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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 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
Express Deals Misleading!
Posted by Aileenrisso on 09/16/2013
LOS LUNAS, NEW MEXICO -- I booked a 3 star hotel Express Deal In Scottsdale recently. My husband and I looked over all the 3 stars available on your list and found they all looked good so we booked it. Priceline ended up giving us a run down 2 star looking motel that wasn't on the list! They said it was in the "fine" print and that they hotels listed were just "samples" of some of the hotels available.

Done with Priceline Forever!!!

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Posted by Old Timer on 2013-09-16:
"Done with Priceline Forever!!!"

Smart move, that will also help save your sanity and money.
Posted by Tammy Muphy on 2013-09-24:
In 2012, we purchased 2 airline tickets through priceline for 634.85 to go to our sons wedding in FL. My husband soon after became ill and had to be on dialyses. His illness prevented us from being able to make the trip. In feb.2013 he got a kidney transplant, he goes to the doctor weekly for lab work preventing us from being able to use our tickets. I've contacted priceline over the phone and through e-mails, and they continue to refuse us a refund, I am layed off and we really could use the money, our reasons for needing a refund do not matter to them, our tickets expire on 9-27, in 2 days. I wanted to send them a certified letter and have not been able to find a mailig address. It's a shame that such a reputable co. can screw over people like this and get away with it!!!
Posted by judy on 2013-10-25:
I work at a hotel and we constantly tell our guests not to use prepaid companies, please call the hotel direct and we will be able (depending on availability ) to reserve that room for you at the same rate you saw on line
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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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Seat Trick
Posted by Seatless on 03/11/2010
I purchased tickets from Priceline.com for a flight three months in advance, but when I checked in I was surprised to find myself on standby waiting at the gate. I spoke to the attendant who said the airlines oversell and that I should have requested a seat assignment when I made my reservation. Ridiculous, obviously I want a seat when I spend $300 on a flight. I know some claim this is the airline's fault...but check this out!

Today, I was JUST about to purchase another set of tickets from Priceline when I realized that they had listed their seat assignment map as "unavailable" for all FOUR of my flights. Intrigued, I visited Orbitz (a similar travel website) and searched for the same exact flights, went through all of the preliminary booking questions, and AHA...was able to reserve a seat on all four of my flights! The ticket was $7 more, but for the peace of mind and ease of travel it provides..I went for it.

I assume Priceline penny pinches and is lowest on the airlines' radar for customer service... But when I spend hundreds of dollars, I expect a place to sit on my flight. After all, isn't that precisely what we're paying for?
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Posted by Ben There on 2010-03-11:
Regardless of how you book your ticket, you can normally assign seats on the airlines website with your confirmation number or frequent flyer number. If there are none available - as there often can be - you can try again 24 hours before your flight when online check in opens.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-11:
Those who don't pre-reserve seat assignments are the one's that find themselves on the oversold list without a seat. Travel agencies (even online ones) don't bother to tell you this. You actually need to ask for pre-reserved seats. This however doesn't guarantee the seat as its only a request. The airline can change it whenever they want.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-03-11:
Airlines don't always automatically assign seats when you book directly on the airline website. It is up to the customer to pick his or her own seat by clicking on the seat map.

I use seatguru.com to find the best seats.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-11:
Plus, with possibly millions of people booking flights at the same time you are it is probably not going to be an accurate seat choice anyway, thus the reason the airlines can and do change the seat assignment.
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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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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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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Priceline over charges
Posted by Jeffchritz on 10/16/2012
POCATELLO, IDAHO -- Today, 16 Oct 2012, I booked a car rental in San Jose, CA. I had seen offers for $35/ day total cost and decided to try bidding for a cheaper price. So, I entered $30 / day and gave these clowns my credit card number. My bid was accepted and the amount charged to my credit card was $184.18. That's a total cost of $46/day!

When I complained to customer service, they claimed that I had an opportunity to review the purchase before it was booked. BS. They booked and charged my credit card before I saw the final cost. Won't be dealing with these guys anymore.
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Posted by Ben There on 2012-10-17:
Everytime I have used Priceline bidding I have named my own price on one page, and then I am taken to another page that shows the final price including taxes. Lower on that same page is the area where you agree to the t&cs and pay.
Posted by Jeff on 2012-10-17:
Yes, there are taxes and fees added into it. They always show you the total price before hitting submit. Ive saved booking through that a few times, but also have found its cheaper to book direct.
Posted by Brian on 2012-10-19:
I agree and have also been robbed by Price Line. I had used them several years ago with success, but they are now misleading customers and there is no recourse. Buyer beware!
Posted by Pat on 2012-11-05:
We had the same type of experience with Priceline
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Priceline Sucks
Posted by Darkchild on 03/27/2010
Priceline sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On the day that I was to leave lincoln, Nebraska and return home to New Jersey I be came ill.

I had to go to a doctor in Nebraska and had to cancel my flight out of lincoln on macrch 22nd. I re booked the flight for the next day March 23rd.

Now here is the catch with Priceline. I paid them the $150 to fly out of Nebraska on the 23rd. They took my money from the credit card right away.

I get home and look at my checking account ( and low and behold) Priceline has charged me another $150 and a additional charge of $228.30. This is all for the one ticket that I had exchanged and that ticket was paid for.

Well, because the clowns at Priceline did this it over drafted my checking account.

The over draft fees are $36 per day if the money is not place back in your account before 4pm. Now I have four days of overdraft fees totaling $144.

Priceline and I got on the phone with my bank and the bank told them that the overdraft fees were cause by Priceline double billing me.

Even though the representative from Priceline heard the bank say it's their fault they still want me to fax them proof that they were the ones that caused this mess..

I will fax Priceline what they need and I will come back here to let you all know if I got my money back from them.

Beware of Priceline!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They suck big time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-27:
What you were charged was the $150 exchange fee and the difference in the fare. No double charging here!
Posted by Buddy01 on 2010-03-28:
It seems that the $228.30 was the fare difference. In addition to the $150 change fee, you have to pay the fare difference between the two dates, which will usually be more. If the $150.00 and $228.30 would not have overdrafted your account but the second $150 did, then it is something you should definitely pursue. The amount is what the airline would charge, not Priceline, so the money would go to the airline.
Posted by darkchild on 2010-03-28:
price line called my bank to see (again) if the overdraft fees were for real, but they did this without me being on the line. as we all know the bank will not release any information with out the account holder being on the other end of the conversion. so, once again price line wanted me to fax the overdraft statement to them again. I have done that for the third time.

will see what happens on Monday 3/29
Posted by darkchild on 2010-03-29:
good morning,

called the bank this morning to see if price line had really called the bank like they said, bank had no record of it.

the one good thing is the bank refunded all the overdraft fees back to my account. I don't have to deal with price line anymore about this.

OH HAPPY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by Buddy01 on 2010-03-30:
I am glad the bank refunded your overdraft fees. Certainly a warning to others not to use Priceline.
Posted by ANGRY BIRD on 2012-11-01:
Posted by Elizabeth on 2012-12-11:
Hate these people !! Due to a military orders changed I had to be home at 7am vs anytime that day. It was 12 hours. Price line would not change my ticket and I had to but a separate ticket to get home $378.00. They are terrible. Never use them. Ever. Telling all my military friends to stay away from PL
Posted by Terry on 2013-10-20:
I agree, I will never deal with them again. I had to cancel my travel plans because of a medical emergency on the plane. The airline was not able to find alternate flights. They don't have a number to contact them so I called and cancelled the hotel. I emailed priceline to get my money back and then they emailed me a number to call. When I called they said since I didn't call before my check in date too bad. I finally complained enough that they refunded part of it. Now I'm waiting for them to refund the airfare that that airline sent to them. They want me to call again. Screw them.
Posted by Alan on 2013-11-23:
Priceline.com will take your money and provide no customer service after the sale. Just had a negative experience where airline had trouble and flight was delayed causing me to have to cancel trip for I would be stranded in a layover city. Priceline would do nothing and stated not their problem. Very poor customer service! Don't trust them and don't use them!!
Posted by frustratedTraveler on 2013-12-03:
I booked a car through Priceline 3 months in advance. 1 month prior to my trip, I had to adjust the dates of travel and asked Priceline to change the dates. Customer service said they would, but I would still have to pay for the original reservation (in the fine print) - which of course they charged to my credit card when I originally booked the travel plans. They are totally inflexible and uncooperative even 30 days prior to needing their services. There was plenty of time for the rental car company to accommodate my request and incur no additional expense, themselves. When I called the rental car company, they said it was Priceline's policies that were the problem, not theirs. They were willing to accommodate the change. I will never use Priceline again and am spreading the word. Their customer service stinks. Even when I brought to their attention that their policies are well disguised, exploitative and not competitive with other services, they kept sending me the same e-mail explaining their "no change policy". They are really stupid.
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