Tuesday, 31 January 2012

AirAsia Slammed by Australia's Consumer Watchdog

AirAsia technical issues bullsh*t.


# AirAsia Online "Up-Selling" Scams
# ACCC to drag AirAsia to Oz High Court
# AirAsia more expensive than Qantas

They're at it again. AirAsia have trotted out a well worn excuse for employing misleading conduct after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the country's corruption watchdog, claimed fares sold on AirAsia's website do not display prices inclusive of all taxes, duties, fees and charges. The ACCC will potentially also impose multimillion dollar fines. And what excuse have AirAsia pulled out of the hat? 

The issue about flights, related to whether all taxes and charges were displayed for customers, appears to have arisen from an IT issue in September last year,” the airline said. “As soon as we became aware of the matter (based on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s complaint), we took corrective action and are focused on ensuring that our customers have all relevant information on our fares,” Air Asia said.

An AirAsia 'Information Technology' fault, hey? Remember our last expose, based around AirAsia's refusal to issue refunds - HERE - because ... they couldn't find you? That was because AirAsia apparently didn't know what an email was, and still today can't perform direct debits via credit card companies. This website has contacted The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and provided links to our investigations; the corporate watchdog's investigators will see that this is a tired, fraudulent excuse. 

Do your bit to bring down AirAsia!

Are you one of tens of thousands of people who AirAsia claim they cannot reach to issue a refund? Have you discovered deliberately misleading navigation on Air Asia's website has seen you incur a checkout full of hidden fees during your booking? Well, now is your best chance to be heard - and have a massive impact upon the outcome of the upcoming Government legal challenge. Here's where you can play your part, no matter how big or small, you can make your own statement to the ACCC on its online form HERE, or alternatively via email EnforcementACT@accc.gov.au

Take this Italian blogger for example, who is fed up with AirAsia trapping customers into paying for goods and services they neither want, nor do they need. 

AirAsia customer Fabio Pulito:

"... The most annoying thing [about AirAsia] ... is that all these non-free services are automatically assigned to the user who is purchasing a flight, who, in case he were not interested, would have to deselect them manually, sometimes following procedures that are little clear and very twisted. As I wanted to corroborate all this with an example I recorded a simulated online purchase of a one way flight from Bangkok to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Initial price: $76.95. The final one turned up to be almost 60% greater! Insurance, meal and seat allocation strictly not included. Just to make a comparison, websites like Edreams and Opodo, on the same date, were offering Turkish Airways and Qatar Airways flights (very high quality airlines) for the same or even cheaper price.." 

Does anyone have that long to make a booking, that should take 5 minutes. NO - and that is what AirAsia is relying upon ... that you will blindly rush through the purchase process - or robbery - and simply accept [or not realise] the additional fees. Fabio, you aren't wrong about AirAsia's prices frequently being above full-service carriers these days. Here is a re-post of a recent comparative study of prices that we ran ...

Cut-Price? AirAsia Online More Expensive than Qantas, British Airways and Singapore Airlines ..


Malaysia Airlines SGD $630.40
Qantas SGD $748.10
Tiger Airways SGD $766.62
British Airways SGD $802.20
Singapore Airlines SGD $854.20
AirAsia SGD $932.00


Holiday Airfare Survey was conducted on Wednesday 23rd of November, with all Singapore-Perth return flight searches being made online 10am - 5PM. In each instance, the lowest economy fare offered by each airline was the one selected and featured in the survey - all fare data was taken from each airline's own website, not from airfare aggregators such as Expedia.com. For all holidays there was a standard departure date of 05/12/2001 and return of 31/12/2011, though the actual arrival and departure times obviously differ among the various operators, kept within 24hours. Screen captures at the base of this article will evidence each fare.

The Holiday Airfares Survey has revealed opportunistic low-cost operators are frequently more expensive than full-service airlines like Qantas and Singapore Airlines. We conducted our study and discovered that AirAsia hiked their holiday airfares so high, the no-frills operator is now more expensive than the top-shelf full-service carriers.

 After the ACCC Investigators have read your accounts, they can be anonymous if you use the online form, they will try to digest the breathtaking account of corruption from within his own ranks by Malaysian parliamentarian, in shining armor, Wee Choo Keong, that they can marvel at HERE.  While 'Fly AirAsia? Not Me' pointed to this legal outcome many years ago,  his posting shows that complaints about deceptive marketing practices have been ignored by the corrupt Malaysian parliamentary system since 2004. 

Well, you're in Australia now, AirAsia. 

Good #$%@*& luck!

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