If you make a purchase online, don’t receive exactly what you bought, and then find yourself on hold for a long time when you call the seller, does that mean you’re being scammed?
Sally Eckles is asking that question after an experience with JustFly.com. Eckles purchased two airline tickets on JustFly for $3,400. But when she received the tickets, they turned out not to be for the flight she booked. So Eckles called JustFly to complain. The agent who took her call put her on hold for an hour and a half.
Eckles then checked out online reviews of JustFly, which give the online travel agent a poor rating.
As she puts it, “I am afraid they will mess my trip up the way they have done to others.”
Certainly JustFly’s customer service in Eckles’ case was lacking. But does it approach the level of a scam?
The word scam is defined as follows:
noun 1.a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
verb (used with object), scammed, scamming. 2. to cheat or defraud with a scam.
We don’t know what online reviews of JustFly Eckles looked at, but as of this writing, TrustPilot.com gives it an Excellent rating of 9.1 out of 10 points, based on 27,220 reviews, most of which are 3 or more stars. There are a few negative reviews mixed in, including two that claim “Had a hard time correcting a mistake that your company made” and “Contacting the customer service is a hot mess. It took two hours for someone to help me.” Feefo gives JustFly a Good rating based on 9,581 reviews.
On the other hand, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued a warning to customers to be cautious about using JustFly, because it has received 37 complaints and 1,449 inquiries about JustFly that allege:
- Differences in the quoted price as opposed to what is actually charged on the consumer’s credit card after booking.
- Mistakes being made by booking agents, such as incorrect or misspelled passenger names.
- Adjustments to the booking resulting in significant fees to the consumer from both the airline and JustFly.com.
- Differences in the time and date of travel from the original booking.
- Not receiving email booking confirmations as promised.
- Reports of being on hold for excessive periods of time when calling the customer service department. Some have reported being cut off eventually.
- Being charged more for a cancellation fee than was originally quoted.
The BBB also claims that “Based on a similar business model, a similar pattern of complaints, and the same name of one of the people responding to complaints, BBB believes the company is connected with FlightHub, which had its accreditation revoked by another BBB.”
JustFly’s terms and conditions indicate that:
We strive to provide you with the most current information available concerning tour packages, flight schedules, travel destinations and prices on our website. However, please understand that all the information on our website is subject to change without prior notice. Also, travel products, packages and services described on our website are subject to availability.
So JustFly disclaims any responsibility to provide customers with the bookings they request in the first place.
- PASSION – Being travelers ourselves, we understand the needs of people on the go or families looking for a peaceful and safe getaway for their summer vacation.
- DEDICATION – Doing what we do with passion and integrity. We believe our work ethic speaks for itself.
It’s hard to see how issuing tickets for the wrong flight and keeping a customer on hold for a prolonged period of time constitutes “understanding the needs of people on the go” or “doing what [they] do with integrity.” And JustFly’s work ethic — or what passes for it in Eckles’ case — certainly has a lot to say about JustFly. But’s it’s not clear that this constitutes a scam — at least not according to the dictionary.