NORWALK, CONNECTICUT -- We were browsing the web for vacation packages to Hawaii in July. One of them we were considering was offered by Priceline. It was not “Name your price” or bidding kind of deal - I had spinal surgery in May so we couldn't risk any uncertainty. I found a package that was in the area we considered appealing in Maui, not a 'discount' price but it was OK. From the website I knew that the flight would be Delta and I knew the exact departure and arrival time that were OK with us. We also knew in advance the name of the hotel/condo.
I called Priceline and the nightmare started. I asked the agent several times during the phone conversation and booking process if I could cancel the vacation if I needed to. I was assured three times that I could, so we proceeded. The first suspicious sign was that he asked me what kind of warm lunch and dinner we would prefer and he gave us a pretty long list. But, I interrupted him - no US carrier serves warm food or any food on domestic flights any more in economy class! "Sure they do" - he answered, "Just make your selection." (I have my itinerary to prove that I chose, as a whim, vegetarian).
While I was on the phone with the agent my husband was browsing Priceline's website and found another vacation package. Same departure date, same hotel, practically the same price but we could have stayed one day longer. So I asked the agent to switch me to that package. Alas, I was 2 minutes late because I gave him my credit card number 2 minutes before. So he said: "It cannot be done." Why not? "Well, Delta would allow you to cancel the flight but the hotel would not allow you to change the reservation." That was on July 21 and our departure date was on August 6, so I knew that he was lying.
I got so furious that I told him that I want to cancel the entire package. "Cannot be done" And either he hung up or I did. In 5 minutes I called the hotel/condo and asked them about their cancellation policy. They had a 7 days cancellation policy with full refund and 1 night fee if one cancels 3 days prior to arrival. But I didn't want to cancel; just I wanted to add one additional day. They were flabbergasted.
I called my credit card company and told them the story and they promised me that they would help me and would resolve the case to my satisfaction. I am still waiting for an adequate resolution. I just received a copy of the bogus paper submitted to the CC company by Priceline that is total lie, deceitful and not a word written there is true.
They sent them a policy that is true only for "name your price" bidding and then submitted a bogus facsimile as if I was booking the package online. This company has no shame. I think I will send a copy of this fraudulent document to the State attorney. Based on what I read above I am glad that we were not even tempted to go to this trip. Or, Priceline would be sued for serious hospital and surgery fees if anything went wrong. I think it is high time to rename them Rip-off.com.
800 CONNECTICUT AVE., CONNECTICUT -- I thought it would be easier and cheaper to book a vacation package from one place than to shop several different sites. I booked flight and hotel to Las Vegas for 2 people. Paid extra to upgrade room as the lowest rate room stated, "If you require a particular bed type, please select from other available room types." I called to the hotel to request a room with a king bed and provided my confirmation number. I was told that this request had to go through Priceline because I booked through Priceline.
I called Priceline and spoke with **. She stated that my request would have to go through the hotel. I explained to her that I had already spoken to the hotel and that the hotel referred me to Priceline. ** then informed me that she would put in the request but that the hotel reserved the right to charge extra if my request were honored. I referred her to the website and she continued to insist that it only means "more spacious accommodations". I also inquired about when I should expect to receive the electronic tickets. She stated that the electronic tickets are in the airlines computer and that you must check in at the airport to receive the tickets.
The next day, I found that I could have booked the same flight through the airline and same room through the hotel for LESS MONEY. I called to request Priceline and spoke with **. After a lengthy delay in order for her to verify that I could indeed have saved myself money, I was told that the Big Deal Guarantee does not apply if you have to use another site in order to receive the guarantee.
Things I have learned from this experience:
1 - I will not receive credit for my airline miles since this was booked through Priceline.
2 - I cannot check in for my flight in advance from the comfort of my home as I would have been able to do had I booked through the airline.
3 - I paid for an upgraded room only to have the flight selected for me knock off 2 days in Vegas by having me arrive close to midnight on day one and leave in the early AM (0715) on the last day. According to the hotel, this will necessitate my calling the hotel prior to my flight departure so that they will not release my room due to the late hour of my arrival.
4 - I cannot locate my airline or hotel reservations via the internet. This must be done via telephone.
5 - I paid more money for less service.
6 - I haven't even left for my vacation yet and I already feel that Priceline has done everything possible to ruin it by failing to honor their own guarantee and making all communications a MISERABLE EXPERIENCE.
I cannot begin to describe the anger and disgust I feel with this company right now. I used this site to search for vacation packages for my husband and I, so that we could take a long awaited and well deserved trip for our 10 year wedding anniversary. Initially when I began to search, a lot of the packages appeared to be really well priced.
When I finally came across one that caught my attention, I went ahead and attempted to purchase it. Within a few minutes of submitting the request, I received a notification stating that my reservation was not able to be processed because there was no longer any availability. I was okay with that and assumed that no charges had been made to my account. Well, that wasn't the case. Although, the reservation had not gone through, rather than placing a hold on my account for the amount, I later found out that the amount had been debited from it.
You can imagine my surprise to find out that I was now over $600 less in my bank account and negative. When I tried to contact the airlines that had been authorized by Priceline to refund me the money they told me that they couldn't do anything because it had been processed by a third party and that I should get a refund within 8-10 days. WHAT?! That was unacceptable. I then contacted Priceline who in turn contacted my bank.
Long story short I had to spend over an hour on a conference call with my bank and the Priceline representative trying to get my money back. Finally because my bank person was understanding and helpful they were able to offer me a temporary refund while they filed a complaint and dealt with the issues involving Priceline.
I don't understand how something like this even happens when there is no confirmation of the purchase. A hold I can understand but a debit makes no sense. Needless to say the Priceline representative was no help and I am very disappointed with them. I don't think I will be using their services again ever and I will let everyone know what I went through.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I booked airfare, hotel and two excursions through Priceline for two people: $5000.00. Later I booked a third excursion for two people for $311. Within 24 hours, I realized I booked the third excursion for my arrival day and when I called Priceline, immediately they simply restated their "no change" policy. A supervisor gave me the number for the "provider" (in London). The provider initially referred me to Viator, the booking agent used by Priceline, who restated the Priceline "no change" policy and redirected me to Priceline.
Priceline refused to make the change (I was simply asking the reservation to be changed to the very next day). I called the London provider again and ultimately was able to make the change. I booked a second excursion directly with that provider. Be aware: Priceline, by enforcing their "no change" policy without the exercise of discretion takes advantage of simple "computer error" and suggests fraudulent consumer practice. It is important to note, that because my travel arrangements were made through Priceline, Priceline had my arrival date and knew the excursion was booked in error as it was prior to my arrival date and time.
ILLINOIS -- They were so nice to me on the phone and in customer chats until after I spent over $3000 with them. Then all of a sudden the things that had previously told me were no longer true. They couldn't let me talk to certain people. Was told I would receive calls and never did. When I emailed them they replied with "We did contact and the issue was resolved." Which I never spoke with anyone and the issue is still standing.
TWO of their employees told me that if I booked with them they would match my price multiple times as long as it was within 24 hrs of departure, and the itinerary was exactly the same. I complied with that and they will not match the price. BEYOND the fact of that they are just rude on the phone. I am treated so poorly. I actually had to explain click by click to one of the employees on how to find the vacation rate! Complete idiots!!
I booked a 9 day Baltic cruise with Priceline in mid May on the assurance from their sales representative that they would provide two free nights, free hotel stay, at the port of embarkation. Further, here is their website advertisement:
"FREE HOTEL STAY – UP TO 5 NIGHTS! It's like 2 Trips for the Price of 1. We'll give you a Priceline Hotel Bonus Cash coupon valid toward up to 5 nights wherever Priceline hotels are located. Extend your cruise vacation by relaxing in the departure port city before or after sailing. Or, make it two separate trips by enjoying your hotel stay some other time. Thousands of voyages qualify on the world's top 21 fleets - you simply won't find a better deal on cruises."
After booking the cruise they send me a voucher for $140 for two nights (Priceline's fees for booking were over $60 making the voucher worth only $80 or less) and a link to book a hotel. When I tried to book a hotel in Copenhagen, nothing was to be had even for $100 a night. On appealing to Priceline, they informed me that Copenhagen had no hotels for voucher booking and I should try to book the hotels some other time at some other place
Priceline's whole approach to their “FREE STAY” is disingenuous and misleading. If they are providing $70 per night voucher for hotel stays, they should say so. Only when the tour is booked do they inform their customers (victims) of what the "free stay" means. What can be done to stop this sort of disingenuous and deceptive advertising by Priceline?
Priceline is a terrible company that I would not recommend to anyone. I booked a vacation package a few weeks ago, that was quoted to include free show tickets. After receiving a confirmation email for my vacation, I noticed that the free show tickets were nowhere to be found in the package. I called their customer service department, which is outsourced to India, and has representatives that do not understand, nor can speak English, and explained to them my question. They said they would follow up with a phone call the next day, after reviewing my request.
I received an email about an hour later saying that there never was anything that said free show tickets (though I printed the page that says it) and that I am not entitled to any. Then, when I followed up with a complaint about their bad service and fraud, I never heard anything back from them. NEVER USE THIS COMPANY.
We decided to book a last minute vacation package to Miami on March 10th. Priceline offered a $425 package and it said on the hotel (Ramada) description that the hotel provides shuttle to the airport. We arrived Fort Lauderdale Airport and found out that there is no shuttle to our hotel, because the hotel provides shuttle to the Miami airport, not Fort Lauderdale. Priceline did not consider the distance range, and the description of the hotel was misleading. We ended up having to spend $70 on taxi ($140 round trip).
When we talked to the customer service, the wait was long, and it also gave us a lot of unnecessary information when all we wanted to do was talk to the representative. The representative was unsure and unhelpful. They offered to cancel the hotel and refund us, and would not give me an estimate of how much money refund they would give me.
The transparency of the service is questionable. When asked if they could place us in a better hotel, they gave us a complicated route of having us to contact the hotel on our own, then call them back to confirm the cancellation. Then we could decide on either booking with the sale department which is on a different line or walk-in to a hotel nearby (which would be outrageously expensive). I am surprised in this digital age, all they can provide me is this not well-thought, not streamlined customer service. I am very disappointed at their services. The all-friendly-old-dude in their commercials is a misleading image. That was not a good deal at all.
INDIO, CALIFORNIA -- Beware my fellow travelers! Priceline has a deceiving gimmick with their "opaque" or best price package deals. When you select it appears you can choose your flight times when in fact all they will guarantee is that you will get there that same day. My honeymoon is now dampered as I will not arrive until 7:30 pm in Hawaii - missing a whole day, not to mention the hotel.
Here's the worst part. There is no changing, or cancelling once you have selected and don't waste your time with calling the airlines direct. They can't do a thing nor can your credit card company as everything is "technically legal" - IT IS JUST APPALLING CUSTOMER SERVICE!! Priceline couldn't care less, but I want to warn people away from this site. Expedia was the same price (even with the booking fee) and better yet you could actually select your flight times. What a customer value concept!!! STAY AWAY FROM PRICELINE, unless of course you liked to be treated poorly.