Ryanair redeemed by giving refund

Just as I thought I was loosing yet another battle with a faceless corporation filled with robot drones I received some good news the other week.

The dispute I had with Ryanair about a problem with purchasing tickets from their website.Their website crashed and I was left unsure whether I actually purchased the ticket as I could not confirm the reservation through the Ryanair website using my payment details.

After trying contacting Ryanair through various e-mails that apparently don’t work I tried writing to Ryanair’s corporate head office in Dublin, Ireland. No luck.

I then also tried cancelling my payment trough my credit card company. In the end Ryanair seemed to have corrected the problem as they produced the credit company proof of my purchase and voilà - I could confirm the ticket on the website. However this was all to late as time was running out and I was forced to make alternative arrangements. My holiday was in August and I was in danger of not being able to travel at all!

Recently they seem to have updated the information on their website on how to file complaints. I wrote to the address stating the problem. Not expecting anything to happen and was preparing to accept that I just lost about £90 I was very surprised to receive an email from Ryanair:

Dear Mr McDowell, Following your recent refund request for booking confirmation number [censored]. We confirm that your refund request has been processed back to the form of payment used to pay for your booking. Your issuing bank will take 5-7 working days to process this refund amount back to your account. The amount refunded to your credit/debit card is GBP 89.40 Yours sincerely Ryanair Customer Services

This still does make me completely happy. How come a customer does not have implicit rights to cancel his/her order in this case. Consumers should be better protected as it cannot be left to corporations big or small to make their mind up about it by themselves. The market apparently isn’t competitive enough or developed enough so that we can trust corporations to do the right thing. I would suggest this would be better off as a pan-EU legislation rather than leaving it to each individual EU member.

Customers are usually allowed to cancel their order without explanation as long as its not something that is made specifically for the user and/or it cannot be resold to another customer. This is clearly not the case with airline tickets as they can be resold very quickly (usually for an even higher price as these tend to be higher the closer you are to the departure date).

I really feel strongly about this as we are often, as consumers, left to the mercy of companies who can quite strongly defend their own interests - but often we either can’t defend ourselves our cannot afford it. I have been strongly tempted to get in touch with the local M.P. (member of parliament) who, in my case, is Mr. Stephen Crabb (cons).