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Air Canada Ordered To Pay Damages To Customer Who Was Misled By Its Chatbot

Air Canada said its chatbot is a ‘separate legal entity’ (Agency)

Air Canada, North America’s largest airline, has ordered passengers to pay partial refunds after its chatbot provided inaccurate information and misled passengers into purchasing full-price tickets. commanded.

The airline even tried to distance itself from the error, claiming the chatbot was “responsible for its own actions,” the Guardian reported.

The incident occurred in 2022 after Jake Moffat’s grandmother passed away and he went to Air Canada’s website to book a flight from Vancouver to Toronto. Moffat didn’t know much about how airline bereavement rates worked, so he decided to ask the airline’s chatbot to explain the policy.

However, according to Ars Technica, Moffat was given inaccurate information by the chatbot and advised to request a refund within 90 days of booking the ticket.

In a screenshot of a conversation with Air Canada’s chatbot, Moffat was informed that she could apply for a refund “within 90 days from the date of ticket issue” by filling out an online form, the report added.

“If you need to travel immediately, or have already traveled and would like to submit your ticket for discounted bereavement fees, please complete the Ticket Refund Request Form within 90 days of the ticket issue date. Please submit,” read the shared screenshot. by him.

Moffat, who had booked a round-trip ticket to Toronto to attend her grandmother’s funeral, was surprised when she applied for a refund, but the airline told her the bereavement fee would not apply to completed travel and issued an official statement. We asked them to check the obituary section on the homepage. Website.

Months later, Moffat confronted Air Canada with screenshots of the chatbot’s advice, but the airline said the chatbot was using “misleading language” and added that it would update the chatbot’s software. It is said that

According to a report in the Guardian, the passengers apparently were dissatisfied with the airline’s response and decided to sue Air Canada for the difference in fares, after which the airline was sued by tribunal member Christopher Rivers. He ended up making what he called a “remarkable submission.”

Despite the mistake, the company maintained that the chatbot was a “separate legal entity.” Therefore, it is responsible for its own actions, the report added.

“Air Canada maintains that it cannot be held responsible for information provided by any of its agents, servants or representatives, including chatbots,” Rivers said.

Rivers noted that the airline hasn’t explained why it thinks so, or “why a web page titled ‘Bereavement Travel’ is inherently more trustworthy than its chatbot.”

Mr. Rivers ruled the case in Mr. Moffat’s favor, but ordered Air Canada to pay a partial refund of $650.88 in Canadian dollars, along with additional damages to cover the passenger’s legal costs. Ta.

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