I just recently made a reservation on Orbitz to go to Colorado for my winter break. I had made my flight to Colorado on the 31st at 6:30 in the morning. I am a college student and do not have much money to spend on trips like these so I was expecting that everything was going to go as planned. After Colorado I was supposed to be flying home to Cleveland on the 6th. The flight to Colorado was scheduled to arrive at 11 AM. It ended up arriving at that time and everything was going according to plan.
The problem I had now was that I received a call from Orbitz saying that my flight to Cleveland was on that day at 10 AM. I did not receive this message till later in the day because that my phone ran out of battery on the flight. Now this made absolutely no sense to me. It would have been impossible for me to get on that flight to Cleveland from Colorado at 10 AM on the 31st because I was on the plane going to Colorado at 10 AM.
As soon as I realized what was going on I called Orbitz customer service. I spoke to one representative who did not even seem to understand what I was saying. I got transferred to the manager who was even worse than the first representative. I tried to explain that there was absolutely no way that I could have possibly made that flight. I also tried to explain to this "manager", that it made no sense that I would book a flight that I would not be able to make. The manager had nothing to tell me. All she told me was that there was nothing she could do for me but find me the cheapest possible flight for the 6th. The cheapest flight was over 300 dollars.
As I said before I am a college student and would have no possible way of paying 300 for another flight. Although this "manager" told me that she understood my problem and "felt bad" for me, there was absolutely nothing that this person could do for me. I tried to explain that there was no possible way for me to pay for another flight due the fact that I spent all my money on the previous one. The only advice the manager had for me was that I should use a different persons credit card to pay for the flight or that I should rent a car and drive home... It was absolute insanity on the phone for the next 20 minutes or so.
No matter what I said to the manager, I would get the same exact response. It was like I was talking to a machine that was programmed to not help the customer under any circumstance. I will be stuck in Colorado now because I cannot afford another flight home. The 200 hundred dollars is obviously more important to this huge company than it is to help the customers that they attracted. I would not recommend that anybody use Orbitz to plan their travel unless they are looking to be screwed over and feel like they are going to go insane.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- Three Strikes and Orbitz is Out! I once was a very happy Orbitz customer, heartily recommending Orbitz to others. I like the way Orbitz' searches work, how they can be refined, and how going and return flights can be selected separately. I also like the way “My Flights” keeps a record of flights for later printing for reimbursements, etc. I always used Orbitz.
However, now I STRONGLY advise against using Orbitz because of three bad experiences that I have recently had. Three strikes and Orbitz is out! Each strike separately is actually bad enough for me to recommend against using Orbitz; but together they suggest a pattern of bad business practice that speaks poorly of Orbitz.
STRIKE ONE: I changed a ticket and got the confirmation of the change, which I examined. The requested change had been correctly made. Great. But then the day before departure, I discovered that Orbitz had not only made the change I requested but they had also dropped one whole leg of my overall flight. What a shock it was to discover this. After a great deal of haggling with Orbitz they gave me a $100 voucher for the purchase of a future flight.
They said that the error was “shared responsibility,” since I had not caught their error. But have you ever looked at the flight schedules that Orbitz sends you? They are very hard to follow. And, the fact is that I had proofed their confirmation for the change that I had requested and confirmed that it had been correctly made. I never dreamed that they would drop a totally different leg of my overall flight. Their $100 voucher did not begin to cover the cost of the new ticket that I had to purchase at the last minute, but it was some compensation for which I was modestly satisfied.
STRIKE TWO: I booked two flights of the same itinerary, one for me and one for my wife. For work reasons we later had to change the itinerary, but, even though my wife and I were booked on the very same flights, Orbitz had me booked through Air France and my wife through Delta. It was a nightmare to get these tickets changed since we had to work with each airline separately. Orbitz would not make the change. Getting the fights changed took the better part of a whole day. Neither airline had access to the other's tickets.
In the end, my wife and I had to fly separately with totally different itineraries, and on different days! The total cost of the change with Delta for my wife was reasonable and the new flights were good. But with Air France the cost change was HUGE and the new itinerary had an additional flight each direction, on different days from my wife, and with awful hours.
STRIKE THREE: I called Orbitz to complain about “STRIKE TWO.” The representative said that he could give me a $50 voucher for a future flight purchase. I asked if he could double this, as previously I had been awarded a $100 voucher. He said that he could not give me another $100 voucher, but that he could give us two $50 vouchers separately, one for me and one for my wife. This got me what I had requested. I was moderately satisfied with his offer, though, admittedly it was only a small part of what Orbitz' bad booking practice had cost me. Neither Air France nor Delta could believe that Orbitz had booked us as they did.
And then, what did Orbitz send me? Only one $50 voucher, and, worse still, a voucher that is not good for a future flight purchase, but only for a hotel booking or a vacation package. I wrote Orbitz to tell them that this is not what they had said they would do. To my surprise Orbitz has now twice clearly confirmed that they will not honor their word. For me this is the last strike. A company that will not keep its word will not have my business, and I would suggest that they should not have yours either. Three strikes and you're out, Orbitz!
P.S. Even at this late date, should Orbitz reverse its decision, I will alter my opinion and post here an update.
If you are reading this basically you like me were suckered into a deal with Orbitz. I feel for you. You have two options now - you can rant and rave into the void (I have nothing against that) or you can get the most you can out of Orbitz with the least (but still considerable) effort.
Basically the way they operate is with very poor trained, very low-pay workers in call centers in emerging markets. They are clueless and cannot really assist you. Getting cross, shouting, asking to speak to a supervisor - it's all useless. They only give first names, so there is no come back. So in short realize before you call that you are speaking to someone paid way less than a dollar an hour, who speaks okayish English, has probably never stayed in hotel or flown in plane in their lives, doesn't know anything about the travel business AND has their finger on the hang-up button.
The way the call center workers operate is the moment anything gets confusing or complicated, or the caller is irate they simply drop the call. It's no skin off their back, Orbitz (or its sub-contractors) designed the system to not be accountable. There is no follow up to the caller that you last spoke to i.e. you cannot actually get them again.
So basically what I did, after about 10 hours of exasperated calls, was as follows. I worked out exactly what the solution to my problem was. Basically the person needed to call KLM and change the reservation. I got her the KLM reservation number in Holland, told her what buttons to press, phoned KLM in Holland (who said only the travel agent can do the change), asked them to make a note of what needed to change. And they talked the Orbitz call center staff through the process step by step. It worked.
Anyway here are some tips for how to manage your losses with Orbitz: See if you can sort it out yourself first. You will have to do this anyway to "train" the Orbitz call center staff. If it's a small amount of money at stake ask yourself "is it worth 10 hours on the phone to staff who know nothings and can do little?"
If it is not a small amount of money or you are stuck here is what to do: Find out exactly what the call center staff will need to do, who they need to phone, phone the people they need to phone and prepare them, give Orbitz staff as detailed a description as you can of what they need to do. Do not get angry or they will punish you by keeping you on hold for 45 minutes and then cut you off. Important - allocate time to this. It's not a quick call. Set yourself down, get coffee notepads, get in a comfortable chair and prepare to spend much of the day on the task. Good luck.
ORANGE, CALIFORNIA -- In July I booked 4 roundtrip tickets on Orbitz for travel at Christmas time 2008. These tickets need to be booked far in advance due to high demand at the holidays. Everything seemed to be fine - I was given a confirmation code with Midwest/Northwest (it was a codeshare flight) and received an e-mail from Orbitz thanking me for booking the flights with them. The Orbitz itinerary e-mail even included the confirmed price of 4 tickets at $402 each.
Several weeks later my credit card statement arrived and the Orbitz service fee had been charged but not the cost of the tickets. I went to the Midwest website, entered my confirmation code and my itinerary popped up - still no obvious problems. Another week or so went by and still no charge for the tickets so I decided to contact Orbitz. This is when the fun began.
After a lengthy phone call where I was put on hold for 10 minutes at a time - an agent finally admitted there was a problem with my reservation. The agent blamed the airline saying Midwest did not "confirm" the outbound flight and hadn't issued a ticket for that. However the agent said that the return portion of the flight seemed to be OK. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with only half of my roundtrip ticket and the agent offered no suggestions.
I asked if Orbitz was intending to NOTIFY ME of the problem with my reservation but was never given a straight answer. All I got was a lame apology for the "inconvenience". They NEVER contacted me in any way regarding the fact that I DID NOT have a valid roundtrip flight even though I had a reservation confirmation number. Several times the agent said, "It's OK - you have not been charged for the flights". I responded "I KNOW you didn't charge me - that's why I am calling - but I do want those flights and am happy to pay for them".
Of course, I was then told that I could be booked on the flights but would have to pay substantially more due to the outbound flight having a higher fare class. I told the agent this was ridiculous and I wanted the fare that they sold me in July. "Sorry, that fare was not honored by the airline" was the response. So, my options were to pay the increase or cancel entirely. I told the agent that I wanted to review this with my husband and would call back.
After spending several hours researching other options, I found I could book the tickets on Northwest (different flight times but on the same days) for much less than Orbitz wanted to charge me. I decided to cancel the Orbitz reservation. When I called, an Orbitz agent tried to be helpful and told me he wanted to see what he could do for me. I waited patiently, hoping that he would actually help me to get my original flights for the original price. After about 40 minutes, he came back on the phone and told me, "Well I was able to determine that you were never charged for the flights so there shouldn't be a problem". I resisted my urge to scream in frustration.
Orbitz clearly sold me flights with a fare the airlines would not honor and Orbitz is taking no responsibility for that. By the way, the original Orbitz price was only a little better than what the airlines were offering in July so I wasn't getting any fabulous deal. Had I not contacted Orbitz when I did I could have been stuck with sky high prices the closer we got to the holidays. I also resent spending the better part of a day dealing with this because of Orbitz handled this so terribly. Never again will I book anything with Orbitz and will warn everyone I know about this bad experience.
USA -- Thanks to Orbitz people like myself have the ease of booking an entire vacation with the click of a button. I am well aware of many other websites out there that provide the same line of service as theirs, but I read up about their company and many others and found out that Orbitz was the most reputable out there regarding price, customer service, and overall satisfaction. Sadly I found out the hard way that this was not the case.
I booked a vacation through Orbitz for the week of March 30th to April 2nd; it was a flight and hotel accommodation for 4 days and 3 nights at Bahia Principe in the Dominican Republic. After my booking I received multiple emails stating, "Prepare For your Trip". I looked under "mytrips" to see the status of my hotel accommodations and saw everything was in good order. I later found out that I received an email from your company in false pretense.
After my flight to Punta Cana I arrived at my hotel at 12:00 pm and tried to check in, however, Orbitz never made the reservations to the hotel. Two thousand miles away I was stranded with no place to stay. I was without accommodations. I discussed this with the hotel manager and he said that Orbitz never booked the hotel reservation and the best they could do is give us one night for $150 a night. I discussed my dissatisfaction with the manager and he told me to contact Orbitz. I called on my vacation to try to sort out the problem that was caused not due to me, but by Orbitz.
I called customer service and I was on hold for the next 5 hours of my vacation on hold, in a hotel lobby because of a mistake on Orbitz' behalf. I do not typically complain about anything in life. I realize mistakes do happen, however, when I was told by a customer service representative that the best they could do is schedule me for only TWO nights instead of THREE I was furious. I told the representative that it was their mistake and they should do their part in fixing it. Once again I was put on hold.
Finally around 4:00 pm I was told that I could get a room but still for only two nights. By that time I so distraught that I just accepted the mini victory and accepted it by the time the representative got back to me it was almost 5:00 PM. Hardly a relaxing time in paradise.
The following day I once again took time out of my vacation to contact Orbitz in hopes of getting a room for my third and final night. So at 12:00 instead of sitting at the beach I was sitting in a hotel lobby on HOLD seeing what was going to happen. At 2:00 I received information from a representative stating that I was accommodated for the third night in the same hotel.
Orbitz has a simple concept, we the consumer pay them, the company to book flight and hotel accommodations at an inexpensive rate with no hassles. I felt robbed of my time and money because of the lack of follow through and customer service at their company. Each person that goes to their company can just as easily call a hotel and airline direct to accommodate their needs. I used theirs because I believed that they would do their due diligence not only from a booking standpoint, but if they make a mistake on a customer satisfaction standpoint they would rectify that as well.
Your service was awful in handling my needs. I wasted my time and energy for a matter that should have never happened. I realize Orbitz is a multi-million dollar company, however when I wasn't treated like a consumer I was treated substandardly by them and I did not get one apology for the problem that was caused. I paid $1300 and for me that is a lot of money. Orbitz wasted that and ruined my experience. I would like you to just look into this issue and see whatever you can do to rectify this situation. Additionally I received over 220 in roaming charges contacting Orbitz because they never booked my hotel. I gave this message to the BBB and the only response I got was...
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- Let me recount what a NIGHTMARE it was dealing with the Orbitz customer service staff: I originally called a sales agent to book a new flight from OKC to Washington DC (July 3-July 6) in order to use a credit I had on my account from a previous cancellation. I would normally book it through the website, but I was forced to call an agent in order to use my credit.
I spoke with a girl and I gave her all my information and told her I needed a flight from OKC-Washington DC, leaving on July 3rd and returning on July 6th. She said there would be a $130 charge per flight off my credit due to some rebooking fees from my previous cancellation and charged my credit card accordingly ($280). I was fine with this as I understood the cancellation policy. She booked my flight and charged the price difference that she found for the flights. She then notified me I would receive an email confirmation of the flight details shortly and thanked me for my business.
Minutes after I hung up the phone, I checked my email for the confirmation. Upon reviewing the information, I noticed that she had made a HUGE mistake and booked the returning flight as July 5th, as opposed to July 6th that I requested. I immediately called back and spoke with someone in customer service thinking this would be an easy mistake to correct and no harm was done. I spoke to a customer service agent and was told that there was nothing she could do and I would be charged fees to correct her mistake. I then requested to speak with a supervisor and ended up with Marcello (MTO).
Marcello opened an investigation regarding the matter and said he would call me later in the evening. Two hours later, he called me back and said he reviewed the phone call and that he understood that I requested July 6th, but that your customer service girl did not interpret it correct and booked July 5th as the return date. He then informed me that I would be charged another $150/flight ($300 total for the 2 flights I purchased) in order to change the return dates to July 6th. He offered the Orbitz fees ($30) to be taken off, but nothing else.
He then tried to contact American Eagle and notify them of the booking agent's mistake to see if you could get a refund, but informed me they were closed for the evening. I asked if he would contact them in the morning and he said the investigation has now been closed and offered no other solutions to remedy the situation. This is outright unacceptable from Orbitz. I have a hard time believing that they treat all their customers this way for mistakes that their own employees make. He wanted me to pay $300 for a mistake that an Orbitz booking agent made?
I have informed many friends & family members of their practices and recommended they cease doing business with Orbitz. My company also does quite a bit of business with Orbitz for travel arrangements. I have expressed to all my colleagues how disappointed I was in the Orbitz services. Needless to say, I am a very upset customer and demand that action be taken to correct this mistake immediately. I have also filed a complaint against Orbitz with the Better Business Bureau, case #**.
This review is written in an attempt to appeal to consumers who may not fully understand the extent in which companies, like Orbitz, are willing and able to rip you off and leave you high and dry. My story begins 1 year ago in June 2007, just around the time I was getting married and trying to negotiate my honeymoon plans. My husband and I always wanted to go somewhere tropical, since he's from England and I'm from Chicago, so Jamaica seemed like a very logical destination. As we began our typical search we started noticing that our best financial bet would be to purchase a package deal, with airfare and hotel included.
After having several good experiences with Travelocity and Expedia we turned to them in hopes of being able to purchase a package, however, in the home stretch due to a minor price difference we ended up reserving with Orbitz -- what a mistake that was!! Several days after our wedding it came to our attention that my husband would not be legally allowed to re-enter the States without authorization, which is only obtained through a lengthy and expensive process.
Now armed with that information we knew we had only 2 options, either cancel our honeymoon or postpone it to the following year -- which brings us to June 2008. Of course we decided to go ahead and postpone our honeymoon, to the tune of $1,900 in cancellation fees, re-booking charges, and rate changes. Our only other alternative was to cancel the honeymoon without any sort of compensation due to the short notice that we were provided. It seemed like a no brainer -- pay a bit of extra money and don't lose over $3,000 (the cost of the original booking) and we still get to go to Jamaica WRONG!!
Several days ago we were contacted by Orbitz who initially told us that there was a cancellation with our direct flight to Jamaica. After several hours of trying to straighten things out with Orbitz and our flights, it came to light that there was no problem with Air Jamaica, in actuality the problem was Orbitz -- who never made the official changes to our reservations. At this point I have spent nearly 8 hours on the phone with Orbitz alone, not including the time I have been forced to spend on the phone explaining this to everyone from the resort (who believes we were a NO SHOW last year -- and have charged us as such) to the whole family.
Unfortunately, we have still not resolved this issue as Orbitz has done nothing to try to fix this problem. All they were willing to do is to try to get us on another flight that would be at our expense, with the average difference costing us around $700-800. The audacity of this company is unbelievable, especially considering that we paid $1,900 last year to have the flights changed and we received confirmation of that change through an e-mail and a credit card statement. To make matters worse Orbitz never even extended an apology, instead they choose to say "sorry for your inconvenience", isn't that the understatement of the year!!
UPDATE... After several more agonizing hours on the phone I finally managed to get a human being on the phone that was able to extend a sincere apology to both my husband and I, however that was about all she could offer.
In retrospect I wish I had tried a few other phone lines before committing into an unfair arrangement which appeared as our only option. At least what I have learned is that there are some individuals that are willing to work with the customer and abide by the laws of common decency, as well as taking into account the restrictions of their company. Unfortunately, it is the luck of the draw when it comes to how many numbers can be used to contact Orbitz's customer service reps and who you'll actually get on the other line.
I wanted to add that my husband and I have been able to re-coordinate airfare through an alternative source. Thanks to the flexibility and compassion of the resort (Couples Swept Away) that we were "booked" into we will be able to go on our honeymoon after all, as they are honoring our previous reservation.
As for Orbitz, we agreed on a refund for our flight but they did not offer any other compensation for what appears to be 100% their fault. At this time we are very grateful that we have a Honeymoon to take at all but we do have every intention on following through with further investigation into what went wrong. Even just an hour ago we received an e-mail confirming our flight and our hotel and this was after many lengthy conversations with Orbitz representatives.
Just out of curiosity I contacted Air Jamaica, who we were originally booked with, and they told us that we are in their system from last year's reservations and they have a notation of Orbitz calling last July and canceling our flight. So what exactly was that $1,900 charge for rescheduling for, when nothing was actually rescheduled and even up till an hour ago we are still being reported as having a booked holiday through Orbitz...? The whole thing is almost incomprehensible. But at least we can now save our moaning for the beach... No thanks to Orbitz!
Worst experience dealing with them. Screwed up my reservation. Customer service was rude and unhelpful. They hung up on me multiple times and nothing was ever resolved. I will never use them again. Worst customer service experience ever. If I could give less than 1 star I would have. DO NOT BOOK WITH ORBITZ!
Recently my husband realized that there was a strange charge on our home phone bill from a company called "ESBI." When I researched a little bit I found out this company is one of those pop-up sites that ask you for your phone number for answers to some quiz or something. They then charge your phone bill for any fees related to the service. I called a couple days ago to take care of the month we initially discovered (it's at the very end of the bill, and since we don't expect extra charges on our bills we usually look at the front page and pay the amount due. We've learned our lesson on that one!), but then we got curious and checked previous months.
Sure enough...so back on the phone. I reached the "customer service" department (with a true picture of how valued customer service is to Orbitz ~ in the Philippines) and got the charges removed easily (another side note ~ I've worked in customer service AND for telemarketing companies...when they readily, without question remove the charges from your bill it is VERY clear that they know they're scum and sneaky).
At the end, after they've removed the charges, they asked how I was related to (insert name of person who entered my phone number). I had no idea who that person was, and their name wasn't anywhere NEAR our name. UGH!! In the age of technology we live in, there is no reason for a name not matching the phone number to actually go through as a charge. I've had it happen to me when I've accidentally hit an extra number and didn't realize it.
When I asked for the supervisor (the poor operator can't do anything about the company) and asked for the phone number of ESBI headquarters in the States I was informed they are actually "Orbitz Telecom." So I asked for their phone number in the US. She informed me that she can give me an address, but that she did not have the phone number ( I LOVE being lied to...).
I stated that obviously they don't write letters back and forth from the Philippines to Henderson, NV and that they DO have the phone number there. She gave the typical, "I'm following company policy" (yeah ~ "I'm following the policy that shows our level of customer service. They let those of us in other countries deal with their messes." Gee, I wonder why other countries REALLY don't like us? Hmmmm???). After a VERY long attempt at getting the number, I gave up and decided to, instead, look for every forum possible to post a review of Orbitz on. Moral of the story: CHECK YOUR PHONE BILLS!!!
Orbit Telecom provides its subscribers with a private voice mail service which enables access to voice mails via phone and email. We market the service on the Internet and continuously review our marketing and sign-up procedures and believe that they comply with all applicable laws and industry standard best practices.
We maintain excellent customer service 24 by 7 by 365 and you can reach us via phone at 800-263-0206 or online at http://www.orbittelecom.com/support.cfm. I'm confident we can address any customer service concerns you may have.
Orbit Telecom Customer Service
I booked a combo flight+car package with Orbitz after pricing each separately and comparing prices on other travel sites. Because the times of the flights would affect rental car pick-up and drop-off times and thus determine the length of the rental (7 days v. 8 days), I called the car rental company directly to get specific information on how car rental charges are accrued. I confirmed that as long as we returned the rental car by the same hour on the clock that we picked up the car a week earlier, we would be charged for a weekly rental, not an 8-day rental.
With that information confirmed, I made flight+car reservations on Orbitz. The confirmation email from Orbitz said my car rental was for 8 days, so I called their Customer Service number to get this corrected. The agent was polite and professional but could only repeat their position to me. During the course of the conversation, she actually said I would be charged the package price which is "not charged based on the number of days you keep the car." What? Then on what is the package price based? I understand I got a package price, but why did I get an 8-day package price, not a 7-day package price? No satisfactory answer, so I asked to speak to a supervisor.
The supervisor gave the impression she had no interest in my situation. She indicated Orbitz charged the rental rate based on when cars will be picked up and returned. Well, the website did not offer me the opportunity to choose my pick-up and drop-off times when I purchased the package. Their computer algorithm chose the presumed times and charged me accordingly, which made an 8-day rental, when in fact, because of early arrival times for security clearance, we qualified for a 7-day rental.
The supervisor offered me the option of changing my flights, which would incur an additional charge, or canceling my car rental and booking separately through the car rental company, at an additional charge. What? I can pay more for taking steps to correct Orbitz's overcharge mistake?
This is obviously a flaw in the Orbitz website. (The Expedia site allows the traveler the opportunity to choose the time frame for rental car pick-up and drop-off). Rather than offer to correct the error and re-price the package for me, Orbitz gave me the option to pay a penalty to cancel and solve my problem myself elsewhere. Wrong headed business practices all the way around. Wrong policy, wrong attitude, poor customer service make Orbitz the wrong company with which to do business.