Forces Discount Rip-Off

#1
Last week I phoned Virgin to get quotes on a couple of flight tickets with Forces Discount. I was given a quote of just over £800 per ticket for business class (am treating the Frau) but was told I could not book them until I had faxed a certificate of eligibility.

No problems, so I faxed it over within 48hrs and today called to confirm the booking. Now they have my certificate, the price was suddenly £3560 per ticket. Holy Sh1t says I - why the increase? Virgin say they cannot find my original quote and because I have no reference number, it does not exist and that it must have been wrong and that this is the proper fare blah blah blah.

This made my blood boil as they refused to honour the original quote and to make matters worse, she said we only get Forces discount on the full flexible fare and it would be cheaper to take the standard fare they offer (not eligible for any discount and coming in at £1875 per ticket).

As such, they actually offer no discount. We get 20% off £3560 or 0% off £1875 - even a Para can work that maths out.

Typical b4stard greedy airline that quotes knowing you are not eligible to purchase and so cannot get a reference number then throws more turd in your face by only offering a discount off a fare that no-one in their right mind would book.

Rant over but I wish Virgin go under this year (knowing full well they will not).

They are not the only ones who do this - I have got a quote for car hire before with "Forces Discount" only to be told that it would be cheaper without it as they only discount the full rate.

Anyone else know of companies that apply a "Discount" then shaft you with it? We should start a blacklist of those w4nkers.
 
P

PrinceAlbert

Guest
#3
Perhaps you should've asked the name of the person that you were speaking to originally, and asked them for a reference number.

This mistake is the sort of mistake that you only make once.
 
#4
If you know exactly when you called them, you can demand that they review the recording of your call.

Check on your itemised phone-bill.

All call centres record all calls and have to retain them.

You may have to demand it under a freedom of information access, which will take time.

They should honour that quote, but they'll make you jump through hoops to do it.

Virgin are notorious b'stards in terms of dragging their heels with complaints
 
#5
The-Goose said:
Shame t5hat you cannot take this to Branson personally, i am sure that he would have something to say about his customer facing staff.
Well done probably, he is a businessman after all.
 

elovabloke

ADC
Moderator
#6
There seems to be a lot of this going on in one form or another at the moment. Those that appear to offer discounted prices on the Forces Discount site are only using it to advertise their wares. On checking you can get the same deal on the internet anyway.

Will be moving this to the Forces Discount area.
 
#7
Haven't seen you here for a while, BB. Good to see you back.

Pass the details of your complaint across to the Forces Discount people and let them have a go too.

I will admit, Virgin have come through for me in the past. A long time ago, we neckily asked them for prizes for a Coy draw we were doing for guys coming back out of the sandy place. Came through with a couple of tickets to the US and a nice letter too.

Try a little escalation before going for the jugular. You might find that they will be keen to avoid bad publicity
 

elovabloke

ADC
Moderator
#8
in_the_cheapseats said:
Pass the details of your complaint across to the Forces Discount people and let them have a go too.
Which is why I am getting it moved as they occasionaly view the Forces Discount thread.

Virgin main office have also given me some good discounts in the past so woth contacting the customer services branch. Customer.relations@fly.virgin.com
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#9
It'll be a very unusual company indeed if they don't record all calls coming in to them. It may not make any difference as they might just say that phone quotes aren't guaranteed or similar but asking for a tape or transcript of the call may help (name of the person you spoke to / evidence that they said you couldn't book until faxed proof received etc)
 
#10
PrinceAlbert said:
Perhaps you should've asked the name of the person that you were speaking to originally, and asked them for a reference number.

This mistake is the sort of mistake that you only make once.
Therein lies one of the problems - they will not give you a reference number until you have paid and they will not let you pay without certification which you can only fax to them. As such, unless you can fax with them on the line still, the moment you put the phone down your quote can disappear into thin air with no record of it ever existing.

Have already sent very stern email to Virgin.

(ITC - have been in the sand for a few months!!)
 
#11
A similar thing haappened with me back in Feb. Flying back to UK for a week, wanted a hire car to PU from airport and DO on way home, digs out discount book, phones them (Hertz if I remember correctly), gets quote of £189 with FD. Day before flight wife says B-I-L says quote is crap look on the internet. Does as he says and on the same company's website do a search for same car PU/DO points and days - comes back £118 f***ing quid. Immediately phone company tells them to stick their friggin car up their arse and point out that I would report them for false advertising. Smug bas***ds didn't give a shit! Got to airport and got a car straight away for £109 !!!! with 1car1 (gone bust since, I think.) These companies should be named and shamed!
 
#12
I've had the same problem with Kit insurance. The so called forces orientated policies don't actually stand up to scrutiny.

I wanted £10k of cover. Great £180 a year with Forces Financial. Then I had to declare anything above a thousand. This would be ok, but who knows what kit they are always going to get issued on temp loan. After a bit of arguing the premium went up to nearly £500 quid at which point I just hung up.

On the plus side Pax kit insurance was £198 for £10k cover and this included personal possessions. There is no requirement to list specific items so you actually get £10k of cover for the price quoted. - No catches. The cover is underwritten by Royal and Sun Alliance, so no problems if AIG go down the pan.
 
#13
What i tend to do is not to mention any FD and get the best price then at the end let them know. "oh i think your entitled to forces discount arent you? 10%?"



i got about £250 off virgin for my NYC holiday
 
#14
It seems to me that very many of the FDs in the brochure are not good deals: you could do better shopping around. As always, then, the message is 'shop around' and by no means assume it's a ood deal 'cos it's FD. I think the MOD could do much better, with many more, and larger, discounts if they made the effort. In particular, piss-potical local discounts are much less use than decent discounts with major stores and services nationally. And the discounts need to be off the cheapest publically-available prices, which is generally, for example, how the Forces Railcard works (you can see the full range of prices for the journey you want on the rail websites, then the card takes a third of whatever ticket you select).
 
#15
I was distinctly unimpressed with a kit insurer. When I finally hung my boots up I thought I'd better call to ask if as ex-forces I could keep the insurance on.

I was told that because I was not in Forces accommodation the policy would be invalid. So what about all the premiums I paid while serving with the TA? Was my stuff only covered when I'd signed in & was on camp?

I'm a teeny bit hacked off with this as the premiums for my civilian & military belongings & issued kit were far, far more than the insurance on my parents' house & all its contents wherever those contents were taken...
 
#16
Does anyone know any press types that could do a bit of investigative jurno on this? It would be sweet indeed to have the names of these slight-of-hand, duplicitous, scheming money-grabbing, profiteers highlighted for ripping of the forces, particularly, just at a time when things are so pro-armed services. Let's see if they find thier profit margins worth risking for the sake of a few easy quid from someone serving their country.

And while we are at it, flag up the forces gratuity 'cuts' to the more recently retired! 47k for a SSgt retired in 05, 39k for a WO2 in 2010, both 22yr (SSgt B trade, WO2 A trade). Neither commuted. 'Kin w***er, Brown.
 
#17
I'll add it to the list of things to mention at his garden party, we go every year.
 
#18
but on the discount front, forces discount now seems to be invalid in all high street shops, because since the recession all the shops have had all their stock in a permanent 'sale' (by displaying the old price they can make it look like they're doing you a good deal, AND invalidate and discount policies they did have) and you can only use FD on items at their full price.
 
#19
snotgoblin said:
Does anyone know any press types that could do a bit of investigative jurno on this? It would be sweet indeed to have the names of these slight-of-hand, duplicitous, scheming money-grabbing, profiteers highlighted for ripping of the forces, particularly, just at a time when things are so pro-armed services. Let's see if they find thier profit margins worth risking for the sake of a few easy quid from someone serving their country.

And while we are at it, flag up the forces gratuity 'cuts' to the more recently retired! 47k for a SSgt retired in 05, 39k for a WO2 in 2010, both 22yr (SSgt B trade, WO2 A trade). Neither commuted. 'Kin w***er, Brown.
Watchdog? They always love a story like this
 

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