Last February 11, we posted a feature about unfortunate experiences with CashCashPinoy’s travel vouchers. It was wildly received, with many of you also sharing your experiences over FaceBook.
Yesterday, February 12, the CEO of CashCashPinoy reached out to us to explain their side of the story. And since we would like to think of ourselves as very objective people, we decided to give the company the benefit of the doubt. We therefore downgraded the title of the original story from “CashCashPinoy Travel Scam!” to “CashCashPinoy Travel Scandal.” This reflects the benefit of the doubt — “scam” implies purposeful wrongdoing, while “scandal” implies something wrong and controversial, which is a big downgrade.
If you, like many of us, are furious about the situation as described in the original post, you might think that this downgrade is uncalled for. However, on tomorrow’s post, I will explain why it’s more “scandal” than “scam.” I will then end with courses of action that I strongly suggest the company take in order to avoid these situations again.
For now, however, we are posting the letter of apology from CashCashPinoy’s CEO, Frederic Levy. Key point to consider is their statement that (1) there is no intent to mislead, and (2) travel costs are subject to wild fluctuations that are beyond their control. Here it is:
First of all, we understand how people may feel misled by this situation and apologize for this. We do, however, wish to elaborate on several inaccuracies in this post, and hope to shed light on the inner workings of travel deal packages.At CashCashPinoy, we pride ourselves in verifying and validating every partner merchant promo offered, and we make sure all deals can be fulfilled by our partner merchants. Authenticity and transparency in our promos is our primary concern since our opening in 2010.It is common practice in international travel package offers that certain fees are not included in the price given to clients. This applies not only to the price of the CashCashPinoy promos offered, but also to the ‘Original Price’ of every promo. This allows potential buyers to compare both original and the offered CCP deal price directly.That being said, we do not hide what isn’t included in small print, but all details are explicitly listed and easily found on the site. We even use a contrast-rich button to call out further details.CCP is Co-founder of the Digital Commerce Association of the Philippines (DCOM - http://dcom.ph) and we constantly adhere to legal best practices. We wish to emphasise that every promo offered on our site is submitted to the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI - http://dti.gov.ph). They pass regulatory verification and are approved before being offered to the public.Every month, thousands of Filipinos travel making use of CCP travel deals and in 2013, we had less than 0.1% complaints. Major part of these complaints were resolved satisfactorily with the help of DTI, and CCP has never been fined by DTI for malpractice or misleading promos.While we would love to be able to show the total price of every offer, this is sadly not possible because surcharges are subject to constantly changing rates and cannot be calculated in advance. Several factors that affect these fluctuations include, but are not limited to, travel dates, dollar exchange rates, schedule of the flight… just to name a few. Additional rates can thus go from as little as 20% up to 75% of the package price in some specific cases, and this is why the exact amounts can only be determined when the trip is actually booked.We at CashCashPinoy live and breathe customer satisfaction and are always open to communication and dialogue. While we admit that sometimes our initial response may come across as a non-flexible application of the site’s Terms & Condition and Policy, our goal at the end of the day is to offer our customers the real deal and ensure that we come to a reasonable agreement if issues arise. In fact, we have refunded unsatisfied customers and have also ended relationships with many partner merchants for delivering unsatisfactory products.We welcome customer inquiries, both pre-purchase and post-purchase, so as to avoid any misunderstanding and resolve possible issues because customer satisfaction is our ethos.
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