By Lee Jong-hwan
Seoul, June 27 (World Korean News)= "When you cancel your tickets, we usually receive a cancellation notice after 15 days. This will proceed with the refund process."
When I asked the domestic credit card company whether the refund was made on Gotogate, I received this answer through the phone.
The voice of the phone said, "It is strange that there is no notice of card cancellation for nearly three months after cancellation," and added, "If you send us the contents you exchanged with Gotogate, we will complain to the company."
Gotogate homepage introduces that It is an affiliate of Etraveli, an online travel agency in Europe. The company is said to handle tickets for more than 650 airlines. In addition, the company has more than 1,000 employees, has an Internet site in 35 languages, and is introduced to support work 24/7.
However, the problem is that the company cannot be reached by phone, but only by e-mail. There is also a phone number on the Korean homepage. However, on the phone, the recording is repeated in an unknown language.
I work for the World Korean News, a media specializing in overseas Korean society. As a result, I go abroad relatively often, and I have no choice but to prefer cheap tickets. I often use skyscanners to find cheap tickets. Gotogate is also included in it, so I bought the airline ticket that this company raised.
The problem was the ticket to Vientiane, Laos. I purchased a flight ticket from Incheon Airport to Laos via Bangkok in late March. It was a flight ticket departing in early April. The airline was Thai Airways. However, there was a problem as Thai Airways canceled its flight due to COVID-19. I received a flight cancellation notice from Gotogate by email. So I asked for a refund.
The refund request was complicated. Gotogate has replied that it takes a lot of time to get a refund because Thai Airways is in an economically difficult situation. A similar content was written on the Korean language website of Gotogate.
"Due to the pandemic, the airline industry is facing difficulties due to many flight cancellations and pending payment refunds. If you wish to cancel your flight reservation, please note that we cannot guarantee that your airline will be able to meet your requirements due to different airline policy."
The cancellation process was also cumbersome. The flight from Incheon to Laos was via Bangkok. As a result, four flights should be canceled separately: Seoul-Bangkok, Bangkok-Laos, Laos-Bangkok, and Bangkok-Incheon.
For this process, I exchanged nearly 20 e-mails with Gotogate. They all exchanged in English. It was uncomfortable for a native speaker of Korean.
And three months have passed. I thought it might have been refunded now and called the credit card company and received the same answer as mentioned above. It was said that the card company has not yet received the notice from Gotogate that it has been canceled.
When I searched the Internet thinking, "What a nasty company." There were a lot of stories about people who were ruined while using Gotogate. There was also a headline saying, "We should be careful when booking Skyscanner’s airline tickets(Gotogate)." The article was posted in late May.
"I'm writing this to tell you my experience. I made a reservation for 1 million Won at Gotogate. And I got a call that my flight was canceled. Gotogate said it will refund only 330,000 won. Even though my flight schedule was canceled, Gotogate said I couldn't get full refund because I didn't buy refund insurance. It's ridiculous."
Another posted an article titled "Get a Gotogate Refund." He wrote, "I got a refund that took as long as a year and a half," introducing the hard work of a year and a half before getting a refund.
Should we leave this tyranny of Gotogate as it is? The number of victims would not be small, and the amount of damage would be significant, so why is the Korean government neglecting it? Is there any way to prevent Gotogate from selling airline tickets in Korea?