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Got Ripped. And Got My Money Back
Posted by Michel on 07/25/2006
Before you get excited, I did not get my money back from Priceline directly. But read on and maybe you can use some of what I learned online and from lawyers.
I had used Priceline 4 times before to purchase airfare to Brazil without any problems. This last time I went through the usual process of entering my travel options and submitting my bid. I did this several times and never "won a bid" or found a suitable counter-offer.
By the way, this "counter-offer" system was more insistent and obscure than what my previous experiences had been, but I reasoned it was due to the fact that I was searching for a very specific price and Priceline was tryng to "help" me find a ticket. I found it profoundly irritating that their "counter-offers" were mixed in with the "bidding" process and did not know if it was poor design or an underhanded ploy to push people into accepting their "counter-offers".
In any case, I gave up trying to find my ticket through them but found out, a day later, that they had charged me for one of the so called "counter-offers"! The automated messages said I had accepted their counter-offer (even though it was double the amount of any of my bid attempts) and my credit card had been successfully charged. A call to their number reached only a recorded message that stated I had to wait (one or two days- I don't remember) before being able to speak to someone directly (even though my credit card had been charged immediately). When I finally managed to reach someone, the conversation was a script that I heard from every single employee/spokesperson I eventually contacted at Priceline. It all boiled down to: "Priceline does not offer refunds for any reason whatsoever; The policy is clearly explained; The system makes no errors, You included your signature (s.i.c. my initials)".
They ignored any reasoning and read (almost varbatim) from some manual. I found on the web a listing of names, numbers and addresses for officials at the company and called and sent certified mail with arguments. I never received any response from the letters and the "VPs" I spoke to read from the same script.
I started a Better Business Bureau case against them (they had been kicked out of the Better Business Bureau at the time). TO support my case, I only had evidence on my side, such as screen prints of many of my bids (gleaned from the browser history - this was all done in the 2 days following the beggining of this mess-) showing the amount of my bids and the discrepancy between what I was willing to pay and what they charged me, as well as the dates that eventually were sold. Priceline answered the Better Business Bureau inquiry with the same (!) words that had been read to me so many times in my conversations, regarding policy, acceptance and my initials. I sent them certified mail requests for their file logs of all transactions in my account so I could study in support of my case (I am a computer engineer), but never got any response.
At the same time I placed a dispute with my credit card company and spoke to practicing lawyers friends of mine. The path was: File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (done) , file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (done), file a charge dispute with the credit card company (done) and, eventually, file small claims suit against Priceline.
I eventually got refunded by my credit card company, let the BBB complaint lapse and never heard from the FTC. To this day I do not know if they simply paid Priceline and took the hit, or going agains the bank's laywers would have been counter productive to Priceline. But these are the main concepts I learned and which you should take into consideration:
1 - DO NOT USE PRICELINE. This is my personal advice, based on my personal experience with them. Do not even think about seeing what kind of offers they might have as you have to register your credit card information and you have little control of when you might be charged.
2 - Priceline is NOT in partnership with airlines. Your "bid" (now you will understand why I placed so many quotes in my report) is not a "bid". Priceline is a broker who purchases tickets in bulk, at a discount, from the airlines. They know exactly how much it cost them and how much they want. They overbook flights, so they can refuse a refund and there is someone else with the same ticket as you.
All this information was obtained by speaking to airline officials, something I did not tell you I tried to do as well. Apparently, at least the people I spoke to at American Airlines tell me they get many calls with similar stories as mine, but since they did not sell the ticket, there is nothing they can do.
3 - Their "we found a partner willing to sell you a ticket for $$$ counter-offer" is a blatant LIE. It is their ticket. There are no "partners". That is the amount they want.
4 - NEVER, EVER admit to the possibility that you clicked on any accept button or agreed to anything in any way. I am sure I never did that, but every person I related this information to suggested that I probably hit the "accept" button by mistake, which, it's important to note, DOES NOT MATTER to Priceline. I learned this from other reports in the internet.
This was, perhaps, the most irritating part of the story. This attitude that people have that corporations are highly moral and wouldn't try to cheat me out of my money or that their system malfunctioned. The only bad people are not shady characters lurking in the fringes of society!!!!
My lawyer friends told me that I was to NEVER even remotely consider the possibility of having made a mistake, even in friendly conversations with Priceline (when I was trying to convince them to do the right thing). They most certainly claim to have no glitches in their system (I even joked that their IT staff should work for the NSA, they were so perfect) and tried their damnest hardest to get me to admit to the possibility that I might have clicked on the "accept" button. If the case goes to court, they would have to provide me tons of technical reports regarding the stability and operability problems they might have had in the past, but if I ever said: "maybe I clicked on it. Your page is so confusing.." would be the same as having a smoking gun and blood all over me at the scene of a murder.
5 - RECORD your conversations. In my state, you are allowed to record conversations as long as one of the parties (yourself) is aware of it. DON'T tell them you are recording the conversation because that will be entered in their database and you will not be able to get any incriminatory or contradicting statements in conversations after that (if you even manage to speak to another human being at all). A suction cup microphone from Radio Shack costs $14.99 and you only bring out the recordings if things have to go to legal court.
6 - KEEP A PAPER TRAIL. I treat every financial transaction as if it is going to go bad. I know I have missed many good opportunities (things that were really good deals and I wanted them) because I could not find a way to satisfactory prove the agreement -should it not work out-. But since I cannot remember waht these good deals are and the Priceline experience seems to be burned in my brain, I rather miss out on some immediate satisfaction over going through a mess llike that (it's all about risk hedging. I just bought DIgital Camera that might not hava a warranty -it was a display model- but I am willing to loose the purchase money if the camera fails, the company does not honor the warranty, and I cannot easily argue my money back >>it was purchased on the manager's word that I would not have problems, should the camera malfunction<<).
7 - START A TIMELINE. As soon as problems arise, fire up your word processing app and put in dates, names, supporting evidence (voice recordings, copies of letters, web page screen captures), and summaries. Things are imprinted on your brain when it happens, but after a week, it can get hard or impossible to organize what happen with whom and when. This way you have a mcuh clearer picture and are able to articulate yourself better (another reason why I think the Priceline a**holes kept redding from the script. I am serious! They sounded like bad actors...).
So I am sorry that you got to this page because you got screwed by Priceline. I hope this information helps you. Please also publish your unpleasant experience with them and forward my case to anyone you think might end up hurt by this company's practices.
Best of Luck!

p.s. - In case you wondered, the bids I was offering were between U$700 and U$1200 for a trip starting in November or Mid-December, lasting into February or March. The ticket "I bought" was U$3150.00, leaving December 26 and returning January 12.

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Posted by Doe3001 on 2006-07-25:
I don't know how much hope you can put in the BBB: read this: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ripoff1343.htm

It seems they are there just to collect money and not actually help consumers.
Posted by Doc J on 2006-07-25:
Poster-You exemplify the consumer that strikes terror into the hearts of predatory corporations. Every tactic you used is 100% effective. Visitors to m3c should bookmark your post as an introductory primer on how to self-manage a consumer dispute. In essence: admit nothing (even as a remote possibility), investigate and document everything like a good cop, and never back down from your position. Again, BRAVO! doe-Your take on the BBB is correct. They are entirely a toothless tiger. My3cents accomplishes as much in that the "ripped off" can vent here. The BBB does the same. Hats off to the poster for realizing this in the early stages of the dispute.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-07-25:
Michel: Very good post and very helpful. Thanks for passing it on.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-07-26:
Posted by Michel on 2006-07-26:
I am glad my post has been helpful. Regarding the BBB, I agree that it seems to be powerless as the only enforcement mechanism they have is the reward of accreditation (or not). However good m3c is, the vast majority of consumers will post their problems through the national or local BBB, making it an important reference to the risk you take with any business. This means that I still urge everyone to file a complaint with the BBB (a quick online process) and the FTC, but would depend on your credit card company and small claims court (or regular court) to do any effective arm-wrestling of your money.
A long time ago I had a big dispute that I lost under a BBB mediation. I do not know if this is still the case, but at the time (1993) and place (N.Y. City), accepting the BBB mediation meant I gave up my right to escalate to a "real" judicial process. Since then, every dispute I had involved my credit card (and was resolved by my credit card company).
Posted by justus on 2006-08-03:
Ok, so you're a smart consumer! But do you know how the company works other than what you have here? The company records every call as well! See, they too are in a state that allows you to record calls, but they inform you of this when you first call in anyway. The airlines are "partners" with the company. They sign contracts with Priceline allowing them to use the airlines name, company logos and everything, so the airline employee you talked to doesn't know everything. Sometimes a customer does win a dispute, but a contract is a contract. So what if you are an IT person, not everyone is, and some people DO lie about hitting that accept button!! GET OVER IT AND READ WHAT YOU ARE DOING!! If you bid on something through Ebay and then won the bid, would you fight just as hard when you no longer wanted the item????
Posted by Michel on 2006-08-03:
I do not know and do not need to know the inner-workings of the company other than what applies to my case.
We all know that companies record conversations. They state that conversations are to be recorded for training and quality control purposes and I do not know if any of these conversations have ever been used in a litigation. In the end it doesn't matter to me, as I will record and use the recordings if needed (but, as a by-line, what is your opinion regarding corporation's attitude once you tell them YOU are recording the conversation?).
I am glad you quoted the word "partners". Would you say that you are a "partner" with my3cents because you have posted here? Their (Priceline) usage of the word partner is intended to convey a sense that they have special arrangements and when a price you offered is refused (or accepted) is because one of their "partner companies" accepted it. They even have a little animation saying "we are contacting our partners with your offer" -or some such nonsense- when, in fact, they are just querying their database. A task that takes a few milliseconds.
The airline employees I spoke to don't know everything. They just knew that Priceline buys the tickets from them in bulk and that other people called the airline regarding the same situation I was in.
I mentioned the fact that I am an IT pro just to emphasize the fact that I am extremely detail-oriented and that I do not get "scared" or "confused" with menus, GUIs, etc...
Yes, I am sure that some people buy something and change their minds. All you have to do is go to a Walmart's customer service desk and see for yourself. That is neither my concern nor my problem as I did not change my mind nor made a mistake. But for the sake of argument, every company that I know has a return policy. Return policies have rules and regulations to prevent fraud and abuse (i.e. time limits and restocking fees). The ticket I was trying to purchase (and which they claim I bought) was 4 months in the future and I called Priceline the day after I found out I had been charged.
I did read everything.
E-Bay has never posted a bid I did not make, so your analogy is bad. Even more so because you don't seem to get that Priceline is not an auction site, but a store.But perhaps you were talking about PayPal, then all you have to do is Google "PayPal problems" and see that they only exist because E-Bay owns the company and created a virtual monopoly within the E-Bay payment system.
If you had followed the advice you are are YELLING OUT, you would have seen that I had used the company previously and would not have posted such a remark about me nor reading things. Moreover, don't tell people to get over anything. It's condescending. You obviously couldn't get over my post and did not offer any informative comment, which means you are either a troll or a priceline goon. In either case, you have provided me with a position that many people in the situation I was in will have to confront. Thus your post and my respones become an additional tool for people to see what kind of sh** they'll have to put up with.
Posted by evezhang on 2006-10-30:
Hi Michel! I am running into the exact same situation as you. I bid two tickets at Priceline.com at $600+tax each last Wednesday and the website gave me two tickets at $1200 each saying it was the "counter offer". It is ridiculous that I would agree to buy tickets at $1200 when I was only bidding at $600. The customer service people were denying to help. Once they grab the money, they stick to it till the death. I contacted the BBB and FTC and my credit card company after I saw your message. My credit card company told me that it normally takes 60 days to dispute a charge and it may end up nothing. I am in an emergent situation because the tickets are for Dec 13. I wanted to cancel the two tickets and buy another two for Dec 12, only 43 days away. I was wondering how did your credit card company solved your problem and what specific steps did you take and how long did it take for the credit billing dispute. I am really helpless at the moment. $2400 is a huge huge loss! I don't think BBB/FTC/local consumers' council will do help. Credit card company is my only hope. But I have to buy another two tickets very soon! If you could let me know some of your experience or maybe send it to me via email, it would be great! My email address is "evezhang7 at hotmail dot com". As one of the victims of the Priceline, I really need your help!
Posted by Michel on 2006-11-01:
I never got anything from either the BBB and the FTC. Those complaints werr made solely to add to the historical data that other consumers may use in evaluating the company.
As to the steps I took with my credit card company (Citibank Mastercard):
1 - I called them whithin 2 days of the problem and disputed the charge.
2 - A credit for the charge was immediately placed on my account, pending resolution.
3 - I got a form from Citibank with instructions and information needed.
4 - I mailed:
a - The form
b - Printouts of all e-mails exchanges I had with the company (up to that point)
c - Using the browser history, I managed to open some of the pages where my offers were made and used print screen to create printouts showing the values I had been entering. I believe I ended up printing about 15 - 20 pages of offers and counter-offers (I really was looking for a specific price and was trying a whole range of date combinations).
d - A detailed (with the date, time and name of person I had spoken to) summary of any conversations I had had with PriceLine. In the end, I never needed to create written transcripts of the recordings I had made.
e - A copy of the (lower) ticket prices available at other sites (I think I used only the airlines sites, as I didn't want to risk signing up for another website like orbitz or expedia).
f - A detailed explanation of the absolute idiocy of me buying the tickets at that price when they were readily available cheaper elsewhere.
g - Printouts of posts in consumer sites of people with similar complaints to mine.
5 - Eventually (I think 1 - 2 months after the dispute started), Citibank contacted me 2 more times. One of them they asked for an additional written statement specifically saying that I had never authorized/bid the charge.
6 - After about5 months, I received a letter from citibank stating that the dipute had been resolved in my favor. I never asked nor found out if Citibank simply paid them and took the charge as customer service or if they disputed the charge and PriceLine backed down, or if they came to some kind of settlement.
7 - For those 5 months, my monthly statements showed a pending credit fo the amount in dispute. That charge never incurred interest nor was it calculated in the minimum payments.

I hope this helps you. My next step (which I never had to get to) would have been small claims court.
Posted by Sweetpea0925 on 2006-12-06:
I hate this company they lie and cheat. They switch hotels on you and refuse to help. Their customer service is the worse. They hang up on you and have a script they read from. I will never use this company again or any of the companies they are associated with.
Posted by tylerrd on 2009-03-13:
The same thing just happened to me. I was looking at flights from Greensboro to Tulsa. I did a search to see if I could get a better deal from Raleigh to Tulsa, I did not get much of a better offer, so I closed my browser because I had to go do something. The next time I logged on, I had a message saying that I had accepted their counter offer (which I NEVER DID!!!). I called priceline and informed them of this error on their part. They insisted I had, which I had not. They would not release it. They charged my credit card. I was thinking about arguing the charge with my credit card, I called my credit card and told them that I wanted to dispute a charge (total was ~300) and they told me I could and would likely be successful because I had never done so before. I ended up just begrudginling decided to use the ticket from Raleigh, and went on the trip.
Moral of the story don't use priceline.
Posted by Griggymonster on 2009-10-18:
they are very impersonal,and sneaky. I would never trust this company again.
Posted by Never use Priceline on 2013-06-11:
Purchased international tickets through Priceline, but never again will I ever use Priceline. They sold me tickets with a connecting flight with only a one hour lay over. Found out when I arrived at the airport that I could not check in any luggage. I could only take carry on luggage on a. 9 day cruise I Italy. There must be 2 solid hours between connecting flights. While at the airport we came across three other couples in the same situation and Priceline offered no assistance to solve the problem. When I asked About the travel insurance I purchased they said I could not use it as it was a "missed connection" issue with the airline. The airline said they always have issues with Priceline. NEVER USE PRICELINE OR RUSK HAVING A BAD VACATION

We made the most of our vacation and had a great time. Iam committing my time to help others avoid a similar situation.
Posted by Juju on 2013-06-26:
Priceline is the biggest ripoff ever. I tried to deal with them and they did the same script thing as mentioned above. Their system made the error and booked a car that I did not even put in a bid for yet! The next thing I am doing is writing a complaint to the BBB. And I am going to post everywhere I can to alert consumers to the bad business Priceline conducts. They have just lost me as a customer and everyone I tell my story to along with everyone else they tell. Eventually this will have an impact. Priceline owners should be ashamed of themselves.
Posted by Carly Heeren on 2013-07-01:
I dealt with the same exact situation earlier today. Priceline is a great tool when everything works out as expected, but by human and technology nature, mistakes are made. And it is customer service's job to rectify those mistakes. I talked with so many customer service reps and customer relation specialists, and they all seem like they read from some script. At the end I was yelling and cursing (completely unlike me) and I was saying "I do not want to hear 'unfortunately' or 'however' or 'I'm sorry'. There was allegedly no real manager or boss there. They could only provide me with a mailing address. The site is a total rip off and there has to be some way to warn others. I'm sorry if anyone else had to go through the same utterly frustrating experience I went through today.
Posted by ani on 2013-07-02:
how is possible they are able to issue non-refundable and non-transferable in a contract legally. Things happen, consumers use their company because of Wm. Shatner's face while Priceline takes advantage of troubles, but without us there is no Priceline, evidently they care less. I tried to cancel three hours after booking, the transaction was still pending at the bank, the cust svc rep with Priceline just repeated that same line about no refunds, If you were concerned you could cancel and resell it. No that would have been too much like the right thing and would require an add'l step/task. Why do any extra work when we are able to keep your money for nothing. My tkt was $320. I have submitted a complaint to BBB, and plan to write to the Norwalk address and whatever else is available, I work hard for my money, and do not like giving it away for nothing. contracts involve offer and acceptance and some thing of value. A proper contract should have some provision to termination of the agreement. Which doesn't mean hiding behind a made up rule.

Posted by Dave from b.c. on 2013-07-21:
After reading these postings I don't feel as bad. They only upt my hotel bid buy 13.00 and then tacked us funds @10 percent on top I live in Canada and the hotel was also in Canada. I hate getting ripped off
Posted by Maureen on 2013-08-16:
I was ripped off on a hotel " bid." I have used Priceline for years (10 years or more). I used to rave about the company but their website bidding has changed as I learned last night. I thought I was bidding, but now they enter a "bid" for you when you continue to put in your bid you have already made the purchase. This was never a problem in years past. When I called- immediately, I was told this was not able to be rectified. Their "bid" was more than double my bid. Very frustrating dealing with " customer service." They have lost a long standing customer, but I'm sure they don't care.
Posted by bayarea51087 on 2014-01-24:
Priceline denied my bids also. Kept asking me to bid 30$. Once I did that even from 29$ they finally took it for 30$ a day and charged me. I went on hotwire three days later and found the same rental for 21.95$. It was the same type of car for the same dates and times, no bidding. Priceline had its price set at 39$ a day and I had to bid it down just to get it for 30$. Hotwire had the same car at a set price of 21.95$, NO BIDDING. Amazing how that could work huh? Priceline is a scam. Do your research
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Cancellation Policies AND Travel Insurance
Posted by Christa on 06/27/2007
In early May, I made a reservation through Priceline.com for the 4th of July week at Myrtle Beach, SC. I also purchased the "Travel Insurance" posted on their site, stating that you would only be charged for the "Travel Insurance" provided that you cancelled your reservation at least 30 days before the day of check-in. I called in late May to cancel, due to my husbands work-place cancellation ALL vacations scheduled until December of 2007. I was informed by a service representative of Priceline.come that ALL trips are non-cancelable, non-refundable, and non-changeable. I asked why they even bother having the "Travel Insurance", if they are not going to honor the terms and conditions of that policy. To this, the customer service rep. had no reply. I will NEVER again use Priceline.com to reserve a trip, and I urge others to do the same.
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Posted by rhondam718732 on 2007-06-27:
90% of the time when a complaint like this is posted, it ends up being inaccurate. Unfortunately for you, this is one of those cases. I went to priceline.com and searched for "travel insurance" in their help section. Immeditaely a complete and very organized screen came up explaining exactly what reasons were valid for cancelling, refunds and/or changing in great detail. This is direct wording from their site: "With travel insurance provided by American Home Assurance Company, if you have to cancel or interrupt your trip for a covered reason, the cost of your reservation will be reimbursed. Some examples of covered emergencies include illness, injury or death of yourself, traveling companions and/or immediate family members. For a complete list of covered emergencies, see our Description of Coverage. Travel Insurance does not protect you in the event of unforeseen business or personal obligations, changes in your travel plans after your offer is accepted or dissatisfaction with your itinerary."

Your request for cancellation is NOT covered and it couldn't be more clear.
Posted by Ponie on 2007-06-27:
Thanks for the good PI work, rhondam. This goes back to the usual 'read the fine print' we're always warned of. But in this case, it wasn't very 'fine' since you were able to easily locate it.
Posted by poppapia on 2007-06-27:
But it's never the consumers fault is it? Good work, rhondam.
Posted by steve on 2011-06-12:
I currently booked a hotel for a trip wife is pregnant and sick cant make the trip. She has had alot of complications. I bought insurance and they told me they woudld cancel my hotel for $25 a day. They gave me the insurance company still dealing with them what a joke. This company should be investigated for insurance fraud. Stating for nay reason of sick ect you cancel and get 100% refund.
Posted by Trix on 2012-12-22:
don't ever use Priceline.com. They are a complete rip off. The cancellation information is not provided until after the payment is made. if you change a date, you are pretty much SOL. but they are going to refund my money. And after that, I will never use their services again.
Posted by big mike on 2013-03-26:
I ask for a.hotel in Bradenton booked it to find out later that day that it was further away from where I needed it like 80 miles further south . Then I called to cancel and they told me no I told them it was to far away from where my daughter was playing in her softball tournament they said there was non closer and would not refund my money I will nevwe ever use price line again what a rip off . Then I called around the area and found one and it was cheaper and only 10 minutes from where my daughter was playing her game at . They we're so disrespectful I can not even give them a rating not even a one star that has to tell you something.
Posted by mike on 2013-04-04:
iwould not reccomnd priceline to anybody ripped off
Posted by Karen on 2013-05-17:
I booked a flight thru Priceline at the end of March, purchased Travel Insurance as well, in case anything came up. What a waste of time and money!! My trip was cancelled, Priceline refused to help me and the Travel insurance told me the only way I was eligible for a refund was if I was dead, was injured on my way to the airport, lost my job, etc... Since none of these applied, I get nothing. I had to call the Airline myself to cancel the flight (after 4 calls to the Travel Insurance and to Priceline). I now have a credit with the airline (cuz they don't refund when tickets are bought thru Priceline), plus I have to use it within the next 10 months, pay an addt $150 change flight fee, which is normal, and also a $50 re-issue fee. I WILL NEVER USE PRICELINE AGAIN. It's more stress and aggrivation than it's worth.
Posted by Sue on 2013-05-23:
DITTO everything Karen just said EXCEPT the airline I booked with (United) had a $200 change fee if I reuse the ticket. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON PRICELINE's TRIP INSURANCE SCAM! I WISH I had read/saw these reviews before I purchased the trip insurance. It IS a PURE SCAM! ALL Priceline.com is doing is collecting extra $$$ with NO intention of paying if you cancel your trip. They throw up the "trip protection" option towards the end of purchasing your ticket and it seems reasonable so most people buy it like I did. However, when I needed to cancel my trip I found out that VERY few things are covered, and for their unemployment allowance you have to have been unemployed for THREE yrs AND is valid only if you are a W2 employee! WTF! Now WHO purchases an airline ticket 3 years in advance??? If your reason for cancelling is due to illness you have to have a medical doctor fill out forms AND you need to do a release of all your medical records! THAT IS INSANE! I'm NOT releasing my medical records to those jokers! If I broke my leg, why the hell would I release my medical records to them for an accident? WHY SHOULD IT FREAKIN MATTER WHY I CANCELLED MY TRIP IF I BOUGHT INSURANCE FOR SUCH AN EVENT? The BASTARDS! THEY ARE THIEVES!!!! I will never deal with them again and you shouldn't either!
Posted by Chris West on 2013-06-16:
My reservation said "No cancellation fee". I called to cancel 7 days prior. They said their is not ca cancellation fee as long as I pay the room fees. This double talk went on, well scripted by these wierdo's, for 15 minutes. I called AMEX and they issued me a credit but said that they would not be able to get the $ back from Priceline due to Pricelines expertise at playing this game. AMEX warned me from ever dealing with Priceline.com.
Posted by Lois M. Geter on 2013-06-26:
never in my life will I or my family use price line again. I had the same experience that the others had as well. I booked a flight thru Priceline.... purchased Travel Insurance as well, in case anything came up.....same as SUE from above stated "the airline I booked with (United) had a $200 change fee if I reuse the ticket. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON PRICELINE's TRIP INSURANCE SCAM! I WISH I had read/saw these reviews before I purchased the trip insurance. It IS a PURE SCAM!"
Posted by Monica on 2013-07-08:
I will never use Priceline again. I booked a hotel room for a birthday party for my daughter. She had something come up the weekend we booked it. I called to change the date and they wouldn't let me change it. I would have to cancel it which of course I then im out $132 for canceling. The hotel told me they couldn't do anything for me because I booked it through Priceline and had already payed them too. All I wanted was to change the date a week later. Absurd!
Posted by Ryan Herle on 2013-07-10:
I am going through the same thing right now.
We bought travel insurance through priceline/Berkely.
We called to let them know that Ryan could not travel tomorrow. They told us that they would send or email an attending physicians statement in a few days. I asked them to email now because later he said that we had to see a Dr. before the departure date.
I told Berkely that there was no way Ryan would be able to go to a Dr. today, and that the flight leaves tomorrow at 7 a.m.
This really is a scam and all of you need to write a letter to the insurance commissioner.

I have wasted my day being sent from priceline to Berkely, to Delta airlines and back.

All of the priceline customer service reps are in a foreign country and are just collecting a pay check.

Posted by Ron on 2013-08-22:
I recently booked a hotel and car rental for labor day weekend in Denver, CO. I did not purchase the travel insurance. 3 days ago my wife fell from a chair she was standing on while setting up her school classroom and broke both of her wrists. As a courtesy to the hotel I called Priceline to let them know I would not be using the reservations. I expected no refund having used Priceline many times and know their policy. The customer service rep offered me a significant refund on both the hotel and car rental and could not have been more pleasant and accommodating. I was very surprised and pleased with the service I received. Priceline will continue to be my 1st choice for travel arrangements.
Posted by DJJM on 2013-10-24:
We booked a trip to Pasadena CA through PriceLine. There are many hotels in a small area - so we recorded the ratings PriceLine gave - Wow were they inflated! Hotels which should be categorized as a 'flop house' had 2 and 2.5 star ratings on PriceLine. The one we booked was simply unlivable - it was more tenement than hotel. Of coarse PriceLine does not offer refunds, and it is clear why - they use the classic 'bait and switch' They sell you one thing and deliver another - if they actually provide refunds they would go out of business.

Obviously we didn't stay and found another hotel by our selves - which was decent - We ended up paying for two, the useless PriceLine 'hotel' and the real one that we stayed at.

Oh and 'customer service' - that would cost money and PriceLine isn't willing to pay for it - it would only bring in complaints anyway...

Never ever again...
Posted by Catherine on 2013-11-12:
I rented a car from Dollar Rental Car on-line.
They gave you an option to by insurance. It was not said that it was Price Line Insurance. I called Dollar Rental Car to cancel the rental. They could not give me the phone number of Price Line Insurance and could not give me details if I could cancel the insurance or not. Buyer beware, we need to check out companies when you choose use the internet. Why is Dollar Car Rental using this insurance company? They most be getting a kick back.
Posted by Kim R on 2013-11-19:
Priceline is the worst!!! Never, never use, helpful till you have a problem and than none speaks English and you can't get anywhere with your questions. I booked a refundable resort, to find out it was not refundable after all because of the dates selected. Don't do it, call the hotel directly!!!
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Priceline.com - DON'T BE FOOLED TRAVELERS!!!
Posted by Race111 on 03/05/2006
DENVER, COLORADO -- Below Is just 1 copy of the letter I am sending to every agency, government, or non-profit consumer protection service or department, as they clearly took $3,300.00 out of my wallet,and told me theres nothing they can do. Now I'm not going to Europe for my 40th in May. My fellow travelers, BEWARE of this company!! Spread the word. This is UNBELIEVABLE!


Dear CT Better Business Bureau,

I just bought two tickets on www.priceline.com Ticket Request # 29609052101

I checked business class, and then named my own price.

They emailed me saying they accepted my offer of $1500 per ticket for BUSINESS CLASS.

They also emailed me an itinerary that says ECONOMY CLASS/COACH.

I then called Priceline customer service, and they said that Northwest airlines made a mistake, and to call them, which I did.

They said I was stuck in coach, and it would be $12,000 more if I were to buy the upgrade.

I then called Priceline back, they said there's nothing they can do, and I am stuck with the debit on my credit card of over $3300.00!

I can not set in coach for 18 hours, I am 6'6" and that's why I made sure to specify BUSINESS CLASS.

At this point they are conducting fraud.

I would like my credit card credited in full, or I will urge my attorneys to contact the Attorney General of Connecticut to recover my stolen funds.

How this company gets away with 500 complaints is beyond me, but this is extremely urgent that they credit my card immediately.

Failure to do so will result in a class action lawsuit as well.

Please help me recover my funds. I am deeply saddened that they are so immoral.


David Ferree
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Posted by Sparticus on 2006-03-04:
Do you have your receipt from when you paid at Priceline showing you selected business class? If so, I would think they don't have a leg to stand on. You did not get what your receipt says you ordered. End of story.
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-03-06:
Oooooh.....another class action lawsuit. It's really simple - they didn't deliver the goods specified on your contract - dispute the charge with your credit card company - should be a slam dunk.
Posted by dsmith68 on 2006-03-07:
Do you have any idea what a class action lawsuit is? or what it results generally are? If you did, you would know that you do not want one. Get your own attorney and recover your money.
Posted by justus on 2006-08-03:
Did you read the full contract that said "Meal and Seat preferences are not guaranteed. Fares are not guaranteed until purchased."? Most people initial the contract and then miss this. Yes, I am an employee. No, I will not give you my name because I value my job!
Posted by firstrateconsumer on 2006-10-10:
If the contract does indeed say "meal and seat preferences are not guaranteed" then I think most people would not have a problem discerning what a 'meal' is just as what 'seat preference' means. A 'seat preference' is not the same as a 'class or section' ie: coach, business, first class - whereas as 'seat preference' is merely choosing between a window, middle or aisle seat - therefore, Justus, your comment holds no water at all. How do you sleep at night? Certainly there has GOT to be a better way to earn a living than to knowingly screw people out of their hard-earned money. Shame on you!
Posted by Eba2383 on 2008-04-06:
If only people READ the contract page where it says you'll have a COACH CLASS ticket for a name your own price reservation. PCLN disputes all valid charges, and you have the option of picking your seats online or calling a/l directly!!!
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Priceline Liability Car Insurance
Posted by AGdance on 04/30/2010
Do not buy liability/damage car rental insurance through Priceline.com. You must pre-pay for this insurance but it is not the same as the insurance provided at the rental car desk. I found this out once I was picking up the car but since I already purchased it I wasn't going to buy it again through Enterprise. I thought I would be fully covered but I wasn't. One of the minivans I rented was scratched (I'm assuming by a another car in a parking lot) and I was liable for the damages even though I had the insurance. It was a hassle with all the back and forth paperwork and in the end I ended up having to pay $50 for administrative fees (I negotiated it down from $100)slapped on by the damage recovery unit which the insurance company refused to pay. If I had not been tricked by Priceline I would have bought the Enterprise insurance and walked away with no hassles or bills.

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Posted by dan gordon on 2010-04-30:
you might have been covered by your cc for any overages and expenses. Check with them.
Posted by YunkaG on 2010-04-30:
My credit card covers the first $500 and my insurance covers the rest, even a 'reasonable' out of service fee.
Posted by Darnell J. pope on 2013-09-17:
On 4/5/13 I rented a car from enterprise through priceline. I purchased the insurance through priceline at $11.33 per day. I had a single vehicle accident and then the nightmare started. first they refused to pay for towing., and it went on from there. I am still fighting they have my ins. paying $820 and want me to pay $750. I am going to fight this. I will never rent from priceline again. Before this happened i was renting 2 to 3 times a month for my business. Do not use Priceline especially their Insurance.
Posted by Joe Honse on 2013-12-24:
I rented a vehicle from Dollar Rental Car using Priceline for Costa Rica on 9/14/2013 and purchased Priceline's insurance for $11/day. I was then told by the Dollar Rental Car that my Priceline's insurance was not valid because Costa Rica's insurance is government controlled. They then provided 3 insurance options and the three option ranged from 4 times to 6 times the amount of Priceline's insurance. Priceline refunded my $11/day insurance but took NO responsibility for their misrepresentation. NEVER buy priceline's insurance. Priceline still offers insurance in Costa Rica which speaks volumes of their lack of integrity.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Beware of These Scammers!
Posted by Jgruenwald on 06/08/2013
Just a warning to everyone: If your searching on Priceline and close out make sure you clear your cookies before going back on. If you don't they see you've been on before and raise the price 100$ per person!! And then when you email customer service they feed you a line about fluctuating prices.

Please. I'm on my laptop with one price and my iPad with another and seeing two completely different prices. Beware!
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2 Adults Does Not Equal 2 Occupants !!!
Posted by UnhappyInPittsburgh on 08/05/2008
ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA -- After checking out rates of hotels in Erie, PA with various travel websites (including Priceline standard booking site), I chose to use the "Name Your Own Price" option (which is prominently thrust in your face at every turn on Priceline.com). When prompted for the "# of Adults", I entered "2" since I have 2 adults and 2 children in our family. After submitting a bid for a hotel room for our vacation, I saw that my bid was accepted and a reservation made at a hotel chain THAT ONLY HAS 1 BED PER ROOM.

I immediately verified this on the hotel website and called Priceline Customer Disservice. They explained that the reservation could not be changed. I would have to check with the hotel to see if they could accommodate my reservation and if not, I was to call Priceline back for a change.

I called the hotel. They had just received the reservation electronically (took about 20 minutes). They confirmed that they did not have any rooms in the hotel that could accommodate my family. They told me they could not cancel the reservation. Priceline would have to do it. So I called Priceline back (as previously instructed).

Imagine my surprise and disappointment to learn that I was now stuck with a 1 bed hotel room for my family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children). I asked, pleaded, etc. with both Customer Disservice and a Customer Relations "Specialist" neither of who could assist me. I was given a case # and directed to file a complaint on their website. I filed a complaint with their VP of Customer Disservice.

The next day, I received a cll back from "Ryan", an "executive officer" of Priceline. He proceeded to explain to me that they could not change their policy. It was a "contract" that could not be changed (even though the hotel room had not yet been occupied; my vacation was still 4 days away). After arguing my case (even offering to spend more money with them to take a reservation in another Priceline-serviced hotel)and explaining how dissatisfied I was with their "customer service", I told them that they had lost a customer for life. I also told them I would warn as many others as I can to NEVER USE PRICELINE.COM.

Be Forewarned - their practices border on deceitful and their "customer service" is NON-EXISTENT.

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Posted by Principissa on 2008-08-05:
If you knew what hotel you wanted to stay in, why not call the hotel directly and book that way? These third party travel sites are very difficult to deal with when you have issues with your accommodations. It is much easier and a lot less stressful to book through the hotels/airlines/rental car agencies directly. And more often than not you will get a cheaper rate doing it that way as well.
Posted by Slimjim on 2008-08-05:
Clearly if the form didn't ask number of children or total guests, then it is flawed beyond belief. Even if it did and you missed it, this shows that the "name your own price" service is 100% binding and anyone using it should know that going in.
Posted by hubbard53 on 2008-08-05:
all the internet 3rd party sites are like this. Once you make the reservation, you're stuck with it. They *say* you can call teh hotel and if they cancel it,then you dont have it pay. The hotel NEVER cancels. This happened to me with travelocity and holiday inn. . . at least the priceline guy you dealt with was Ryan from the USA and not "Ryan" from Bangalore like travelocity.

Online price is NOT the best price. Last weekend in Cape Cod, I ALMOST booked a room through orbitz for $279.00 per night but decided to walk to teh hotel and ask their price and got it for $199.00
Posted by dan gordon on 2008-08-05:
You Have no reason to complain. You simply didn't read the rules of Priceline. They cannot guarantee a room type or # of beds. Its rare that the hotel would be that full because usually they use Priceline when their occupancy levels are down. I just had the same situation this weekend. Even though I requested two beds the hotel wouldn't honor it and gave me a room finally with a pull out sofa bed. It goes with the low price. Sorry your so upset.
Posted by madconsumer on 2008-08-05:
"2 Adults Does Not Equal 2 Occupants !!!"
"When prompted for the "# of Adults", I entered "2" since I have 2 adults and 2 children in our family."

so really what you were trying to get away with, is, you wanted to pay for 2 people, and skip the extra 2 in for free.

remind me again what your complaint is?
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2008-08-05:
You reservation was for two adults and you got two beds...sooooooo...??? Why were the two kids not mentioned in the reservation? Doesn't the website show what you reserved before you hit the "submit" button so you can make changes a customer made a mistake? Sounds like their instructions may not be clear...did they prompt for number of children?

Oh...you're Unhappy In Pittsburgh...I see, If I were in Pittsburgh, I'd be unhappy too.
Posted by soccermom12h on 2008-08-05:
Mad and Debtor, am I reading the same complaint as you two? If the question was #of adults and there were only 2 adults, then 2 was the correct answer. The OP was not trying to "skip the extra 2 in for free". I have 2 kids and other than the occasional place that charges an extra $5 if you're over 12, the kids are always free. And Debtor...the point is they DIDN'T get two beds, only one.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2008-08-05:
SoccerMom...I wasn't implying the poster was trying to get away with anything...That's why I asked if there was any options for number of children...and why they should be able to view it before the final submitting of the reservation, so there can be corrections IF there were any error. You're right, the poster did state they only got 1 bed, I mis-read that and thought it said they got two beds. Even making reservations for two adults, the hotel should not assume the two adults are sleeping together and only give one bed when the reseration stated two adults. Any way I look at it, I see that the online reservations need to make alot more improvements or at least work with the customer when they do not get what they wanted because the website isn't giving the proper options.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-05:
DebtorBasher, that's not fair. Those in the real world would be just as unhappy in OH as in PA. The only real difference that I know of between the two is that sometimes they do have Super Bowl parades in PA. :(
Posted by soccermom12h on 2008-08-05:
Debtor, I agree with you about improving the online reservations. That's why I personally would never use priceline. There are 2 adults and 2 kids in my family, and I'm very aware of the possible 1 bed problem. Unless it was only me and my husband, or me and 1 of my kids, I would never take the chance. My comments about trying to sneak the kids in was directed to madconsumer.
Posted by Ben There on 2008-08-05:
I am a little confused... If you go to Priceline.com and click the "name your own price" link for hotels, the option is for number of rooms, not number of guest. Where did the OP have the option to select adult/child?
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2008-08-06:
C2O...One question...
What's A "Superbowl Parade"...maybe I'll have to Google it to find out! LOL!
Posted by chris513 on 2008-08-06:
I would be unhappy in pittsburgh, too

go bengals
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
You have to have a winning team to have a parade. No parades for the dog patch.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2008-08-06:
Chris...they allow Keno to be played here now...is that enough Ohio gambling to get you back here? LOL!
Posted by chris513 on 2008-08-06:
LOL, please don't tell my parents that....
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
The Browns had a parade once, but it was held in Baltimore. :)
Posted by chris513 on 2008-08-06:
Posted by Slimjim on 2008-08-06:
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
YIKES that was harsh.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
Contrary 2 Ordinary, best answer.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2008-08-06:
That's quite enough out of you C2O! LOL!
Posted by Ben There on 2008-08-06:
Guess the OP read the website wrong...
Posted by Cube on 2008-08-27:
You arent telling the thuth. When you name your own price their website doesnt ask you how many adults, or kids or dogs or anything. Just how many rooms. They then proceed to clearly inform you that each room will accomodate two adults. It sounds like you got a room that accomodated two adults and no more,....so what are you crying about?
Posted by lilsom on 2008-10-31:
I just went through this exact scenerio, and wished I would have read this review prior to booking anything with Priceline. I also was booking rooms. I requested a double room for two adults and two children, and another double for one adult and two children. (Priceline even goes as far as asking for childrens ages, which I filled in) I did read their terms and conditons which does state that each room will accomodate two adults--BUT I WAS NOT BOOKING A ROOM FOR JUST TWO ADULTS--so why would that pertain to me? I went ahead and made the reservations and it was accepted. I contacted the hotel and requested for a late arrival (even though Priceline guarantees late arrivals) just to curteous and while I was on the phone with the hotel I requested that the rooms be adjoining for convenience. They were able to get me adjoining rooms--all is well so far! I then asked the hotel rep to please be sure that they are both doubles--as to which he stated neither room is booked for double. We do not give double rooms to any of our PRICELINE customers.
Priceline KNOWS this and still books with this hotel knowing that it will not accomodate people with more than two adults. I couldnt be mad at the poor hotel guy so I called priceline.

Priceline put me on hold and said they were contacting the hotel directly. They came back on the phone (in their foreign accent) and in split sentences said that the hotel was sold out of double rooms. As I am talking to the priceline rep I jump on my laptop and am able to make reservations through the hotels website for 12 dollars more into a deluxe double suite! Which is basically an upgrade times 10! I explain to Priceline that they were full of BS and I had just booked the trip through the hotel website and was able to get the double rooms on the same dates. I literally went through three hours of complaining to some foreign guy that did nothing but say "i apologize for your inconvenience, but it is stated in our terms...." then emailed me six seperate emails of their terms and conditions. At one point the conversation got so heated that he hung up on me. I called back and this time got a girl rep with the same accent...she eventually transferred me back to the same guy that had originally hung up on me. I told him that he would not have a job in a few weeks and needed to start looking outside of customer service. He had hung up on me (priceline tapes all convos) this time he said fine ms...I will cancel your reservation...then hung up. I called the hotel and he never cancelled my reservations--I have now received gifts from priceline taking 20 dollars off my next visit--LIKE THAT IS EVER GOING TO HAPPEN! I have filed a complaint with my financial institution (credit card co) which had NO problem removing the charge until further investigation could be done. I am beyond the money thing--I am going on principal. They KNOW that some hotels will not accomodate double beds yet they continue to book king rooms. Why ask how many are going to be in the room unless you are able to accomodate them!
Posted by nina on 2013-01-25:
I am going through the same. I wish I knew it before booking. They don't have any option to specify number of kids. I think they are deliberately left that option out to mint money.
we always used priceline to book airfare but not anymore. DONE with priceline now. We are 2 adults and kids and booked a room using express deal. The hotel said it can accommodate only 3 people in the room including kids! priceline is not ready to cancel/change it. We are really stressed out.
Posted by done with priceline on 2013-06-25:
Sad to hear and wish I read this before just boking and going through ditto experience with Priceline and Hotel. I did enter kids info at the main Priceline page when I was naming the price, then switched to express deals where there was no option. Of course my mistake in not noticing the big BOLD RED letters saying "Stay away, you family man, Priceline is NOT for you!". I am ending up paying extra to the hotel directly that was unwilling to take in kids with our reservation as is citing occupancy limits. This place did have separate rates for 1 bed and 2 beds so I understand and paid. But I feel Priceline should have raised some flags given that I entered kids info when doing name your price and then switched to Express Deal
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Priceline Is A Good Service
Posted by Jimmy22 on 05/22/2008
ORLANDO -- Ive used Priceline 6 times in the past year and have NEVER had 1 single issue.

I can totally understand how people would have issues if they don't understand the concept of the service. All the terms & conditions are laid out for you - all the theory of how it works is there on the pages when you book. If you don't understand how a service works then why would you give them your credit card info.

I'll admit that for a lot of people it is not a very usable site (i.e. user mistakes can be made) but as a web site programmer (not for Priceline) I can tell you that when a mistake like wrong dates, locations etc. are made it is NEVER the programs fault - it is always the users fault. If there were an issue with the program it would happen for EVERY user, not just a select few.

Every time I have booked cars or hotels with Priceline I have saved between 50% and 85%.
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Posted by Ben There on 2008-05-22:
Good post. While I personally don't use Priceline because my plans often change due to my job, I think they are very good at what they do. If anyone ever needs to have any flexibility at all, they need to either talk to a real travel agent and let them know their needs, clearly read rules when booking on other websites, or book flexible airfare or hotels directly from the airline or hotel. Regardless of how you book, almost all airlines and hotels have really cheap stuff that can't be changed no matter who dies or what mistakes are made during booking. At the end of the day consumers must realize what they are paying for... These travel companies do not hide what they are selling, people just are not reading the terms and conditions of what they are buying.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-25:
Good post jimmy.I am a customer service rep for a travel agency and I am 100% in agreement with you!
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Refund was refused even when mistake was on THEIR end
Posted by Sfuller221 on 03/25/2014
HUDSONVILLE, MICHIGAN -- I booked a 2 night stay at a hotel through Priceline. I booked for one amount and when I checked out my receipt showed my charge as being $30 less. When I called to get a refund for the difference in pricing I was just told that there were"no options" available for a refund or a credit of any kind even though it was a mistake that they had made. I spoke to a "supervisor" who also told me there were absolutely "no options" and they were "sorry" but there was nothing they could do. I've used them several times in the past but this was the last time. I refuse to do business with a company that will not even attempt to make things right when they make mistakes.

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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Terrible Policy!
Posted by Pgreer10 on 03/06/2014
Very displeased with the refund policy. We booked a hotel at a reasonable rate but the parking at the hotel was as much as the stay! I am very unhappy that you cannot get a refund. You must rebook and still are charged a 25 dollar cancellation fee! I also think the people on the other end of the phone should speak better English. I could hardly understand a thing she was saying!
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Posted by Ralph on 2014-03-06:
Many hotels charge an exorbitant amount for parking. When I check out a hotel I always see if there is a charge of wifi, parking, etc - things that are free at cheaper motels. Some hotels charge $25/day for wifi - just outrageous. You have learned that it is better to book directly with the hotel (unless you got some extra low rate) who many times the hotel has a cancellation policy up to the day you are to arrive and no charge for cancelling or rebooking.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Priceline Charged More Than the Hotel
Posted by Garystennett on 03/04/2014
I booked and paid for 3 days at a hotel in Alabama. When my stay was over the hotel slid an invoice under my door. The balance was 0 but the price paid was $50 less than what I paid Priceline.
Priceline "Best Price Guarantee" is not applicable to customer service because "rack rates are not considered for this claim" and I should have called before check-in.
Obviously I could not call before check-in so the "Best Price Guarantee" is for marketing purposes and not meant to be used for legitimate claims.
In my opinion the hotel made a mistake by showing my their price and Priceline gets as much as they can from the customer - guaranteed.
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