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Friday 31 May 2019

Jetstar cops fine for misleading customers

Anyone who has used the Jetstar website to book a flight will probably have a horror story. 

The confusing format; the constant up-selling.

Mind you, anyone has flown with Jetstar will probably also have a tale of woe. I have a policy of not flying with Australia's budget carrier if I have to be somewhere at a specific time.

It comes as no surprise, therefore that Jetstar has just been ordered to pay a $1.95 million penalty for misleading customers over refunds and consumer rights on its website.

The airline was not explicit in fully explaining its obligations to refund passengers.

The Australian Federal Court found that it stated some fares were not refundable despite them being covered by automatic consumer guarantees.

It said customers could only get a refund on more expensive fares, even in the event of significant delays or cancellations.

"Jetstar's representations were false or misleading because all flights come with automatic consumer guarantees that cannot be excluded, restricted or modified, no matter how cheap the fare," said Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims.

"If a flight is cancelled or significantly delayed, passengers may be entitled to a refund under the consumer guarantees. All consumers have the right to a remedy, such as a refund, if services are not supplied within a reasonable time."

Between April 2017 and March 2018, the Jetstar website stated consumer guarantees did not apply to its flight services.

As well as the fine Jetstar is obliged to remedy its policies and practises to comply with all consumer laws.

Don't expect to read much about this is in mainstream media. Jetstar are major advertisers. 

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