I was looking for a flight ticket to fly my mother and brother in law from Poland to the U.S. This limited my choices. Orbitz just happened to be one of the few that would allow you to start with a non domestic flight. I found some great prices on the site. But for some reason every time I would click the ticket I wanted it would only take me to another screen with different priced tickets. I did this several times trying to get the first ticket I saw. I would refresh my search, see the great prices, click it, only to get another price screen at higher prices.
After several attempts I realized the second page is the only page I can buy tickets from so I clicked on the cheapest ticket on that page which was 200$ more and decided to call to order. Big mistake! I wanted to call so if I had any questions they could be clarified then and there. Well apparently Orbitz is ran in India. An man with a very strong accent took my order which was a very long and agonizing process as several times he would mess up or even misunderstand me. Every letter we would have to choose a name for ex: A for Apple.
Sometimes they would use completely weird words for letters such as P for Papa (but remember with an accent) and we don't say papa from where I am. P for Parrot ( which sounded like they said D for Derrick. P also was confused for B. Anyway, after 20-30 minutes we were checking the names to make sure they were correct. The last name was supposed to be ** on both flyers. As he was reading off the second one I noticed he said **. I said no, no, "K" as in Kite. He said sorry and we were laughing at this point because of all the confusion. He repeated it back and it was fine.
I waited 24 hours and finally got the tickets in the email. He did not change the first name. It was **. Which I don't know how he made that mistake in the first place as the letter C doesn't sound anything like the letter K. It was obviously a phonetic problem on his part being from a different country. I know I could not misspell my last name as I read it out to him **. No way I would spell out **. So not panicking at this point as it was a problem on their part I called the company. They said they changed it and I would just have to call American Airlines to make sure it was changed in 24 hours. I waited, I called.
AA told me that it could be a big problem and they cannot fix the name on the ticket, Orbitz would have to. I called Orbitz and they said they cannot change the name on the ticket. I was very angry at this point because they were telling me I am going to have to cancel the ticket and pay the fee and get a new one. I couldn't believe it. I definitely felt ripped off at this point. I asked to speak to a manager and got through. Finally it was someone who spoke good English. I thought "She will understand me and my situation". Wrong. She was very unsympathetic. She said that it was my fault and that I should have noticed the error on the phone.
She also denied the problem that the Indians I spoke to don't speak English well and it must be my connection. She did however say that she can waive the cancellation fee even though it's been after 24 hours. (I think this in itself is a big scam as you have to wait 24 hours to receive the tickets). She said I have till 8 pm to decide. Meanwhile I'm thinking if my ticket went up 50$ in the hour I was looking for one the first time, how much is it now. I was not satisfied. After calling my husband and sister in law I decided I had no choice but to cancel. I called again and wanted to speak to a manager again about the problem.
I was hoping to speak to someone more sympathetic. I was transferred to international sales and then when I asked for the manager I was hung up on. Grrr! Again I called and this time I was put through to a manager. She seemed more sympathetic and at least agreed that it had to have been a mistake on the reps part as the letter C and K when spelled out do not sound alike and that the rep should have seen that the two names ** and ** should have been noticed.
She left to speak with her manager and said that she would cancel the ticket but she could only give me a 50$ certificate towards the next purchase from Orbitz. She said it would be emailed to me in 24 hours. It's been 2 weeks or so since that call. I haven't received anything. Do I want to call back? It's not worth it. I think Orbitz sucks to say the least. And now I am truly interested in joining the millions who refuse to support businesses that work abroad.
CAPITAL, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -- How Orbitz acted after Better Business Bureau intervention, in response to: Consumer's Original Complaint:
Consumer alleges in July 2006, someone used my credit card to purchase tickets on the Orbitz website. I contacted my credit card company and they agreed it was a fraudulent purchase. In Feb 2007 Orbitz says they understand I disputed the charges and while Chase (My credit card company) determined I was not liable, Orbitz still thinks I should pay them. The amount in dispute is greater than $240.00 .
Consumer's Desired Resolution: To resolve this complaint I would like the Orbitz to stop sending this to collections and clear my account. Also, acknowledge the previous correspondence I sent by certified mail on March 2007. The record locator number is **.
- 04/06/2007 fpp BBB Complaint Received by BBB
- 04/06/2007 fpp BBB Member or MIP Complaint Validated by BBB Operator
- 04/06/2007 otto MAIL Send Acknowledgement to Consumer
- 04/06/2007 otto BBB Inform MIP Member of Complaint
- 04/06/2007 WEB BBB RECEIVE BUSINESS RESPONSE
- 04/06/2007 kmm MAIL Forward Business response to Consumer
- 04/10/2007 WEB BBB RECEIVED CONSUMER REBUTTAL: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Addtl info: On 4/9 I spoke with Karen ** Orbitz General Counsel and advised her of the complaint. I also e-mailed Karen ** a copy of all correspondence to ** and cc'd email@example.com as suggested by Jeff ** of Orbitz customer relations in his initial rebuttal to my complaint with the Chicago BBB. I am now waiting to hear back from Orbitz General Counsel and/or the Orbitz dispute department. Thank you to the BBB staff who have helped me facilitate this process.
They finally gave up on getting me to pay, I am now glad to air their dirty collections practices before the forum. They are attempting to take advantage of anyone they can, avoid Orbitz!!!
On March 11/12th, 2007 we made reservations via Orbitz to travel on July 17th to the UK. My whole family (husband, wife, 3 kids) were going over for my sister's wedding vows ceremony and just to visit with everyone. Unfortunately, on March 16th, I got the unexpected and devastating news that my mother had terminal cancer, and her prognosis was very poor. Basically, I needed to get to the UK ASAP if I was to see her alive. I contacted Orbitz the very next day, via their (subtracted to India) customer services.
#1 representative told me that, no problem, so long as we provided documentation, our flights would be "transferred" and we could fly out to the UK as soon as we could. Great news! On this basis, we started contacting our kids' teachers, my husband's professors, and my boss.
Calling back on Monday to clarify what was needed, #2 representative informed me that #1 representative was incorrect and that Orbitz "never transferred flights". #2 representative told me that we would have to seek a refund instead. I began to panic. My mother was deteriorating daily, and I needed to get to England. I asked her how long the refund would take and her response was that the refund would take place "immediately."
It took until Tuesday evening for us to straighten out the kids' schools, work and college, and by then I had received a letter from my mother's doctor in England. He wrote that she had "terminal illness with a poor prognosis." She was dying.
On March 21st, I faxed this letter from the doctor with an explanatory note to Orbitz. As requested by rep #2, I called 2 hours later and they confirmed that the letter was received. I asked #3 representative about the refund, emphasizing that we needed to leave NOW. #3's response was that it took 30-60 days to process a refund!
When I had picked up my jaw from the floor, I repeated that #2 had told me that the refund was immediate. #3 told me that #2 was wrong" (are you hearing the pattern here?) and that the refunds took 30-60 days - blah blah, credit card cycles, blah blah airlines fault etc. I told #3 that we had not used a credit card, we had used our bank debit card which had used funds available in our checking account. #3 then continued to quote the 30-60 day processing time.
Defeated and deeply emotional, I quit on calling Orbitz for a few hours. Then I called back, spoke to rep #4. I explained yet again that my mother was dying and I had to fly out now. I told #4 that I needed to speak to someone with authority to grant this refund immediately. #4 lost me someplace in the system. Called back again, same rigmarole, #5 lost me in the system.
Called back again and explained to #6, and after a long - endlessly long - wait, another person came on the telephone, a female. #6 claimed to be a manager. I explained yet again the circumstances, and #6 went away for a very long time. When she returned, she told me that, and I quote exactly: "Orbitz has taken the hold off your money. All you have to do is call your bank, and they will take the hold off and you will have your money." I asked her to repeat that, and she did.
I hung up on her (BIG mistake!) and called our bank, USAA. The customer services rep looked at our account and said, "no, no money waiting on hold". I told her about my conversation with Orbitz and she checked everywhere she could but there was no money waiting. Shall I spoil the suspense here and say that we are STILL awaiting this refund which Orbitz took the hold off on March 21st??
The bank told me to wait until the next day, which I did, but there was no money so, heart sinking, we took money yet again from our savings and we went ahead and booked a flight to leave for England on March 24th. Because of the delay with Orbitz, this was the soonest flight we could get that we could afford! We flew out of San Antonio on March 24th at 2:00 pm and my mother died in England at 2:30 pm. When we arrived in England on Sunday morning, it was way too late.
I was so done with telephone calls to Orbitz. I couldn't bear to be told any more lies, but I was very angry about the deliberate lies told by their customer services. I had begun emailing them on March 22nd, and I continued even after my mother's death to pursue both the issue of the lies told, and the whereabouts of my refund. All that I got was more company policy quoted and a suggestion that I call their 1-800 number. Which I declined.
When we returned, it took some time to regain momentum. The loss of a parent does that to you. On April 9th I wrote to Orbitz in Chicago. On April 16th I had a response from customer services. They apologized, they re-stated 30-60 day policy, they told me how huge Orbitz is and how many customers they have, and said they had faxed our information the airline (BMI).
Then followed a long period of silence. We had calculated the maximum 60 days from March 21st to expiry on May 19th (tomorrow as I write.) There has still be no sign of the money. So this morning, May 18th, I called customer services at Orbitz.
The person I spoke to there advised me that the 30-60 day period had "begun again" on April 16th when she wrote to me. When I questioned her, she finally acknowledged that the paperwork I had faxed to Orbitz had never been sent to BMI, hence the delay and the re-setting of the 30-60 day period. When I checked further, I found that - at today's date - our reservation to fly to England is still a "confirmed reservation." The airline hasn't even canceled our reservations!!
I have today faxed and emailed BMI to find out whether they ever received our paperwork. I have my doubts. We are absolutely miserable and defeated. Orbitz made a bad situation significantly worse. I would never, ever, EVER travel with Orbitz again. I would rather get to England in other way than use their services. This is a bad, bad company.
CALIFORNIA -- Four letters have been sent to customer service, customer relations, Brian ** - head of Customer Relations and Eliot ** - SVP of Communications at Transport, the parent company, concerning my problem and have been totally ignored. From reading other websites this is a common practice with this company and has been for years. Customer never get compensated, not even an apology. BIG BUSINESS the little guy can't hurt their bottom line.
My problem started by ordering and paying for a ticket for my grandson in the USAF in England. Instead of an e-ticket to him at his email address they sent me a paper ticket in California. I did NOT knowingly request a paper ticket nor receive any warning, like "hey why would you want paper ticket sent to California when the flight leaves from London." Thought paper tickets went out with the dinosaurs and so apparently has customer service.
When I learned that the ticket would not be received until 5 days after I ordered and 5 days before the flight I called UPS who stated that there being no expedited delivery to an APO they could not handle. My grandson contacted the airlines who stated under circumstance they would cancel but we had to go back to Orbitz. Back to their customer service again.
First told me I could cancel and gave me the fees, said he needed to get the address and hung up. Explained to the next clerk again why the ticket could not be used on date of flight. She said under NO circumstances could I cancel ticket, my only option was to exchange ticket for use on another date and gave me the address to do so.
Since my grandson could not easily change his leave dates we bought him another ticket and I returned the ticket (they got it back the morning after I received) with a letter again stating reasons it could not be used and requesting options for using value of ticket at a later date as I could not afford to lose the money. This is the first letter that was ignored. When I again called was told that as a "no show" had lost full value.
Several more customer service supervisors and days later I had no answer as to why this had happened. I had told two clerks and reiterated in a letter that the ticket could not be used on flight dates. I asked they playback my conversation with the clerk who gave me exchange address, which I was told had been recorded, they refused. Was finally told they do not cancel reservations by letter only phone or E-Mail. I never received this information during any of my conversations when it would have made a difference. Of course I got nowhere and that's when I started my letter campaign which also fell on deaf ears.
They had my ticket, they had my letter with a phone number, and unfortunately they had my money. If this truly is a policy a simple call would have saved me a $ 1,100. This is what Orbitz calls TLC? So beware if you use Orbitz and miss your flight for any reason. TLC really means TAKE LOSERS CASH or TOUGH LUCK CHUMP. I really don't expect to have much impact on their bottom line but hopefully enough that they lose more than I feel they owe me. I just want to stand up and be counted as not going quietly. I did request the assistance of the airlines and they have at least acknowledged I am alive. However they were not a fault.
I was left to fend for myself when a Hotel that I had paid for a reservation through Orbitz refused to honor their travel voucher. I had made a reservation for a hotel room in Beijing China at the Wang Fu Jing Da Wan Hotel. The reservation was paid for through my credit card on the Orbiz website. I was to stay there for 28 days.
My flight arrived in Beijing China at about 9:30 PM. After going through customs and the 45 minute drive from the airport it was almost midnight before I got to the hotel. When I arrived and showed the hotel manager the Obitz travel voucher I was told that they had no rooms available for me and that I would have to go somewhere else. I explained that had paid for a room for 28 days and I wanted to know what they were going to do about it. The hotel manager told me that they would not honor the voucher and that they would only charge my credit card for one nights stay. I was told that they would refund my credit card for the remaining money.
I could not get a hold of anyone at Orbitz to see what they could do for me. I had to go to 6 different hotels before I could find one with a room. All rooms were booked for an upcoming holiday. It was the Chinese Labor day Holiday and it last a full week. Almost all hotels rooms were booked and all they could do was let me have a room for 5 days.
After two days of trying I was finally able to get a hold of Orbitz, and this is where the troubles really began. I was passed from one person to the next, no one seemed able to help me. I was told to be patient and that I would be refunded my money in 10 days. I told them of the trouble that I was having trying to get a room and they did not want to help me, they simply told me to go to their website to book a room.
I told them of the holiday and the problem getting a room and it did not matter to them. I also told them that I was having to pay almost $60.00 per night extra for a room and again they did not care, it was up to me to work this out - as they said, it was not their responsibility for any extra charges. I finally found a room at the Holiday Inn Temple of Heaven in the southern part of the city of Beijing. This resulted in me having to pay almost three times as much for Taxi service to visit almost any of the places that we were to go to for the remainder of my stay in Beijing.
After 15 days of waiting to have my money returned, I checked my account and found that the money had not been returned to me. I called Orbitz and after being passed around again, I was finally told that they wanted me to go back to the hotel that did not honor their voucher and to try to get my money back. I told them that this was not my job to do but theirs. They told me that the hotel manager told them that he would return my money in 10 business days.
I hired a translator and then took a taxi halfway across the city of Beijing to talk with this hotel manager. I was told by the manager that he was only paid for the first nights stay as promised and that Orbitz had never paid them for the entire amount of the stay. I wasted half a day and almost a hundred dollars for a translator and taxi to do what Orbitz had requested. When I called them back I again was passed from one person to the next, and again I was told that they wanted me to be patient.
I tried talking to them via email because the long distance charges were getting to be very expensive as they would put me on hold for over 30 minutes each time you talked to them and sometimes up to 15 minutes while they passed me from one person to the next like a football. I was promised the next time that they would have the money to me in 60 to 90 days. I again asked if there was something that they could do to help me about the additional cost that I was being forced to pay because of their lousy hotel reservation. I was told again to be patient. It seems that this is there solution to any problem, just be patient.
I told them that I was spending an extra $2000.00 for a hotel room, extra for the taxi service, extra for the translator, extra for the phone calls and all they said was for me to be patient. The total that I was out including the first hotel room, was over $5000.00 to have a room that I was to only pay a little over $1300.00 for. This caused me to have less money available for a vacation that I had planned years for. Orbitz solution, be patient.
I wrote another email to them explaining that I could not believe that they had left a client to fend for themselves halfway around the world, that they did not think that they had any responsibility other than to tell me to be patient, and worst of all when I checked their website, they were still advertising for this hotel that did not honor their voucher leaving other unsuspecting customers at risk of this happening to them.
I want this to be a warning to all persons thinking of dealing with Orbitz, let the buyer beware, they are a company that cannot be trusted and they will do nothing for you if you're left in the same circumstances as I was. Orbitz or the Hotel Manager are liars but in either case, I gave my money to Orbitz, and they failed to provide the services for which I paid for. They do not understand customer service and worst of all, do not have any honor as a company.
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- Misleading reviews of hotel in Charlotte NC - glass in front of hotel clerk, people walking in and out not sure of the business going on in the rooms. We have kids and cannot stay somewhere like this. When we spoke with Orbitz, they said we would have to cancel through the hotel and they hung up. So, why go through them if they cannot give any guarantees?
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I have been booking several hotels using Orbitz. I came to Midway UT to Zermatt 5* hotel. They gave me cheaper room than I ordered from Orbitz. They did not even had a room I ordered replying that room was not assigned correctly. My wife and 3 kids went to California next day and got into Best Western Oceanside INN hotel and manager kicked them out to a street not even letting them to check in. It looks like Orbitz does not have any good relations with hotels and do not want any business to be repeatable.
My name is Lynne; I'm a member of the Orbitz Customer Relations Team. We'd like to learn more about your experience so that we can address the issue. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; and include the Orbitz confirmation number; so we may investigate further.
Thank you for reaching out.
Orbitz Customer Relations
Orbitz charged me an adult fare for a child - they already ADMITTED to this mistake - and somehow I cannot get through to anyone to get this money back. It's only $140, but I am absolutely never, ever using Orbitz again. They have a completely insane, convoluted system of which type of supervisor can "help" with which kind of problem so they kick you around from department to department all over the place when really, no one can help. I will never see this money again, and they will never see my business again.
CALIFORNIA -- Promises cost free cancellation if within 24 hours but holds paid funds for up to 5 days. Cancelled reservation within one hour once I learned that airlines will not guarantee a seat booked via Orbitz and their ilk. Went to make new reservation directly with airline and learned that Orbitz didn't refund my money because my hard earned funds were in the purgatory known as "pending" in which neither the broker (Orbitz), the credit card co (**) or the airline (American) had the ability to give me the right to use my own money. They take zero responsibility.
I booked my Thanksgiving airline ticket through Orbitz for the wrong date. Called Orbitz to cancel my flight. I specifically asked how much my credit will be after cancellation, and was told it would be the full amount of ticket. Right after my cancellation, Orbitz told me if to use that credit, I have to pay $250 for penalty fees. I feel Orbitz purposely hide that charge from me. I would've plan something else if I know there is a fee with it.