QuickLodge lacks a certain urgency
YOUR CONSUMER QUERIES:A DUBLIN reader has gone four times in recent weeks to AIB Cornelscourt to lodge business cheques through its QuickLodge system, which sees the cheques fed directly into a machine.
“On all of those occasions, including earlier this week, the machine has been out of order. On the second-last visit I was told the technician was there and it would be fixed, but when I went back two days later it was still out of order,” he writes.
On Friday he decided to bypass Cornelscourt to lodge an urgent cheque – “it’s tough out here in Sole Trader land” – and so went on to AIB Stillorgan. “You’ve guessed it, their QuickLodge machine was also out of order.”
He says AIB staff’s response to what to do with his QuickLodge envelope also varies. “Sometimes in Cornelscourt the reception staff will take it, but other times they will send you off to join the (lengthy) queue for a teller. I was told to join the queue this morning in Stillorgan. Incidentally, both Cornelscourt and Stillorgan have had a wall of gleaming new self-service machines installed but, oddly enough, not a QuickLodge machine in either of them.”
Result for soccer fan in Small Claims Court
KEVIN McDAID sent us an interesting mail after winning a case in the European Small Claims Court against Air Baltic. He booked flights from Dublin to Moscow via Riga for the Republic of Ireland’s football qualifier in Moscow in September 2011.
He found out in mid-August from a fellow Irish fan that the flight had been cancelled and he contacted the agent the flights were booked with and Air Riga which confirmed that they had been cancelled but there had been no notification given.
“Air Baltic offered a completely unsatisfactory re-routing which would have taken two days to get there and would have needed us to book hotels as well. They also offered a refund,” he writes.
“As it was for the qualifier, there was limited availability and the flight prices were now much higher, as might have been expected.”
He found an alternative routing on Lufthansa and having investigated EU legislation, it appeared to suggest that Air Baltic should pay for these flights. He contacted the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) to seek their advice.
He was told that if an air carrier provides more than 14 days’ notice, it is only required to offer affected passengers the choice between re-routing and a refund of the cost of the ticket.
He was told that it was clear that Air Baltic complied with the rules and that regulations do not require an air carrier to offer passengers the choice between multiple re-routing options – once the choice between one alternative and a refund is provided, the carrier is deemed to have satisfied its obligations, CAR said.
“Where a passenger is not satisfied with the re-routing offered, he is entitled to elect the refund option and will subsequently be reimbursed the full cost of the cancelled flight.”
The CAR reviewed his particular complaint and said it was “clear that Air Baltic have fulfilled their responsibilities. Consequently they have no liability to you”.
The story does not end there, however. “If it had not been for the excellent Flightmole forum I would have accepted the CAR advice as fact and taken the refund. This would have led to me having to rebook at the higher price and pay the difference.
“As it was, I followed the advice of those on the Flightmole forum and took Air Baltic to court on the matter, with the payment finally having been made. ”