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 "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 ** 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.
On February 24th, I purchased a flight, round trip, from John Wayne/Orange County airport to St. Louis using the "name your own price". Flight was to depart on April 23rd and return on April 26th. I got a great deal, saving over 80 dollars off the same flights booked directly through Frontier airlines. As I am sure most people know, on April 22nd, the St. Louis airport was hit by severe weather/tornado. I monitored my flight online to see if it would be cancelled, and around 10:30PM PST the flight was canceled.
I called Frontier Airlines to see what my options would be for getting rebooked, and the representative who assisted me stated they would not be able to get me to St. Louis until the evening of Wednesday the 27th, which, obviously, was not going to work. I was heading to St. Louis to spend Easter with my elderly aunt and uncle.
Frontier advised me that they could rebook me for the future at that point, or, since I had purchased this ticket through Priceline, I could call them, and they could call Frontier's Agency Desk and tell Frontier how much I paid and they would give me a credit. Frontier didn't have the financial information as this was purchased as a "bulk ticket".
Here begins the fun, and 5 hours worth of phone calls. First 5 times I called Priceline, they told me that they can't make outbound phone calls, which is a lie. Calls to Frontier were useless, as they had no way of assisting me. However, I will state this, they were EXTREMELY helpful and understanding, and they tried everything they could do to help me.
On my 6th phone call with Priceline, all of a sudden they were able to make outbound phone calls! ** was the one who assisted me, and he put me on hold to contact the agency desk at Frontier. My call got dropped, and I dreaded calling and explaining to ANOTHER representative my problem, but ** called me right back. Amazing.
** advised me I would have a credit of 213.06, which was unacceptable as I paid 243.06. He was unable to explain the difference in price. The main problem ended up being as that Priceline thought I was IN St. Louis calling them to get rebooked. They apparently took out the taxes for my outbound flight. ** said I was entirely good to go and to just call Frontier and they would rebook me on a flight of my choice. I reluctantly agreed to call Frontier to confirm.
When I called to confirm, Frontier advised me that I did not have a credit with them, but that I had a credit with Priceline. Frontier advised me that since the flight was canceled, I should be able to get a full refund, and not a credit. I called Priceline back ONE more time, and this time I spoke with **. ** put me on hold to call the agency desk again at Frontier. After being on hold for 30 minutes, he came back to say I would be getting a refund. Yay! Success!
However, ** told me that I was being charged a 7.45 cents "processing" fee. He stated it was from the airline, but at this point, after almost 6 hours on the phone, I decided it was worth it to not have to deal with this anymore. I know people will criticize me for using Priceline for airline tickets, but the weather was unexpected, and neither the airline nor myself caused this issue. Thanks to Frontier, they were the most helpful! Writing this just to that others may know about issues that you may have to deal with by buying tickets through Priceline.
OK so here is my story. I in this the month of January turned 20, graduated from nursing school (LPN), and was accepted into an RN program. So it is a big month for me, and my mom being the best in the entire world bought us tickets to go to New York!!! She wanted it to be a present for me for graduating and my b-day. Well she bought the tickets a couple months ago when everything was pretty OK where her health (she has been battling cancer for about a year), but just this past month her health had taken a down turn.
Her leg (where the cancerous tumor was) is not receiving the skin graft and doctors are freaking out about the chance of infection and having to amputate the leg, so we are already under a lot of stress. The doctors say no traveling and with good reason, my mom still wanted me to go and have fun and take a friend with me instead. So I call the airline to get the name changed, and lo and behold they don't do that. All tickets are non transferable no matter the reason! The best they could do was hold the ticket and make it open date for a huge fee!!! Which I don't have. Then they say "well call Priceline.com and have them just change the info they sent."
I do this and not only is every single person that I speak to the rudest person on earth! But not only do they tell me that it "doesn't matter that your mom has cancer you can't get the ticket changed", but they also have the audacity to say that I should have "planned my trip better as to not have an episode like this".. WHAT!!!!! Like I asked for my mom the get cancer and be in the hospital!!!
AHHHH, I lost it. I broke out in tears. I was bawling!!!! And all these people they kept transferring me to were yelling and talking over me saying I need to be quiet and listen. I asked one women why she was being so rude and she said she was sorry but she couldn't explain things over my "excessive crying". Yea I am crying. Do you know how much freaking my mom spent to do this for me!!!!!!!!
Well to shorten this, I have never been treated so horrible in my whole life! Ever! And I was a CNA for Pete's sake!! I know what it's like to have people screaming at you. I had to end up canceling the trip for which my mom only received 395 back out of 800. And then she rebooked it through Hotels.com with a different name for my friend. PTL she got the travel insurance so hopefully they will give us back at least half of the rest.
Honestly I can understand a policy is a policy, but first of all when you have a doctor's letter and number and all that saying you cannot go, legitimately cannot go what the heck!!! And secondly when someone is in tears because they are so distort because their mom who is sick has just laid out bank so you could have fun and now they are telling you she just wasted her money, you don't treat them like crap!!
I will never use Priceline.com again, and I advise anyone who is going to travel, regardless of illness or not, do not use Priceline.com or United!! They are flippant disrespectful, compassionless and just plain rude.
WASHINGTON -- I used priceline.com for the first (and last) time about a month ago to purchase 3 round trip tickets from Seattle to Austin, Texas for a friend's wedding. At the time of the purchase, I was not certain of the departure date - so I wanted to buy refundable tickets. Although the priceline.com website was very clear about stating that any tickets bought through their name your own price outlet were non-refundable, they were not clear about whether tickets purchased throughout the rest of their site were non-refundable.
After digging through a lot of material on their website, I came to the conclusion that the tickets could be refunded (minus $150) as long as I canceled in a timely manner. This made sense to me so I purchased the 3 $350 tickets (for a total of $1050). A few days later I was realized I was going to have to change the departure date from Seattle to Austin to a day earlier. Good think I bought non-refundable tickets.
I called customer support and they attempted to help me. Unfortunately, the cheapest alternative to what I already had was $700 and I didn't want to spend that kind of money. I confirmed that I would be able to cancel the tickets and looked at other websites to find something cheaper. I purchased a $350 replacement ticket for myself from another company (Expedia) that left Seattle a day earlier than by priceline.com tickets.
(The remaining 2 tickets did not need to be changed so I left them as is.) I then called priceline.com and told them I wanted a refund for my ticket. They informed me that the ticket was non-refundable and that they would hold the money for a year and that I could use it during that time - but after a year the money would be gone.
I told them that I felt that was deceptive. That I had been informed that I could get a refund for my ticket, that I didn't purchase non-refundable tickets. That their website STILL said that I could cancel the tickets and only be out $150. They replied that they would have to listen to the tapes of the person who informed me that I could get a refund - to verify that she actually said that. I was informed that they would call me back in 5 business days. 5 business days came and went without a call.
I called them back and they apologized for not returning my call when they promised. I was also informed that they had not yet listened to the tapes. Additionally, I was now told that my tickets were not only non-refundable but that I could no longer cancel them either. Meaning that I was out the full cost of the ticket. I told them that I had made 2 previous calls to cancel the tickets and that this was unfair. They apologized and I was told that they would call me within 3 business days. I confirmed that they had my correct phone number.
It's now 8 business days since they were supposed to call me back. I have heard nothing. I don't know if they ever canceled my ticket. I don't know if I have $350 credit at priceline.com. I don't WANT $500 credit at priceline.com. Their site is very deceptive as to the nature of the tickets. At no time were people rude to me on the phone - everyone was very nice and/or apologetic. I was never rude to anyone on the phone. However, it seems pretty clear their job is to get you off the phone and hope that you go away. I was promised twice that they would return by calls - but no return call was every made. The economic damage was ~$350.
I had just made a phone call to 1-888-837-3774 and spoke to a gentleman about my situation and all I received was "due to our purchase agreement" there is nothing I can do. I asked to speak to someone else and then I spoke with ** Employee # ** with Customer Relations and he told me the same thing, which I'm sure he was reading things off from a card just like the first gentleman. Here is the situation and it surprises me that a company would not even check to see if there was anything they could do further for their customer.
I had told them that it was the first time I was using Priceline "Negotiator" and I had placed a bid for 3 airline tickets, 1 hotel and 1 car rental. Well, the airline tickets got denied, the hotel got denied but the car rental did not and was accepted. AND in order for you to find out if your offer would be accepted or not one would have to give their credit card information to even see if your bid would be accepted or not. Mind you, once again, this is the very first time I had used Priceline.
Since I live in Florida and I wanted to get to Reno for my daughter's High School Graduation I had submitted a 2nd bid for both airline and hotel. Which, once again they were both denied. Now I was able to find tickets flying from West Palm Beach, Florida to Sacramento, CA. that is approximately 2 hours away from my original destination, Reno, and were only 25 dollars more per airline ticket than what my highest bid on Priceline was.
How ironic. I had asked and requested that I would like to pick up the car I rented at Sacramento instead of Reno because that is where I have to fly into now. Repeatedly both gentlemen both stated that there was absolutely nothing they could do for me without even checking. They would only say that it is a purchase agreement and that was basically it. Oh, they did say how much I saved on the car rental but I had rebutted by saying, I did not save that much. If now I have to rent a car to go get my car then once I have that car I have to drop that one off and rent another to get to the airport. That is some BIG savings, huh?
The first gentleman did say that there were exceptions if there was an emergency or something to that effect. I stated to him that this was an emergency to me and I feel since the way Priceline practices what they do such as giving the credit card number first then wait and see if you get approved instead of putting in your bid, accepting the terms then paying for it which left me with a car rental only with no flight tickets and no hotel reservations. Since this is the case, plus the first time ever using Priceline and due to my daughter who was basically kidnapped and I haven't seen in 14 years due to this and when I finally found her, I wanted to see her graduate High School, all that Priceline could say to me over the phone is "Sorry."
Well, I'm going to say that if Priceline does not change the car pick up and drop and/or compensate myself in any type of way due to the somewhat confusing way and how they conduct business then I will say that Priceline is sorry and I will be writing this same letter to Corporate Offices of Priceline and I am sure that I will never - never use Priceline again and I am sure that I will tell everyone I know to never use Priceline because they will not be willing to work with their customers in no way, shape or form.
If your response to this email / letter is that "That's why we posted our agreement, etc." then I will definitely know that Priceline is not a company for myself and all my friends to never - ever use. If you are willing to help then I would be extremely humble and express my appreciation to your company and everyone I know. All I want to do is to pick up / drop off the car I had already rented from Reno to Sacramento.
That is it! The dates, the times, the car all stay the same but No One Cares! Do You? Please respond to my request as soon as possible. The car rental is from 6/3/09 to 6/8/09. Dates that are well enough in advance that something could be done! I WILL BE CONTACTING THIS ADDRESS ALSO. Priceline.com. 800 Connecticut Avenue Norwalk, CT 06854 www.priceline.com 203-299-8000.
ONLINE, VIRGINIA -- 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.
Priceline has great services, yes, but they have the most awful customer service I have ever come in contact with. I was scheduled to fly out of Sioux Falls to Colorado Springs, however, my grandfather unexpectedly passed away and the funeral was the day I was to fly out.
I notified Priceline in my change of plans, and asked what my options were. Hence NONE of the customer service agents I spoke to could speak English. After being on the phone for OVER an hour, the only information I came out with is that they can hold my tickets, but if I ever want to use them again it will cost me $180.00 in fees. I spoke to the airlines then and they stated that they would waive their fees of $150.00, but Priceline refused to waive their $30.00 fee (seriously???).
About three weeks later I found a great flight for $40.00 less than my original flight and called to book it with Priceline. Again, I had an agent that could not speak English (awesome). So I spent another hour on the phone with him and was placed on hold numerous times. He would not waive any of the fees that I was originally told I could waive. That fabulous flight I had mentioned earlier was null and void because it was with a different airline than I had originally booked.
He said the exact same flight (using the airlines I had to use) was $900.00!!!!! The flight I found was $200.00. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? The agent never apologized for the inconvenience and never offered any other suggestions. AND to top it off, I found a flight for $300 on their website using the correct airlines, but he failed to mention that to me on the phone. So all in all the money I spent on my first tickets is wasted because of unaccommodating services. Who is going to pay $180 in fees when you can find a new ticket for that price??
I made a reservation online with my debit card through Priceline for my fiancee to fly on Saturday September 18 to Atlanta from Dallas. On weds I chose the trip, made the reservation with payment and got the confirmation together with the itinerary and the itinerary mailed to my mail box. The flight was to fly out of Dallas @ 11:40am on Saturday.
I dropped my fiancee at the airport, drove back 40 minutes home only to be called by my fiancee that American Airline will not let her board because my reservation has been cancelled by a guy called ** from Priceline. At first I thought she was joking, or there has to be a mix up somewhere because we had a contract, and I have the itinerary and this is not the first time I'm making Airline reservation.
To cut a long story short. I drove 40 minutes back to the Airport and was told at American airline counter to call Priceline. I called Priceline, and was informed they suspected fraud and had to cancel my reservation.. FRAUD? Incredible! I asked the representative that out of the thousand of reservations made, how do they determine which one is fraud. You don't tell customers you suspect fraud after you have allowed their payment to go through and charged their cards. And even if they suspected fraud they shouldn't have unilaterally cancelled a valid contract without adequate notification, thereby leaving me and my fiancee stranded at the Airport.
I asked to speak to a manager, at least someone to please help us make another reservation so that we can get on a plane to Atlanta instead of being stranded at the Airport. So much for customer service, I was bounced around from one department to the other. While all the reps were telling me to buy another ticket. I explained to them, that since it was their decision to cancel my valid reservation and I haven't been refunded, that the onus is on them to right things by helping us get another reservation/plane ticket. Needless to say all I got was customer disservice and I had to angrily leave the airport after being taken for a ride by one of the worst air reservation companies out there.
You may be one of the lucky ones, if your plans don't change you will never have to talk to a customer service agent at Priceline.com. That, unfortunately, was not my experience. I called to find out how much it would cost to change a non-refundable flight. I was advised that the dates for my flight could be changed for a "$100- $150 airline charge fee" and any cost for the difference in airfare.
The problem occurred when I was advised that I would need to research the available flights and then call Priceline back and then they could help me figure out what I needed to do. OK, done. I called back and the second person I talked to just said the exact thing over again (word for word/verbatim). I explained that I had already found flights for the alternate schedule, but the woman could not get past her scripted response.
To add to the frustration there were digital audio problems and the woman spoke thickly accented English and spoke quickly. I had to ask her to slow down several times and to repeat the information. Finally she admitted she could not help me and transferred my call. During the transfer the call was dropped. I called back, got an **. She too spoke very heavily accented English. I asked for a supervisor, she resisted getting one, so I hung up. I called back, got **. He did do the right thing and transferred me. I spoke with **, she went through the same long spiel about the charges, she could not answer my question either, so I was transferred again.
It took 20 minutes on hold to finally get to ** who gave me the information I was looking for. The whole saga took an hour and a half. I won't use this service again and it is important that when you need help there needs to be someone you can understand and who understands you. Front line customer service people need to be empowered to help customers not just parrot information that can be found on the website.
NORWALK, CONNECTICUT -- On 5-7-09 I attempted to purchase 2 first class tickets through Priceline.com and I bid what was a reasonable price for first class tickets. I had to enter in the credit card info that they would charge for the tickets. The bid was accepted. I had to initial that I was going to pay for the tickets, etc. All this without their showing me what I was saying I would pay for. Then the screen pops up with 2 coach class tickets! I immediately tried to get Priceline to delete or void the transaction and they refused. I talked to a supervisor, she refused. I emailed the VP of customer relations and she referred the problem to another customer service representative and she also refused.
This transaction was a "bait & switch" scheme. I talked to the airline and they told me they couldn't help because Priceline purchases a "bulk" set of tickets and that Priceline still held the tickets, technically, so they couldn't change, cancel, etc. the tickets. I tried Priceline again and they said it didn't matter. I had basically promised to pay and they refused to cancel. I am talking to my credit card company right now to get the payment stopped because I am being charged for something I did not ask for and also I don't have the item. It was not used, etc. There has to be something that the FTC and other agencies could do about these things.
I saw there are lots of other complaints against Priceline on this website. They truly use bait & switch tactics on the consumer. I think I should have been able to see what I was supposedly accepting before I agreed to pay. Stupid move on my part but I was trusting them to be a reputable company. They are large and they advertise all over the place. I even plan to complain to **. His voice is even on their hold message! I will also report them to the FTC, their state's attorney general, their state's BBB, to news media, and everywhere else I can think of to stop this and I want my money back. I want the tickets cancelled, and I will never use their services again!