Virgin Blue – B-Secure Travel Insurance scull duggery!

I just booked a return flight to Perth.

I ticked three boxes: X1 flight over, X1 flight home, X1 “Yes, I agree to the booking terms and conditions”.

When on the web, click to select is the standard.

Clicked through to the check out and paid, there was some extras offered, but I skimmed straight past them and thought “Like hell! I’m clicking on any more buttons, insurance is for losers and I don’t believe in global warming! (see earlier post for context)“.

Put in the card details and Viola!

To my surprise I get a travel insurance email stating:

“Dear Ms Bizzack -a-DooK (not my real name)

Thank you for purchasing B-Secure Travel Insurance!

Our policy is provided through Mondial Assistance, one of the worlds most trusted assistance providers. The insurance is underwritten through Allianz Australia Insurance Limited, one of the largest global insurers.”

HOLD UP! I didn’t click anything, upon further thought, I deduced, a free automatic promotional bonus, COOL, that’s very nice after a hard Friday.

After reading the small print I noticed it states there is a $9.00 charge, there is a 14 day cooling off period, but B-Secure reserves the right to withhold a reversal fee charge which is not stated.

What the, WHAT THE?

I emailed straight away, and made a follow up call (please listen to the lovely hold message, to be attached shortly, which you will see had a remarkable effect in relaxing me further) which advised me of course that particular service team will be back Monday but I was advised to make a further follow up call as they may not get my email.

I told the lady that I was automatically charged, she said “That is not correct sir, you have have to check the box”, I said “I did not select anything other than my flights, I just clicked through to finalise my account payment. I would like the charge reversed thank you!”

See attached screen shot, a default yes is the opposite of web protocols, tick the box to not be charged, the web is built on, tick the box to select.

And as you can see from the picture and explanation, default action for Fly Carbon Neutral NIL!

virgin blue evidence article 1

Who, WHAT?I wonder how many older people, people new to the web, busy people have gone through this, how many people have not even noticed this involuntary fee!

It seems close to several postal precedents where they mail you the ticket or contract, you don’t respond, IE the small print will say no reply will be taken as acceptance of this offer, they then send you the bill for $50.00 for the tickets.

Please le tme know if you have had similar experiences.

Janet Let Grause the IV

UP DATE: After 4 phone calls and an email I caught B-Secure, will happily refund the money, just need to wait the 21 days reversal process…


~ by jamie andrei on March 7, 2008.

8 Responses to “Virgin Blue – B-Secure Travel Insurance scull duggery!”

  1. My advice is to pursue this with Virgin Blue.

    If that fails, take it to your state’s fair trading department and lodge a complaint with your credit card provider so they can start chargeback processes for the amount in question.

  2. Same problem with me – I booked this last night and SPECIFICALLY selected “No thanks” to the insurance policy section – and AFTER payment, what do I get? A purchased policy! My first phone call was from an unfriendly staff who requested specifically for the policy code without which she can’t cancelled as “the system takes 3 days to load”… what the hell kind of automated system is that?!! My second phone call led me to a receptionist who told me to call back on Monday. I asked her about an email address and she told me to go onto the website. I CANT FIND IT!!! It’s such a hassle for $9 but it’s the ethics of it…

  3. It’s definitely the principle of it and not the $ 9. Virgin Blue is to blame for the way they set up the website. I had unticked the box for the travel insurance and for some reason I had to go back and the box automatically reset itself with a tick which i did not notice. I rang up B-secure and cancelled the insurance (who needs a $ 9 insurance for a flight which costs $ 139? They were going to refund the money. That was on 12 May but the money has not been refunded up to date (16 June)
    Today when I phone them again I am told there is no record of my cancellation and I tell them “Lovely, then I contact Fair Trading”. After that a supervisor is contacted and they are going to refund the money today. Apparently they aren’t happy with the way Virgin Blue has set up the web site either. However, I am not so sure whether they are going to refund the money.In any case, I think I’ll contact Fair Trading anyway and complain about Virgin Blue’s website.

  4. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Interwoven.

  5. The same experience.
    I have made booking of 20 person and it is too many things to check it, that I have ignored the button, where is preset the insurance for 9 dollars. For 20 people, it is 180 dollars lost, and it is very difficult look for the right phone number, which is usable from Europe (from Virgin Blue I have got only 1800… phone).
    This is not right – why the insurance for the luggage, which is in duty of Virgin Blue? And how can happen, that I buy the service, which I didnt agree before?

    Vladimir, Czech republic

  6. I had the same experience am still trying to get my money back!! I booked the flights on saturday so once I realised I had paid for insurance I didn’t request, I called the number but they were closed. I called on the Monday and cancelled and was told that the money would be refunded. 15 days later I called again and was told the money should be in my account within the next 3 days. 5 days passed the money was still not paid & I called back. I was told there wasn’t any notes that I had cancelled my account!!!!- after being put on hold several times I was disconnected. I called back and spoke with somebody else and they said there are notes!! but no action has been taken to refund I have set this up for you and you should have your money in 7-10 working days. Its the 10th day guess what no refund!! unfortunately they are closed and tomorrow is saturday – this “cooling off refund” is just NOT COOL it has aggrevated me soOOOO much. If there is nothing done Monday i will be lodging an official complaint.

  7. I am simply trying to upgrade my insurance with B-secure but I have not received a policy number since paying some weeks ago, accidentally including the $9 insurance, which I had had trouble upgrading before. It is much easier not to buy it and to buy the correct insurance directly instead of trying to upgrade. I have phoned three times and got nowhere. Very annoying. It is very difficult to find any direct contact information. I found out from Virgin Blue a 1800 number but that is only available 9-5 Monday to Friday and appears to be for claims. I just want my insurance certificate number and why hasn’t it been e-mailed to me? At least I can complain on your web site but I’d much rather complain to them directly and get the upgrade I need.

  8. See my previous comments.

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