Brazillian NightMare

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Mar 5, 2015
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#1
I purchased very expensive tickets(x2) to Brazil for world cup, upon getting to airport I was denied do to Visa issues. I contacted the agency and was assured I could reschedule as long as it was within the year. Although Brazil itself was not my top choice, we accepted reschedule rather than loss. The agent indicated that we must purchase new tickets than apply for refund. We did, but the paper work for refund got lost in spam, so we followed up with a phone call within about a week. We are now being told we missed the deadline and would not be receiving refund.
So now we have paid for airfare twice.. for an expensive vacation that was not high on our list except for that "once in a lifetime" event.
Were blue collar folk and 4,163.66 is alot of money.. we saved a year in expectation for the world cup.. We already lost the cost of hotel room because in Brazil everything in non-refundable despite visa issues.
Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#2
Kris, how long ago did you purchase? Almost every airline will give you a credit you can use to book another flight, usually within a year. You do get charged a cancellation fee but the balance you can usually use for up to a year. (some airlines are only 6 months).

What airline did you book these with?
 
Likes: Grant Ritchie
Mar 5, 2015
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#3
Kris, how long ago did you purchase? Almost every airline will give you a credit you can use to book another flight, usually within a year. You do get charged a cancellation fee but the balance you can usually use for up to a year. (some airlines are only 6 months).

What airline did you book these with?
That's was the problem, we were told to book the flight with the year, which we did and then wait for email for refund of previous flight. That refund instruction got lost in spam and now they say, we can't get the refund because of 1yr deadline.. But we rebooked like we we're suppose to within the deadline. The flight is through TAM.. The Agency was Brazillian Express..
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,418
17,918
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
Ugh, foreign airlines don't always do business like we do. I tried finding contact info but the best I could come up with is the President of TAM is Claudia Sender. If you have already tried this method of contact

https://tam2.custhelp.com/app/utils/login_form

If you have already contacted them that way, I couldn't find an email but found her LinkedIn page that has a button to contact. Maybe you could appeal to her. Since you did what they told you and admitted that the email got caught in their spam, maybe she can make anexception.

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/claudia-sender/0/158/640

Let us know if this helps.
 
Last edited:
Likes: Grant Ritchie
Mar 5, 2015
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#5
Would contacting Tam be helpfull? I have been dealing only with the travel Agency.. Brazillian Express
They are the ones that set up the new flight and sent the instructions for refund.
Which in looking at it does not specify where the refund would come from..
Still a little confused...
 

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
1,592
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#6
I purchased very expensive tickets(x2) to Brazil for world cup, upon getting to airport I was denied do to Visa issues. I contacted the agency and was assured I could reschedule as long as it was within the year. Although Brazil itself was not my top choice, we accepted reschedule rather than loss. The agent indicated that we must purchase new tickets than apply for refund. We did, but the paper work for refund got lost in spam, so we followed up with a phone call within about a week. We are now being told we missed the deadline and would not be receiving refund.
So now we have paid for airfare twice.. for an expensive vacation that was not high on our list except for that "once in a lifetime" event.
Were blue collar folk and 4,163.66 is alot of money.. we saved a year in expectation for the world cup.. We already lost the cost of hotel room because in Brazil everything in non-refundable despite visa issues.
Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Dear Ms. West,

It would seem to me that you should be making a written appeal to the agency, Brazilian Express, that said you could reschedule within a year. Part of the instruction you received was to "apply for refund." If you have no proof that you did (and the telephone is notorious for leading to situations such as this), then you now find yourself in the position of having to ask the agency for a favor.

With that in mind, send a short, polite email to them... and hope for the best.

Good luck!

Grant
 
Likes: joelw
Jan 8, 2015
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#7
I couldn't find an email address for Cláudia Sender Ramirez, CEO of TAM, but I did find this:
Corporate Headquarters
Av Jurandir 856
São Paulo, São Paulo 4072-000

BrazilPhone: 55 11 5582 8817
Fax: 55 11 5582 8149
 
Likes: Grant Ritchie

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,418
17,918
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#8
Where is this agency located? In the US? You may have more recourse if in the US.

You might appeal to the agency one more time because I think you were given bad advice. I have never heard of collecting on a credit this way. The usual way is a credit is issued and you rebook using that credit, less any cancellation fees and difference in air price. I have never heard of applying for a refund after booking new tickets. I'd tell them you are going directly to the airline.

If they are in the US you may be able to go to a Consumer Affairs office if they did give you incorrect advicevas well but one step at a time..
 
Likes: Grant Ritchie
Mar 5, 2015
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#9
The agency is firm on too late. The agent is saying that she is gonna try for some sort of upgrade.. 4,000 dollar upgrade sounds ridiculous.. The agency is in NY .. Brazillian Travel LTD.. They go by Brazillian Express.. I have filed a BBB complaint after what you said.. Is consumer affairs a better avenue?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,418
17,918
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#10
An upgrade to what? That seems to me to say they know they blew it.

The BBB is a good idea but Consumer Affairs in NYC is better and then the AG if necessary.
The BBB really has no power to do anything - all they can do is take a complaint, get an reply from the company but they can't force the agency to do anything.

The Dept. of Consumer Affairs can. They can fine businesses and force resolutions.

Here is the website of the NYC Consumer Affairs.
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dca/html/resources/complaint.shtml

Let us know how you make out.
 
Likes: joelw

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,418
17,918
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#12
I just looked up complaints on this company. They are a ticket consolidator, not a travel agency per se and there are a few complaints about them online, mostly about customer service.

When you purchase tickets through a consolidator, you do not have the same rights as if you purchased directly with an airline. There are often no changes or cancellations permitted when booking with consolidator which is the offset to low prices.

However, your issue is that you did what they said and it seems that the error in your email going into their spam folder wasn't your fault which resulted in not being refunded.

I think you are better off going through the Dept. of Consumer Affairs and also the NY State Attorney General if you cannot get an satisfaction from this company. Most likely if you had the proper documents tot ravel, there would have been no problems. I also don't think TAM will work with you since the tickets were sold through a consolidator.

Here is a link to the NYC Dept. of Consumer Affairs:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dca/html/resources/complaint.shtml
I would write them first and wait to see what they say. If you don't get satisfaction,let us know and we can direct you further. But I'd do one step at a time to get satisfaction, writing to everyone at once won't give you a trail of showing every step you have tried.

And Bodega gave you great advice about the Seller of Travel Laws and possible violation and that would go to the NYS Attorney General.

Their website shows the logo of the something called the US Air Consolidator Association. I have been unable to find a working link to a website for this association. I did find this, but if I click on the link to their members, this company is not listed. (Other consolidators we have used are shown). Sometimes membership in these agencies can help in a dispute.

They also show membership in ASTA, the American Society of Travel Agents. I searched members and don't see them listed there either.
http://asta.org/

http://members.travelresearchonline.com/usaca/comp/building/about.php
Here are some of the links to issues I have found:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopi...ess_a_reputable_travel_agency-Air_Travel.html
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/bacc-travel-new-york-new-york-c229605.html
 

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
1,592
1,020
113
#13
The agency is firm on too late. The agent is saying that she is gonna try for some sort of upgrade.. 4,000 dollar upgrade sounds ridiculous.. The agency is in NY .. Brazillian Travel LTD.. They go by Brazillian Express.. I have filed a BBB complaint after what you said.. Is consumer affairs a better avenue?
Dear Ms. West,

Once you involve a government agency, our chances of being able to help you are greatly reduced. So, before you go down that road, I'd recommend that you complete and submit the Elliott.org "Help" form you'll find here:

Chris will review your case and if there's anything he can do to help... he will!

Grant
 
Sep 8, 2014
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#15
By all means wait until Chris has had a chance to see what he can do before doing anything else and then keep us informed as to your progress if any.