After my blog post about Air Asia‘s treatment of its customers I received a email from the company telling me that the USD 3000 that they have been sitting on since January will be paid back to me in 30 to 60 working days! Worst case that means an additional 3 months of waiting to get my money back. Ain Izzaty, a customer support staff at Air Asia sent me the following explanation why it takes ‘some time’ to pay me back the money they owe me:
I will explain to you why it takes some time to process it. Once the agent place the queue for refund in the systems it will escalated to their manager on duty to verify and approve then the manager will escalate it to the finance department, and once finance department received the report they will check with our accounts department and then they will send the report to the bank. Kindly take note that Air Asia finance department is not based in Kuala Lumpur, its based in Thailand.
Bank will take some time to process it and transfer the fund to your bank, all this process normally takes 30 – 60 working days to process from the date your booking placed on refund queue excluding Saturdays and Sundays. The process get delayed sometimes if there is any problem between bank to bank transfer however the problem will be solved by the bank. We have escalated this matter to finance department to check with the bank and speed up the process. Thank you so much for your patience all this while, kindly check your credit card statement from time to time. We will email you the status once we get the reply from the finance department.
Thank you for flying with Air Asia.
Air Asia, this is total bullsh*t. I used to work for a multinational in finance and know exactly how these procedures work. They can be done in hours or maximum a few days, not months. Do you really think that it makes any difference that your finance department is in Thailand and not in Malaysia? Or do you transport your payment instructions by bicycle from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok?
You are just delaying the payment as much as possible and the customer is obviously not important to you. I hoped the issue would be solved after the long phone call on Friday, but you’re only making it worse. I know you are a low-cost airline but that’s not a justification to treat your customers like dirt. Short-term thinking will hurt your long-term results. The end result is that you lost a customer and that I do not mind spreading the word about this.