This is the final chapter of a story that began a little over a month ago. It started with terrible customer service by the More Rewards people, a redemption partner of Southwest, and ended with terrible customer service by More Rewards. Fortunately, Southwest saved the day.
A couple of months ago, I used some Southwest points through their More Rewards redemption partner for an international trip. While not nearly as good of a redemption as using Southwest points on Southwest, the 1 cent per point valuation worked for me with a trip. Since we are no longer around Southwest routes, it was a good way for me to get some travel value from my points for a trip I did not want to pay for.
Fast forward a bit and the carrier that I was to fly with canceled my flight and rebooked me for the following day. Since that absolutely was not going to work, I called the airline. They directed me to the ticketing agency (More Rewards) who told me that there were no refunds. I wrote about all of this in this post here, but to make it brief, I played ping-pong with phone calls between the two. It took a dozen phone calls and absolutely terrible customer service by the reps at More Rewards (with one lone exception, but still no help) to leave me with no refund of points.
The airline was willing to refund me the money but they needed the request to come from the agency. The agency would not make the request citing Southwest policy. I got a fantastic Southwest customer relations rep who did a three-way call to More Rewards and even he got nowhere.
Current Report – Never Again With More Rewards
So, after a month of having filed the claim, I received my answer back today from Southwest. The answer was that the third party that handles More Rewards, Maritz, would not give back my points. I was really not happy reading that! I mean, they were the ones that messed the whole thing up and would not even work with me to schedule a new flight or give me a voucher towards future travel, to say nothing about giving me my points back. The airline wanted to help, Southwest wanted to help, but More Rewards, aka Maritz, apparently does not know the definition of customer service and refused to help.
I was not the only person that had this happen to them either. I was told of a similar situation where a woman had her hotel reservation canceled by the hotel because the hotel flooded and More Rewards refused to give her a refund either. The hotel had to refund More Rewards but More Rewards would not refund her points. And this is just two cases, I am sure there are many more.
But, Southwest Saved The Day
Fortunately, after the brief moment of frustration, I read the rest of the e-mail. It went on to say that Southwest had made a “Customer Service Adjustment” and given me the points that I had lost. Thank you, Southwest! Let me make this clear – though More Rewards is a redemption program with Southwest, my frustration is in no way at Southwest. Their reps have been fantastic through this whole thing. I appreciate their help and the fact that they gave me my points back, even when More Rewards refused to.
If you happen to use your Southwest points for More Rewards redemption, just make certain that nothing will happen that is out of your hands because you will lose those points! Just stick with using them for Southwest flights, or, if you must, Amazon gift cards. 🙂 You will save yourself a big headache.
As far as Southwest goes, my only disappointment was that they could not have given this customer service adjustment earlier while they worked with the Maritz people. It turned out that I had needed to book a flight for family and needed to transfer my Ultimate Reward points over to do it. So, what could have been a redemption that cleared out my account instead required me to transfer more points because my points were missing for a month. But, again, I am just thankful that Southwest stepped in and gave them back.