Surcharge Scams and Security

Virgin Blue charge $6/person/flight segment extra if you pay by credit or debit card. If you want to avoid it, you can try direct debit, but they won’t wait for you to do it on your own. They require additional software called POLi that will insert the airline’s details into your internet banking system. Let’s step through the issues:

1. It doesn’t work on anything other than Internet Explorer on PC. No support on Mac, on Firefox, on iPhone or any other phone.

2. It requires installation of extra software which is somehow going to supervise my internet banking session. This is an unacceptable security risk, especially with regard to internet banking. No way in hell is some unknown third party going to snoop on my family’s bank account in any way, even if they say they don’t store your password etc. etc.

3. Even if you have a PC and are willing to risk the security problems (or are unaware of them), if you don’t have all the required underlying software that POLi needs, you have to download and install 20MB+ of other software (.NET) and then restart your browser — and do the whole booking again.

Abysmal customer service and a general WTF feeling about the whole thing. I feel I just paid a $36 surcharge to maintain the security of my bank account and because I chose not to jump through several tedious, dangerous hoops.