While airlines have managed to preserve some cash by extending credit to their customers since the start of the pandemic, at Desjardins Insurance, payments are made somewhat randomly.
This is illustrated by the story of Yves Pronovost, 62, and his wife, Colette Dumais Pronovost, “young” pensioners from Chatuguay, near Montreal.
In the fall of 2019, they planned to travel to Cuba for two weeks with a couple of friends.
Mr. Pronovost is responsible for organizing everything for the Quartet. Departure is scheduled for March 18, 2020.
Five days before take-off, they must resign: Quebec is on hiatus with aircraft fixed to the ground. Flight canceled.
We want to be compensated. We are no longer making ourselves small. Who knows if we will still be able to travel in the future? We’re still talking about $ 4,000 a couple, “says Pronovost.
By phone, on March 13, a Desjardins Insurance representative assured him that the payment was a mere formality.
Only here, they were never compensated, while the other spouses were.
“The money was paid into their account after 52 days without any problem,” said Yves Pronovost, who filed the payment request on behalf of the spouses, who are covered by the same document.
As for his complaint, it was rejected after 91 days.
“It’s the same bill! It’s as if they drew a line in the middle, ”he asks. Desjardins Insurance is calling on the travel credits granted by the carrier, Air Transat in this case, to justify its refusal.
“The travel credit provided by the carrier is considered compensation,” said Desjardins Assurances spokesman Jean-Benoit Torkutti. He adds that hotel nights, car rentals, or other non-refundable items at the destination are eligible for a full refund.
But Yves Pronovost and Colette Dumais Pronovost don’t want to know anything about the travel credits, which are valid for 24 months.
“There is no guarantee that our financial conditions and our physical and health conditions will be good within two years,” the 62-year-old begged.
Then he begins a long process to recover the $ 3,876. Among other things, he sought help from a counselor from Caisse populaire.
“I responded that if the second spouses’ complaint was accepted, it was because there was a mistake and they did not want to repeat it,” explains Pronovost.
Error ? The retiree wonders how many of the thousands of Quebecers in his situation deserve this “mistake”.
This is impossible to know.
Classifying this data as “competitive” and “confidential”, Mr. Torkutti responded, “We do not disclose the number of payment requests we have received since March or the acceptance rate versus the rejection rate.”
Yves Pronovost’s complaint reached the Desjardins Insurance Dispute Officer. The authority verifies rejection of payment on 23 November 2020.
The retiree clearly has one against the insurance company, and he’s the one who pays his friends, not him. But he’s also opposed to the federal government, which is refusing to help airlines, which would allow customers like him to get their money back.
“If Bombardier, Aldo, Cirque du Soleil and many others are qualified, why shouldn’t Air Transat be?” He asked.