‘Wakanow, Refund Later’ – Belgian’s N180,000 still suspended from travel agency after more than 8 weeks


Kaatje Vanwolleghem, a Belgian residing in Nigeria, told how Wakanow, an online travel agency, refused to refund her 180,000 naira two months after a flight she had booked through the platform was canceled. agency for her daughter and herself.

Vanwolleghem told the IFJ that she had booked a flight to Lagos-Owerri on August 8 but had to cancel it later when Air Peace, the airline she was supposed to be traveling with, suddenly rescheduled departure time from noon to 7 a.m. on the same day.

“I booked a flight to Lagos-Owerri on August 8 for me and my daughter,” Vanwolleghem said.

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“I paid N180,000 for the flight. After booking, we were getting ready for departure day when Wakanow sent me an email saying the departure time had been changed.

“I felt hurt because the new start time didn’t suit us. I had to cancel it as soon as I found out the flight schedule had changed.

Receipt of the reservation number at Kaatje Vanwolleghem
Flight postponement letter dated August 4 sent to Kaatje Vanwolleghem by Wakanow

The Belgian said she demanded her money back from Wakanow after the cancellation.

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“After I canceled the booking, I asked for my money back. I chatted with Wakanow on WhatsApp and they promised to refund me within eight weeks,” she said.

“Rather than refund me, they just kept asking for my booking reference over and over again.

Image of letter in which Wakanow promised to refund the money within eight weeks.
Image from WhatsApp chats where Wakanow promised to refund the “shorty” money.

“Even after expressing how badly I needed my money at Wakanow, they continue to apologize and make promises they refused to keep.

“I am alone with my daughter and this money means a lot to us. It’s been two months now and Wakanow has failed to refund my money.

One of his discussions with Wakanow

“During one of my conversations with them, the customer agent who responded via WhatsApp again apologized and said that they would follow up for a faster resolution of my request. Still, they are not not at the rendezvous and I am frustrated.

Image from WhatsApp conversation where Wakanow promised to ensure faster resolution.

“To my dismay, after more than two months, they sent me another letter yesterday, October 9, stating that my money would be refunded within eight weeks. Eight more weeks!

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When the IFJ contacted Wakanow by phone for comment on the matter, one of the agency officials, who declined to be named, apologized for the delay in reimbursement.

She also promised that Vanwolleghem would get their refund as soon as Wakanow was currently processing numerous refund requests on a daily basis.

“I can see a refund has been initiated for her,” she said. “I promise that before the end of this week she will have her money back in her bank account. I apologize for the delay. We are dealing with many refunds daily.

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