Exception Refund, Part II

December 20, 2005

The saga of my US Airlines exception refund continues. Shortly after Michele's death I contacted Expedia about getting a refund for plane tickets we were never going to use. After some initial difficulty getting the paperwork into the pipeline, Expedia at least is working on it for me. Since it had been a month since they passed the paperwork on to US Air I thought I'd call them today for an update.

Imagine my surprise to learn that US Air hasn't contacted Expedia at all. Picture the shock when I discovered that calling the US Air Refund Customer Service center toll-free number gets a recording saying that "we can't take your call right now." The woman at Expedia was very nice and she did try to reach US Air multiple times while I was on the phone with her. In the end she said we'd have to try again tomorrow.

Equipped with the ticket numbers and the US Air toll-free number I called myself a few minutes ago. The initial greeting tells you all about their useful web page where you can get all your questions answered online and please go there now. The first menu offers several enticing false options that will only lead to automated response systems. After listening to several choices I hear one that sounds like I'll connect to a human. This sub-menu starts with its own greeting that tries to sell you on the sleek, modern benefits of their Internet site, and here's the overly long and complicated web address so you can please go there now. Repeated. Twice.

Eventually I get a sub-sub-menu with an option to speak to a customer service representative. I poke that button and endure the obligatory "this message may be recorded for quality assurance purposes" spiel, and then a series of clicks. Next a message stating that I must have my 13-digit ticket numbers ready. More clicks. And finally:

"We are unable to take your call at this time. Please call again."

Click.

Dial tone.

Shit.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.