1time crash: how to get your money back

2012-11-04 10:00
Natasha Joseph
South Africa’s four biggest banks have stepped in to try to help consumers reclaim ticket money from doomed low-cost airline 1time.

1time announced on Friday that it had applied for business liquidation and said in a statement on its website that all operations had been “grounded with immediate effect”.

The news was greeted with outrage by stranded passengers at the nation’s major airports. The airliner was selling tickets right up to hours before its announcement.

It had been the subject of business rescue for several months, but its liquidation caught many unawares.

Frantic passengers swamped 1time ground staff throughout Friday afternoon – but they, too, hadn’t known about the closure before the shock announcement.

Those with future flights booked with the airline were offered only this line in chief executive Blacky Komani’s note on 1time’s website: “1time’s Business Rescue practitioners will be in contact with creditors and future passengers to finalise all outstanding matters.”

The banks, though, offered consumers a lifeline through something known as a chargeback.

This is a service which banks must offer, and is a reversal of a transaction because the goods or services that were purchased were not provided.

Absa, FNB, Standard Bank and Nedbank all posted notices on their Facebook pages by yesterday explaining how consumers could reclaim their money from 1time. Capitec had not posted anything at the time of going to press.

» Absa said all 1time purchases made with any Absa-issued card would be refunded. It did not provide a specific number, but its general enquiries contact is 0860 008 600;

» FNB credit card customers can call the customer care call centre on 011 369 2800 or 087 575 1111. You will be required to complete and return a dispute form along with a copy of the receipt (airline ticket or contract) and a reference number of your attempt to obtain a refund from the merchant. To get a reference number, call 1time
to log your request on 011 086 8000/8300.

» Standard Bank: any customer who bought flight tickets using a Standard Bank Visa or MasterCard credit card can lodge a dispute by calling 0861 201 000.

» Nedbank: If you were set to travel with 1time and you paid with a Nedbank credit card, call 0860 555 111 and the transaction will be charged back. It said this applied only to flights scheduled to depart after 3pm on November 2.

“Sadly, the process may take weeks as 1time has already applied for liquidation and there is no guarantee that (Nedbank) will get your money back from them,” the bank said on its website.