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Consumer NZ is calling on Jetstar to stop confusing customers and ditch the use of pre-ticked boxes that risk misleading people into paying for extras.
Consumer chief executive Sue Chetwin said Jetstar’s online booking process had multiple pre-ticked boxes that meant customers might end up paying for services they didn’t want.
“It takes a truly canny consumer to make their way through a Jetstar booking without having additional charges appear on the fare,” she said.
Air New Zealand was recently forced to remove its pre-selected travel insurance after a warning from the Commerce Commission. But Jetstar is standing its ground.
Ms Chetwin said the company’s stance was disappointing and not in the best interests of its customers.
“We’re encouraging people to let Jetstar know it needs to change its practices. We’ve put a standard letter on our website that consumers can use to email Jetstar chief executive David Hall and ask the company to ditch the ticks.”
Ms Chetwin said the Jetstar booking process had pre-selected boxes for travel insurance, seats and baggage. Customers had to opt out of these services or they would pay extra.
On a return flight from Wellington to Auckland, the service charges would add $42.95 to the fare. Customers may also have to pay a credit card surcharge.
“The only payment not pre-selected is the save the world option – carbon offsetting,” Ms Chetwin said.
“As the Commerce Commission has already pointed out, consumers are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves whether they want to pay for additional services. They don’t need boxes ticked for them.”
So far, Jetstar had opted out of listening, Ms Chetwin said. “It’s time for the company to do the right thing.”
Consumer advocacy groups Consumer NZ and CHOICE have joined forces to campaign against automatic opt-ins.
Travellers are being encouraged to send a message to Jetstar’s CEO David Hall and ask him to ditch the ticks.