24 June 2008

Delta's new form of marketing: Non-refundable Refunds

From those nice people who brought you Song (as in Fly for a..) comes there latest way to develop a marketing push without having to pay for it.

The folks at Delta's marketing group have happened on a nice little marketing scheme underway with the latest offer to rebate the $25 fee for a second checked bag that was charged to passengers who bought tickets before April 9th and flew after May 5th when the charge was implemented. (I hope you are following the story so far...) In order to get the rebate, passengers must provide Delta with some information, including a Passenger Receipt Number for the ticket and method of payment for the baggage charge. Does anyone recall or record his Passenger Receipt Number from a flight completed 45 days ago? OK So let's go to the Delta website and see if we can find this information. Hmmm not on the home page..... let's try search - input "Baggage $25". There it is buried at the bottom of the baggage conditions page:


And the full conditions are here:


It would be one thing if you could find out these number from your frequent flyer account, but that's not possible. You wont find it from your credit card statement - oh yes and Delta doesn't store that information beyond the expiry of the PNR which will be midnight the day after you traveled.

Required areas include (but are not limited to) the following:

Passenger Name
Passenger Address
Baggage receipt number
Date fee paid
Departure date
Airport location
Flight number
Form of payment
Email address
Skymiles number

So if you don't have a DL Skymiles number you are screwed. More importantly if you didn't get a baggage receipt number that you remember - then the same situation applies.

So, the folks at Delta have a nice media burst and marketing ploy, whilst the customer is left to scramble and is unlikely to recoup charges added after the ticket was purchased. So for $25 there is unlikely to be a class action suit filed - but since there are a lot of lawyers looking for something to do - then maybe there is. Delta describes the offer to refund the fee as a "business decision".

Perhaps we can put the same people in charge of the Mariners baseball team. They can't do any worse than the current lot.



No comments: