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Tuesday 24 April 2018

'Ryanair has no interest in helping unless you publicly shame them' – Man's outrage after refund refusal for 'surprise Paris holiday'

The Eiffel Tower in Paris
The Eiffel Tower in Paris
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A man who planned a surprise trip to Paris for his girlfriend was left in limbo after Ryanair cancelled his flight and refused to refund him for their holiday package.

Ross Doyle told Independent.ie that he booked the entire trip through Ryanair’s holiday agent.

"I booked the entire holiday with flights and accommodation through Ryanair holidays. Our flight home from Paris to Dublin was cancelled so we decided to apply for a full refund."

Ross was left outraged after "five or six" Ryanair employees repeatedly told him he couldn’t get a refund or that he was through to the wrong department and couldn’t help.

"I rang their phone countless times and got no answer so I finally got through to somebody on their live chat service after trying for a few days.

"They advised me to fill out a refund form online for the flights and told me then I would need to fill out a compensation form for the hotel. I couldn't understand why all of it couldn't be refunded together as it was booked together.”

After almost two weeks, Ross still received no refund.

"They gave me countless excuses of why I couldn’t get the refund. They said my card number was wrong, I didn’t have the right address on my form and so on.

"Eventually after speaking to about five different agents over a few days they advised that it was the Ryanair travel agents details they could see and as far as they are concerned it is not their responsibility anymore as they had processed the money for the flights to them/no mention of the cost of the hotel.

"How can a company deny any responsibility when they are selling holidays through this travel agency on their behalf on their website?"

Ross said that he had been "fobbed off" by customer service representatives online.

"The phone number for the travel agency appears to even be disconnected."

Ross then contacted his bank who said they would step in and dispute the issue with Ryanair on his behalf.

II MICHAE (10) (Read-Only).jpg
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary. Photo: Frank McGrath

"It is no use for O'Leary to get on the TV and say he is trying to help everyone and almost everybody has been either compensated or put on a different flight because I find this very hard to believe based on all the Facebook comments and groups with people sharing very similar issues to myself," he said.

Independent.ie contacted Ryanair for comment and, within an hour, Ross received a call to say his refund will be issued.

"Once the media got involved, Ryanair rang me and said they will issue a refund. It’s absolutely ridiculous that Ryanair cares more about their PR than their customers.

"If you want them to help you have to make a scene on Twitter or contact the media. That’s a disgrace. Imagine how many old people, who aren't familiar with the online world, are being left out to dry?"

Ross said that he will rebook his trip to Paris with a different airline and "will never travel with Ryanair again."

In a statement to Independent.ie, a spokesperson for Ryanair said:

"We regret that our customer service agent provided the wrong information in this instance. A full refund has since been processed and we apologise for the confusion caused."

In a follow up statement, Ryanair said: "Thousands of Ryanair customers contact our customer service department without issue on a daily basis and 99 per cent of claims are processed within seven days. We are continuing to improve and enhance our customer service channels and customers can contact us through a range of options including phone, webchat, email or social media."

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