You’re a smart consumer. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.
You look for bargains, you read the fine print, you know how to navigate your way around the branches of a phone tree.
But aren’t you forgetting something?
Most enlightened consumers fail to do one thing with alarming consistency: they don’t review their credit card purchases in a timely manner – or at all. No one knows exactly how frequently (or infrequently) American consumers review their credit card statements, but based on my own dealings with customers who are disputing a card purchase, I can tell you, it’s not often enough. Read more “The one thing every good customer forgets? You’ll never guess”
Question: I recently made a purchase at a Macy’s store in San Francisco using two checks. One check for the amount of $31 was supposed to go towards the Macy’s American Express Card Account. Another check for the amount of $173 was supposed to go towards the Macy’s department store account.
I was told by my bank that both checks were processed electronically and deposited. But just one problem: The amounts went to the wrong accounts ($173 went to the American Express Account and $31 went to the Macy’s department store).
Question: I was recently denied boarding on an Alaska Airlines flight from Boise, Idaho to Sacramento. I was unable to check in early online, making me one of the last to check in at the airport.
I had to cancel an appointment and was rerouted through Portland. What should have been a half-hour stopover turned into a half day, and I arrived in Sacramento late in the evening.
Alaska Airlines wrote me a check at the airport for 200 percent of the amount of the original one-way ticket as compensation for the major inconvenience. Nice, right?
Not really. I’ve just found out that Alaska Airlines stopped payment on the check. My bank is charging me $7 for depositing it, too.
Needless to say, I’m absolutely furious with Alaska Airlines. Overbooking is a horrible practice. I can’t support a company that allows me to purchase something they don’t have to give. Is there anything you can do to get Alaska Airlines to make good on its promise? — Ashley Cates, Boise, Idaho
Answer: Yes, overbooking is a horrible practice. And once Alaska Airlines cut you a check, it should have honored it.
But should it have paid you for the denied boarding in the first place? According to Alaska Airlines’ contract of carriage — the legal agreement between you and the carrier — the answer is “yes”. It says that if you’re bumped from a flight, you’re owed 200 percent of the sum of the value of your remaining flight coupon to your next stopover, to a maximum of $800, or half that if the airline can arrange comparable air transportation. Read more “Stopped payment on my compensation check”
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