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WARNING: Rapid Rewards Points Are NON-REFUNDABLE!

New Arrival

Dear all future/newer Rapid Rewards members,

 

I spent over 2 (two) hours today trying to get my situation with rapid rewards points fixed and Southwest FAILED miserably on following through with their mission of, "Dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit."

 

Here is the story.  I had approximately 59,000 points in my account.  I needed 112,500 points for the round trip tickets.  I tried to use the 59,000 points, but an error popped up and stated I needed to purchase 53,500 more points for $1,470.  This seemed like a bit too much money for purchasing points, so I looked to see what the round-trip would cost in dollars.  It came out to roughly $1,700, so I just went with using my 59,000 points plus the $1,470 which "technically" saved me $230.  I thought the $1,470 was too much, but I purchased the points anyways and decided to call the ticket booking number 1-800-435-9792 so see if anything could be done about the expensive fee for the points.  

 

After I explained what I did the Southwest representative was in awe with how much the points cost me and mentioned there had to be a glitch/flaw/IT issue on the Southwest side of things so I was put on hold.  After reviewing my options my total cost for the additional points should have only been $850 and NOT $1,470.  May I emphasize none of the figures mentioned include the booking fees paid when purchasing flights using rapid rewards points.  After the Southwest representative explained further they mentioned that I should have purchased 2 (two) one-way tickets as opposed to the round-trip then I could have used my 59,000 points for the first leg of the trip and pay the $850 for the second leg of the trip I asked if there is anything they could do to switch things around and make it right.  The Southwest representative said that I will need to speak with another Southwest customer service representative in the rapid rewards department, so I was transferred there.

 

Here is where the MAJOR lessons learned come into play.  The rapid rewards representative was updated on my situation and began to explain my options.  There were NONE!  Apparently the fine print when you purchase rapid rewards points state that the transaction is non-refundable.  I was shocked.  Isn’t every credit card transaction refundable?  I definitely clicked too soon to approve the $1,470 purchase for the points and was not stuck with the bill.  I was furious to say the least.  I was (and still am) furious, angry, and confused that Southwest, the best in the airline business, the best in class when it comes to customer service, could do NOTHING.  I pleaded, I begged, I tried to put up a fuss, but NOTHING could be done to reverse the rapid rewards points purchase transaction of $1,470.  Lesson learned #1 – DO NOT PURCHASE RAPID REWARDS POINTS WITHOUT READING THE FINE PRINT!!!!  SOUTHWEST IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE POINTS AS THEY ARE MANAGED BY A 3RD PARTY COMPANY NAMED “POINTS.”

 

I hung up the phone and immediately called the rapid rewards number 1-855-234-4654 to speak to another Southwest rapid rewards representative to see if anything could be done on the rapid rewards side of things.  After telling my whole story over AGAIN I was put on hold.  Please keep in mind I am fighting for $1,470 - $850 = $620.  That could have been my rental car for the vacation, tickets to theme parks, dinners, or miscellaneous entertainment while on vacation, but NO.  After the Southwest rapid rewards representative came back on the line they mentioned the previous Southwest book representative was wrong in stating there was a glitch/flaw/IT issue and that the $1,470 could not be reversed and that for all my troubles the MOST Southwest could do is to provide my with $100 Southwest Airline credit for future use.  I begged, pleaded, and tried to compromise because a $100 credit did not come close to $620, but the most Southwest could do is just a measly $100 credit for telling my there was a glitch/flaw/IT issue.  I was again appalled at the customer service and Southwest not living up to their mission.  I even begged and pleaded to just give me more points in lieu of the cash refund and that was not an option either.  Lesson learned #2 – DO NOT PURCHASE ROUND-TRIP TICKETS WITH POINTS UNLESS YOU HAVE ENOUGH POINTS FOR THE WHOLE TRIP.  OTHERWISE, YOU MAY BE BETTER OFF BUYING THE 1ST LEG WITH POINTS AND THE 2ND LEG WITH DOLLARS.  Lesson learned #3 – YOU CAN NOT PURCHASE TICKETS WITH POINTS AND DOLLARS.  TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED WITH EITHER ALL POINTS OR ALL DOLLARS.

 

To date, I’m out $620 because instead of booking two one-way tickets I booked round-trip tickets.  To all newer Southwest customer and rapid rewards customer please do not make the same mistakes I made because it will cost you major dollars in the short-term.  It is very sad and disappointing that Southwest failed to live up to their mission of, “Dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit."

 

I decided not to stop since I still could not believe that I had to eat $620 for an honest mistake and a so-called glitch/flaw/IT issue.  I contacted the rapid rewards credit card to dispute the $1,470 transaction for the points and get the dollars back.  Since the transaction is/was still pending, I was unable to dispute the transaction until it posts.  The credit card representative was confident that the mistake I made could be reversed, so I will just have to call back in 1-2 business days to get the ball rolling on the dispute.  Finally, I called and cancelled my bookings, received the 112,500 bogus rapid rewards points back in my account, and am now hoping that when the credit card disput department contacts Southwest to get the $1,470 they have their bogus rapid reward points back in their hands.

 

I’m now looking at options to switch to a better rewards credit card and airline because Southwest failed to help out a fellow A-lister and loyal customer.

 

Good luck to all your future bookings!

 

-adamj1212

 

 

 

20 REPLIES 20
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Re: WARNING: Rapid Rewards Points Are NON-REFUNDABLE!

Top Contributor

Unfortunately, buying Southwest points is a really bad idea, unless you just need a few to "top off" and purchase a fare. The cost is 2.75 cents each, which is outrageous. That means the price you paid was correct, not a glitch. 😞 

 

Points.com manages the sale/transfer of RR points as a profit center for Southwest, so Southwest will always defer to them when issues arise.

 

That fare seems very high though. That may have been where a glitch was involved. Was that for Wanna Get Away tickets? 

 

Sorry for your expensive lesson. 😞

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Re: WARNING: Rapid Rewards Points Are NON-REFUNDABLE!

New Arrival

Yeah.  I've learned the hard way that's for sure.  The fare was for four Wanna Get Away tickets.  The pricing was right, so that is why I jumped all over them.  Also, flights started being sold out for the dates I wanted, so that is also why I acted fast.  Thanks for the note.

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Re: WARNING: Rapid Rewards Points Are NON-REFUNDABLE!

Top Contributor

Please come back and let us know how the credit card charge back dispute works out. I strongly suspect your request will be denied.

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Re: WARNING: Rapid Rewards Points Are NON-REFUNDABLE!

New Arrival
Solution

All,

 

Just wanted to let everyone know the Chase dispute department stepped up to the plate and were able to get the points refunded!  It is a shame I had to go that route, but it all worked out in the end.  Still flying SWA and love the customer service.  Just hope others don't have to go through the same process I went through.  Have a great rest of your week everyone and thanks for reading!

 

-adamj1212

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Re: WARNING: Rapid Rewards Points Are NON-REFUNDABLE!

Active Member

@chgoflyer wrote:

Unfortunately, buying Southwest points is a really bad idea, unless you just need a few to "top off" and purchase a fare. The cost is 2.75 cents each, which is outrageous. That means the price you paid was correct, not a glitch. 😞 

 

Points.com manages the sale/transfer of RR points as a profit center for Southwest, so Southwest will always defer to them when issues arise.

 

That fare seems very high though. That may have been where a glitch was involved. Was that for Wanna Get Away tickets? 

 

Sorry for your expensive lesson. 😞


Yes indeed it is a very bad ideas. Actually what you should do to use points to buy one way tickets then the other ticket buy with credit cards. It seems your ticket was very high since 1 points = 1.6c so each way cost you more than $800 bucks. If you use points to buy one way ticket, the other one way would cost you around $800 but you would earn some points for that flight.

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Re: WARNING: Rapid Rewards Points Are NON-REFUNDABLE!

New Arrival

Same applies to transferred points. First, I tried to transfer points to a friend. The purchase of $292.50 came up "Pending". Nothing hit my credit card, or my rewards account. My friend saw nothing either. I waited until 12 hours had passed, and nothing, so I called SWA and they too saw nothing pending, and told me I should just book the tickets on my account. I did that, and sure enough, 24 hours after I transferred, the transfer went through. Now I'm out 39,000 points and $292.50 and all the CSR could tell me was to send an email, requesting a refund of points. Nothing about the transaction fee, which as you said is paid to points.com. What a racket!

 

You are now free to get ripped off. Happy Flying!

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Re: WARNING: Rapid Rewards Points Are NON-REFUNDABLE!

New Arrival

I would recommend having your friend transfer the points back to you and then dispute the transaction with your credit card company and say the transaction took too long and/or was made in error.  SWA is still the best in the business when it comes to taking care of their people/customers.  The 3rd party involved "Points" tends to muddy the waters quite a bit.  Please let us know if my suggestion(s) help!  Good luck!

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Re: WARNING: Rapid Rewards Points Are NON-REFUNDABLE!

New Arrival

Yes, DO NOT BUY any repaid reward points.  It is a total scam.  At the end of the day, it is better to buy the ticket directly with credit card.  You have more power to dispute if there is an error.

 

I learned my lesson the hard way too.

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Re: WARNING: Rapid Rewards Points Are NON-REFUNDABLE!

New Arrival

I wish I had read this post before I got taken the same way. When you call Southwest to reserve airfare, you are advised that buying fares online may cost less. This is not the case when booking air fare online with points. When I entered the flights, the message popped up: you must buy points to complete this purchase. There was no advice stating that it may be cheaper to pay cash.

Even though I realized this mistake before I booked the flight, a Southwest Representative told me there is nothing that can be done. Chase has told me I cannot dispute it through the charge card dispute process. I am going to try again tomorrow after reading that Chase got you the refund. I can’t believe there hasn’t been a class action law suit regarding these deceptive practices, but there will be eventually.  The excuse for no refund is that a third party manages this so Southwest is not able to refund, which is ridiculous.  It is very disappointing because I have always thought of Southwest as a Consumer friendly company. Obviously, it is not.