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Posts: 627
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:07 am

Calling an airline to a Premium Rate Phone Number (1-900)

Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:53 pm

I was offered a refund in a flight this morning, as I didn't make it on time for the check in (4 mins late, I hadn't tried the online check in). Anyway, I was just offered that refund because my flight original departure time (0855) had been moved to 0755AM.
They told me to send an e-mail to the complain sector, explain the situation, and i'd get a refund in the following 3 days.
Well, They send me an answer of the e-mail telling me I had to fill up a form (PDF file, i had to download it first) but they didn't tell me where to send it.
There are two ways to contact this airline. By e-mail (they stopped answering my emails), and by a premium rate phone number (in the Russian case is +7-809-xxx-xxxx. This call costs over 1U$S a minute. There is another way to call a Moscow Line (normal rate) but it states is only for those living abroad. I tried calling to that number and the line is busy at all times.

In Russia, twitter is not popular, but i've managed more success in Latin America using twitter than the airline phone number..
What's your take? Should it be ilegal to set this premium rate phones in the airline business, and in all other businesses?
Whats so premium of it? I recall Ryanair (this is 10 years ago info) had also this very expensive calling methods. What I did (in another complain) was sending them a written complain by post to Dublin, and got an answer by e-mail couple of weeks later. Stamps are cheaper that these stupid calls.

And at last, as Romans said: verba volant, scripta manent. (Words fly, what's written remains).
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:18 pm

Re: Calling an airline to a Premium Rate Phone Number (1-900)

Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:21 pm

My next letter would be to the government commerce regulator if one exists where you live.
Posts: 443
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:34 am

Re: Calling an airline to a Premium Rate Phone Number (1-900)

Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:03 am

a 1-900 number is fine to jump the queue, as long as there's some other way to contact them. Email might have been better, but if impatient pay for the phone call.
Topic Author
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:07 am

Re: Calling an airline to a Premium Rate Phone Number (1-900)

Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:51 am

I actually found out something on their e-mail reply: the topic was: Код бронирования SIU6P [InteractionID:05021104-e658-4226-ac4d-deadda02c557]
That DEADDA (imho) means no more e-mails will be received in concern to this issue. So i forwarded my email to the same address, just changing the subject of the e-mail. Short minutes after, they called me, and we settled the issue without me having to pay any of these premium rates.
There were some laws in the EU trying to regulate these calls, but at the end, they just ended forcing the owners of this lines (e.g. the airlines) to state clearly which is the price of the call, by minute.
I'd love to complain to the government for this, but is the first time i've seen such a number (and wait: +7-800 is a free call, while +7-809 is a very expensive one, while +7-812 is a call to a land line in St Petersburg, which could create some confusion, imho).
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Re: Calling an airline to a Premium Rate Phone Number (1-900)

Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:38 pm

In Germany, you won't find any airline that uses a 900 number, at least not to my knowledge. 900 numbers are mostly known as sex hotlines (as 900-5 numbers) and there are only few other companies that use them. Plus, the time callers have to spend on hold, has to be free of charge by law, or at least you cannot charge extra for putting people on hold, so to avoid that, you either use a number that charges by call (and not by the minute), or a toll free number. Since Germany is full of landline flatrates, even a normal landline number would do.
Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. - Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 208

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