STAUNTON, VIRGINIA -- I booked a room using the name your own price feature. When I looked up the hotel, I saw the rooms were cheaper on the hotel website. I reported the price difference to Priceline using the online chat feature because the phone wait time was 20+ minutes. I thought I was getting a 100% refund, and therefore, the room was canceled. They even said I would get a 20% price difference bonus. I was really impressed with the customer service and complimented the customer service rep. Well... guess what? I was completely wrong. The room wasn't canceled at all. So when I booked the room through the cheaper website, I effectively booked 2 hotel rooms.
I was leaving for the trip the next day, so the refund didn't show up on my credit card until several days later. It was only for $50 not $150. I contacted Priceline to see when I would get the other $100. They claim the reservation was never canceled and they never used the words 100% refund. The company wouldn't let me see a transcript of the original chat. They say I misunderstood. Now I feel double-cheated. Don't use Priceline. Too good to be true.
Update: I tried to ask for a transcript of my web chat with the original customer service representative (the one who lead me to believe the credit card charge was being refunded). I made repeated attempts to get a copy of this chat because the Priceline customer service people made multiple references to it. But even though both representatives "quoted" my original conversation, they said they could not provide me with a transcript. If they are so confident that everything was handled properly, why can't I have a copy???
A few days ago I tried Priceline.com to get a reservation for a hotel in NYC for 3 days. I entered a price and location. The site could not find a hotel for me at my price in these areas. They kept sending me back to my original screen and asked me to change my parameters which I did, four times. I changed neighborhoods, raised my price, lowered the star rating. I finally got to a screen that told me to check back in 15 minutes.
When I pressed the CHECK YOUR PRICE button it came back with my original screen again. It could not find me a hotel. So I logged out and went to Hotwire where I immediately found what I wanted. When I went to get the confirmation email I found I had communication from Priceline as well. When I opened it up it said they had found a hotel and my account was charged $600.00. I almost threw up I was so freaked.
I immediately called the 'Philippines' and spoke with **. Now I have A LOT of Filipino friends and none are named **. Anyway, I might as well have gotten a recorded message. I explained the situation that I had never confirmed the deal and had actually logged off. She read me a script and said there was nothing I could do. So I ran crying to my husband, the master debater.
He called, went up the food chain and got the same message with each person so I called Mastercard. I love that company. The agent calmed me down, told me not to worry they would take care of it. Apparently, this happens quite frequently. She deleted the authorization and it never showed on my bill. Lesson learned... Don't bother with Priceline.com customer service, it is nonexistent.
Don't bother with BBB or rather check their website on all companies you've never purchased from before. That was my big mistake AND I should have known better. Do file a report with your state and the federal consumer affairs division. They can't/won't do anything for a few years but it will be on record. You can try writing directly to your state attorney general though that did work for me once with a contractor.
Do contact your credit card company immediately. They can't do anything then but the complaint will be on record. Then call them back in 48 hours, that is when the charge gets authorized. Ask them to remove the authorization and explain why. This too will be on record. Then check your account online if you can. As soon as it appears on your bill call again and make your formal complaint. They will send you papers to be notarized.
DO IT ASAP! The fee will be removed immediately and the review will start. 9 times out of 10, for Priceline.com, they will reject the charge and you will be home free. Do keep a detailed record of who you talk to, date, time, what you said and what they said. You'll need it for your dispute. Send a COPY of that along with your notarized paper to the CC company. Do not use Priceline.com again.
I used the "name-your-own-price" service of Priceline.com and named a price for a 4-star hotel in Las Vegas of $69 per night for five nights. I received a confirmation for the Luxor Hotel at $69 per night and was informed that there were "Taxes and Service Fees" of $55.20 per night and I was charged $400.20 for the five-night stay. The confirmation informed me that any other incidental charges, such as room service, parking, telephone, mini bar, etc. would have to be paid by me to the hotel at the time of my stay.
When I arrived at the hotel, however, I was informed that there was a mandatory "Resort Fee" of $14.50 per night that I would have to pay (in addition to the $55.20 of taxes and service fees for the five-night stay). I was informed that it covered free local phone calls, admission to the health club and a free daily newspaper. I told the hotel that I did not want any of those additions to my hotel room and that I had named a price of $69 per night plus taxes and that was all that I wanted to pay. I was told that I did not have a choice and that I must pay the $14.50 per night. I said that I wanted to cancel my reservation because I was tricked into believing the room would be $69 per night and it was in fact going to cost me $83.50 per night. I was told that the room was not refundable.
When I returned home, I contacted priceline.com's customer service and customer relations (apparently the company's higher level of customer relations) departments. They were completely unhelpful and just kept saying the same thing over and over again - there was a statement in the small print that said that you could be charged by the hotel additional incidental fees. I said that I read that statement to mean optional fees that I choose to incur such as parking, telephone, Internet, movies, mini bar, etc. I argued that if it's a mandatory fee then it's part of the cost of the room and should be part of the price of the room and not HIDDEN from the purchaser.
I noted that I was never informed that I would be charged a mandatory $14.50 fee per night until I arrived at the hotel. I was not informed of this charge online, nor in my confirmation that I printed out, nor in the email that I received the next day from Priceline.com. The "customer service" personnel just said that there was nothing that they could do because I had been given all of the terms of the deal. I argued that if they did not inform me of a $14.50 per night mandatory charge in addition to the taxes and the $69 price I had "named", then I was not informed of every material item. Like robots, they kept saying that I had been given all of the material terms of the deal.
To me, Priceline.com is a scam in that it deliberately and knowingly uses hidden fees to misrepresent the cost of the price of a hotel room. It deceives you into believing that you are paying one price when in fact you will pay a much higher price. They think that it's OK to do this because they warn you in small print that there may be additional fees that you may be charged without stating what those fees are. This is fraudulent activity and Priceline.com should be ashamed of itself.
Here is a chronological example of how Priceline customer service treats its customers: I have used your service for the past four years and have booked hundreds of Hotel stays through you. I have been extremely pleased until last night. I booked a room for a friend who needed to stay overnight in Sumter NC. I booked her the highest possible star hotel which was two stars.
She was traveling with her Son age 12 and her daughter age 6. They arrived at the Hotel at about midnight. The area that the Hotel is in is so dangerous that they decided not to stay at all. I'm very surprised and very disappointed with this experience and I wanted you to know.
Priceline is the worst. If you are going to book using a third party please pick a good and reliable company like Expedia for example and you won't have to deal with this people. I booked a hotel using Priceline just to save a few bucks over Expedia, thinking I would have the same experience.. BIG MISTAKE.. I spend over $1500 on my booking to Cancun. To get there, I had a connection flight and unfortunately my first flight got delayed and I missed my connection and since it was the last flight of the day I had to be rebooked for the next day.
I have traveled all over the world and things like this happen that's just a fact of life. So I called Priceline to see if they could call the hotel and advised them of my predicament and to let them know that I would get there the next day and to either help me extend my stay for one day since I was getting there a day after or just refund one night stay. Obviously customer service is not a priority to this company. First the girl kept saying, “No, you have to call the hotel directly and see what they can do.” “Lady if I wanted to deal directly with the hotel I would have made my reservation directly with them. I'm in the US and I don't have an international plan. Please help me.”
And all she kept saying was “No, I cannot do that.” It was so ridiculous. Then she said, “Oh, but if you don't get there tonight the hotel will charge you for the first night as a fee for being a no show.” So I said, “Great. So then I will be refunded the remaining balance right?” She said, “No, there's no refunds on your booking.” So then I said, “OK. So can you guarantee me that I will be able to check in when I arrive at the hotel tomorrow for my remaining night?”
Again, she said, “No I cannot guarantee that.” Unbelievable. I said, “So to make sure I get this right, you are saying that you took my $1500 and you cannot call them to help me. You cannot change my reservation for the next day, you cannot guarantee that when I arrive I will get a room at the hotel since my reservation will cancel since I won't arrive today and you cannot refund my money?” Wow. I had a similar situation with Expedia and the experience was the complete opposite.
They showed they care. They call the hotel for me and everything was worked out in a fair way. How was this fair Priceline?? That's my question. In conclusion I had to buy an international calling card, call the hotel on my own and the hotel was great about it. They help me with my reservation. I would never book with Priceline ever again, lesson learned.
From now on I will only book directly with the hotel or with Expedia or similar companies that are there for their customer that truly care about providing you a great vacation. Priceline never again and I will tell my story to everyone I can to try to make sure you don't ruin anyone's vacation again. Shame on you!!
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Using Priceline primarily for all our travel arrangements within the US and abroad, we actually selected our stay with Hilton Americas (Houston) as we have done several times before and completely satisfied, Priceline's hotel partner. This was perfect for the long anticipated Buble' Performance at the Toyota Center which is adjacent to the Hotel. We confirmed our reservations for a non smoking ($350) room well in advance, mid-August through Priceline for the October performance. Upon what we thought to be our seamless check in, we were provided a room on the 9th floor.
Exiting off the elevators one could not mistake this was indeed a "smoking floor". Walking through a there was hallway glass door thinking this to have separated the smoking from non smoking rooms. It was quite evident passing through that this actually was indeed the sectioned of smoking rooms. The nicotine stench was so incredibly bad I seriously doubt this to be acceptable for those who smoke. Don't misunderstand being the type that is totally appalled, or think that smoking is reprehensible, I/we are not. This was completely overbearing and quite honestly certain a health consideration at this point, seriously.
We returned to the front desk to have a room change with our provided confirmed reservation in hand of a non smoking room as indicated on our confirmation, black and white "2 Queen Beds Parkview Non smoking L-Shaped Work Desk/Serenity Bed Lux Linens Mp3 Clock-Peter Thomas Roth Bath Amenities". Our representative indicated that the hotel is fully booked and does not have another available room. We're not talking about an ocean front room here much less park/city view, but something that deal directly with health considerations.
Being that we have arrived early, my suggestion to the front desk, "Certainly there are non smoking rooms available to those who have yet to check in?" "This is correct, however those are available for reservations made directly through us, and our contractual agreements made through the attending conference NOT through a "third party" such as yours in which case we treat that as a request."
We then get to the "manager" level to which the response was, "We do have available rooms, and can accommodate your stay. However, available non smoking rooms are for those guests who directly secure that through us and are "reserved". You will need to contact your "third party". This is not my problem, we're done” (as he throws up his hands)! With that, we were "kicked to the curb" with no accommodations, nor alternative arrangements made by Hilton or Priceline. Needless to suggest, they couldn't have in part to other hotels in the immediate are being fully booked the same.
So, here we are on the streets of downtown Houston, no room, hours before the performance, separated from our group, transportation issues, missed dinner reservations and yes, late to the performance having to seek out other arrangements on our own. Of course we follow up with Priceline who actually provided an immediate refund and get this, a "$25 token" of their sincere regret of how we as a Priceline client was handled as this is not in accordance with partnering hotels and advised that their executive services department who follow up with Hilton Americas.
So who is actually at fault here? Priceline, hotel or equally both. To be quite honest, and will contradict myself, but when a large company as Priceline throws out $25 voucher to its client for the misgiving.... Well, it's quite insulting. I show up with my Priceline confirmation in hand that clearly indicated "non smoking" and there is available non smoking rooms. Yet the hotel says I'm "third party", thus provided what the hotel wants to offer with no remedy to have immediate resolution than leaving it up to the hotel and so sorry after the fact, here is your $25 token and refund and wipe their hands clean of it, just as the hotel.
This leaves a lasting impression of what both these companies did to ruin what was thought to be a memorable evening. Now then, since they are partners in crime in this respect and it's not about the monetary expense, I would rather have these two companies attempt correct the matter in providing an experience that was originally planned.
We wanted a certain star hotel because that it was walking distance to the attractions we were visiting. They were lower starred hotels. It does say that when you name your own price they can chose your star or a higher star, however when we originally bid on the higher stars it did not accept our bid. We talked it over and decided there were only 2 hotels at the lower star and both were walking distance so we would try that.
We did and that is when the acceptance came back with our 'upgrade', like they were trying to play hero. I think their website is rigged because it made absolutely no sense. We then saw the new hotel it reserved us for and we did not like it as much and figured we would call and see if they could give us the lower stars.
Their customer service was probably the MOST rude I have EVER dealt within my life. In total I talked to 5 people, none of which actually helped me, but all of which were extremely rude. In fact the last person I spoke with originally gave me the name of ** or **. I document everything so at the end of the call I asked for his name so I could verify which of the two names it was. He then, in a most rude way, said "**".
I pointed out that is not what he said at the beginning and asked for a reference number for the phone call. He told me there is no reference number and that "**" is his name. For someone who spoke broken English and said something different at the beginning I knew he was telling a lie but I didn't reply to it. He then said "well you have no more concerns so goodbye" and hung up on me!
The girl before him hung up on me as well, but that was after I said that the company was a scam and I would be reporting them. This was after they explained to me that there was a way I could switch, but it sounded like a gamble. I would be charged $25 for switched hotels but I would need to use the website and bid again within 24 hours.
I explained that the website only let us bid once in 24 hours so if I don't get it accepted then that is my 1 shot. I never got a straight answer on how to go about doing that and how that worked exactly because once I started asking questions she quickly cut me off. I then asked if we could just switch over the phone and they said that is not possible, only over the internet.
After posting how upset I was on a social networking site I received tons of feedback from people who have had horrible experiences with Priceline.com themselves, with all different issues ranging from hidden fees to booking with the wrong number of beds and rooms.
This company obviously does not care about their customers. When people travel it is supposed to be a good experience and Priceline.com has put a dark cloud on our trip that we have not even taken yet, and have totally ruined other peoples entire trips. We consider ourselves lucky to have only a minor problem with them. We will never use this service again, and I recommend to everyone to look elsewhere when traveling so nobody has to experience what myself and many others have.
KNIGHTS INN 500 NORTH ALBANY AVENUE ATLANTIC CITY -- This was the worst vacation experience I have ever had. I trusted in Priceline for my hotel reservation but will never trust in Priceline again. I booked my hotel reservation with Priceline and received a confirmation email saying that the Knights Inn Hotel located in 500 North Albany Avenue Atlantic City (New Jersey) was booked successfully.
Once I arrived at Knights Inn at 7PM, Andy from the front desk told me that Priceline.com never faxed the hotel reservation and that there were no rooms available for that night. He said that there was nothing that he could do for me and that I had to contact Priceline.com to see what the problem was.
I was very upset with his response, this was the worst customer service skills I had ever seen. I told him to give me a business card where I could try to reach him and he handed me a Quality Inn business card with no name. He quickly wrote his first name and number on the back of the card. I then told him if he could provide me with a Knights Inn business card and he said that he did not have any available.
I went back to my car and informed my family and friends the bad news. They were all very unhappy. We had traveled all the way from Michigan and just wanted a place where we could unpack and freshen up. We decided to stay in the car and call Priceline because we did not have any other options. I called Priceline and they informed me that Priceline.com was not in charge of the hotel booking but a company called booking.com. I was transferred over to Booking.com who said that this was in fact an issue with their company and the hotel. The only option she gave me was to find a room for me that night and to wait for her call.
I received a call from booking.com around 10:30pm. She told us that she had found another hotel where we could stay. This hotel was further than the hotel where we originally booked. I mentioned that there were hotels in the area with vacancy. She mentioned that booking.com could only look for hotels that had an agreement with their with company. We went back and forth on trying to find other options and I even told her if I could speak with her manager, but she responded that she was the manager. I finally accepted the offer because there were no other options and we needed a place to stay for the night.
We arrived at the new hotel around 11PM and headed out to Atlantic City;s boardwalk at 11:30. We finally arrived at a restaurant at 12AM where we got something to eat. The day was over and I would never be able to recover the time lost and the bad memories of this experience. I can definitely tell you that this was the worst vacation experience I have had. I will NEVER use Priceline again in my life and will NEVER recommend this company to anyone ever again.
I booked a hotel room using Priceline.com. When placing the order I checked the following requirements/amenities: Free breakfast, Free parking, Free Wi-Fi and Non-smoking. I used their "name your own price" tab to place that order and gave them a $40 bid which surprisingly got accepted by Courtyard Oakland Downtown located at #988 Broadway, Oakland, California 94607 USA Phone: 1-510-625-8282.
When the price got accepted, and I was revealed the name of the hotel (you cannot review the hotel name until you make the payment). I immediately called the hotel to confirm that they have Free Parking, Free wireless and free breakfast and were a non-smoking facility. The first three requests were not honored and moreover, Parking was $19.85 per night. Since I checked the box "free parking", I assumed I'm not going to be matched with a hotel that has NO free parking in general. I called Priceline to cancel, spoke to 3 different agents (**, her ID **; **, ID ** and one more person whose name I didn't write down) and one supervisor (**, ID **).
I explained them that this option was checked at the time of booking, and had I known that there was NO free parking as advertised by Priceline.com, I would have booked somewhere else with a better value (via AMEX hotel rewards program). After an hour on the phone with 4 different reps, and my AMEX Gold card membership service contacting Priceline.com to help get a refund, they would STILL refuse to issue me a credit for the amount of the parking fee ($19.85) or refund the whole purchase telling me they have a "no refunds" policy.
But no refunds should apply to only those purchases that were made in accordance to customer's specifications, i.e. they cannot place someone who chose hotel rating 3 stars and up into a 1 star motel. The way it works is they can only choose the name/location of the hotel, but their match has to be based on my requirements (like number of stars, approximate distance). Same with Free/Paid parking. **, ID ** offered to settle the matter by issuing credit of $50 towards my next (very unlikely anyway) purchase.
I asked him if it was “up to $50 dollars, or “actually $50”, he confirmed “Yes, ma'am, fifty flat”; and when I agreed to it, he told me the following: "I will send you a link that you will need to click on to redeem your $10 (ten!) dollars. I asked him to repeat the amount again, and he said $10. Then I asked him if he had said "$50" (fifty) just before then and he AGREED he had. He just apologized for the mistake!!! Again a lie. This conversation was recorded by Priceline.com per my request, and I would like you to listen to it if you need to.
I told him no, he needed to put $50 dollars on my account towards the next purchase just like he had promised, and he refused to do so. He insisted on forwarding me some link with $10 dollars. SO the bottom line - free parking that was promised by Priceline.com was NOT offered by the hotel. EVER. The hotel front desk person told me they always charged for parking, and the cheapest fee is $19.85.
In addition - No free breakfast was offered at the hotel as well. Please, take proper action against this company as they're misleading people everyday! Even in their Terms & Conditions they have an "error based" refund policy which they did not honor.
I used Priceline.com to look for a hotel room in the Lake George, NY area for 2 nights (Oct 10-Oct 12). I decided to start my bid at $40 for a 2.5* and above. Priceline found no room for that amount so it asked me to change either the area or the hotel category. I first selected a larger area (Lake George and Schenectady). No rooms found. I then increased the bid and was forced to make other changes (you can't increase the bid without lowering the hotel rating).
I ended up bidding $55 for 1* and above, though my intention was to book a 2.5* hotel. Priceline confirmed that my bid was accepted by Studio Motel of Lake George for $55 a night. This is when I started to have a problem.
I decided to use Priceline to look for a better deal. Prior to using the website I had the choice to go to 2* hotels for less than $50 (see roomsaver.com for coupons) but I did not want to book a 2* hotel. So, when I went to Priceline, I looked for HOTELS, not lodging! A motel is not a hotel!
I called Customer Service but they are useless. The only thing they will say is "we apologize for the inconvenience" (like charging you for something you never wanted is only an inconvenience...) and "there's nothing we can do". By the way, if you call the 1-800 number, there's a recording saying "you can save up to 50% or more". That could be either 1% or 99%, right? So the 50% has no business being there. Anyway, I tried to explain that I wasn't trying to book a ghost room but to find a room in my price range and I was expecting to be given the option to choose.
Since they skipped this step, I ended up with something other than what I wanted. I was looking for a hotel room and was given a motel room. The motel website lists that room for $59 (walk-in) and Priceline.com saved me only $4. That would not have made me happy even if I wanted that room, which was not the case!!! considering that I had better options in terms of quality and price.
Bottom line: I made the mistake of trusting the website and now I'm screwed. I will try to dispute the charge with my CC company because Priceline booked me what they wanted, without asking me if I want it or not. I don't believe that this is legal. It's like walking into a grocery store with the intention to buy Swiss cheese and leave it with cottage cheese instead because that's what the store decided to sell you. No returns, no refunds, nothing. Or like booking a flight ticket and get a hot air balloon ride instead. This is what's wrong with the website:
they don't offer hotels but lodging, although the website doesn't say that (they say "hotels, hotel rooms"). You go for a hotel and offer a motel room instead (or a mattress under a bridge...).
they don't give you any options and you can make no decision in this process. What if they choose a pet-friendly hotel for you and you're allergic to pets? What if you have special needs (handicap access, etc.)? I've learned that you have to provide them with supporting information (disclosing your medical history to them; in other words, having your privacy invaded).
there's no negotiation because you don't know what you're negotiating on. Unlike eBay (where you know beforehand what you're bidding on), Priceline asks you to bid on something that is waaaaay too general.
you have no input other than the credit card information. I would have no problem with somebody else telling me where to stay if I'm a 5 years old and as long as they pay for my room. But in my case, I really don't like other people to make decisions for me, using my money.
I know the website says you can't cancel a reservation but the purpose of bidding is to find something in your price range, not to make a reservation at the same time! If I was given the option to choose between 10 hotels, for instance, I would have chose one while accepting the fact that soon as the choice was made, I can't go back. Unfortunately, it didn't happen this way...
Anyway, it looks like I'm not the only one scammed by Priceline. This is saddening. How come they got away with this for so many years? How come they're still allowed to use these unfair business practices? If this was North Korea, I would have said there's nothing one can do about it? But in U. S.?