Whatever happened to Kimberly Mathilda’s refund? We’ll never know because Mathilda has gone into radio silence.
Why does someone who came to us for help, and who we’re trying to assist, stop talking to us? Was it something we said?
And that brings up another question: What is happening behind the scenes that motivates someone like Mathilda to fall silent?
Let me adjust my tin foil hat, my friends.
But before diving into my oh-so-fun conspiracy theories, let’s talk about the problem that brought Mathilda to our doorstep. She’d booked a flight from Aruba, where she lives, to Miami. The flight was canceled and she had to book another ticket.
A slam-dunk for a refund, right?
Well, not exactly. She circled back with Orbitz, the online travel agency she’d used to book the ticket, and although it promised a prompt refund, it never delivered.
We contacted Orbitz and it refunded part of the ticket. Mathilda also asked Orbitz for a refund on the hotel — a refund to which she says she’s entitled because she purchased Orbitz’ “travel protection.”
No problem, our advocates said. Some refunds take longer than others.
Here’s where things get a little fuzzy. The paper trail we received suggested that while Mathilda had purchased “protection” on Orbitz, she may have booked the hotel separately. But her trip should have still been protected, and Orbitz would have been able to help her honor the policy. Or so we assumed.
We never got an answer. Not from Orbitz, not from Mathilda.
This was a mission half-accomplished. Her airline refunded the tickets but the hotel rooms were still missing in action.
I’d like to think that Orbitz did the right thing. It helped her file a claim and she received a refund, and she just forgot to tell us. Yeah, that’s probably what happened.
Then again … what if something else happened?
I’m wearing my tin foil hat now.
What if she contacted Orbitz and it told her, “Hey, you’re outta luck. Your ‘protection’ doesn’t cover the hotel you booked.”
And then she said, “OK, I’ll let Chris and his team know.”
And then Orbitz said. “Whoa, not so fast! As a gesture of goodwill, we’ll offer you a credit. But first, you have to do something for us.”
And I think you all know what that would be. If what I suspected was happening actually happened: They asked her to not tell us about the resolution. Don’t want to get the media involved now, do we?
Is that what went down?
Nah. I’m probably just being paranoid.
But when a customer goes into radio silence like that, all we can do to fill in the blanks is use our imagination. And speaking for myself, I have a great imagination.
We routinely take companies to task for ignoring our queries. Consider this a friendly reminder to the customers who contact us, too. Ignoring our requests for information is unlikely to help your case in any meaningful way.
Once you ask our team for help, we’re in this together.