passenger a seat? Is this not a breach of contract?
From Dr Asif Humayun
The management of Air Blue responds:
We contacted the customer and explained our policies to him. This is an international rule of both Visa and MasterCard that, in case of chargeback, the three documents that the merchant is supposed to provide to prove the authenticity of the transaction are: credit card — front side, signed copy of the ticket, and a copy of the ID card. This is the reason why we have to keep these documents with us to safeguard airline interests against a chargeback. We have discussed this with the customer and have offered him compensation as a goodwill gesture against the inconvenience that he has faced.
Dr Asif Humayun responds:
My credit card has been refunded the full amount. Thank you, Gulf News, for your help.
I need a quarterly bank statement to sponsor my parents. The ADCB call centre assured me that my statement for the fourth quarter of 2010 has been dispatched and that I should receive it by January 15 at the latest. I was also told I could download the statement and have it stamped from a branch. This information was contradicted in the course of several calls and I was even told to pay Dh150 for my own bank statement, which I find amazing given that the bank did not ensure that this important confidential document reached me safely! For some reason, e-banking did not allow me to download my December statement, which was verified on January 24 by the ADCB call centre. After several calls and asking that the matter be escalated to a supervisor, I was assured by a customer service representative that I will be given a duplicate statement for Q4 2010, but would have to pick it up from the Bur Dubai branch (possibly to inconvenience me further since I live and work in Sharjah). On January 24, my husband went to pick up the duplicate statement and found that it was printed on plain white paper. He was told that stamping the statement would cost Dh50 per month. So, I had to pay Dh150 for my own bank statement, which ADCB ensured I did not receive! Also, every executive I spoke to told me that getting the stamp was free. A duplicate statement was not requested but since I never received my original statement, I was being given this one free. ADCB has not confirmed that my confidential statement has reached me. This is the bank's fault. Why am I being asked to pay for it? And why should the onus be on the customer to call repeatedly and find a solution?
From Ms Jayati Basu
ADCB Corporate Communications responds:
Please be advised that our Quality Unit has contacted the customer and arranged for the statements at our Khalid Bin Waleed Branch for customer collection. The customer has confirmed that an authorised person will be collecting the statements from our branch. We have also advised the customer that the statements will be sent to her email address once every quarter. The customer is satisfied with the resolution.
Ms Basu responds:
Thank you very much. I appreciate the newspaper's involvement. They only got back to me when I approached Gulf News. I have received the statement. Thanks!
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