Only customers’ money flew on Mango’s unhappy day

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Only customers’ money flew on Mango’s unhappy day

‘Technical glitches’ turn ticket special into a nightmare as funds are deducted but bookings go unconfirmed

Consumer journalist
Mango has urged customers to contact the airline through its social media platforms.
Up in the air Mango has urged customers to contact the airline through its social media platforms.
Image: Reuters/Rogan Ward

Top tip for companies punting massive online sales: you’re bound to get an “overwhelming” response, so best you gear up for it.

You’d think that would go without saying, but apparently not.

In the most recent case of  “company fails to prepare for sale response”, Mango Airlines advertised its “Happy Day!” sale last week – with flights starting at R299 – but left many of those who snapped them up with no booking confirmation. For days.

“You spoke and we listened!” Mango posted on Twitter last Tuesday. “The Happy Day Sale is our gift to you this Januworry.”

But it was a very unhappy, worrying experience for many who responded.

Sharon Golding told Times Select that when her son made a booking for return flights from Durban to Cape Town, payment was processed, but shortly afterwards he got a message saying the flights were unavailable.

“But the money was deducted off the account and no call centre agents were available after hours to query that with,” she said.

“The following morning, the lines went unanswered and I saw that the problems were widespread.

“Clearly their system could not support the volume created by the campaign.”

Clearly their system could not support the volume created by the campaign.

She managed to engage with the airline on social media, and was told she’d be contacted shortly. “The campaign was extended for a further two days, but my son couldn’t look for alternate flights as his payment hadn’t been refunded,” she said.

At the weekend, he received confirmation of the flights he’d booked.

“There was no explanation from the airline, but at least he has the flights at the price he wanted,” Golding said.

“Jean R” was among those who posted complaints about their experience of Mango’s Happy Day sale on HelloPeter.

“Something went wrong with the website while I was booking online. The money was taken from my account for my ticket, but my booking does not exist!

“It’s almost impossible to contact Mango. I’ve sent six e-mails with no response.

“I tried phoning, but after holding on for a long time, they couldn’t find my booking and directed my call to accounts. But I held on so long that I gave up!”

Thin on detail

Times Select asked Mango how many people who booked and paid for tickets last week still did not have either confirmed ticket/s or a refund, when that would be remedied, and how many promo tickets were issued.

The response – from Mango’s director of strategy and business development, Sergio Santos-Van Vuuren – was thin on detail: “We had an overwhelming response to The Happy Day Sale and the sharp increase in traffic unfortunately saw our system encounter some technical glitches.

“The system is now up and running and we are closely monitoring it for any further challenges.

“We are aware that some of our guests were negatively affected by these issues and we are dealing with their queries on a case-by-case basis.

“We ask that they contact us through our social media or our call centre so that we can assist them.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

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