Priceline

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Got airline ticket for more than 448 dollars from Priceline website
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
MARLBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS -- Hello - Booked airline ticket from Cochin to New York for my parents from 30th June 2013 to 14 Dec 2013. Everything was fine while booking the tickets. Priceline website charged me $2428.42. I was happy with the ticket price as I got from Priceline which guarantee's best price until I came to know that the same ticket is being sold on Kuwait airways website for $1979.86, that is $448.56 cheaper than Priceline.
When I spoke to customer service person and chat with CSR they all told me to live with it as I got from Priceline. The lessons learned from here is don't believe Priceline price guarantee. The ticket price on Priceline is still $2490. But 10 days before the travel date the price on Kuwait airways is way cheaper than Priceline.

Would request everyone to be extra cautious before buying anything from Priceline. Please double check on all other websites else you will also fall in the same trap as me and pay extra for believing Priceline !!!
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User Replies:
Old Timer on 06/20/2013:
I read that a Priceline CSR's bonus is based on how little they can give up to a customer, even when Priceline is caught in a lie or makes a mistake. There is zero incentive for a CSR to work with, or help a customer.

Priceline is by far the worst of all the 3rd party travel sites to deal with. Unless you are prepared to lose or give up your hard earned money, stay away from Priceline.
Bee on 06/21/2013:
The cost of an airline ticket changes regularly. It depends on the number of seats sold and various other things. That may well have been the best price for that flight when the tickets were purchased. Then, shortly before the scheduled departure date, when the airline (or a different airline that Priceline doesn't work with as they may not be a preferred partner) realises that most of the seats are unsold, they may drop their price as an incentive.

You found the price of the seats to be acceptable when purchased. Therefore accepted that price. Would you be willing to pay more for your ticket if the price had gone up during that time?

Finally, a word of advice. Use a proper travel agent who will find you the best deals out there. They are also able to deal with the airlines/hotels/whatever else for you and be your personal contact instead of calling a 1-800 number and getting CSR #123 or whoever.
Weedwhacked on 06/21/2013:
I wouldn't believe the "price guarantee" either. Once a reservation is ticketed the airline charges fees for any changes, which requires the travel agency to charge fees.
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Got Ripped. And Got My Money Back
Posted by on
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 because 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 beginning 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 against 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 what 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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User Replies:
Doe3001 on 07/25/2006:
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.
Doc J on 07/25/2006:
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.
Anonymous on 07/25/2006:
Michel: Very good post and very helpful. Thanks for passing it on.
Anonymous on 07/26/2006:
Informative.
Michel on 07/26/2006:
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).
justus on 08/03/2006:
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 any way. 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????
Michel on 08/03/2006:
Justus,
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.
evezhang on 10/30/2006:
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!
Michel on 11/01/2006:
evezhan,
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.
Sweetpea0925 on 12/06/2006:
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.
tylerrd on 03/13/2009:
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.
Griggymonster on 10/18/2009:
they are very impersonal,and sneaky. I would never trust this company again.
Never use Priceline on 06/11/2013:
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.
Juju on 06/26/2013:
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.
Carly Heeren on 07/01/2013:
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.
ani on 07/02/2013:
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.

Dave from b.c. on 07/21/2013:
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
Maureen on 08/16/2013:
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.
bayarea51087 on 01/24/2014:
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
Lawyer on 06/03/2014:
I have had similarly bad experiences with priceline.com, and no longer use them to purchase anything. I instead use them to search for the best fares available, and then go directly to the airline with the cheapest fare, or elsewhere, to make the actual deal. Priceline.com is a criminal enterprise.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Absolutely THE WORST EVER....
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- As an employee of Bank of America I was referred to Priceline by our employee perks webpage. Little did I know of the disaster that awaited me in Phoenix, AZ. My husband and I booked a 2-bedroom suite at the Phoenix Place Hotel and Suites for our final night in Arizona. We had requested such accommodations due to traveling with my elderly in-laws who require constant assistance. Upon arriving at the hotel I was given my room assignment (Room 554).

After entering a small 1-bedroom accommodation I immediately contacted the front desk and informed them that I was clearly given the wrong room. The concierge informed me that the hotel did not have the 2-bedroom suite that I booked through Priceline.com. I then showed her my confirmation that was emailed to me describing the accommodations I had booked. My arrival time at the hotel was 9:00pm, as I was explaining the circumstances she told me I would need to speak with the manager who would be in at 11:00pm. My flight was scheduled to leave the Phoenix airport at 8:00am, which meant I needed to be up at 4:00am in order to have to to return my rental car and check-in at the airport.

The manager arrived for her shift as scheduled at 11:00 pm. I once again described the situation to her and she informed me there was nothing she could do to refund me the money I had already paid for the room I was not going to be placed in (no such room existed). By this time it is after midnight and 4 hours from the time I was to be up. I was given a 2 queen bed room in which one bed was completely broken from the base. Upon getting "settled" in the room I called Priceline.com to try to resolve the issue. I was told my the customer service representative that I was clearly not given the accommodations that I had booked and that he could see why I would be upset. With that being said he merely offered me a 20% break on the room I had already paid for.

My original total was $166.00, so a 20% discount would be $33.20. The normal price for a 2 queen bed room with prior payment is $85.00 plus tax, so for discussion purposes let's call it $100.00. Why would I pay $132.80 for a room that is worth $100.00. Not to mention that none of this compensated me for the extreme headache and stress this situation has caused. I expect a full refund for the reservation I made considering I was not given what I was promised nor what I paid for. The 20% discount that has been offered is completely unacceptable.

I would like a call from a reservations manager as soon as possible to have this issue resolved and to have a full refund credited back to my account. This is the email I sent to Priceline explaining the issue I experienced. The next time I called them they said they were no longer offering the 20% discount and they had finished their investigation and were not refunding me a dime and for me to have a nice day.
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Soaring Consumer on 12/09/2013:
Dispute the charges with your credit card company for services not provided as agreed.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Thank You for Nothing!
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
NORWALK, CONNECTICUT -- After speaking to a customer service representative at the 1-800 number for Priceline.com I was asked to submit a written letter to their customer service department as they were unable to connect me with a higher manager to field my issue. The following is the letter I submitted which I also posted anywhere the internet would have it.

I purchased an airline ticket (202-048-470-10) round trip to Los Angeles under the rules and designations set forth by Priceline.com on November 9th for travel the 14th through the 19th. I attempted to book both my car and flight together, however that option was unavailable at time booking. The conformation e-mail sent to me about my flight had links for automobiles for $19 a day. The lowest I could book for was $25 dollars a day and after I booked(211-185-482-62), I contacted Customer Service via the internet chat option and was given $5 bonus cash towards my next car rental through Priceline.com which I tried to contest via the internet chat but the agent disconnected from me. At the time I begrudgingly accepted the situation and moved on as the $30 did not seem worth fighting over.

When I arrived at the airport on the day of my trip the luggage that I brought which previously on other carriers had been acceptable as a carry-on was not accepted and thus I was required to pay an additional $25 each trip. Please note that I do not blame Priceline.com for this specific situation, I am just pointing out the total monies and inconveniences that were added to my travels.

After I arrived in Los Angeles and was taken to the Hertz rental station I discovered a few more inconsistencies in the automobile rental policy. While my flight was booked through Priceline.com for travel back to Chicago at 5:45pm on November 19th, my car was due back at 10:30 am on the same day leaving me approximately a 7 hour wait in the terminal. I realized that this was why I could not purchase the car with the flight and after speaking to the Hertz representative if I returned the car anytime after 10:30am I would be assessed another days rental at the rate of $40 a day – not the $25 that I had booked it at. She explained that if I had booked it directly there were things that could be done but no changes could be made through a Priceline.com booking. For a third time now I accepted the situation and moved on with the though that I would contact customer service to see what could be done.

The first call I made was to American Airlines directly to see if a change could be made to my flight. They informed me it could and they had multiple flights flying into Chicago which I could change for an additional $75. I did not make any flight changes and told the associate I would do so after I contacted Customer Service at Priceline.com. Let me preempt this by stating that I have worked as a customer service representative for many years and as I called in I knew that the initial representative who took my call would not be able to assist me as I was asking for a refund of $75 so I could book the flight to match the car rental timeframe and not waste 7 hours of my day at the airport. While the initial agent followed his script and apologized to me three times without an ounce of empathy he did finally transfer me to his manager Celine(#85111813) who listened to my call and stated that there was nothing she could do for me due to the policies Priceline.com set forward. I explained that I understood her position, however, I wished to speak to someone above her as someone in Customer Service should be able to assess a customers needs. In my eyes as a consumer I was simply asking for compensation for the difference in time between the time the rental car had to be returned(10:30am) to the time the flight left(5:45pm) both which had been booked through Priceline.com. As someone who would use the service again if the situation was rectified I was shocked when Celine informed me that the only way I could get to anyone higher was to send a letter to 800 Connecticut Ave, Norwalk Connecticut, 06854. I asked her if I could email anyone and was blatantly told, “No.”

Now if I hadn’t been a Customer Service representative for the last few years, perhaps I would have left the situation alone, however, I was treated worse that I had ever treated anyone on the phone in all my experience as a Customer Service representative. On my initial call I was just looking for the $75 fee to change my flight to work around the schedule Priceline.com had granted me. I will do as Celine had told me to and send this letter to corporate, however I expect very little from that. I am also going to e-mail this letter to the Priceline.com general customer service e-mail on Friday November 22.
Let me be specific in stating that I would never feel the need to take these steps if the manager I spoke to, Celine(85111813) had not abruptly dismissed me and told me to send a letter to corporate. If she had been polite and explained the proper reasoning without leaving an open ended resolution as based on our conversation I may have gone away. However, due to my past experience with customers I do feel the need to push the issue.

I look forward to your response,

No response was ever given.
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Paul on 11/30/2013:
Yet another example of the pitfalls of using a site like PL. Booking directly is the way to go for my money.

I sympathize with the complaint writer's predicament, but once you make your reservations with these bargain basement places, you are toast. I am not surprised PL would not refund anything.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Unreliable, False Advertising Horrific Customer Service
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
WORLDWIDE -- I kept seeing seeing Priceline.com commercials running as if they were such a popular good standing company so I figured I would give them a try instead of Hotels.com or Expedia which I have used several times in the past. Originally I was going to just book a room through their so called drastically reduced rates. However the website kept popping up suggesting that I save 60% by naming my own price. What a joke, I entered $99 for a three star hotel in Anaheim. It came back stating that they couldn't find anything close to that price for that quality (give me a break full price 3 star rooms are $140 average)and suggested that I increase to $119.

Against my own intuition I tried it. So it told me it booked me for a room at the Annabella hotel, after it charged my credit card it would go on to state that it could not tell me what type of room I would be getting but I would have to contact the hotel directly for that. What a shock I end up having to do more work for the so called travel service. I call the Anabella, first occurrence they did not yet have my reservation and suggested I call back the following day. So, as I called the following day, I am told that they had booked me for a single room, and if I wanted to have a double I would in fact have to pay the hotel directly $25 more dollars. Needless to say I was furious, I called Priceline.com customer service, which oddly enough seems to be based in India. After 3 phone calls and several push and enter options I spoke to a real person. Guess what he was about as helpful as a . From what I could understand he was saying that in the "contract it states that they do not guarantee what type of room" Excuse me, but what the he!! am I going to do with a king size bed and 4 people I told him. He went on to say there was nothing they could do..

I of course requested a supervisor who offered more of the same pathetic nonsense. While I was on the phone educating him in US profanity I happened to look up the price for the Annabella on Hotels.com. What do you know there was the room I needed for $139, $5 less than the Priceline.com guaranteed lowest price. I decided to just disconnect the call with the so called supervisor of stupidity and called the hotel direct one more time. I asked to speak to the manager, then and only then was I finally able to get some assistance. Because they have had negative experiences with Priceline.com she understood the problem and assured me she would upgrade me to a room with two beds.

Hallelujah, it only took 3 hours out of my Saturday to obtain a rate I could have booked directly through Hotels.com to begin with. Do yourselves a favor do not waste a second of your time or any money on this foolish, deceitful company .
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olie on 08/04/2013:
While I agree that you received horrendous service from Priceline, you could have booked directly with the hotel itself for a similar or lower price. (I looked for a room for 2 adults, 2 children. If you had more adults, the price might be higher.)

And this place looks like a nice one.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Lack of Star Consistency
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA -- I want to preface this review to say that I really like Priceline and I think you can get some excellent deals. I will relate a recent experience where the posting did not reflect what I paid for and I am very disappointed at their lack of response.

I do not work in the hotel or travel industry so I studied the website and their offerings and in good faith chose a 2.5 star hotel. The 2.5 star hotel examples listed are: Holiday Inn Express, Marriott Springfield, etc. The 2.0 star hotels include Comfort Inn, Ramada Inn, etc.

I was awarded the Comfort Inn Maingate in Orlando. According to the rating system, Comfort Inn is a 2.0 star hotel. Here is where my story with the Customer Care/Relations Service begins.....

I called Priceline immediately after receiving confirmation of my hotel stay. I spoke with Lettie who apologized and told me she can't do anything to what I bought because I purchased it with the knowledge that the reservation can't be changed or amended in any way. I agree, I did purchase with that knowledge, but my purchase was not what I purchased. I bought a 2.5 star and not a 2.0 star hotel. Twenty minutes later, I asked for a supervisor, she transferred me after a long wait. Kyle came on and apologized and said he would look into it. He called back 15 min. later and apologized but said according to their rating system, this particular Comfort Inn fell within the 2.5 rating description. I was aware of the amenities offered, but the problem lies with it being stated as a 2.0 instead of a 2.5 hotel. He then explained that Travelocity and others rated this Comfort Inn as a 3 star hotel. I was not purchasing from the others, I was purchased from Priceline and I was looking at Priceline's star rating. He then offered me a cash bonus which I later found to be $50 for a future hotel bid - but there is a catch, the voucher must be used by April 30 and only $10 will be applied per night up to $50. This is not useful for me because I will not be traveling in the next 4 months.

I was not satisfied with Kyle's explanation and resolved to call him again the next day. He gave me an 800 number and did not give me his direct line when asked. I call the number he provided, Alexandra answered and asked about the nature of the call before she can connect me. I waited 30 min. (thank goodness there is now a speaker feature on the phones)before a customer care rep, (didn't catch name) answered the phone. I asked for Kyle and he said Kyle cannot be requested. I explained the situation and got the same response. He repeated everything that was on written on the notes from the day before. Whether the information on the website was right or wrong, I was stuck with what I paid for. I was not happy but they would not budge. The representative will expedite my request. I will be using the hotel in less than 2 weeks, so I will update if I hear from Priceline.

What did I learn from this experience?
1. If you plan to use Priceline, choose a higher star rating than what you see posted - this way you won't be as disappointed.
2. Don't bother calling. Just eat what you got. I wasted close to 2 hours on the phone. The staff has a script and will repeat over and over again what you already know.
3. Priceline reps are very well trained. They will apologize and say they understand but......... They will not bend even if the customer is right. They will turn the conversation around to make you see it their way even when the website posting is clearly on your side in black and white.
4. I used to recommend Priceline when I need a hotel, but this experience has prompted me to try their competitors. If they acknowledged that their website was not clear and that they will upgrade and that I would have to pay the difference, I would be happy. But, unfortunately, Priceline left a less than desirable impression with me when trying to resolve a problem.
5. The cash bonus for another booking was a nice touch, but the probability of it being used is probably small, so they don't have much to lose. If they want to make the consumer feel good - they should either pony up a $50 cash bonus in the form of a check or allow the customer to upgrade to the next level (spend more $$) if the customer was in the right. Don't make the customer feel duped.
6. The 2nd representative I spoke with said he will "expedite" my request. Let's see what Priceline will do next. I asked them to upgrade to 3 stars.
6. Finally, I have a feeling a 3 star or higher rating may not charge a "fee" to help make up the difference they would have made on the hotel room rate. The margin of gain is smaller for the lower priced hotels than for the larger chains.

The rating I provided for Priceline for this one customer service experience is 1 star. In the past, I would have given it 5 stars (above the 4 star best rating).






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jktshff1 on 12/30/2012:
Great review! Just another reason to book direct.
trmn8r on 12/30/2012:
Personally, I would never use Priceline. I book directly so I know what I am getting. I don't like grab bags.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Never Use Priceline.com - Ever Ever Ever!!!
Posted on
Rating: 1/51
We (my family, my sister-in-law's family) planned a weekend trip to the NJ shore on 8/22/14-8/24/14. We had 10 people traveling with us. I had never used Priceline.com before, but was referred to them. I bid on 3 rooms for 2 nights at $91 per night (plus taxes) and got my bid offer accepted. When I received the email from Priceline.com telling me that, it didn't specify what bed setups were included.

I called the hotel, and found out that they were reserved as 3 King beds. With 10 people that wouldn't work, but the hotel clerk informed me that they cannot make changes to a Priceline.com reservation. I then called Priceline back and was told that they cannot guarantee rooms to be how you want them. I said ok, I'm a first time user - and want to work with them, how can we make this unusable reservation so that it's usable? they put me on hold and called the hotel, then tried to charge me an additional $300+ to make the rooms the way we needed them. I said that I could've gotten reservations directly from the hotel for much less than that - I was informed by a very rude agent that I should have made the reservation direct then. I asked for a supervisor - who was also very rude. I said I would be disputing the transaction with my Discover card, they again rudely told me that I would lose. I contacted Discover, and began the dispute. In 5 days (approximately 7/1/14) they put a temporary reversal on the charge of $643.08. About a week before the trip I contacted Discover to find out the outcome, and was told that it was still pending. So we went on our vacation. After a day at the beach with all 10 of us, we arrived at the hotel in NJ at approximately 6pm. We were then told that the reservation had been cancelled by Priceline. I was shocked since we were given no notice that it was cancelled prior to the trip. The only rooms they had available now cost me almost $1100. We paid it and salvaged our almost destroyed-by-Priceline vacation.

About a week or so after returning from the trip, I received a message from Discover that they had found against me in the dispute and had re-charged my card $643.08. I called and was finally able to get the agent to see that in the pages of documentation that Priceline had provided to Discover in the dispute process, buried deep inside, was a notation that THEY (Priceline.com) had cancelled the reservation. So, Discover once again issued a temporary credit to my account for $643.08.

About a month later, I again received another email from Discover telling me that they AGAIN found in favor of Priceline.com. I again called - told them I feel like I'm living in the Twilight Zone - how can you (Discover) keep finding in THEIR favor when THEY admittedly cancelled the reservation making it impossible for me to use it? They again agreed, and again issued yet another temporary credit to my account.

Then today - once AGAIN I receive a message from Discover that they have again charged me for the reservation that Priceline made sure I COULD NOT USE. I called them, and they explained that they cannot find in my favor as they're only the payment source, not an arbiter of what is right.

I then called Priceline.com today - and was again handled somewhat rudely - going in circles. I asked them "how can you try to charge me for a service you INTENTIONALLY MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO USE?". I was given no answer other than we're sorry we cannot give you the answer you desire. I informed them that I would be contacting and filing a complaint with the NYS AG's office. Filed that, filed with BBB, and now posting to any and all sites that have the ability to warn others to stay away from this scam of a company
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Steve on 11/02/2014:
Maybe for others, always check with the hotel first as to rates and bed configuration BEFORE you make online reservations with a 3rd party (Orbitz, Priceline, etc). If you deal directly with the hotel your options are usually greater than dealing with a 3rd party. What a bummer. I hope you get the money back from Priceline.
Rudy on 11/03/2014:
You agreed to a contract. They didn't break it, you tried to.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Priceline Customer Service Careless People
Posted on
Rating: 1/51
SANDUSKY, OHIO -- I had the worst first time experience with Priceline. I reserved a hotel room through Priceline in Sandusky oh close to cedar point for 2 nights. When I arrived at the hotel, the front desk person gave me my room and when I went to the room it was a smoking room. I had asked on my reservation a non smoking room. So I went back to the front desk and they gave me a non smoking room. I got to the room and it had a foul smell but I didn't [want] move again so I stayed there. So , my wife and I went out and when we came back around 10 pm our sink was swarmed with ants.

We told the front desk and they just changed us room again at 11 pm. We got to that room and it also had a foul smell and when I turned ac on and closed curtains on top were spider webs and 2 spiders. So after that I was done with that hotel. So I called Priceline to see if they could change me to another hotel. I talked to a guy named Fernando and he was very rude and not caring. I told him what happened and he told me he was going to put me on hold and call hotel. When he got back on the phone with me, he said the manager from hotel told him she refunded the money so I had to get my things out and leave. It was past 11 pm! I told him that would be fine but if he could get me another room. He said no he couldn't and the only thing he can do is refund my money and was going to take 1 to 5 business days to be in my account. I told him I didn't have much money to go and get another room. He was rude and didn't care at all to try to accommodate us. He just kept saying he refunded the money already and I had to get my things out the hotel and that the money will be back on my account on the next day which would've been Friday.

He was not helpful at all so I told him I need to talk to a supervisor. He said he was the highest level person I can talk to and there was no one else so I hung up and I called another hotel and I told them what happened and they cut me a break and gave me a good rate for 2 nights. So we used our money for trip to pay for the room we got at other hotel since the guy from Priceline told us the money would be in my account the next day.

So we check my account on Friday and nothing and then we check account on Saturday and nothing. On Saturday afternoon we had to go back home but we didn't have much money left, not even enough for gas. So I called Price Line again and the girl I talked to said the reservation from hotel was never canceled and they had charged for the room. I explained what happened that Thursday night and she also didn't care and didn't believe me and she said she was going to call hotel to see if they could refund money. When she got back on phone withe she said the hotel had refunded money to them and that she was going to refund money to me and was going to take 1 to 5 business days. Which made me upset because apparently the guy I had talked to on Thursday lied about him already refunding the money so he hadn't even process it.

I told the girl that he lied to me and she also didn't care and just said yea I already refunded. So I got gas to get home and now my account is negative and I'm just waiting to see when will the money show up in my account. But the two people I had talked to from Priceline were rude and not caring and didn't accommodate us on our trip and made things worse and lied on our first time trying them. But, I will never again use them. I will make my reservations through hotel directly.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Priceline - The Worst Customer Service !
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
TEMECULA, CALIFORNIA -- As you can see on BBB.Org there has been 2936 complaints against Priceline and that's just one site!

You can see just how many complaints there are on the "ripoff report".

You may ask yourself why is there so many complaints against a company that is service based ?
First of all, I can truly say " they do not care about me as a customer " and apparently they don't care about 1000's of others !

I have had an issue that I've been trying to resolve for 2 days. Multiple calls & emails.
It has to do with star ratings & you can see 1000's of other customers have had similar complaints. I won't go into huge detail, other than I booked a 4 star hotel & when I won my bid I did further research on the property. I found trip advisor & Expedia both had it at 3 1/2 stars, 4 other travel web sites had it as low as a 3 star hotel. This upsets me greatly ! The 2 leading travel authorities show it as 3 1/2 & 4 other sites show it as 3, there is a major problem !

My interactions with customer service is by far the worst I have ever experienced !
They just don't care about you as a customer.
Even after I sent them all the documentation on the property, they still refused to do the right thing !
When I told them I write travel reviews & will be writing a review a day for the next 7 days, I was told go ahead.
It is sad in today economy all we want is what is fair & right, they just don't care about you as a customer !
They would rather have you angry & upset, then do the right thing & have a satisfy customer !
I just don't get their rudeness !
All I can say 1000's of consumers can't be wrong, do not use Priceline. Com ! ! ! ! !
You been warned ! ! !
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leet60 on 02/09/2013:
Hotel star ratings, be they through Priceline or any other agency, are abitrary. There is no set standard in the U.S. to determine these ratings and a rating providers idea of a "4 star hotel" may vary greatly from that of the consumer.

It is best never to trust ratings from most of the discount hotel websites. AAA and Forbes have been rating hotels for decades and provide in depth descriptions and fairly accurante ratings. In most cases they actually visit the property to determine the rating.
Nohandle on 02/09/2013:
Years ago (I don't know how it's done now) AAA would in fact personally inspect the property. The inspectors would arrive unannounced and proceed to go down the checklist. A few minor problems the owner was given x number of days to have it corrected for re-inspection.

Major problems, AAA severed all ties to that establishment and the property owner was ordered to remove all signage or anything pertaining to AAA approval. AAA was not about to approve anything that did not meet their standards or their member's standards.

Leet is absolutely correct. Nice response Leet and informative.
tjhorman on 07/25/2013:
I completely agree that Priceline has the worst policy in regards to cancellations and very poor customer service. I wish I would have read these reviews a week ago before booking on Priceline. When I talked with their customer service they had a canned response to how to handle unused days........ and they repeated continually in a condescending tone. The closing remark was from the customer service agent was - "you need to read the conditions more closely, but since you said you won't be using Priceline again I guess you won't need to worry about reading it again......"
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American Soldier Killed Awaiting Priceline
Posted by on
Okay so maybe my title is a little dramatic. I bought the travel insurance in case of an emergency. My brother was injured in a roadside bomb in Iraq and couldn't make it back to the states to act as my host or pick me up. Priceline wanted a doctors not and my consent to have his medical info. SO for one he is laid up in a hospital a million miles away, and two that's a direct violation of HIPPA to have a third party consent to the release of another medical records. If we had access to fax and phone then it would be easier, but he was injured defending this country so Priceline can be rigid and preach made up policies. Then there claims department told me that they could not process a claim because that its a war realated offense and they will not cover war expenses. That is so contradicting. I have used Priceline in the past and they have never been this horrible. What happened? They suck! There policies wrap them up in a cocoon so tight that it overrules customer satisfaction. So instead of someone helping when I call they apologize and tell me there is nothing they can do, which is bull because they own my ticket and are greedy [snip].

I feel like they don't want to do any work, and just place me on hold to tell me no while they chat around a water bubbler. Seriously why even have a company, building and relations dept if you can't solve problems, help, or be compassionate!
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MDSasquatch on 07/20/2010:
Tell your brother, I appreciate his service and his sacrifice.
goduke on 07/20/2010:
Echo MDS...thanks to your brother.

BTW, what were you trying to do? Get Priceline to cancel a flight? Or getting Priceline to pay for his flight? I'm probably just being dense, but I can't figure it out.
goduke on 07/20/2010:
Sure enough, though, problems caused by war or by serving in the armed forces aren't covered by the insurance....from the website (didn't pull the whole list):

IN PARTS A, B, & D:
THE INSURER WILL NOT PAY FOR ANY LOSS CAUSED BY OR INCURRED RESULTING FROM:

mental, nervous, or psychological disorders, except if hospitalized;
being under the influence of drugs or intoxicants, unless prescribed by a Physician;
normal pregnancy, except if hospitalized; or elective abortion;
riding or driving in any motor competition;
declared or undeclared war, or any act of war;
service in the armed forces of any country;
Weedwhacked on 07/20/2010:
I hope your brother gets better. Your comment about Priceline owning the ticket is incorrect. They paid the airline for the ticket and are not holding it. They would need the doctor's note to get the airline to refund the ticket. If you called the airline directly they may have been able to make Priceline issue a refund once they gave Priceline the money back.

One thing I know is that most insurance companies don't want the risk of war related costs, so they exclude them in their contract terms. If you read it you'll see it there. It sucks but then again these are insurance companies that never want to pay out anything.
Ben There on 07/20/2010:
The airline will require a doctors note as well. Anyone can call up and say "I can't take that flight because I was injured in Iraq". While those are horrible people, we all know they exist and ruin it for those in our armed forces who are injured. I can understand why airlines and travel agencies require proof.
jktshff1 on 07/20/2010:
While I do appreciate your brother's service, I personally find your title very offensive, and disrespectful to those that have truly made the ultimate sacrifice.
Anonymous on 07/20/2010:
AMEN!!!
Anonymous on 07/20/2010:
Jktshff1 + 100
Anonymous on 07/20/2010:
A word to the wise: power of attorney. An absolute must for anyone going out of the country for any reason.
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