Booked flight with Bravofly. They sought and received an authorisation on my Visa debit card which was approved. Almost immediately sent me an email saying my purchase was cancelled "because a problem occurred during security controls in our system". One week later, my bank account is still down the authorisation amount and the bank tells me this may last another week.
To say this authorisation is not a charge is disingenuous as I do not have the money available to me. If it took Bravofly just a minute to determine they could not fill my booking 'for security reasons' why not do this check FIRST before they process an authorisation request.
Believe me, I do not have the confidence to ever use these people again - and cannot send an enquiry email as the only contact method is a charged phone line.
DEFINITELY NOT A RELIABLE OR HONORABLE BOOKING AGENT...
I just (2 weeks later) received a standard response from Bravofly stating (inter alia):
>>a credit card limit block means that no charge is made to your credit card and gives rise to no interest or clearing days. The amount the customer should pay on booking is simply 'frozen' and not withdrawn from the customer's available funds.
Should the booking not be confirmed, no charges will be made by either Bravofly or the airline. We remind you that he amount 'frozen' will be released immediately.
However, the time actually necessary to return the available credit depends on the specific rules of each Bank. As such, the funds may not actually be available immediately.<<<
I have responded as follows and am furious...
Well, while the information here may be strictly speaking correct, you have very cleverly avoided the effects.
Your authorisation had the effect of reducing my available balance on my Visa debit card by $200.
That reduction is *still* in place after 14 days as my bank advised the hold is in place for that long before auto-reversing.
You failed to even make an attempt to process my booking despite seeking the authorisation.
You could have charged cents or even $1 against the authorisation to close and release it.
Your standard response which suggests you have caused no harm or problems either indicates a stunning ignorance of the facts pertaining to your industry or a callous and calculated attempt to abdicate any responsibility.
If you believe that I would ever consider again using an organisation so blind to the needs of its customers, then you are as misguided concerning customer loyalty as you are concerning customer service. I trust in this context you will consider the loyalty maxim that good service is referred to 5 people, but bad service is reported to twenty.
Why not do your internal security check FIRST and only if successful, proceed to seeking an authorisation on the customer's card. And please please do not tell me it's your system that dictates the order. If it is, then change your system!
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