Flybe to the Goon

I booked two Flybe tickets yesterday. At the end of about 37 pages of boxes, ticks, credit checks, checks of the boxes, ticks of the credit and so forth, there was a tempting panel telling me that I could join their loyalty club and get £20 back immediately.

It sounded tempting, so off I went through another five pages of card numbers, postcodes, and inside leg measurements until, in half-point flysh*t at the end of the process, I spotted this:

‘I understand the first 30 days are FREE and that the membership fee of £19.95 a month will be applied if I don’t cancel’

So in short, I was going through all this to get 5p, and if I didn’t take another flight with them this year, I’d be £100 down by Christmas.

Why is this kind of unscrupulous bollocks allowed?

37 thoughts on “Flybe to the Goon

  1. Such corporate dishonesty is commonplace. In my own experience one of the worst offenders is British Telecom who have been allowed by Ofcom to create so-called bundled call packages that few people understand and which invariably cause them to be charged more.

  2. That is the whole corporate world in microcosm that is. You are invited to be grateful for the honour of being ripped off.

  3. Yes this corporate bull is everywhere. My pet hate is the recurring mandate beloved by such as AA and car insurance firms etc.. Sold by the laughable ‘peace of mind should you forget’ rubbish, in reality, we don’t want you to shop around and instead automatically gubb our ludicrously inflated renewal quotation.

  4. Their Bollox is learned from the Banksters et al…

    Best is to adopt Frugalism and spend nought with these types….

    They soon will go to the wall…

    Make Frugalism an Artform and Starve all these Barstards ought of existence…

    Excluding vehicle/fuel/insurance I now live on £4 per week…

  5. There’s one born every minute.

    Brave of you to be flying Flybe, too…. Have they fixed the exhaust in the cabin problem now?

  6. “Why is this kind of unscrupulous bollocks allowed?” Because WE allowed it to happen via slow creep indifference.

    I ‘phoned a clothing company to order a pair of jeans, which were on offer, when I spoke to the operator she asked me my date of birth? I asked why? she said it was company policy to make sure I was over 18? I said to buy jeans? she said it was just comp. policy, I said sorry, no sale, good-bye!

    • Everyone does it WFD. I went to John Lewis only last week to buy a new monitor (for the PC) so I could carry one readings John’s blog. I offered cash. They accepted cash, but along came all the usual – ‘name, address, phone, email, inside leg etc.’ Well, name and address is after all not too bad, but I refused the rest and when I asked why – they said it was to validate the guarantee! He filled in all the boxes with xxxxxxxxx. So you see it is not really necessary. When buying a DVD online from the bbc shop, they wanted my phone no. I typed in just the figure ’1′.
      It was accepted, and their computer went away happy.

  7. Wait til you see what happens when you try to cancel… ahahahahahahaha… phone won’t pick up, customer service drops your call, etc. there are many tricks of this kind… it is a BIG problem in the states… where it is essentially legalized confidence scams…

    • Pretty much the way it usually goes, or cancellations are handled by another department, you have to ring, at £1 a minute…

      Apparently “cash back” through mobile phones are pretty bad.
      Why people are stupid enough to enter an agreement where they get some money back in 6 months if they send form 47c back in triplicate, who knows

  8. And just wait until the banks start charging for current accounts to refuel their bonuses – no-one makes microscopes powerful enough to read the creatively small-print those bastards will use.

  9. Caveat emptor, John, caveat emptor.

    It is, as others have pointed out, a direct consequence of people being effectively dis-empowered by the all-seeing, all-regulating, all-knowing state assuring us that everything is under control and everyone is being protected. Together with a broken education system this has brought about the situation where a large segment of people has become unable to function properly in a market environment, or any environment outside of getting drunk or high for that matter.

    When these things come to light the first reaction from the inadequate and the incompetent is to demand that the law is changed or regulation is brought in to stop it happening again, which is just another step down the same spiral to complete reliance on the state and personal incompetence.

    It is far better if people read the small print and if the small print exceeds your capacity for aggravation simply do not buy while blasting the company both directly and indirectly, so easy to do in these days of ubiquitous social media.

  10. This also demonstrates why authoritarian and specific business regulation does not work. Some greedy bastards will always find a way round them while customers are seduced into thinking they are protected.

    • I’ve just had a run-in with Comet over a device which went faulty after 11 months. On returning it to the store, they told me I had to phone the manufacturer directly (on an 08xx number) to get it fixed under warranty.

      I refused, pointing out that, under the Sale of Goods Act, it is the retailer’s responsibility to orchestrate any warranty event, not mine. After a bit of counter-thumping debate, they crumbled. To make matters worse, the replacement device they provided (quite promptly) was also faulty, so the same debate occurred again. Again, I refused noisily and, again, the store manager eventually crumbled.

      This is a case where a large corporate, albeit a bankrupt one, has a standard procedure which attempts to off-load its legal responsibilities onto the customer, and even at additional cost to the customer. I guess 90% of the customers just quietly roll over and play along with the scam – I’m proud to be one of the noisy 10%.

      • I had a similar experience with an xbox 360 I bought from currys that decided to go tits up 10 months after I bought it with the 3 red light fault, I was politely informed that as it was a well known manufacturer fault I had to send it back to them myself after phoning the obligatory number. The conversation got quite heated as it invariably does at which point the assistant noticed the audience that had amassed to enjoy the show and promptly took said xbox from me and informed me he would take care of business and deal with m$oft himself.

      • Quite right too. It’s all been said but whilst caveat emptor is sound, I think what JW was complaining about is the kind of selling that is so very nearly disingenuous as makes no difference.

  11. M and S are getting sticky over replacements for faulty goods too , returned 2 pairs of cords which had shrunk 2 inches in the leg only to have them returned to me 3 weeks later with the explanation that they had been spun too vigourously and that it was therefore my fault. Peter Christian here I come.

  12. I must say from the service perspective, FlyBe on the one occassion I used them were superb.

    Arriving late at Gatwick as the London Orbital Car Park was closed again, with only 10 mins to scheduled take-off, the children were whisked through UM procedure and put on the plane.

    Try that with Ryanair / Easyjet!

    As for John’s £20/month – isn’t this like Easyjet’s business service?

    J

  13. sad fact that 90% are prepared to accept the terms and dont even learn from their mistakes….. all you really need is a receipt under the SOG act(practicalities aside) if they start to lose bussiness they will change or simplify.
    The other thing is that its chrystal clear that the data protection act (or whatever its called) doesn’t ensure that personal details are secure and not used inscriminately…….i like the xxx solution

  14. For my past few flights to Europe I have used easyjet, which I find reasonably good. But considering a holiday this September in the South of France, I noticed that Ryanair flies to a very nearby airport, so despite having heard all kinds of terrible things about them, i decided to check the price. There were two of us going, so the intiial £131 return seemed quite reasonable, although we would be flying outside the school holiday period and during the week when prices are a little lower.

    Carrying on with the booking proces (which is the only way to get to a final price), I registered that we would both be putting once case each into the hold and both carrying one piece of hand luggage onto the plane (which is no more than I usually take). Immediately the price jumped by £200 – and that was before extras. Lord knows what the total cost would be if the initial flight cost were to rise as the date came ever closer.

    It really is a wonder to me that anyone ever bothers with Ryanair. All the nasty things one hears would seem to be true.

    • “…so despite having heard all kinds of terrible things about them, i decided to check the price.”

      And there’s the rub: no matter how much others whinge and moan and bad mouth these companies, we will always revert to type and believe that we are different, that we will not fall for the con or that we will, somehow, receive better treatment. I do it, you do it, and we all do it. Why? Because ove the decades our collective social mentality has been re-conditioned to a personal, self-centred, selfish mentality where we are subconsciously driven to out-do or ‘get one over’ on our fellows.

      I am not particularly advanced in my years, but I do recall from my youth a time when local communities did rally together to rectify a percived injustice or wrong, a time when you could rely on the support of your neighbours to effect change.

      But of course, that was before BigCorp realised that a cohesive society that communicated and debated is strong and resistant to manipulation, whereas a fragmented society that does not share ideas is easily controlled. BigCorp wants a society of sheeple who will do as they are told and keep earning and spending and paying taxes.

      • Totally agree with that. The corporations think of consumers, customers. The politicians count voters. All of them need workers.
        Human beings, intelligent, educated, innovative, caring, loving, reacting…that’s not their target group.

        “I am a part of your machine
        And my son is the sparepart”
        (words from a beautiful Greek song).

        Or as the fellow British Pink Floyd wrote “Welcome to the machine”.

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