PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- As an employee of Bank of America, I was referred to Priceline by our employee perks webpage. Little did I know of the disaster that awaited me in Phoenix, AZ. My husband and I booked a 2-bedroom suite at the Phoenix Place Hotel and Suites for our final night in Arizona. We had requested such accommodations due to traveling with my elderly in-laws who require constant assistance. Upon arriving at the hotel I was given my room assignment (Room 554).
After entering a small 1-bedroom accommodation I immediately contacted the front desk and informed them that I was clearly given the wrong room. The concierge informed me that the hotel did not have the 2-bedroom suite that I booked through Priceline.com. I then showed her my confirmation that was emailed to me describing the accommodations I had booked. My arrival time at the hotel was 9:00 pm, as I was explaining the circumstances she told me I would need to speak with the manager who would be in at 11:00 pm. My flight was scheduled to leave the Phoenix airport at 8:00 am, which meant I needed to be up at 4:00 am in order to have to return my rental car and check in at the airport.
The manager arrived for her shift as scheduled at 11:00 pm. I once again described the situation to her and she informed me there was nothing she could do to refund me the money I had already paid for the room I was not going to be placed in (no such room existed). By this time it is after midnight and 4 hours from the time I was to be up. I was given a 2 queen bed room in which one bed was completely broken from the base. Upon getting "settled" in the room I called Priceline.com to try to resolve the issue.
I was told by the customer service representative that I was clearly not given the accommodations that I had booked and that he could see why I would be upset. With that being said he merely offered me a 20% break on the room I had already paid for. My original total was $166.00, so a 20% discount would be $33.20. The normal price for a 2 queen bed room with prior payment is $85.00 plus tax, so for discussion purposes let's call it $100.00. Why would I pay $132.80 for a room that is worth $100.00. Not to mention that none of this compensated me for the extreme headache and stress this situation has caused.
I expect a full refund for the reservation I made considering I was not given what I was promised nor what I paid for. The 20% discount that has been offered is completely unacceptable. I would like a call from a reservations manager as soon as possible to have this issue resolved and to have a full refund credited back to my account. This is the email I sent to Priceline explaining the issue I experienced. The next time I called them they said they were no longer offering the 20% discount and they had finished their investigation and were not refunding me a dime and for me to have a nice day.
NORWALK, CONNECTICUT -- After speaking to a customer service representative at the 1-800 number for Priceline.com I was asked to submit a written letter to their customer service department as they were unable to connect me with a higher manager to field my issue. The following is the letter I submitted which I also posted anywhere the internet would have it. I purchased an airline ticket ** round trip to Los Angeles under the rules and designations set forth by Priceline.com on November 9th for travel the 14th through the 19th. I attempted to book both my car and flight together, however that option was unavailable at time booking. The confirmation email sent to me about my flight had links for automobiles for $19 a day.
The lowest I could book for was $25 dollars a day and after I booked **, I contacted Customer Service via the internet chat option and was given $5 bonus cash towards my next car rental through Priceline.com which I tried to contest via the internet chat but the agent disconnected from me. At the time I begrudgingly accepted the situation and moved on as the $30 did not seem worth fighting over. When I arrived at the airport on the day of my trip the luggage that I brought which previously on other carriers had been acceptable as a carry-on was not accepted and thus I was required to pay an additional $25 each trip.
Please note that I do not blame Priceline.com for this specific situation, I am just pointing out the total monies and inconveniences that were added to my travels. After I arrived in Los Angeles and was taken to the Hertz rental station I discovered a few more inconsistencies in the automobile rental policy. While my flight was booked through Priceline.com for travel back to Chicago at 5:45pm on November 19th, my car was due back at 10:30 am on the same day leaving me approximately a 7 hour wait in the terminal. I realized that this was why I could not purchase the car with the flight and after speaking to the Hertz representative if I returned the car anytime after 10:30am I would be assessed another day's rental at the rate of $40 a day – not the $25 that I had booked it at.
She explained that if I had booked it directly there were things that could be done but no changes could be made through a Priceline.com booking. For a third time now I accepted the situation and moved on with the thought that I would contact customer service to see what could be done. The first call I made was to American Airlines directly to see if a change could be made to my flight. They informed me it could and they had multiple flights flying into Chicago which I could change for an additional $75. I did not make any flight changes and told the associate I would do so after I contacted Customer Service at Priceline.com.
Let me preempt this by stating that I have worked as a customer service representative for many years and as I called in I knew that the initial representative who took my call would not be able to assist me as I was asking for a refund of $75 so I could book the flight to match the car rental timeframe and not waste 7 hours of my day at the airport. While the initial agent followed his script and apologized to me three times without an ounce of empathy he did finally transfer me to his manager ** who listened to my call and stated that there was nothing she could do for me due to the policies Priceline.com set forward. I explained that I understood her position, however, I wished to speak to someone above her as someone in Customer Service should be able to assess a customer's needs.
In my eyes as a consumer I was simply asking for compensation for the difference in time between the time the rental car had to be returned (10:30am) to the time the flight left (5:45pm) both which had been booked through Priceline.com. As someone who would use the service again if the situation was rectified, I was shocked when ** informed me that the only way I could get to anyone higher was to send a letter to 800 Connecticut Ave, Norwalk Connecticut, 06854. I asked her if I could email anyone and was blatantly told, “No.”
Now if I hadn't been a Customer Service representative for the last few years, perhaps I would have left the situation alone, however, I was treated worse that I had ever treated anyone on the phone in all my experience as a Customer Service representative. On my initial call I was just looking for the $75 fee to change my flight to work around the schedule Priceline.com had granted me. I will do as ** had told me to and send this letter to corporate, however I expect very little from that. I am also going to email this letter to the Priceline.com general customer service email on Friday November 22.
Let me be specific in stating that I would never feel the need to take these steps if the manager I spoke to, ** had not abruptly dismissed me and told me to send a letter to corporate. If she had been polite and explained the proper reasoning without leaving an open ended resolution as based on our conversation I may have gone away. However, due to my past experience with customers I do feel the need to push the issue. No response was ever given.
SANDUSKY, OHIO -- I had the worst first time experience with Priceline. I reserved a hotel room through Priceline in Sandusky oh close to cedar point for 2 nights. When I arrived at the hotel, the front desk person gave me my room and when I went to the room it was a smoking room. I had asked on my reservation a non smoking room. So I went back to the front desk and they gave me a non smoking room. I got to the room and it had a foul smell but I didn't [want] move again so I stayed there.
So my wife and I went out and when we came back around 10 pm our sink was swarmed with ants. We told the front desk and they just changed us room again at 11 pm. We got to that room and it also had a foul smell and when I turned ac on and closed curtains on top were spider webs and 2 spiders. So after that I was done with that hotel. So I called Priceline to see if they could change me to another hotel. I talked to a guy named ** and he was very rude and not caring.
I told him what happened and he told me he was going to put me on hold and call hotel. When he got back on the phone with me, he said the manager from hotel told him she refunded the money so I had to get my things out and leave. It was past 11 pm! I told him that would be fine but if he could get me another room. He said no he couldn't and the only thing he can do is refund my money and was going to take 1 to 5 business days to be in my account. I told him I didn't have much money to go and get another room. He was rude and didn't care at all to try to accommodate us.
He just kept saying he refunded the money already and I had to get my things out the hotel and that the money will be back on my account on the next day which would've been Friday. He was not helpful at all so I told him I need to talk to a supervisor. He said he was the highest level person I can talk to and there was no one else so I hung up and I called another hotel and I told them what happened and they cut me a break and gave me a good rate for 2 nights. So we used our money for trip to pay for the room we got at other hotel since the guy from Priceline told us the money would be in my account the next day.
So we check my account on Friday and nothing and then we check account on Saturday and nothing. On Saturday afternoon we had to go back home but we didn't have much money left, not even enough for gas. So I called Price Line again and the girl I talked to said the reservation from hotel was never canceled and they had charged for the room. I explained what happened that Thursday night and she also didn't care and didn't believe me and she said she was going to call hotel to see if they could refund money. When she got back on phone with me she said the hotel had refunded money to them and that she was going to refund money to me and was going to take 1 to 5 business days. Which made me upset because apparently the guy I had talked to on Thursday lied about him already refunding the money so he hadn't even process it.
I told the girl that he lied to me and she also didn't care and just said, “Yea I already refunded.” So I got gas to get home and now my account is negative and I'm just waiting to see when will the money show up in my account. But the two people I had talked to from Priceline were rude and not caring and didn't accommodate us on our trip and made things worse and lied on our first time trying them. But, I will never again use them. I will make my reservations through hotel directly.
WORLDWIDE -- I kept seeing Priceline.com commercials running as if they were such a popular good standing company so I figured I would give them a try instead of Hotels.com or Expedia which I have used several times in the past. Originally, I was going to just book a room through their so called drastically reduced rates. However, the website kept popping up suggesting that I save 60% by naming my own price. What a joke. I entered $99 for a three star hotel in Anaheim. It came back stating that they couldn't find anything close to that price for that quality (give me a break full price 3 star rooms are $140 average) and suggested that I increase to $119.
Against my own intuition I tried it. So it told me it booked me for a room at the Annabella hotel, after it charged my credit card it would go on to state that it could not tell me what type of room I would be getting but I would have to contact the hotel directly for that. What a shock I end up having to do more work for the so called travel service. I call the Anabella, first occurrence they did not yet have my reservation and suggested I call back the following day. So, as I called the following day, I am told that they had booked me for a single room, and if I wanted to have a double I would in fact have to pay the hotel directly $25 more dollars. Needless to say I was furious, I called Priceline.com customer service, which oddly enough seems to be based in India.
After 3 phone calls and several push and enter options I spoke to a real person. Guess what he was about as helpful as a. From what I could understand he was saying that in the "contract it states that they do not guarantee what type of room." Excuse me, but what the hell am I going to do with a king size bed and 4 people I told him. He went on to say there was nothing they could do. I of course requested a supervisor who offered more of the same pathetic nonsense. While I was on the phone educating him in US profanity I happened to look up the price for the Annabella on Hotels.com.
What do you know there was the room I needed for $139, $5 less than the Priceline.com guaranteed lowest price. I decided to just disconnect the call with the so called supervisor of stupidity and called the hotel direct one more time. I asked to speak to the manager, then and only then was I finally able to get some assistance. Because they have had negative experiences with Priceline.com she understood the problem and assured me she would upgrade me to a room with two beds. Hallelujah, it only took 3 hours out of my Saturday to obtain a rate I could have booked directly through Hotels.com to begin with. Do yourselves a favor do not waste a second of your time or any money on this foolish, deceitful company.
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA -- I want to preface this review to say that I really like Priceline and I think you can get some excellent deals. I will relate a recent experience where the posting did not reflect what I paid for and I am very disappointed at their lack of response. I do not work in the hotel or travel industry so I studied the website and their offerings and in good faith chose a 2.5 star hotel. The 2.5 star hotel examples listed are: Holiday Inn Express, Marriott Springfield, etc. The 2.0 star hotels include Comfort Inn, Ramada Inn, etc.
I was awarded the Comfort Inn Maingate in Orlando. According to the rating system, Comfort Inn is a 2.0 star hotel. Here is where my story with the Customer Care/Relations Service begins… I called Priceline immediately after receiving confirmation of my hotel stay. I spoke with ** who apologized and told me she can't do anything to what I bought because I purchased it with the knowledge that the reservation can't be changed or amended in any way. I agree, I did purchase with that knowledge, but my purchase was not what I purchased. I bought a 2.5 star and not a 2.0 star hotel.
Twenty minutes later, I asked for a supervisor, she transferred me after a long wait. ** came on and apologized and said he would look into it. He called back 15 min. later and apologized but said according to their rating system, this particular Comfort Inn fell within the 2.5 rating description. I was aware of the amenities offered, but the problem lies with it being stated as a 2.0 instead of a 2.5 hotel. He then explained that Travelocity and others rated this Comfort Inn as a 3 star hotel. I was not purchasing from the others, I was purchased from Priceline and I was looking at Priceline's star rating.
He then offered me a cash bonus which I later found to be $50 for a future hotel bid - but there is a catch, the voucher must be used by April 30 and only $10 will be applied per night up to $50. This is not useful for me because I will not be traveling in the next 4 months. I was not satisfied with ** explanation and resolved to call him again the next day. He gave me an 800 number and did not give me his direct line when asked. I call the number he provided, ** answered and asked about the nature of the call before she can connect me. I waited 30 min. (thank goodness there is now a speaker feature on the phones) before a customer care rep, (didn't catch name) answered the phone.
I asked for ** and he said ** cannot be requested. I explained the situation and got the same response. He repeated everything that was on written on the notes from the day before. Whether the information on the website was right or wrong, I was stuck with what I paid for. I was not happy but they would not budge. The representative will expedite my request. I will be using the hotel in less than 2 weeks, so I will update if I hear from Priceline.
What did I learn from this experience? If you plan to use Priceline, choose a higher star rating than what you see posted - this way you won't be as disappointed. Don't bother calling. Just eat what you got. I wasted close to 2 hours on the phone. The staff has a script and will repeat over and over again what you already know.
Priceline reps are very well trained. They will apologize and say they understand but... they will not bend even if the customer is right. They will turn the conversation around to make you see it their way even when the website posting is clearly on your side in black and white. I used to recommend Priceline when I need a hotel, but this experience has prompted me to try their competitors. If they acknowledged that their website was not clear and that they will upgrade and that I would have to pay the difference, I would be happy. But unfortunately, Priceline left a less than desirable impression with me when trying to resolve a problem.
The cash bonus for another booking was a nice touch, but the probability of it being used is probably small, so they don't have much to lose. If they want to make the consumer feel good - they should either pony up a $50 cash bonus in the form of a check or allow the customer to upgrade to the next level (spend more $$) if the customer was in the right. Don't make the customer feel duped. The 2nd representative I spoke with said he will "expedite" my request. Let's see what Priceline will do next. I asked them to upgrade to 3 stars.
Finally, I have a feeling a 3 star or higher rating may not charge a "fee" to help make up the difference they would have made on the hotel room rate. The margin of gain is smaller for the lower priced hotels than for the larger chains. The rating I provided for Priceline for this one customer service experience is 1 star. In the past, I would have given it 5 stars (above the 4 star best rating).
CANCUN MEXICO -- Do not waste your time thru this website. They will charge your credit card even if it says Zero cancellation fee and if you call to complaint they will tell you that there is nothing that they can do, that they are not responsible for any charges on your account even though you entered your credit card info on their website... On top of that the customer service reps will hang up on you (happened twice) and they will also have an attitude.
MARLBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS -- Hello - Booked airline ticket from Cochin to New York for my parents from 30th June 2013 to 14 Dec 2013. Everything was fine while booking the tickets. Priceline website charged me $2428.42. I was happy with the ticket price as I got from Priceline which guarantee's best price until I came to know that the same ticket is being sold on Kuwait airways website for $1979.86, that is $448.56 cheaper than Priceline.
When I spoke to customer service person and chat with CSR they all told me to live with it as I got from Priceline. The lessons learned from here is don't believe Priceline price guarantee. The ticket price on Priceline is still $2490. But 10 days before the travel date the price on Kuwait airways is way cheaper than Priceline. Would request everyone to be extra cautious before buying anything from Priceline. Please double check on all other websites else you will also fall in the same trap as me and pay extra for believing Priceline!!!
Hi, I've been reading the reviews from people using Priceline as well as their experience at customer service. I want to explain and give my point of view of some comments... The 1st one: Overcharged for my Hotel stay
12/2/2010. I recently purchased 2 nights at a hotel in Taos, NM through Priceline.com. I received a bill from the hotel upon checkout that was more than $55.00 cheaper than what I paid through Priceline. I asked about the difference and the desk clerk told me that was their going rate for the room and that I should contact Priceline.com about the difference.
I called Priceline only to be given a standard line about how they obtain rates from hotels and that they would not refund me the difference on my stay. I have spent a lot of money with Priceline but I will NEVER use them again. Their customer service is the worst! First of all yes, the hotel provides a cheaper rate to Priceline, OF COURSE! Otherwise Priceline wouldn't make money, or what is a company for if they'd work for free?
About the lower rate, and this person calling Priceline and stating that this rate is the hotel's rate... I'm sorry, but it is not, if you'd asked the hotel what is their regular rate I BET you the rate you were given is actually less expensive than their regular rate. Now about this. BOGUS Priceline.com advertising 8/16/2010. Here's what they say in their advertising:
"When you book a Name Your Own Price® Hotel, Flight or Rental Car we not only guarantee the lowest price we guarantee a BIG DEAL! We are so confident that you won't find a bigger deal on some other site, that the Big Deal Guarantee is available all the way until the day before you travel. That's not all, the Big Deal Guarantee also covers Flight+Hotel Vacation Packages. How To Claim Your Big Deal Guarantee.
Call and tell us where you saw the lower price. Priceline will verify the price and availability right there on the phone. 1-800-PRICELINE. 1-800-774-2354 (U.S. or Canada). 1-212-444-0022 (from anywhere else). The Legal Stuff. See more details below by product: Hotels, Flights, Cars, Vacations, Book a Big Deal! If you find a lower price for the same reservation, we'll match the price and give you $25!!"
Well, here's the real story: We booked with them for a car in LAX and named our own price. Several times it was rejected, but finally accepted. Then Hotwire sent me a price drop notification, about 10% less than the Priceline.com price. So I called about their Big Deal Guarantee (In fact, Priceline.com's regular lowest price was lower than what I paid). The Customer Service lady referred me to Danielle in Customer Relations.
Here's the Real Deal: It seems like nobody gets the bonus or the guarantee. Just because you find a lower price, on the same class of car, same equipment, same dates, etc., you still don't qualify. It has to be from the same company's regularly advertised list price. But I said that "the "SAME" company I'm dealing with is Priceline.com and you have a much lower advertised regular price." "Too bad," she says. It was really a "HA-HA GOTCHA MOMENT!"
Why would a company like this stoop to such unethical practices? Who knows? But I know that no one should patronize a company like this, unless they want to be treated so badly. I'm a senior and money is tight, and the savings would have been important to us. Very disappointed in Priceline.com and their people and their marketing double-talk. Be warned, like so many other. IF YOU'D READ the best price guarantee policies, which I can see you did, but didn't paste the COMPLETE policies, you'd realize why you may have didn't get it. This is what is says.
"If you find a lower published-price for the exact same itinerary, WITHIN 24 HOURS OF BOOKING, Priceline will:
Refund you 100% of the difference, or cancel your reservation so you can rebook at the lower price. Plus, we will give you a $50 Priceline Vacation Package Coupon for your next trip."
My only advice to all customers is to READ YOUR CONTRACT! Yes, you all complain about the Priceline policies "cannot be changed or cancelled", no, and this is because there is a contract, you signed up agreeing for that contract, YOU DID IT! When you sign up whatever in life, you can't break that contract AT ALL...
Besides, there is not only name your own price reservations, there are some other type of reservations where you can have a hotel with the cancellation policy displayed so you don't have any problem at all, but if you choose to NAME YOUR OWN PRICE, have on your mind that YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CANCEL THE RESERVATION OR CHANGE IT. Read whatever the contract says, and I don't mean it just in Priceline, I mean it in every places. You guys think that you can do whatever you want to, but life is not like that, there are some rules you need to follow.
Beware of bidding on Priceline. I would avoid them entirely, but if you use them: Take each step slowly and take screenshots, or better yet a video camera of you operating the computer. Earlier this year, I bid on an expensive last-minute air-ticket on Priceline. The first time, my bid was not accepted. They suggested I allow additional stops and/or raise my price. I did this and after a long wait was taken to the "congratulations" confirmation of purchase page. However, it was for a higher amount than I had bid. (Moreover, I had quotes from Expedia and Delta for less than this amount.)
Within the minute, I called their toll free number to cancel. The representative said she could not do anything. Subsequent automated emails revealed that they had made a counter-offer which supposedly I had accepted. Their customer service even sent a copy of a web-page which I had supposedly initialed and submitted. Except I never did this. To this day, I don't know if it was fraud on their part or a freakish browser error.
Over the next day, I contacted Priceline by email and phone, only to be told they would not do anything, even if I supplied browser records and proof of my already better offers. They were extremely firm, unsympathetic, and unwilling to even investigate the possibility of an error. This latter fact and the fact that no information and typing other than initials are required for the counter-offer is what makes me suspect fraud. Browser errors can also happen, but their refusal to even look into it is revealing about their agenda. Hint: Integrity and customer service is not a part of it.
I do wonder if they prey upon last minute travelers especially with this forced acceptance of the counteroffer. With just days to departure I had to decide to keep their over-priced ticket (the itinerary was actually perfect, just not the price) or to risk purchasing a second ticket (for about $950 in addition to the $1200 they had forced on me).
In the end, I decided to stick to my guns, and buy the second ticket. I did this shortly after getting off the phone with Priceline and my credit card company the first time. I paid with the same credit card, in order to help prove that I already had a better offer available to me at that same time and that I had been serious about buying a ticket at that price.
So, my final recourse was to file a dispute with my credit card company. I had called them immediately after my first call to Priceline, but they couldn't do anything to prevent the charge. They also couldn't start the dispute process until the charge posted. Several days later, with the trip already underway, the charge from Priceline posted officially. I then started the dispute process.
My credit card company took explanations and sent paperwork for more. In the meantime, I had done my best to document the other offers I already had in my browser, and to preserve as much of that as possible. I sent them copies of what I had. They put a hold on the charge for the duration of the investigation. A couple months later, I had to fill out more paperwork, and wait again for Priceline to respond. About three months later I had the charge refunded. I don't know what response they received from Priceline. It may be that the credit card company just absorbed the charge.
The double booking was also a problem when traveling since there were two reservations under the same name on the flights. Since Priceline wouldn't cancel the ticket, it was necessary to discuss with the airline in advance. The airline couldn't cancel it, but it at least gave them the opportunity to overbook the flight if desired. It was also prudent to arrive extra early to allow time for this again at departures. My strongest recommendation would be to not to use Priceline, and especially not without a video camera capturing your actions and the screen.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- Didn't receive the room that I pre-paid from Priceline.com. The hotel charged my card even though I had a pre-paid reservation. They charged it at a much lower rate and Priceline wouldn't honor the difference. I will never use them again and neither should you. You've been warned.