GoIbibo.com is an online travel website, one of the many in India. To set themselves out of the crowd, this year they released with an aggressive TV campaign which took on the offline travel agents community bigtime, showing them in poor light. Here is one of the TVC, in Hindi, where they show that offline OTAs take a lot of dilly-dallying to process ticket refunds and how they are better.
I don’t use their website frequently, but when they offered a competitive price on a Kingfisher Airlines ticket a while back, which was a lower fare class than even Kingfisher’s own website, it was only logical to book with them. I know I was taking a risk by booking Kingfisher, but this was a leisure trip, and I could have afforded a little delay since their schedule at the time of booking was stable. I did book some insurance along as well, just in case…
Kingfisher first decided to cancel my flight (a morning one) and put me on an evening flight. As usual, this made me eligible for a full refund. However, when I called, GoIbibo put the ball back in my court saying they cannot proceed with a full refund until the airline approves, and puts in a note to this effect on the ticket record. They could not contact them because Kingfisher was not taking calls, and I was supposed to contact Kingfisher, get them to put the note in the ticket, and then they would process the refund.
What is funny is, someone claiming they are good at it, eventually wants the customer to do their job. And this was 10 days before the flight, so, I gave them the benefit of doubt. A week later, I was still trying, and this time on email, I get the same response, which I reproduce for you here:
Luckily for me, Kingfisher contacted me after a twitter message to them, and organised to update the record and I got my refund back quickly. But I had do take initiative here, otherwise the website would have hidden under the garb of Kingfisher strike and they are not liable to pay!
Just makes me wonder, are they really as good as they claim to be? Is their marketing message really true or just advertisement to drive traffic to their website? What has been your experience with them?