Friday, August 17, 2012

Southwest Air Facebook marketing flops

From within Southwest promotion backfires, charges customers:

A discount backfired on Southwest Airlines. The airline had a half-price ticket sale on Friday for its Facebook friends, but instead those customers were billed multiple times.(...) The offer was only for Friday ending at midnight. Just after the offer expired and customers looked at their credit card or debit card charges on Saturday, some realized with horror that they were over charged. Some people instead of being charged once for their flight were charged up to 30 times. Southwest has been working feverishly to correct the problem...

And from a post titled Did you buy a Southwest Airlines ticket recently? You may have been double-billed

The response apparently overwhelmed the airline's booking system. A report on says there was a glitch that caused customers to be charged every time they refreshed the website. In a statement posted on its website Sunday, Southwest Airlines acknowledged the problem and said it is identifying customers who were overcharged and providing refunds. (...)

Glitches like this are why you should use a credit card, not a debit card, when shopping online. If you're mistakenly charged multiple times for your purchase using a debit card, your bank account can be drained and you can bounce checks, not to mention be left without cash. If you used a credit card, hopefully the double charges would be refunded prior to your next billing cycle, causing no harm.

**Somewhat old news, to be sure, but LBE found some people in the last few days who hadn't heard of the story, or why debit cards can be problematic.

As one Southwest customer wrote:

"You guys screwed up, took MY money through no fault of my own and now you are telling me I have to work to get it back and I am gonna be out more money??? For a company that prides itself on customer service you guys are falling on your face!! I spent over 5 hours last night on hold just to be disconnected, I can't buy groceries or gas because you guys have taken all of my money and there is nothing you can do about it??? This is CRIMINAL!!! I get there was a glitch but compensate me, fix it, don't tell me I have to call someone else on Monday to get it fixed! I am so disappointed and angry at Southwest!"



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