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MANILA, Philippines – Cebu Pacific has apologized for a “system glitch” that resulted in several netizens being charged multiple times while attempting to avail of Cebu Pacific’s Super Pass Sale.
“We have identified a system glitch that caused some guests to receive more vouchers than they had intended to purchase. We deeply apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused,” Cebu Pacific said in a statement on Tuesday, April 4.
“For those who were affected by this glitch, we encourage you to reach out to us as soon as possible through our chat support at http://m.me/cebupacificair, providing your booking reference number/s, and we will cancel the excess vouchers for you. You can do this until June 1, 2023,” the budget airline added.
Customers may opt to receive the refund through their original mode of payment or to store the booking value in a Cebu Pacific Travel Fund.
Super Pass fiasco
The Super Pass sale, held last March 31, drew significant interest from travelers hungry for revenge travel – enough to overwhelm and crash the low-cost carrier’s website.
Netizens said that upon entering the website, they were asked to input their payment details, only to wind up on an error page. Believing that the transaction was unsuccessful, many reloaded the page and reentered their payment credentials, only to later discover that they had been charged each time.
Ruth, among those who attempted to purchase the Super Pass vouchers, reported being charged more than P15,000 while trying to grapple with the website’s glitches.
“Instead of getting charged for 8 Super Pass vouchers under a single transaction amounting to P3,127.04, I was charged 5 times amounting to P15,635.20 for 40 vouchers,” she told Rappler on Tuesday, April 4.
Even though 40 vouchers were charged, Ruth was only able to secure 8 vouchers. She also said that the website did not prompt her for a one-time password (OTP) before pushing through with any of the transactions.
Anna, not her real name, was unable to secure any vouchers during the promo, and yet reported being charged for the multiple purchases attempted through the crashed website.
“I only wanted to buy four vouchers, which is equivalent to one transaction, but upon submission of payment details, the site crashed. Hence, I attempted to buy multiple times only to get the same result on all my attempts, and no OTP was also received. Based on previous experience with Ceb Pac, they send OTPs,” she told Rappler on Tuesday.
Anna was charged six times, prompting her to request the bank to block her card to avoid incurring more charges.
Other netizens also took to Twitter to air their experiences.
The long road to a refund
Netizens also complained of difficulty in reaching Cebu Pacific – be it through their hotline, chat bot, or agent.
“It was us who reached out to them first and it’s hard. No proper hotline, Manila hotline can’t be reached, and Cebu hotline only told us to contact their chat bot agent on their website or Messenger. I answered their feedback form thrice but didn’t get any response from them until now. It took more than a day to get connected to their live agent, who doesn’t even seem to be a real person as they can’t understand some words,” Anna said.
Cebu Pacific reportedly informed both Anna and Ruth that the refund process could take two months, and that it could take two months or more for the refund to be credited back.
“They told me that I have to wait for two months to get the refund, which is very unacceptable because this is an error on their end,” Ruth said.
“The reason why we bought the vouchers in the first place was in order to save on booking flights, but now, they took our money and made it hard for us to get a refund,” Anna said. “We just want our money back.”
Cebu Pacific’s Super Pass Sale – which ran from 10 am to 8 pm on March 31 – promised travelers one-way vouchers for P99 each, not including surcharges and other fees.
Immediately following the conclusion of the promo, the budget airline acknowledged the possible concerns faced by those who participated in the sale.
“PASSensya 🙏🏻💛 We are sorry for any inconvenience you may have experienced while booking with us today, and we truly appreciate your continued patronage. Once volume normalizes in the next 24 hours, we will be happy to assist you with your concerns through m.me/cebupacificair,” Cebu Pacific said in a Facebook post on March 31. – Rappler.com