One of the worst things in customer service is when the proverbial hand doesn’t know what the foot is doing. Unfortunately for me, that is the case with Turkish Airlines’ phone representatives, the people in their Manhattan office, and those at the ticket counter at JFK.
I decided one Wednesday evening to get on a Long Island Railroad train out to Jamaica with the intention of talking to the ticket counter representative and get a refund for my plane ticket that had been cancelled now three months earlier. I listened to a podcast and was hopeful that I would get my desired final result.
When I arrived at the ticket counter I found out very quickly that 1) I was not going to be happy that evening and 2) no one in Turkish Airlines customer service knows what the other people do. The representative at the counter told me quickly that I would be unable to get a refund from her and had to send an email to a special address in order to get my refund processed: firstname.lastname@example.org. I tried to push her for another five minutes by asking for a manager and she did, eventually, get someone else to confirm the same thing: I would go home empty-handed.
I was extremely upset since this was such a roundabout excursion to get me to JFK when all I really needed to do was send an email with my ticket number, address, and call to give my credit card number for reimbursement. I sent the email the following day and even requested a refund of the $26.50 that I had spent on the train tickets to get out to JFK.
I communicated with a woman named Semra Ibrahimi Hamza, the New York Refunds officer, concerning my ticket and she eventually did allow me to get a refund. It took a while to contact her by phone to give her my credit card number since as a rule I do not send important details like that over the Internet. In the end, she was also able to refund my train tickets to me.
Fortunately for me, I am made whole again after a three-month long, quadruple-pronged refund request saga. Unfortunately for Turkish Airlines, I will do my best never to fly them again and will share this story with whomever is interested.