Monday, 8 September 2014

The nightmare with Tigerair

I hope this post will serve as a cautionary tale before you book any flights with Tigerair.

On 4 Jul 2014 we booked a return trip with Tigerair, departing from Singapore to Haikou on 30Dec2014 & returning on 2Jan2015.

Subsequently on 3Sep2014, Tigerair sent an email notification below -

Thank you for choosing Tigerair.
We would like to inform you that your flight has been rescheduled due to a network review. We apologise for disrupting your travel plans and we've arranged a new flight for you.
To my horror, my return flight on 2Jan2015 has been rescheduled to 3Jan2015! There are NO flights being operated by Tigerair returning from Haikou to Singapore on 2Jan2015. My travel plans are in a complete mess thanks to Tigerair. Hence I wanted to cancel my hotel reservations with Hilton Sanya Yalong Bay Resort & Spa. But I had booked the hotel on a non-cancellable & non-refundable condition. The hotel has demanded to see an official proof from the airline before they can consider my cancellation request.
Below contains lengthy text to explain in detail the gross mistakes which Tigerair's customer support has committed.

Customer service agent Meg - called her up on 4Sep requesting for an official document/letter from Tigerair (signed off by authorised personnel + letter must bear the company rubber chop) which states the 4 passengers (myself inclusive) affected by the flight network review. Meg then promised that the letter will be sent to be within 24hrs.

On 5Sep evening this was the so-called official document issued by Tigerair -

Dear Ms. Kwek,

We refer to your request received on September 5, 2014 through our Call Centre.

From time to time, we do have to make changes to our flight schedule for various reasons.   As explained in article 10 of our Conditions of Carriage, in the event the changes cause the flight to depart more than four (4) hours before or after the scheduled departure time, the passenger may choose from among several options.  This includes remaining on the flight, a flight change, a flight credit or a refund.

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused.  Our records show that you did not complete your journey on the revised schedule.

Original Flight Details

Flight Number           Date                Route                                     STD                STA
TR2935                       02-Jan-14        Haikou – Singapore                1040hrs           1410hrs

Revised Flight Details

Flight Number           Date                Route                                     STD                STA
TR2935                       03-Jan-14        Haikou – Singapore                1040hrs           1410hrs

Please be advised that a refund of SGD 156.00.  Kindly allow up to 3-4 weeks for us to process the refund. 

We advise card holder to check their credit card statement or with the card issuing bank for an update of the refund status.

What just happened??? When did I put through a request for refund??? Fuming mad, on 5Sep evening I called up & demanded to speak to Meg only to be notified by another customer service agent, Robert, that she is no longer in service. Explained in detail yet again to Robert what happened & why I need an official letter from Tigerair in order to cancel my hotel reservations with no penalty. Robert informed that the misinformation and mistakes made by Meg will be investigated. Meantime, Robert assured that the refund request will be put on hold (I needed to cancel my hotel reservations before I could cancel my flight). In addition, the letter we requested for will be issued within 24hrs.

6Sep received yet another email from Tigerair.

Dear Ms. Kwek,

We refer to your request received on 06 September 2014 through our TigerCares Mailbox.

Tigerair operates a no refund policy as such, we are unable to refund any tickets (fares and charges) should passenger no longer have a requirement to fly or are unable to travel, as a result of any change in personal circumstances.  Individual or Personal Travel Insurance is recommended for passengers to cover such cancellations.

Please be informed that we have reviewed your request however, your request was denied.

Upon receiving this email you could imagine the huge question mark hanging over my head & this email only serves to add fuel to the raging fire. Tigerair has committed mistake after mistake. This is what happens when you hire incompetent staff for the job. There was no proper handover and the customer service agents simply do not understand what I needed! Customer service exist to aid your customers with their problems but Tiger is only creating more problems for me instead of solving them. I made a simple request for an official letter but yet Tigerair is incapable of fulfilling my request.

Fuming mad, I rang up Tigerair yet again & demanded to speak to Robert. Once again I couldn't get hold of the last agent whom I spoke to, the agent whom I spoke with this time round is Jeffrey, who then informed that Robert is no longer in service. In fact both Meg & Robert have been suspended from service due to their mistakes. Once again I repeated my predicament, Jeffrey then informs that Tigerair can only send a standard template for my request. Tigerair cannot and is unable to issue an official letter bearing a signature and/or company chop. WHAT??!! So why exactly have all the other customer service staff promised me that my request can be fulfilled???

After lengthy phone conversations, I finally resigned to fate that I am never getting that letter. Robert guided me to Tiger's customer support portal where I have to manually raise my request for a letter bearing a signature and/or company chop. I raised that manual request on 8Sep, as at today 16Sep, I have not heard from Tigerair with regards to my request.

When you book a flight with a budget airline, it is inevitable that there is a chance of the flight being rescheduled or even cancelled. When such things happen us customers naturally get agitated & fed-up with the airline. While the airline's T&Cs dictate that the airline does not have a policy of acceding to any request for any reimbursement/ compensation of additional cost incurred as a result of the change of schedule, it would really help if the customer service staff can get things done correctly on our very first phone call.

Next post I will talk about the complications with the hotel room cancellations.

Update - 16 Oct, been more than 4 weeks since my refund request was raised but I still have not received my refund. Rang up Tigerair & CSO tells me to wait & I should receive the cheque by next week. Round of applause for their tardiness please. 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Review of lash extensions at HLH Sanctuary Beauty

I have a confession to make, I am becoming an eyelash extension addict. Following the removal for the lousy cluster extensions on Sat, I have again "zhng-ed" my eyelashes. Of course this time round, back to good'ol trusty & comfortable lash by lash extensions.

Bought a JuzToday deal for lash extensions at $18 but the therapist recommended upgrading $48 to softer, thicker & longer lasting lashes which I gladly paid for because after the nightmare with cluster lashes I realise the importance of soft & comfortable extensions.

Arrived punctually for my appointment & I'm promptly whisked off to one of the rooms to have my extensions done. The stark contrast this time round versus the other times at Dreamlash as well as Lisa Beauty was the private individual rooms allocated to each customer, largely because HLH Sanctuary Beauty operates as a beauty saloon. As my natural lashes were sparse to begin with, the therapist could only attach that many extensions hence the end result, my lash extensions weren't as thick as the first time with Dreamlash.

To my horror, as I was cleansing my face that very evening, almost all of the extensions fell off. The extensions on my right eye have ALL fell off. Honestly, what lousy products does HLH use? I felt deceived by the therapist. All that crap about thicker & longer-lasting extensions, entirely bullshit. Let the pictures do the talking.