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Honey deal trap: trick the target into side deals, then renege (Singapore Airlines example)

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Thank you for the update, Ali!

Not happy to read you didn't get your refund, of course, but the bigger picture looks far better.

You handled this with great oversight and a great overall strategy. You secured the trump card, then negotiated from a power position, tested them, used a silver medal to decrease their incentive to cheat, and finally you decided to give them a chance to take the high road.

Personally, at this point, I'd email them again in 10 days time or so, just so that you can make sure they were indeed behaving poorly -and to put them in the tough spot of having to make even more nonsense excuses-.
And I might add in there something like "my bank told me that by now you must see on your end that the complaint is closed", so you basically take their main excuse away.

One more option:

  • Being a cheat with the cheat: years ago a seller cheated me by putting fewer items in the box, and they refused to acknowledge it. I read their eBay feedback and they did that several times. So I ordered again from them with the cheaper shipping option that wasn't tracked. Then opened a PayPal dispute, and they had no proof. I"m sure you could find a way to do something similar, but you'd be wasting time, and you might be better off just dropping it.

And then of course, leaving a bad review online.
Which does two things: makes you feel good to even the score, and helps others.
I always see it as my duty to warn others against cheats.

 

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Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on September 9, 2020, 9:18 pm

Thank you for the update, Ali!

Not happy to read you didn't get your refund, of course, but the bigger picture looks far better.

You handled this with great oversight and a great overall strategy. You secured the trump card, then negotiated from a power position, tested them, used a silver medal to decrease their incentive to cheat, and finally you decided to give them a chance to take the high road.

Personally, at this point, I'd email them again in 10 days time or so, just so that you can make sure they were indeed behaving poorly -and to put them in the tough spot of having to make even more nonsense excuses-.
And I might add in there something like "my bank told me that by now you must see on your end that the complaint is closed", so you basically take their main excuse away.

Thanks for the feedback, Lucio!

I did just that.

They responded the same day:

I end up giving them six days without hearing a word from them, leading me to follow up with this:

And, finally, the words we've all been waiting for:

Awesome :).

We'll have to see if they actually refund the money now, but I'm really just glad Lucio's advice to follow up worked. If Lucio hadn't made the suggestion to reach out again, I would've 100% given up on this negotiation simply out of distrust in the company.

Now, we wait...

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Rock on, Ali, still in the game!

Still not 100% sure yes, but better than 100% sure not.

One of the advantages of asking again is that you deny them the plausible deniability of telling themselves "oh, we were ready to refund, but the customer didn't remind us, and the ticket got lost in our high workload".

By gnawing at them instead you force them into two options:

  1. Admit they were being cheats -and most people don't like doing that-
  2. Take the high road and refund

And if you force them into 1, you also got a stronger case later on if you want to leave a bad review. So you can say, and also prove, that they clearly denied the refund, rather than just postponed it.

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Quick update:

Success! The refund arrived straight to my bank account as they promised 😀

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Rock on, Ali!
Glad to hear that 🙂

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Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on May 2, 2020, 2:26 pm
Quote from Guest on May 1, 2020, 1:48 pm

Wouldn't it be easier to just say hey paypall, fix it? Or am I just being lazy now.

You mean escalating to PayPal to handle on our behalf?

Certainly possible.

But think of the message that would send.
It would make me look like an impatient buyer with a short fuse.
In the description of the claim I said that I tried to cancel first on my dashboard, that I call Singapore Airlines more than once, and I wrote an email and that I gave them enough time to reply

That's all true, by the way.

But if I escalate quickly, I send the opposite message: that I'm not giving Singapore Airlines a chance to say their piece.

Instead, think of what waiting does.

It costs me absolutely nothing to wait.
And the more time passes without a Singapore Airlines official reply, the more they look like an unresponsive, uncaring company.

That really helps my case, and exactly confirms what I claimed in the dispute: that they don't respond.
That stuff weighs on the final decision.

The more SA writes in private while ignoring the official channels, the more they are hurting their case.
They might have wanted to be smart and outsmart the customer -but I'm not yet sure about that, they might just be incompetent, updates to follow-, but they are hurting themselves.

Makes sense?

Lucio, are there any updates on the Singapore Airlines situation?

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Quote from maxlev10 on November 24, 2020, 9:34 pm
Lucio, are there any updates on the Singapore Airlines situation?
Yeah, since it was more than 1.000 I preferred to stick to PayPal and later won the case with PayPal -albeit I would have been very curious to see if it was a trick-.
I wrote Singapore Airlines sometime after anyway, pretending I had no idea, and asking about my refund.
And they pointed me to the PayPal resolution.
That was a small hint that they knew what they were doing, and weren't completely clueless.
But we can't be sure, it's also possible they were going to be honest and refund me without playing any game.
I just didn't 100% trust them to 🙂
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