Value for Money
1Value for Money
Unethical and Incompetent. Please Don't Use Budget Direct
We have all probably heard of it happening in the broader insurance company community whereby the Insurer deliberately creates delays and generally makes it so hard for the consumers to pursue legitimate claims that the claimants eventually give up. Going on our own personal experiences and by looking at so many other similar instances documented on this site, it is very apparent that Budget Direct are the masters of employing these tactics. We lodged our claim for international flight refunds (flights cancelled by the airline)then followed up several times when nothing happened and were then asked to submit "additional" information (which we had already previously submitted) then chased up again and again. After months of deliberate delays our claim was rejected as the airline, South African Airways (SAA), have offered to anyone holding a cancelled ticket a "credit" against future travel. However as the trip for us was a one-off and we will never be flying long-haul again due to our age and health reasons (further complicated by the advent of Covid 19). Additionally SAA have been placed in something akin to Receivership with the SA Government making a recent commitment to inject funds some funds into a new national carrier. SAA announced that they will not be flying into Australia and have already sold the only planes that were capable of flying that route. So even if we were wanting to fly again we could not use the so-called credit for a flight out of Australia.
As a result of all this we then asked that the rejection be reviewed by a Manager/Team Leader in accordance with Stage One of the Budget Direct Dispute Resolution. We were promised written determination within ten business days and then fifteen business days but nothing ever happened well beyond that period. No contact, no apologies just silence.
Now after further urging from us we today received an email saying the claim is still rejected even though we had comprehensive cover but we can further challenge the decision by going to Stage 2. Here is how Budget Direct summarised things:
"Given the above information, we are only able to provide coverage for items which you are unable to recover from any other source and you must take all reasonable steps to reduce your loss which could possibly lead to a claim. As you have been offered credits for the bookings you are claiming, this is considered as recovering the costs from the source and accepting these is considered a step which you could take to reduce your loss. Therefore the costs are outside the scope of the policy."
Apparently according to Budget Direct it doesn't matter that the offered "credit" cannot be used by us or the fact that SAA are unable to provide anyone future flights from Australia it is simply a matter that the airline has made an offer and we according to Budget Direct's interpretation are obliged to accept a worthless offer. Go figure.........
So don't be fooled by the cheap insurance quote you may get from Budget Direct as its real value will only be exposed if you have to make a claim. Our strongest recommendation to anyone considering using Budget Direct is DON'T USE THEM AS THEY ARE TOTALLY UNETHICAL.