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Cebu Pacific Air Decides To Give Me A FREE Roundtrip Ticket To Any Of Their Local Destinations After A Sucking Experience Of Booking Via Their Official Website

In my previous post, I talked about Home For Christmas And New Year merrily like a child who has never been home for so long which was   quite true as I cant remember spending the holiday season with my family in my hometown of Irosin, Sorsogon in Bicol.  After that I quickly did an impromptu blog post because my heart was jumping with joy just an hour after I booked my Manila – Legazpi flight thru Cebu Pacific  only to know that the next days will be a heck of grueling hours of contacting the customer service department of this airlines that wasted so much of my time and efforts.

Here is what happened:

Nov 12 – I was on my way home when I decided to drop by to the nearest Internet shop because of an online task I need to finish. I feel reluctant to do it on my laptop since all I need is just a quick edit of an article. I checked my Facebook first and saw some Christmas memes. This prompted me to think of how will I get home – will I take a flight which will only last for an hour to get to Legazpi airport or take a bus that brings me directly to Irosin via Bulan or Sorsogon bound bus from Cubao terminal but would last for 12 hours.

Cebu Pacific first came across my mind as a budget airlines since Air Asia does not fly to Legazpi so far. I have also been doing a mystery travelling to an airlines so I know a bit of the embargo dates so my time of checking is just as early as I can get a good deal for the coming holidays.  And I was not mistaken, I found out that they have a 50% off sale to local destinations which is not so bad at all. An hour of flying versus 12 hour butt – numbing ride over a bus is definitely a win!        
I went ahead,  booked it while  dreaming of finally meeting my  two nephews and one niece. Bink, is my 2 year old godson whom I have not seen for a year, then Martin his 1 year old brother and Poleng, 4 month old. I haven’t met Martin and Poleng since they  were born so this super excited Tita is really keen to go home and cant wait to kiss and hug them.    
On the payment mode I chose the Bayad Center that I can pay within 24 hours of booking. Out of excitement, I forgot I have a Paypal debit card and an HSBC credit card to use for online payment. Also I am worried because I am in an internet shop so I don’t want to put my sensitive details of my cards, just to be sure.

I saw on the list of partner payment center is the 7/11 convenience store which we have one in the condo unit where I stay. I booked it around 6pm then around 11pm, before I went up the 24th floor of our condo unit in Paragon Plaza, I dropped by in  7/11 situated in the back part then paid the whole amount.

Believing that everything is alright and I did the right thing, I joyfully made a blog post of my excitement of going home…

Nov 13 – Came morning, I have not received any email from Cebu Pacific for my booking reference or any  confirmation of my flight details. I got worried, called them in the landline 3 blocks away from where our condo, I had to spend P5 per 3 minutes. In the end I paid P20!

I spoke with Rona, a namesake who does not want to give her last name.She confirmed that they just stopped receiving payment thru 7/11 which made me really frustrated and shouting because their website is NOT updated of their recent change. I told them this is not my fault and that they need to honor my flight. She asked me to wait til after lunch and see if my payment will get posted. She was the first one to told me that no matter what they’ll give me the slot for the same destination, same time and without adding any charge at all since this is clearly their mistake.  
Nov 14 – I called again spending my time and money because of their mistake. I spoke with Jayson, he confirmed  there was no payment posted which made me a super irate bitch on the phone. He asked me to send a copy of receipt and send it to Him as the second rep also assured me that they will honor my flight.

I paid P10 to scan my receipt plus P10 for the talk time over the phone. I sent it immediately in the morning and by early evening, I received a reply from the email mentioned above from Tony of Service Desk – Call Center MNL  telling me to just refund my money from 7/11 then rebook it according to the current price.   No fucking way! After wasting my time, my money, my efforts and being promised by two of their agents over the phone, he will say otherwise.

My reply in email was in all caps, I even copied the email to Candice Iyog Cebu Pacific Head of Marketing  and Edwin Bautista, Head of Sales whom I believe are managers of customer service department because I am all set to escalate this to the higher management and if I need to get hold of Lance Gokongwei, the CEO of the airlines itself, I definitely will. Because I know that this is all their fault and I have the right to be properly compensated.

Nov 15 - Still no reply from email and even those managers never gave a damn so I booked another flight just in case this one is not solved  I can still go home for a flight that is within my budget. I went ahead and checked the promo for the 50% off is still on going so I was able to book same price. I checked the website of Cebu Pacific, still the 7/11 is in the list which really got me so furious.  I just wonder how many more people are doing this and paying through this convenience store then suffering this same gruelling pain in the ass of doing the whole thing?

Nov 16 Have not heard from the email so I took the liberty to solve my burden.  I went to 7/11 and asked for my refund. The whole staff including the manager didn’t know that they are not supposed to receive payments from Cebu Pacific. It is still included in the option for the  payment kiosk where the customer can  pay for bills et cetera.   They made me go back 3x for validation blah blah. A total of 3 hours of my time has been wasted. Take note, I was  working online so I had to cut short three times just to go back to this store and I am unpaid.

They were so delayed to give the refund that my second booking has expired already which I plan to pay. Now talk about THRICE the FRUSTRATION to me going on, I could not even concentrate on my work as this is really getting in my nerve already.    
Around 7pm, I booked for the third time. I checked the same flight and same time, It is already more than the price I previously paid. I did not care this time as I really need to go home and paid through Cebuana Lhuillier. Just minutes after paid, I received the confirmation email. “Thanks God.”, I sighed and felt a relief like I went through miles of running for nothing.

I couldn’t remember but I went back to the Cebu Pacific website and looked for a means where I can file a formal complaint. Without hoping for anything miracle of reply, just trying my luck I went to the Feedback section where I can give my comments or anything about my experience. After I typed all my details, I received a confirmation email giving me a trace number and assurance of within seven days that they will look into this matter.

Few days ago I also learned of Atty Raymond Fortun, famous lawyer of known personalities in the country suing the same airlines for miscommunication regarding the cancelled flight in Vietnam because of no – fly zone during the APEC season which caused a stir on social media. I was thinking    how about me and other ordinary citizens whom getting a lawyer is out of the way already because it meant more money to shell out . That we’d rather let this pass since who are we anyway?  
Nov 20 -  I got a call from Trex representing Cebu Pacific apologizing for what happened and offering me a roundtrip flight ticket to anywhere of their destinations in the Philippines. The call was cutting on and off as I am in a remote location. He said he will call me back this Monday Nov 23 to let me know of how to avail the free roundtrip ticket.

Nov 23 - He called me and gave me the details of the complimentary trip that Cebu Pacific Air. It is going to be not available on peak season, valid for a year, does not include a travel insurance and I would need to pay the terminal fee which is fine with me.

He said he is willing to hand it over to me in person or have it sent to Galleria where I can pick it up and book it in any authorized Cebu Pacific ticketing office including the one in Galleria where I am very familiar. It will take at least a week.

NOTE: At the time of writing this blog, the official website of Cebu Pacific still shows the 7/11 store, please don't send your payment over there or you'll end up doing this whole thing just like me.

Dec 2
Decided to send SMS to Trex and attempted to call him. After so much attempts, I have no answer. This either means they Cebu Fuckcific Air is really a fucking idiot to make up for their mistake or this Trex with celphone number ******** is FALSELY REPRESENTING this company.

Dec 3 I will be submitting another escalation feedback and see if they are still idiot enough to hear me and let any person misrepresent them.

Dec 9 I called Cebu Pacific, spoke to Cedric. Finally there was one agent who gave me a supervisor, thanks God! Spoke with Nina, she said someone will get back to me in 48 hours which I NEVER EXPECT anymore. 

I am so thankful to Cedric and of course, Nina the supervisor, she did what she promised to me. I will go ahead and call again to provide a positive feedback.

Dec 10 I got a call from Trex, saying that he has been sick that is why he has never showed up and that my voucher is ready. I am not sure whether what prompted him is my escalation call yesterday or he was sticking to his words. He was wearing a Cebu pacific uniform and I believe he is part of the Marketing team. He personally delivered it to me in my place along with a waiver I need to sign and a photo of both of us. In fairness with the efforts, he is nice and I am updating this blog post in order to be fair on both sides. 

Disclaimer: This is not in anyway aimed to put the airlines into bad light. I am  thankful at least they responded properly by giving me the voucher for the inconvenience. I am just sharing my personal experience booking with them.

I am sharing this to other consumers and fellow travelers who always find themselves booking their flights that no matter how small we are as long as we know we are in the right way, we have to let our voice heard because more and more people will suffer the same, for problems unsolved.

1 comment

  1. Thanks for sharing this. You have my admiration doing what you did. I love your writing style too.

    I cannot imagine how much inconvenience this have caused you. I'd do the same if I were on your shoes. I was disappointed they did not cover the terminal fee.