After having a few hundred dollars of credits ‘removed’ from my Jetsetter.com account, and being given he runaround by customer service — being told I had violated their terms and conditions, but being refused requests to tell me how, and then being told that using referral links that they had given me at all were seemingly in and of themselves a violation of their terms and conditions — I shared the ludicrous story of their customer service responses here on this blog.
The post generated over 100 comments, it also was posted on Jetsetter’s Facebook wall and tweeted and re-tweeted. Lucky picked up on it as well.
Within hours of my posting, I finally heard from a ‘real’ person at Jetsetter (from a non-generic email address with a person’s name attached).
I was unfortunately in meetings all day, and was not able to respond in a timely manner.
I understand you’re frustrated regarding your referral credits. I am happy to explain the referral program, terms of service, and how to properly utilize the channel for perks as a valued member of Jetsetter.com.
Please provide me with a phone number, and a time most convenient to contact you. I look forward to speaking with you tomorrow.
I had gotten their attention. And they commented on this blog as well.
Hey Gary –
We hear you and first and foremost would like to apologize that you’ve had a bad experience. We are continuing to investigating your case to honor any credits that are duly owed to you. We just want to make sure and clear up any misunderstanding and do what we can to do right by you.
Jetsetter experienced a lot fraudulent activity during the Groundlink sale. As a result, we were forced to delete several accounts deemed fraudulent, as well as their respective credits. Upon further investigation, we are restoring your credit that complies with our terms and conditions. While we know you did not knowingly commit any fraud, your invitation link was used in several confirmed cases of fraud. Jetsetter has always honored referral credits and we will continue to do so. We will not however, honor credit received through fraudulent practices.
We value your business and are doing as much as we can to make things right. We always appreciate your feedback (positive or negative) and of course, we apologize.
I’ve tried to make clear to Jetsetter that I don’t especially care about my own referral credits. That I’m not mollified by their returning my credits (squeaky wheel gets the grease so shut me up). That if they want to demonstrate contrition and learning, they need to make things right with everyone that they took referral credits to without explanation and with stonewalling responses through their customer service channels.
I asked if I could provide the email address of the ‘real’ person who contacted me to the folks that have commented on the previous thread that they’ve had similar experiences with credits seemingly illegitimately taken away. I haven’t heard back on that request.
Now, the claim that people using my links were engaged in fraud so they took away the credits doesn’t quite ring true. Here’s the relevant snippet from their comment: “While we know you did not knowingly commit any fraud, your invitation link was used in several confirmed cases of fraud.”
If someone was committing fraud they were presumably signing up multiple accounts for the $25 first purchase bonus. But they wouldn’t have been using my referral link if they were doing that, they’d be using their own so that they would also get the $25 credit for successfully referring someone.
Still, I have no way to know who did what with their accounts, no matter how far fetched it seems, I cannot disprove their claim and they’re not likely to give me access to those sorts of details on the individual accounts referred through my link.
And of course they deleted all of the credits earned at the time of the Groundlink offer, were they seriously claiming that everyone who used my link was doing so fraudulently?
Further, what about the claim they made to me that any use of a referral link was impermissable under their terms and conditions? (Presumably only under the updated terms and conditions from January 28 which weren’t in effect at the time?).
Well, they haven’t given me a commitment to restore everyone’s credits. Or to allow me to give out the email address of the ‘real person’ that has been in touch. But my modest $275 in referral credits have been restored.
And I can only imagine what their office was like during this social media kerfuffle, as it prompted a blog post under the name of their CEO.
Unfortunately, there are people who game the system by creating multiple email accounts in order to gain fraudulent credits. In regards to the Groundlink sale, people created multiple accounts in order to purchase multiple vouchers which violated the sale’s terms and conditions limiting the vouchers to one per member.
When we see suspicious activity with a single individual creating multiple accounts, we deactivate these accounts and any associated referral credits. In cases when one link is abused many times, the irregular activity can negatively affect referral credits, and account status of honorable members. Upon further investigation, it seems we were overzealous in our effort to ferret out abuse and deactivated some legitimate accounts and deleted legitimate credits. We regret deactivating suspicious accounts without a more thorough investigation and without communication.
We are investigating every complaint on a case-by-case basis and have already reinstated credit to several legitimate accounts. If your account or credits have been deleted in error, we apologize. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will investigate each case in a timely manner. You can also call 877-573-8872.
That does sound like acknowledgment of error and contrition, and a commitment to make things right — for those who contact them. Of course we’ll have to see whether or not they actually do. And it fails to acknowledge the heinous, silly, and illogical customer service responses to date.
My confidence is hardly restored in Jetsetter, but if they do in fact make it right — for everyone — and if future customer service examples do more than stonewall, they have the potential to restore confidence. Which I genuinely hope they do, because I’ve found some of their offers to be quite good, and for hotels that I would actually very much like to stay at.