Last February we bought Ryanair flights to Ibiza for a family-of-four holiday. When the government grounded the flights, Ryanair initially offered a voucher. When we asked for a refund, it said that the flight was cancelled by “causes outside of their control”, so they could not do so.
There was no response to any of our attempts to contact Ryanair, so we contacted John Lewis Finance, as the flights were booked on its credit card. We supplied the various invoices and email confirmation that the flights were cancelled etc, then all went quiet for several weeks. It then asked for Ryanair’s terms and conditions, which I sent. Again all went quiet. This cycle has continued for a year, with requests for the same documents, each time with months of delay in between.
I finally spoke to them last week, and they said that “because it has been more than 120 days since the loss”, they cannot help us. Even though all the delays were caused by them.
The agent mumbled something about “section 75” and then reiterated that they couldn’t help. Sorry but goodbye. And I thought John Lewis had a reputation.
John Lewis Finance and HSBC – which supplies the credit cards on the store group’s behalf – have been the subject of quite a few complaints to us in recent months. Telling a customer that it won’t deal with their complaint because they are out of time is appalling if the delays are entirely due to the bank’s own failure. All it had to do was institute a chargeback of the flight cost to Ryanair, which you were fully entitled to, but it seemingly couldn’t get its act together.
Even after I got involved, John Lewis asked for all the same information again, to your great frustration. Finally, after much to-ing and fro-ing, it this week agreed to meet your claim and said it would pay the £700 you were originally out of pocket.
It’s hard not to conclude that John Lewis Finance may be going the same way as the department stores and blowing its hard-won reputation for good customer service – at least where the credit cards are concerned.
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