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. ”

When we contacted CAR, we were told: “CAR can only adjudicate under Regulation 261 and under 261 the reader had been offered the correct entitlements. However, other bodies, such as the Small Claims Court are not restricted to only judge under Regulation 261 and can take into account other legislation (such as other consumer legislation/breech of contract, etc) which is why the Commission advised this reader that he could pursue the claim with these other avenues.”

Memory cards all too easy to forget

HELEN CRAGG left her phone into a Carphone Warehouse store in Galway recently to be sent away for repair.

“When I got the phone back there was no memory card in my phone, and I really want it back. I have two young toddlers and as you can imagine I used the camera and video on my phone to capture memories. Unfortunately, I had not done a back-up since last October, so I have lost a lot of memories.”

The screen on the phone, a Samsung Galaxy S2, started to fade in May. When she brought it in, she was told it would be repaired under warranty. “I asked what did I need to do and I was told to give him my phone and he would sort it out . . . Asked if I had all my contacts on my SIM card, I said I wasn’t sure, so he sorted that out and put the SIM card in the phone I was going to use until my Samsung came back. He asked me to sign a form for sending it away and I did. All fine.”

She collected the phone a week later and it had been fixed, but the memory card was gone. After much to-ing and fro-ing with the shop, she contacted the repairers directly, but the card has never showed up.

She was told by staff at Carphone Warehouse that the phone should have been checked prior to sending for repair. She was told the repairers have thousands of memory cards and would not be able to find hers. She was also told she had signed a form accepting that data may be lost.

“I had signed the form, but I never ticked any box on the form indicating that the memory card was removed,” she writes.

She says there should be a sign at the till in the shop advising people to remove memory cards and staff member should ask whether they have been removed. “If I knew they would completely dismantle the phone, I would have removed the memory card or even have had it backed up.

“I just didn’t realise the extent they go to. I have pictures and videos on the memory card that I don’t have on my camera or video. I have a video clip of my daughter’s first steps, my son and daughter doing stuff together that I would only have had my phone camera to capture the moment.

“I also was using a baby milestone app to record events in their lives – when my son started saying certain words, said he loved his sister, my daughter said certain words, etc . . . I have tons of memories on it. I am a ‘memories’ person and treasure and value them so much.”

We contacted the company and are awaiting a response.