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Bait And Switch Stop!!!!!
Posted by Laylareeves00 on 04/09/2013
NORWALK, CONNECTICUT -- First off, NEVER take the BBB's rating at face value, always scroll down to their complaints to see if there are any. How a company who has 3000 complaints, with 1500 resolutions and 100% of customers dissatisfied with the resolution, hold an A+ with the BBB is mind boggling and misleading. They have an advertisement for Priceline on their website and Priceline pays to be accredited, reeks of being completely untrustworthy and downright lying.

Okay to my Priceline horror story. I was purchasing a ticket to Honolulu HI and decided to try the "name your own price" button because it guarantees up to 40% off, who can resist, right? It sounds too good to be true, you want to know why? Because it is. I was sent to the next page where I was given 3 choices of departure cities but only ONE arrival was was "Honolulu HI" so I chose my departure assuming the arrival was all set. It stopped me before I went to the next page with big red letters that stated "choose an arrival destination" so I clicked on the ONLY ONE that was there, the one I typed in, not in code but the words, Honolulu HI and then hit the next button. I decided to take the insurance, read the rules, put in my credit card info and hit purchase. Well my price was accepted, yay! You would think so, but not to my destination of Honolulu HI, but to Helena MT!!! Where did that come from?!

After frantically searching for a phone number hidden deep in the site like a treasure hunt, I finally found the number and called it. I was put on hold for almost 10 minutes due to high call volume at 11:20 PM in the evening. This was not looking good for me. I noticed they took the money out of my bank account immediately. I got a woman on the phone that could barely speak English and she was rude as all get out. I told her my story and asked her to please help me fix this. I said that I even used the back button and there it was plain as day Honolulu HI and a check mark right next to it, how could this happen? I was in panic mode but figured it would be all set since it was Priceline's system that did it. She told me that the codes for Honolulu and Helena are one letter off. I don't know why she told me that, I didn't put in any code, I typed in Honolulu because I don't know any "codes".

She then said that I initialed on the page that confirmed that I wanted to go to Helena and my ONLY choice was to cancel, take a 30 hit for a fee then apply 120 towards a new flight and the rest would be refunded. After insisting this wasn't true and that I used my back button and it clearly shows I clicked Honolulu, she said "yes I know I see that, but then on the next page it said Helena and you agreed to it." I was out of my mind baffled, but was exhausted by her rudeness and unsympathetic nature, I reluctantly agreed because she said it was my only option and I thought 30 dollars isn't worth all this aggravation. I mean this just happened 10 minutes ago, this wasn't like I changed my mind or didn't like the flight, it was the WRONG destination, no one is going to Helena MT and especially paying 200 more than a regular ticket is worth! That's nuts!

I asked her to stay on the line with me while I redid this because I was going to read to her every step of the way and she was so annoyed she ended up hanging up after my 2nd attempt of them NOT accepting my price AFTER it said "your deal is all but sealed!". Of course they only counter offered with FULL price tickets. After looking at her email and finding out they were keeping over 160 dollars of my money, not 30, I called back got another agent and got the same exact wording as the first one. However, he did in fact state that although he does see me checking off Honolulu since I already cancelled he could not see what I actually purchased. That made no sense to me. I said so you can see me checking off Honolulu but you can't see what I actually purchased? What do you think I was purchasing? I was even more baffled. I asked for their customer relations department because he said they're the only ones who could help. He wasn't rude thankfully, but he didn't speak English either.

Then another non English speaking woman got on the phone and it hit me, they're not in CT or even in the US and they're not going to help me. She did say as a "courtesy" that they would refund my insurance and that I should try again tomorrow since Priceline would no longer let me name my own price. I was almost up to the full price of the ticket but was refusing to go over the amount I was out if I was stuck with this. I finally gave up, went to bed at 2:00 Am and first thing in the morning called their corporate office which sent me over to yet another call center where they didn't speak English. I got the same script read to me, the same wording everything. I even asked a yes or no question and she answered with the same scripted sentence and I told her "please, do not read a script to me and just answer my question, do you or do you not have the ability to help with my problem?" and she still read the same line from the script. I said I would take that as a no.

After doing more research on the company I was astounded by all the bad reviews from actual customers. Something I should have done in the first place, check with real consumers not the BBB who is paid to give a great rating for a poor track record on their own site. Well, I finally tracked down the corporate office and reached the voice mail of this woman named Lisa who stated she would get back to me today if I left a message. I left a long message spelling out that their website made an error although their customer service agent stated I agreed to it with another agent stating they could only see Honolulu could they please call me back. Of course no call yet.

I did call my bank who were very sympathetic to this situation because it's a gift for my daughter's graduation and she's going with all her friends. Some of them used a different site and got a great price, I warned the rest not to even go near Priceline. In the end I got a temporary credit back from my bank, they're going to do a full investigation and I still filed a complaint with the BBB, I have yet to hear back from them also.

So there's my novel. VERY BAD experience. I don't care about their codes, they knew what they were doing, they bait and switched me and it amazes me how they're still in business. I am pleading with you people, do not listen to the morons on here telling you that it's your fault and they just happen to know what it states on Priceline's site down to the punctuation marks, they have to be working for them otherwise they're doing an awful lot of purchases with them daily to coincide with your Priceline Horror Stories. Just stay away from this company, save yourself the headaches, just don't do it. It's not worth it, it's just a way to get you to purchase a full priced ticket to somewhere or not take accountability for their own errors. Shame on them for scamming the consumer in this economy. They should be put out of business instead of paying Shatner and that annoying Penny chick to snooker you into believing they actually guarantee to save you up to 40% off and the best prices, but more than that, for ripping off the consumers with bait and switches. They should be arrested for all the scams they've pulled.
     
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Posted by Laylareeves00 on 2013-04-09:
Well I just got a call from their so called Headquarters and they said they will show me where I agreed to purchase the ticket. I said although I don't believe they have me agreeing to Helena MT, I asked them if they could also show the page beforehand where I typed in Honolulu HI and checked off Honolulu HI and Oliver kept repeating over and over "you agreed to Helena MT" and I asked him not to read from a script. He stated he was not and that this was their policy. So I said, sure go ahead and email this so called document to me and said I was sorry to hear they don't want to do the right thing. I received the document and lo and behold, NOT MY INITIALS agreeing to this! I also received a survey right after it with someone else's name on it. I did the survey and in the comments area, I wrote that they did NOT speak with this person, they spoke with me and if they want to do better in the customer service department, stop outsourcing, reading from scripts and actually do some customer service. Oh he also had no answer for why they have an A+ with the BBB with over 3K complaints and 50% resolved with a 100% dissatisfaction with the resolution. It's like they're robots over there! They know they're wrong and just refuse to admit it for lousy fees. If they had just canceled their mistake, I probably would have used them again, which is why they keep 150 of your money so you will buy a full priced ticket. Again, shame on this company.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-04-09:
I know why people use Priceline - people shop at WalMart for the same one.

I'm sorry you got burned. I am wondering if what the CSR said about there being a verification page with "Helena" shown is true, prior to the transaction being complete. If so, I think you are stuck. Otherwise, good luck. Working with Priceline, you will need it.

What you say about "accredited" BBB businesses and ridiculously high ratings is right on the mark. I personally have had luck with the BBB resolving a few complaints, but their ratings are useless for ACCREDITED businesses. They are often accurate for non-accredited businesses.
Posted by Doreen on 2013-06-20:
I needed a hotel in Portland Maine for two nights.
I searched the Priceline webpage and reviewed the hotels that met my criteria in terms of area and star level.
I entered a bid for a THREE-star hotel in a particular area, guided by the Priceline website.
To my surprise, I was booked into a hotel, the Clarion, that was NOT featured on the webpage in any category, the net was that I finished up with a booking based on INCOMPLETE information.
There were NO reviews available for this hotel on the Priceline webpage.
I checked other websites and found very recent reviews stating that the hotel was dirty and that its star level required reevaluation.
I believe that I was subjected to Bait and Switch.

I spoke with a Customer "Care" Representative regarding the Clarion Hotel in Portland, ME.
Selene, was totally unresponsive, dismissive and almost abusive, ("Care" indeed!), to the point that she said that if I was not satisfied then I should pay FULL price.
I was amazed when she told me to pay FULL price to avoid these problems, a really strange comment from a Customer "Care" Rep for a company whose raison d'ĂȘtre is the provision of discount hotels, car rentals, air fares etc., - a company that has been promoting and featuring "name your own price" in its ads for years.
I was shocked that the Priceline Customer "Care" representative would insult and demean a customer for using Priceline's most touted feature.
I will NEVER use Priceline again, - bait and switch is a despicable practice used by corrupt organizations.
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Don't Book Your Flight Too Early
Posted by Kzap on 12/07/2000
DALLAS, TEXAS -- I just wanted to give my 3 cents about Priceline.com. I would have never used them in the past because it seemed like a blackhole. You give them your credit card, and spin the wheel. Where it stops, they don't care, but you get billed. Well, in reality, their airline ticket service is not that bad. I finally tried it for the first time, and it worked! Now my case might be the rare occasion that someone actually gets normal flight times, but I did notice one interesting trend. My friend had used them to get tickets to San Fran about 3 or 4 weeks before I went online to try and get some. She ended up getting them for like $270, and she had awful flight times. She had to leave late in the day, and return early in the morning (which was opposite of what she wanted). I on the other hand, the procrastinator, booked my through the same Priceline, got my ticket for $300, and had great times! One more thing to note... my friend who booked 3 weeks before me got stuck with like 2 layovers... while I got a direct flight!

Moral of the story? Maybe it is not in your best interest to book early with Priceline... the airlines might just be giving out all the crappy flights early on, and saving the better flights to make money on later... just my opinion...
     
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Posted by foxtrotrose on 2001-03-10:
EVERYONE KNOWS THAT IF YOU BUY THROUGH THE INTERNET THE PRICES MIGHT CHANGE.IT US UP TO WHATEVER IS AVAILABLE.THAT IS WHY YOU SHOULD SHOP ARROUND FIRST BEFORE YOU BUY.THIS PERSON NEEDS TO LEARN HOW TO USE A COMPUTER.ALSO EVERYONE KNOWS THAT IT IS ENTER YOUR INFO AT YOUR OWN RISK BECAUSE NOT EVERYTHING IS FULL PROVE.
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Horrible customer service!!!
Posted by Yoshthestylist on 10/23/2012
NORWALK, CONNECTICUT -- On September 25, I booked a round trip flight for November 9-12 for a class I was taking in Tampa, FL, and I opted to purchase the $16 travel insurance. My class was cancelled, and I called the Travel Insurance company, who advised me that because my cancellation was not due to the death or disability of myself or an immediate family member, my trip was non refundable!! I was transferred to Priceline, who told me that Delta Airlines would offer me a credit, however Priceline would charge me cancellation and convenience fees totaling over $200!!! and to top it all off, the CSR Supervisor hung up on me!!! I was livid!
I decided to call Delta, who credited me the full purchase price!!! Priceline has the WORST customer service I have ever experienced. I will NEVER book with Priceline again!!!
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-10-24:
I don't believe this is horrible customer service, because it is within their policy.
Priceline's insurance only covers "emergency" changes such as death, injury etc, so what the Insurance Company told you makes sense.
http://www.priceline.com/customerservice/faq/ShowHelp.asp?FAQ=ext(air_whats_ti)

It isn't clear whether Delta made a special exception for you or if your tickets were refundable, based on your description.
Posted by CowboyFan on 2012-10-24:
When one buys a non-refundable ticket, it means exactly that - no refunds if you decide not to go. Travel Insurance is not meant to be protection against the OP changing her mind. She could still go on the trip, regardless of whether the class was being offered. Such insurance is for situations where the passenger CANNOT go because of illness, injury, or death of a family member. There was nothing wrong with Priceline's service.
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Flight Tickets at Least 250USD More Expensive Than Other Sites!
Posted by Farouk.mogheth on 11/02/2013
INTERNATIONAL -- Not a complaint per se, Priceline has a decent website even if I'd do without the rather cheesy celebrities' pics posted on the main page. The most important though is seeking a well priced airline ticket, and resulting is no less than 256USD difference from other sites (Can I say Skyscanner?).

In this case, I would like to ask Priceline to kindly remove the not-so-honest "best price guarantee" they slap next to each result.
     
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Do Not Use Priceline - Rip Off!!!!!!
Posted by Kmgmmg on 10/14/2013
I purchased an airline ticket on Priceline. Their price wasn't any better than dealing directly with the airline. My flight was delayed & I was promised another flight but only the next day. I got sick & couldn't travel for several days. So basically I paid a lot of money for a one way ticket and received no credit. Take my advice & deal directly with the airline
     
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They Lie to You
Posted by Almendaro on 07/28/2013
ST LOUIS, ILLINOIS -- I bought airplane tickets to Mexico in Priceline. They offered the travel insurance in case of any health problem we could change it. Well I got sick and I was trying to change the tickets to a different time, and they said that they didn't cover that. so they lie and they are a complete joke.

I talked to the airline company and they said that they actually have travel insurance and they cover 100% of things like that, so I know now that it was a big mistake to buy the tickets with a no serious company like Priceline. Please don't buy with them, be safe and buy with the airlines directly, they can take care of you right.
     
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Posted by Bee on 2013-07-29:
It depends on the definition of "sick" It generally covers trip cancellation and interruption if there is a need for hospitalization or major surgery etc. It won't cover sickness like a cold or even things like strep throat or ear infections etc. You also must provide them with proof before you get refunded. This is the same for all companies, not just Priceline.
Posted by pricelinelie.com on 2013-08-28:
Priceline engages in deceptive marketing as part of their business model. Misleading consumers deliberately with unethical and deceptive pricing. Price line will help you about as much as the U.S. Congress. Customer service does not exist, except to trick and hustle for the rich executives.
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Horrible Customer Service
Posted by Justnicolette on 05/28/2013
I used Priceline for the first time to fly from SFO to Florida for my best friends wedding. The issue was that I made a mistake when I booked the ticket. I took responsibility for that mistake.

I thought my flight left on Thursday evening and when I arrived at the airport, the agent told me I had missed my flight from the night before. I panicked, as being the maid of honor was an important role and was afraid I would not get the honor.

I called Priceline and their travel agent department was not open. My flight home was cancelled as well. I called the airline directly and they helped me. My original ticket was $780, my ticket to get there and back was $1900. Yes, all true!!

I began calling Priceline when I arrived home, sending messages and was told it was an airline issue. After spending hours on the phone, between Priceline and both airlines, I have now been told by them it is a Priceline issue. The ball keeps getting tossed back and forth. I spend almost $3000 getting to Florida and Priceline is unwilling to even issue a credit for part of it.

I will NEVER use them again... and I cancelled the Visa with them too. I will be sure they don't get another penny of my money or friends/family.

The worse customer service EVER!!
     
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Posted by andbran on 2013-05-28:
with so many bad reviews why do people still use priceline?
Posted by TomSF on 2013-05-28:
Your seat was paid for by Priceline and it was available to you. You missed your flight but the seat was still paid for. It is like buying a seat at a ball game and not going, you can't get your money back. I missed a flight (my own fault) and went to the airline customer service immediately and they booked me the next flight out for no additional charge - but I booked my seat directly through the airline not a 3rd party. I think you should at least get your return leg refunded because no seat was booked for you then.
Posted by Carl McDonald on 2013-06-01:
Motherinlaw was in hospital and we bought tics to go see her...well, she died and we had to change the date...$350 then couldnt change second tic...$512.....all together the BS we were told about flite ins is BS and we are out $1100
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International flight booking confirmed then canceled, still waiting for refund, poor customer service
Posted by Nickbrownnz on 05/23/2013
Booked a flight with Priceline. com, and charged to my credit card which sounds easy. But it took numerous attempts before the flights they had quoted were as they quoted, would always take me to the next page with an updated higher price. Anyway finally got a flight I wanted for an price I was willing to pay. The next morning woke to an email from them saying my flight booking had been canceled. I went to confirm this on there website with my literary number and it says flights are canceled and my card has been refunded. I went to book my flight again which actually was $20 cheaper than the one I had booked previous but it wouldn't let me pay for it. I call my bank and they say there has been no refund or cancellation of the previous payment to Priceline. So without that the limit on my card is not high enough to purchase another flight (the amount was about $2000). Tried to call there customer service which is a joke, no help just an automated message that leads you round in circles and never lets you thought to an operator or anything that can help you. Have emailed them with my problem but am still waiting for a reply. In the meantime flight prices have gone up hundreds of dollars.

Highly unacceptable service and would not use Priceline again, just wish I had read all the bad reviews first so I could have avoided this.
     
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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2013-05-23:
Unfortunately these companies are designed to take your money quickly yet hold onto it as long as possible. I suggest calling your credit card company to dispute the charge, the cancellation email would eliminate any doubt about the case.
Posted by Alain on 2013-05-23:
Soaring Consumer's right. These third party contractors don't always get the best price, either. I've had many occasions when I've booked directly and received a lower rate that somebody on the same flight or in the same hotel who booked with Priceline, Travelocity, Expedia, etc.
Posted by Laura on 2013-08-08:
Same thing happened to me!!! I will never use or recommend priceline to anyone. This was an expensive flight I had to get too, and they cancelled less than 24 hours before the flight. When I had to rebook it I could not get the same rate anywhere and had to pay much more. The priceline customer support was awful as they couldn't do anything. They told me to call their risk management team but no one answered the phone. DO NOT USE PRICELINE!
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Priceline.com Couldn't Book My Flights
Posted by Jon561 on 05/03/2013
I was attempting to buy a $5000+ flight itinerary on Priceline. com. First it said they couldn't verify my 3-digit code from the back of my credit card. Then it asked for another credit card. After submitting that information it said, "We are still working on completing your purchase. We will send you an email within 15 minutes. I never heard from them. Completely useless and big waste of time.
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-05-04:
I suggest that you keep an eye on any credit card account you attempted to use for a week or two, to be sure that they haven't billed you.
Posted by ticia232 on 2013-05-04:
It is probably because of how huge the order is on your card. That big of an order may be flagged by your credit card if you have never done an order that big. Call both cards (before both are charged.) and tell the one you want the charge on that it is a legit charge . They will ask security questions but it is to make sure that someone didn't steal your identity and stealing using your credit.
Posted by jon561 on 2013-05-05:
Both helpful comments. Thank you. Both credit cards that I attempted to use regularly get high dollar charges.
Posted by Bee on 2013-05-06:
I would suggest when booking a large or expensive trip such as this, to go through a brick and mortar travel agent. They are able to handle transactions such as these with minimal issues and you can also contact your travel agent at any time instead of calling a customer service bank.
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Trip Protection Is BS
Posted by Logan87k on 04/05/2013
Never name your own price and do not book through Priceline for flights... I will never purchase another flight through Priceline again. Also, trip protection is BS. I purchased trip protection and then when I needed to cancel my flight; I was charged $150 to do so.
     
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Posted by Alain on 2013-04-05:
When I read reviews (like yours) about Priceline, both here and elsewhere, I can't think of any reason to ever use them.
Posted by Ben There on 2013-04-05:
These travel insurances - even those sold directly by the airline - only cover select reasons for cancellation which are laid out in the insurance policy. They normally include illness, death of an immediate family member, a house fire, etc... And they will want proof before paying out.

Even tickets booked with the airline come with a $150-$250 fee to make changes, so it is best to read the conditions of the ticket and hold of on your purchase if you think your plans are likely to change. Tickets purchased closer to departure are not nearly as expensive as they used to be.
Posted by JR in Orlando on 2013-04-05:
Trip protection are for events beyond the control of the flyer, e.g. hospitalization, hurricanes. It is not meant to provide protection if the flyer has to cancel the ticket for some other reason. Otherwise the trip protection insurance would change a non-refundable ticket into a refundable ticket. If one does not want the problem of having to cancel and pay fees for doing so, buy a "refundable ticket."
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