Qantas & REX: Petty war over refunds
There is something childlike when corporations go to war over nothing and everything. The nothing here is that both airlines don’t exactly have shining reputations about their respective refunds policy implementation, and the ‘everything’ is their respective reputations.
REX arguably started this little battle by tweeting on 2 June, and apparently buying a bunch of display ad space in NEWS Corp rags highlighting less than positive comments from Qantas customers, not to mention the rebuke Qantas received way back in June 2020 from the ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) about advice to customers about refunds.
The Australian Financial Review was first out of the gates on this little skirmish, discovering that REX itself was indulging in outright censorship of any adverse comments on its social media presence, particularly on Facebook.
REX claimed it was within its rights:
Mind you, a motivated look through Rex’s social media channels can also unearth plenty of gripes. And the most intriguing are those that disappear.
Sent a smattering of such, Rex responded with a statement saying it “makes no apologies” for restricting public access to comments deemed “abusive, vulgar, racist” or (even merely) “biased or unreasonable”. And that some comments may be restricted by Facebook itself.’Myriam Robin, Rear Window Columnist, AFR
They couldn’t be quite so ruthless on Twitter where it’s harder to delete such comments.
So head over there if you want to nail down the thread.
Qantas’s world-class public relations department has written a point by point response, which you can scroll through. The AFR has also pointed out that while Qantas aims for an 8-week-ish turnaround of refunds, REX is looking at 3 months.
There is also some banter about the waiting times for REX’s call centre.
All this reminds me that I had a return fare to Melbourne with REX on the day they started the route between Sydney and Melbourne – 1 March – which I had to cancel due to a COVID-19 cluster outbreak which would have meant I couldn’t travel on to Adelaide successfully.
I’ll update you on my wait time and an adverse or otherwise experience.