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Cebu Pacific Scam: Uncollectible Refund as "Travel Fund"

Expose or warn others about scams and scammers, or shady business practices. Expose those that have cheated you or ripped you off. Caution: Before naming specific individuals or groups, make sure that they really wronged you and that there was no misunderstanding. Otherwise your post may constitute slander or libel if it contains false information.

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Cebu Pacific Scam: Uncollectible Refund as "Travel Fund"

Postby Winston » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:16 am

In the past, when you were due for a refund from Cebu Pacific Airlines, it would take months, or even years. But now it seems, you don't even get a refund. Instead, your refundable portion goes into an obscure "travel fund" that is hard and inconvenient to collect or use. They know that most people will not do the legwork it takes to try to apply a refund credit to future purchases, so they eventually will end up keeping it. Obvious scam and shady low class tactic, designed for the sole purpose of allowing Cebu Pacific to keep nearly all the refunds they owe, so they don't have to pay it out. This is the kind of street scam you might encounter in a ghetto low class neighborhood. But to have a professional airline company pull such a scam is weird. In any case, this is definitely NOT a true refund by any means.

I experienced this recently and filed a dispute with my credit card company about this. Here is what I entered in their dispute form:

Why did you cancel the transaction?

Needed to change flight date, but their system did not apply current fare to new fare. So I had to cancel it. Merchant did not refund any portion of ticket as they promised.

Were you advised of the cancellation and return policy at the time of the purchase?

Yes

What is the cancellation and return policy?

Their cancellation policy is that we would receive a refund minus a 2000 peso cancellation fee. However when I canceled, the remaining portion of my fare after the cancellation fees, went into a 'travel fund' that is very hard to collect. Cheap scam.

Additional details

As you can see, they don't want to give you a direct refund. Instead, they put your refund into a vague 'travel fund' that is difficult and inconvenient to collect. Typical Filipino scam and shell game, designed to allow them to pocket your refund, since they know that most people will not go through the legwork of collecting such a thing. Common sense. It's a low class shady street scam. And it's a shame that an airline would pull such a ghetto trick. Shameless. And unfortunately, very typical of the Filipino mindset as well.
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Re: Cebu Pacific Scam: Uncollectible Refund as "Travel Fund"

Postby Winston » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:37 am

Some articles and review sites complaining about Cebu Pacific's new "travel fund" scam that they put all their owed refunds into.

http://www.reviewstream.com/reviews/?p=154130

https://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/ShowTopic-g294245-i3256-k6335317-Travel_fund_when_cancelling_a_flight_with_Cebu_Pacific-Philippines.html

Even lawmakers in the Philippines are calling this "travel fund" scheme by Cebu Pacific as illegal.

http://www.mb.com.ph/probe-on-cebu-pacifics-travel-fund-sought/
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Re: Cebu Pacific Scam: Uncollectible Refund as "Travel Fund"

Postby Rock » Sat Feb 06, 2016 5:30 pm

Winston wrote:Some articles and review sites complaining about Cebu Pacific's new "travel fund" scam that they put all their owed refunds into.

http://www.reviewstream.com/reviews/?p=154130

https://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/ShowTopic-g294245-i3256-k6335317-Travel_fund_when_cancelling_a_flight_with_Cebu_Pacific-Philippines.html

Even lawmakers in the Philippines are calling this "travel fund" scheme by Cebu Pacific as illegal.

http://www.mb.com.ph/probe-on-cebu-pacifics-travel-fund-sought/


Winston, go in Cebu Pacific office there to make sure you can use your travel fund balance on your return flight. Your travel fund balance should last 90 days. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. So get something from them in writing stipulating what your current travel fund balance is so you can use it when you book your next Cebu Pacific flight.
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Re: Cebu Pacific Scam: Uncollectible Refund as "Travel Fund"

Postby tiu_alan » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:09 am

Hi Winston and Rock,

I also experienced this. I googled cebu pacific travel fund policy and it led me to your website. Cebu Pacific has officially forfeited my travel funds yesterday amounting to P13k+ from three (3) cancelled flights last Christmas 2015. I was so pissed off yesterday that I went to their 24/7 Ticketing Office in NAIA 3 at the middle of the night to confront them, and point me in the right direction and squeeze the names of the people in charge of these things. A certain Ivan Shau and Melanie Jabson. The agency manning their booth cannot help us as they are only agents contracted by Cebu Pacific with no power to decide on this matter.

The travel fund policy is so discriminatory that they want the money to be retained with them, and you have no choice but to avail their crappy services! Even PAL flights are not as delayed as them. It's even worse than a dormant bank account charge (which is 1 year before they turn dormant and charged you between P200 to P500). With Cebu Pacific, they outright forfeit your travel funds even though they already charged a cancellation fee!

I have filed a complaint with them via email (guestservices@flyceb.com) last Feb. 13, 2016 that took them almost more than a month to reply. If I have not called again their customer service hotline to follow-up, they would have ignore my complaint altogether! I called their customer service (7020-888) several times already but are utterly useless and not helpful. They even gave a number supposedly of the head office (802-7000) where nobody freaking picks up!

I am already planning to sue them for violations of any of the following:

1. Air Passenger Bill of Rights - issued by Joint DOTC-DTI Administrative Order No. 1
2. RA No. 7394 - Consumer Act of the Phils
3. RA No. 106673 - Philippine Competition Act - Sec. 15 - Abuse of Dominant Position
(fairly new law in 2015)
- Section D: Setting prices or other terms of conditions that discriminate unreasonably between customers or sellers of the same goods or services, where such customers or sellers are contemporaneously trading on similar terms and conditions, where the effect may be to lessen competition substantially.

http://www.gov.ph/2015/07/21/republic-act-no-10667/

Fyi. The new law, The Philippine Competition Act carries a penalty of P100 Million if found in violation.
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