Q: Can an international airline expect you to pay international calling fees to access their 24/7 customer service?
I purchased a ticket with an international airline. I am based in the U.S and the airline is based in China. The airline has a 24 hour free cancelation policy. Their U.S customer service hotline is only open M-F. However, they have a 24/7 Chinese number hotline. Since I purchased my ticket on a Friday, I was not able to cancel within 24 hours as the U.S number was closed. When I contacted the airline on Monday, the first day their business was open since purchasing my ticket, they said I was not within 24 hours so they would not cancel my ticket for free and would charge me $200. I explained my situation to them and they did not care and would not transfer me to anyone else. They told me I should’ve just called the Chinese 24/7 hotline, however, I would have had to pay very high international calling fees to use a service that their Chinese customers can access for free. They are an international business yet do not offer the same accessibility to service to all of their customers.
A: I'm not certain what consumer protections California law would provide here, and that's something a California attorney could advise you on in the best manner. But your question remains open for three weeks. If you pursued the matter in court, the legal fees and/or your time could exceed the amount in dispute. Good luck
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