Review: WeClaim for Reimbursement of Taxes & Fees + Damaged Baggage
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Travel-Dealz editor Dennis tested WeClaim for two cases in January of 2019. Is the service worth it? Read on to find out!
The two cases are only a small sample and this represents the personal opinion of the author. If you’ve had your own experiences with WeClaim, regardless if they were negative or positive, please leave a comment.
What is WeClaim?
WeClaim is a French company, which was founded in 2015 and now has its headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. According to its website, WeClaim is an online dispute resolution platform.
On WeClaim, you can try to get compensations for your trips, for any of the following reasons:
- Overbooked, delayed, missed, or canceled flights
- Train delays
- Ferry delays
- Lost, delayed, or damaged luggage
WeClaim automated how it processes these claims, i.e. they use artificial intelligence to determine how much compensation you’re entitled to, as well as other factors, such as how long the legal process could take. This technology is supposed to save them time so that they can use that time for more important things.
The fees are 25% of the received compensation (+ at least another 25%, if the case went to court).
1st Claim – Missed Flight (no show)
I had booked the following flights with Scoot (for 2 persons) for December 2018:
- December 12th, 2018 TXL-SIN (TR 735)
- December 13th, 2018 SIN-SGN (TR 304)
- January 2nd, 2019 SIN-TXL (TR 734)
We then decided to fly earlier to Asia and booked a oneway flight to Bangkok for early December. Scoot lets you use your inbound flight, even if you didn’t use your outbound flight. You do, however, have to call their hotline up to 48 hours after not using the outbound flight, which I did.
What I was trying to claim was the taxes & fees for 2 persons for the flights TR 735 & TR 304
When personally contacting Scoot for my claim, Scoot did not reply.
Therefore, I decided to contract a service. As my personal favorite, Geld-fuer-Flug.de, refused to process my claim (probably because it was only a claim for a segment), I decided to contract its competitor, WeClaim, which I found while browsing online. I then contracted them on January 6th, 2019.
Shortly afterward, on January 10th to be precise, Scoot did offer a compensation (the entire ticket, by the way, cost 1,114.14€ for 2 people, incl. seat reservation):
A Refund Admin Fee should not be charged. I also specifically remember, that the WeClaim website stated that. But now, that statement had disappeared. On March 26th, however, this was confirmed by email (I had contacted WeClaim because of my second case, see below):
My expectation, therefore, was that WeClaim would contact Scoot to ensure that the admin fee be removed, which is a legitimate expectation considering the ticket price of €1,114.14
After waiting for months, I was sadly disappointed. On May 9th, 2019, I received the following message (FYI: Tiger Airways is Scoot, as Scoot’s official name is Scoot Tigerair Pte Ltd):
WeClaim did not accept that, which I found to be right. On June 7th, 2019, a new counter-offer from Scoot arrived, which WeClaim accepted without consulting me on Juli 8th, 2019.
How could it be, that the first offer, directly from Scoot, was higher than the offer that WeClaim had spent months negotiating, and simply accepted? I also found it interesting, that the offer from Scoot to WeClaim was exactly €11 lower than the offer that Scoot had sent me directly at the beginning.
On the same day (July 8th, 2019) I sent a complaint. On July 29th, 2019 I sent another message and finally received an answer on August 9th, 2019:
This answer was very disappointing, as it contradicted what the other employee had confirmed (no admin fee!). Basically, however, I had to accept the situation as it was.
After almost 3 months of silence, I sent WeClaim a payment reminder (on October 30th, 2019) but did not get any reply. On January 7th, 2020, I sent another payment reminder (so, 5 months after accepting Scoot’s offer!), which then promptly worked and I received the money. Had the maybe forgotten me?
All of this would have been fine and could have been seen as an unlucky case, if there hadn’t been a second case:
2nd Claim – Damaged Luggage
I then took the Scoot flight from Singapore to Berlin (TR 734) on January 2nd. Sadly, my luggage was heavily damaged when it arrived in Berlin. The handle was so badly damaged, that it could no longer be used. Additionally, the entire suitcase was indented and the plastic had suffered quite a lot.
As a damaged suitcase has to be reported instantly at the airport, I had documentation for the entire case. I then contacted WeCleim with the case number and according to the website, I was entitled to roughly €350. I would have even been fine with the money for a new, equal suitcase (Samsonite).
The first reaction to my claim came on March 26th, 2019, when Charles Taylor Aviation (Scoot’s representative for damaged luggage) sent me an email. Charles Taylor had only informed WeClaim (and myself in CC), that they had sent me a Baggage Claim Questionnaire on January 16th, 2019. This was the reply be WeClaim (same as above):
As no further updates followed and I was very angry about how the first claim had been handled, I canceled the WeClaim representation on July 29th, 2019. As expected, there was no reaction from WeClaim. On August 26th I then received the following update to my still open case:
I then reminded them again, that I had cancelled their representation and on August 28th I then finally received a confirmation, that the case would be closed and my data would be deleted.
On August 30th, 2019, I then suddenly received a message in French, where I was addressed as “Sebastian”. It was either a human error, or their artificial intelligence is not as advanced as they think.
Basically, the message stated that my case had little chances to be successful in court and that the case would, therefore, be closed. Finally! Exactly what I had wanted for months!
Sadly, the story does not end here. That would have been too easy. As I had already bought a new suitcase, as the old one was not repairable, I simply tried to claim the compensation myself from Charles Taylor Aviation on January 7th, 2020.
A short time lates (yes, some companies reply quicker than others), I received a message, which was absolutely shocking:
What? The case had already been settled and WeClaim had been paid? I couldn’t believe it. I asked the friendly representative at Charles Taylor for further information, and she was so kind as to send me the scanned signed agreement. WeClaim and Charles Taylor Aviation agreed to a sum of SGD 87.88 (~€56.10). “At least something!”, I thought, and claimed the sum from WeClaim on February 4th, 2020:
This time, in fact, I even received a relatively quick reply on February 6th, 2020:
After this reply, I then gave up and simply let it go. I never received the mentioned amount of €18.39, and without a stern reminder, I’ll probably never get that money. It also makes no sense, that the refunded taxes & fees would be so little, considering the offer that Scoot had sent me at the beginning.
The mail also confirmed my suspicion about the compensation of the 1st case: They had really taken very long or even forgotten me, as WeClaim had received the 87.88 SGD in May 2019, but had only paid out the money in January 2020, after two reminders.
Rating & Conclusion
The concept and idea of WeClaim are great. It already works well for flights, and the idea, that AI can take over some tasks so that there’s more time for more important tasks such as customer service or revising the documents, is nice and deserves a compliment.
WeClaim’s online platform is also well developed. You sign contracts digitally, there’s an inbox where you can see uploaded documents, and there’s a messaging portal. The perfect conditions for a good product!
The way, in which WeClaim implements all of this, however, is below-average. Not only was the communication very bad, but the handling of the cases seems chaotic, especially considering that both my cases were mixed and then couldn’t even be kept apart.
Sadly, there’s a lot of bad stuff going on here and I would not recommend that anyone use this service.
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