Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

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cowdogman
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Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by cowdogman »

Have been trying to cancel a hotel reservation with Chase Travel and get Chase Ultimate Rewards points reinstated since Tuesday.

On Tuesday the Chase Travel rep told me, after being put on hold, that she couldn't reach the hotel, but would keep trying and email me. The next day I received an email from Chase saying Chase could still not reach the hotel ("We have made multiple attempts but are still in the process of making contact"). So I called the hotel myself and the call was answered on the first ring and I was able to speak to a reservations person immediately. I didn't cancel because Chase needs to cancel for me to get my points back.

I called Chase Travel several times Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and was disconnected every time, most of the time after being on hold 20 to 60 minutes. I finally got a live person on Friday but she said all systems were down and the call center was unable to make any outgoing calls, but she said someone would contact me within 4 hours. 4 hours later I got an email saying Chase couldn't reach the hotel ("We have made multiple attempts but are still in the process of making contact"--yes, same message--word for word).

I tried the Visa Infinite concierge (I have the Sapphire Reserve) on Friday and the rep said she couldn't help, but that she had been hearing stories similar to mine all day.

I understand these are difficult times but Chase's incompetence and misleading statements ("we can't reach the hotel") are too much.

I tried Chase Travel again this morning. On hold for 64 minutes then disconnected.

Contrast this with Delta. I called Delta earlier in the week and chose the call-back option. It took 13 hours for a callback (and Delta called at 4:30AM in the morning!) but Delta offered a full cash refund and the money was in my credit card account the next day.

I have been thinking of just going to cash rebates (2% at Fidelity or Citibank) and booking directly from now on. After this experience, I will be using my Fidelity card for everything--and once this gets sorted out and my UR points used I'll be closing my Reserve account (probably downgrade to Preferred for the car rental insurance). The extra control over travel is worth losing some additional fraction of a point over 2%.

And yes, I know the Reserve card offers other benefits, but I really don't use them (other than the $300 credit).
protagonist
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by protagonist »

Depending on where the hotel is located, it could be that it is closed (or at least grossly understaffed) due to coronavirus fears. This might not be Chase's fault. Ultimately, if they cannot contact the hotel, my guess is that Chase will make good and you will not be charged for the cancellation.
Seasonal
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by Seasonal »

Can you get Chase on the phone and then conference in the hotel?

If you get the hotel to cancel, would you get your points back? If that won't happen automatically, would it help to tell Chase you're going to do that?

Can you send an email to both of them?
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cowdogman
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by cowdogman »

The hotel is in LA and is a fairly large stand-alone hotel. I spoke to the hotel reservations department 3 times on Friday--without delay.

I have not been able to get a live person on the Chase 800 number since Tuesday (after probably 25 tries with lengthy holds before being disconnected)--except once on Thursday, when I was asked to call back because no agents were available and Friday, when I was told the systems were down (see OP). My wife is on hold right now.

A simple message at the beginning of the call saying the systems are down and to please call back would be helpful.

I know Chase somewhat recently subcontracted its travel arrangements to Expedia, which I am guessing is part of the problem here--as I suspect Expedia is reeling right now.

I know these are difficult times. My main point is that I will not use an intermediary again for booking, and will just take the 2% cash-back on credit card spending. Points are not worth the hassle (and this is not my first trouble with Chase Travel--I booked a family flight thru Chase and right before the flight I got a message from the airline that the booking was suspended and subject to cancellation because Chase never paid for the tickets).
Seasonal
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by Seasonal »

I've been hesitant to use the Chase portal due to distrust of Expedia.

If you can transfer points to airlines and hotels, the Chase can be worth it. Otherwise, you get 3% back on travel (you can redeem points for cash), which is more than Citi Double Cash's 2%. If other benefits have no value, the additional 1% is only worthwhile if you spend more than $25,000/year on travel and dining. Compared to Citi, CSR has no foreign exchange fee and trip delay and cancellation insurance.

There are some long threads here on rewards, the CSR, etc.
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by cowdogman »

Seasonal wrote: Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:36 pm I've been hesitant to use the Chase portal due to distrust of Expedia.

If you can transfer points to airlines and hotels, the Chase can be worth it. Otherwise, you get 3% back on travel (you can redeem points for cash), which is more than Citi Double Cash's 2%. If other benefits have no value, the additional 1% is only worthwhile if you spend more than $25,000/year on travel and dining. Compared to Citi, CSR has no foreign exchange fee and trip delay and cancellation insurance.

There are some long threads here on rewards, the CSR, etc.
Thanks. My preferred airline is Delta, with American as a back up (if absolutely necessary). Neither has a relationship with Chase--so the transfer option isn't really helpful.

I tend to put large $ amount on cards and so rarely pay $ for travel--so the 3% back on Chase Reserve is of limited use. Even going forward the extra 1% is not worth $625 (with authorized user) per year (for me).

The Reserve is good for me for the $300 credit and the 150% point value for booking thru Chase Travel, but if I take Chase Travel out of the equation (which I am), it's not worth it. I know it is a good card for a lot of other people.

My wife gave up and handed me her phone--now been on hold for 1 hour 35 minutes. At least I haven't been disconnected yet.
rich126
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by rich126 »

Most airlines and probably other travel related companies are having issues with call volumes. I've gotten emails from Delta and AA both saying if you are having issues, wait until 72 hrs prior to your flight before calling to cancel. I guess they are trying to space out the calls but you know how people panic and how some are already within that window.

I'm guessing Chase is having similar issues and if they also have to contact a hotel/airline to cancel then you have two delays nested together.

Sucks for everyone but this is a tough situation and you know no company is staffed for the extreme situation, only for normal times. Similar issues happen during huge snow storms.

Good luck. I know it would drive me crazy as well since I have no patience.
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cowdogman
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by cowdogman »

rich126 wrote: Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:15 pm Sucks for everyone but this is a tough situation and you know no company is staffed for the extreme situation, only for normal times. Similar issues happen during huge snow storms.
Understand. It's a tough situation and I'm trying to keep some perspective. Our check in date is Thursday.

I'm guessing it is a complete system meltdown and the "we can't reach the hotel" messages are because Chase Travel cannot make outgoing calls (which is one of the things the rep told me yesterday). That's why I keep calling, hoping the systems are back up.

It's now over 2 hours and the hold music has stopped. That is a sign I will be disconnected in a couple minutes. Wait, I have been disconnected.
rich126
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by rich126 »

cowdogman wrote: Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:35 pm
rich126 wrote: Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:15 pm Sucks for everyone but this is a tough situation and you know no company is staffed for the extreme situation, only for normal times. Similar issues happen during huge snow storms.
Understand. It's a tough situation and I'm trying to keep some perspective. Our check in date is Thursday.

I'm guessing it is a complete system meltdown and the "we can't reach the hotel" messages are because Chase Travel cannot make outgoing calls (which is one of the things the rep told me yesterday). That's why I keep calling, hoping the systems are back up.

It's now over 2 hours and the hold music has stopped. That is a sign I will be disconnected in a couple minutes. Wait, I have been disconnected.
This might be pointless but have you tried sending them a tweet? Once in a while you get lucky.
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cowdogman
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by cowdogman »

rich126 wrote: Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:39 pm This might be pointless but have you tried sending them a tweet? Once in a while you get lucky.
Bogleheads.org is the closest I get to social media. But thanks for the suggestion.
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by cowdogman »

Finally got through and was able to cancel and be refunded points (a little over $1,000 worth).

Tried to ask what had been happening for the last few days, and got a vague "it's been crazy" response.

Nice rep who was very helpful. Got to be a tough job this week for at least a couple different reasons.
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by ClaycordJCA »

I couldn’t get through to Costco Travel at all to cancel a hotel and rental car in Maui next week. When I called and should have been through to a representative I instead got a recording stating that due to unprecedented call volume they could not accept my call. I tried multiple times Thursday, yesterday and this morning. Ultimately, I called the car rental company and then hotel and told them that I could not reach Costco Travel and would not arrive and to please make a note of it. I then called Citi and disputed the charge since I attempted to cancel, but Costco prevented me from doing so.
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by Nate79 »

ClaycordJCA wrote: Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:20 pm I couldn’t get through to Costco Travel at all to cancel a hotel and rental car in Maui next week. When I called and should have been through to a representative I instead got a recording stating that due to unprecedented call volume they could not accept my call. I tried multiple times Thursday, yesterday and this morning. Ultimately, I called the car rental company and then hotel and told them that I could not reach Costco Travel and would not arrive and to please make a note of it. I then called Citi and disputed the charge since I attempted to cancel, but Costco prevented me from doing so.
I just cancelled a rental car on Costco travels website. One click and done. Couldn't you so the same?
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by ClaycordJCA »

Nate79 wrote: Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:28 pm
ClaycordJCA wrote: Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:20 pm I couldn’t get through to Costco Travel at all to cancel a hotel and rental car in Maui next week. When I called and should have been through to a representative I instead got a recording stating that due to unprecedented call volume they could not accept my call. I tried multiple times Thursday, yesterday and this morning. Ultimately, I called the car rental company and then hotel and told them that I could not reach Costco Travel and would not arrive and to please make a note of it. I then called Citi and disputed the charge since I attempted to cancel, but Costco prevented me from doing so.
I just cancelled a rental car on Costco travels website. One click and done. Couldn't you so the same?
The confirmation emails I received instructed me to call customer service to cancel. I was following their instructions.
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by JaneyLH »

My husband and I are stuck in Sydney Australia as our cruise to New Zealand has been cancelled and our return from NZ was booked through Chase Travel and they are not answering their phone. The main Chase customer service person has apologized but informed us we cannot take advantage of the airline’s offer to make a free change up except through the Chase Travel folks. We just booked a return flight from Sydney but that will be on our dime. We have confirmed that we must make the change through Chase Travel as they acted as our travel agency.

I have been wondering if I could dispute the airfare charge (booked last November) based in their inability to provide customer service that should Be able to give us a free flight change. I have 20 hours to get through or face the loss of our prepaid airfare home due to the Wr-hour period when we can cancel this new reservation and get a full refund. Of course we will keep on trying, but we have been listening to the same Kenny G song for 8 hours now, on 2 phones, out of sync.
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by Seasonal »

JaneyLH wrote: Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:43 pm My husband and I are stuck in Sydney Australia as our cruise to New Zealand has been cancelled and our return from NZ was booked through Chase Travel and they are not answering their phone. The main Chase customer service person has apologized but informed us we cannot take advantage of the airline’s offer to make a free change up except through the Chase Travel folks. We just booked a return flight from Sydney but that will be on our dime. We have confirmed that we must make the change through Chase Travel as they acted as our travel agency.

I have been wondering if I could dispute the airfare charge (booked last November) based in their inability to provide customer service that should Be able to give us a free flight change. I have 20 hours to get through or face the loss of our prepaid airfare home due to the Wr-hour period when we can cancel this new reservation and get a full refund. Of course we will keep on trying, but we have been listening to the same Kenny G song for 8 hours now, on 2 phones, out of sync.
Did the airline confirm you must make the change through Chase? I'd try both Chase and the airline through twitter or facebook - it may not work but can't hurt. Disputing the charge probably couldn't hurt.

Some airlines are being flexible with the time to cancel flights. For example, Delta is allowing cancellations even after the flight starts.

Good luck.
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by cowdogman »

JaneyLH wrote: Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:43 pm The main Chase customer service person has apologized but informed us we cannot take advantage of the airline’s offer to make a free change up except through the Chase Travel folks.
I don't understand this. If the airline is offering to make the change for free, why not make the change? If you're looking for a $ or point refund from Chase, I agree that you must deal with Chase, but free changes to the itinerary should not need to involve Chase.

Keep trying Chase on the phone. It eventually paid off for us.
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by Seasonal »

cowdogman wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:26 am
JaneyLH wrote: Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:43 pm The main Chase customer service person has apologized but informed us we cannot take advantage of the airline’s offer to make a free change up except through the Chase Travel folks.
I don't understand this. If the airline is offering to make the change for free, why not make the change? If you're looking for a $ or point refund from Chase, I agree that you must deal with Chase, but free changes to the itinerary should not need to involve Chase.

Keep trying Chase on the phone. It eventually paid off for us.
Airlines typically say that if a flight is booked through a travel agent, only the travel agent may make changes (at least until the flight goes under airport control, at which point only airport agents can make changes). I'd hope airlines would waive those rules, but am not sure if they are able.
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by Kaizen Soze »

I've been trying to get in contact with Chase Travel for days. I tried to cancel with the airline directly, but it must be through Chase Travel.

This morning I was on hold for 2h 45min, then the system went down and the call dropped. I'm empathetic with the situation they are in, I just hope they're empathetic with the situation we are in and don't hold us accountable for being unable to cancel.
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Re: Chase Travel--Ultimate Rewards--Systems Down

Post by JaneyLH »

Seasonal wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 12:16 pm
cowdogman wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:26 am
JaneyLH wrote: Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:43 pm The main Chase customer service person has apologized but informed us we cannot take advantage of the airline’s offer to make a free change up except through the Chase Travel folks.
I don't understand this. If the airline is offering to make the change for free, why not make the change? If you're looking for a $ or point refund from Chase, I agree that you must deal with Chase, but free changes to the itinerary should not need to involve Chase.

Keep trying Chase on the phone. It eventually paid off for us.
Airlines typically say that if a flight is booked through a travel agent, only the travel agent may make changes (at least until the flight goes under airport control, at which point only airport agents can make changes). I'd hope airlines would waive those rules, but am not sure if they are able.
Yes, this is exactly the situation. The airline online system told us we could not change the flight and would have to contact our travel agent. But in this case, we could reach neither Chase Travel nor New Zealand Air. Still can't.
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