Tuesday, 18 December 2012

AirAsia X CEO: No intention to mislead in website pricing

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia X has stated it had no intention to mislead in the website pricing though it acknowledged there was a technical breach, resulting it being fined A$200,000 by the Federal Court in Melbourne.

AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani said on Tuesday pointed out the Australian court's fine of A$200,000 compared to the range of A$520,000 to A$650,000 sought by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) "reflects the Court's acknowledgement of the lack of any intention to mislead on the part of AirAsia".

Below is the statement issued by AirAsia X:


In response to the news published on the fine imposed by the Federal Court in Melbourne against AirAsia for contravening the single pricing provision of the Australian Consumer Law, Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X, the airline operating into Australia commented,

"The Court Judgment in this matter reflects that there was no intention to mislead at any time, and that no consumer was misled or had suffered any economic loss as a result of this inadvertence, and that AirAsia had been cooperative throughout. In addition, AirAsia had facilitated a speedy hearing and had also pleaded no contest to a technical breach."

"The fine of A$200,000 imposed as compared to the range of A$520,000 to A$650,000 sought by the ACCC reflects the Court's acknowledgement of the lack of any intention to mislead on the part of AirAsia."

"Nevertheless AirAsia X understands the importance of providing consumers with 'all-in' pricing and we remain fully committed towards displaying all-in fares on our website. We wish to highlight that all of our advertising has always been on the basis of all-in fares which are inclusive of taxes and other mandatory charges."

"These legal proceedings are related only to fare displays on the airasia.com website for a limited number of 'Fly-Thru' routes which were newly added to our network in 2011. The fares in question were manually entered and we took immediate steps to rectify this unintentional oversight, as soon as we were made aware of the same."

"The process of adding new routes and displaying fares on airasia.com has now been rectified and automated to prevent future recurrence. The airline notes the importance of all-inclusive pricing and of ensuring the accuracy of how the fare is prominently displayed."

Note: The salient terms of the judgment are as follows: * AirAsia was charged under s48(1) of the Australian Consumer Law of not specifying in a prominent way a single figure the price of its air fares even with inclusion of words "Fares shown EXCLUDE fees and taxes"

* The conduct although inadvertent was strictly and technically in contravention

* The ACCC sought a fine of between A$520,000 and A$650,000

* The Court came to finding that the appropriate fine was only A$200,000.

The findings of the Court were that a fine of A$200,000 was sufficient because:

a) There was no intention to mislead the consumer

-- The conduct in question was inadvertent not deliberate or reckless

-- A consumer has to undergo 9 steps in making an online booking. Only on page 2 of the booking process would the customer see the statement "Fares shown EXCLUDE fees and taxes"

-- The Court noted that pages 3 to 9 the single total price was displayed sometimes in more than one place, thus the consumer would have become aware of the full price to be paid before committing to a purchase

-- The Court found that there this was only a single breach and not multiple breaches

b) The contravention did not cause loss or damage to consumer -- A consumer could not complete the booking process without being informed of the actual total price for each flight

-- The Court noted there was no evidence of any consumer dissatisfaction or that any customer of AirAsia has suffered any economic loss. 
Damn! Why so many bad news from AirAsia? why why why? Haiz....

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