DO NOT USE PRICELINE.COM FOR RESERVATIONS! Their cancellation policy is ridiculous and their customer service is lousy and ignorant. My husband tried to surprise me with a vacation to Salem for my 40th birthday. He used Priceline to get the hotel and rental car - our reservations were 10/29/13-11/02/13. Then, last week we got terrible news about my Dad's health and now know that he is on very limited time, so obviously I decided that I wanted to cancel our trip.
PRICELINE WILL NOT REFUND OUR MONEY WITHOUT MY DAD'S MEDICAL RECORDS!! They honestly asked me to provide my Dad's doctors name, phone number, etc to verify my inability to travel. I said absolutely not. All to cancel a car rental that is 3 months away? I said they are not a medical provider or an insurance company and there's no way I would give them private information about my Dad's medical condition (or who his healthcare providers are), which by the way, is protected by HIPPA and is not even my consent to give!
I asked more than 3 times what the purpose of getting my Dad's info was, and what medical info they wanted released to them and the guy would NOT tell me - just kept repeating that it would be used to verify my inability to travel. I can't believe a company would seriously expect someone to divulge that sort of information to cancel a car rental reservation - and it makes me wonder how many people actually feel pressured to give it to get their money back.
So we are working with our credit card company to get this resolved because Priceline refuses to give us a refund for the car rental, but strangely enough, agreed to cancel the hotel. Thank God we didn't use them for the plane tickets! We offered to pay the $46 cancellation fee, etc, but they refused. So needless to say, I will NEVER use Priceline.com again and would advise you to never use them either.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- Was on a trip to Las Vegas. When our plane landed at 9:30PM we took the shuttle to Avis Car Rental. Avis told us that out "Voucher" did not begin till the next day, so we would have to wait till after Midnight to enter it into computer. The woman kept smiling like as if she was laughing at us. After a 7 hour flight that was delayed three hours to start with, this was not the words we wanted to hear. She kept telling us that there was NOTHING that she could do. So we took a seat and started to wait.
After an hour sitting there my blood was starting to boil, so I walked back up to the service desk at Avis and asked for the manager. Her first response was, "There's nothing he can do!" WRONG answer! I politely said, "That's not what I asked you! NOW, can you please get me the manager!" She got off her chair and went through a door not even telling me OK, I'll be right back... After standing there about 15 minutes the door opens with this man bursting through like as if I just stopped his last meal on earth and he just started saying there's nothing I can do.
I put my hand up and said, "Excuse me! What is your name?” Which would have been the polite thing to start off with (this guy should NOT be in customer service!). I said “Isn't there something we can do to not have to wait another hour and a half?” He said, "I could put you in a car now, but would have to charge you a whole day for it, but at a reasonable price.” I said, "OK, what is your reasonable price?"
They started looking up stuff and checking things and went back and forth and said, "$179". I said, "WHAT? You call that reasonable?" We just waited the other hour and a half and got our rental and figured we are just going to post this on every site we can and just hope that it helps someone else.
Better price has to stay active from when you find it to when the Priceline customer service person sees it (but that isn't necessarily so either). They will do anything to not give it to you. I was on the phone for 45 minutes to (not) get the guarantee, took 5 min to talk to someone. I searched and price was the same, took them 15 min to check. I searched again and price still the same. They said while the price was lower it had to be identical. I had to explain if you read description it gives aa flight number and the other airline flight number so it is the same. So he says he will check again. We're now 15 minutes in.
20 minutes later he gets back on with me and says he verified the flight is the same but the price isn't cheaper. I just searched a minute before and it was the same but search again (takes me 30 seconds each time I search) and the price is different. Says there is nothing he can do. OK over 35 minutes to check one flight is absurd. And I believe he put the last three seats on hold just so that price would not be available anymore. I ask for a manager, explained the ordeal with the fact that he had to have seen the lower price the first time because he mistakenly said the fare wasn't the same because he didn't read the whole line.
But then later verified I was right for the same fare so he saw the lower fare and still did not give it to me because he waited so long the price had gone up. I explained the price was lower for 34 of the 35 minute "price check" I have 2 screen shots with times during the call. She says that won't work, and won't price match either, was a 45 minute $40 dollar mistake of thinking they would price match. I will never use Priceline again. I hope they enjoy that $40 because that's the last money they will ever, ever, ever get from me! Even if I pay more from some place else.
I was a Priceline customer since 2006 until 2 days ago when I decided to sever my ties with the company. For the first time, I tried cancelling my hotel reservation because of an unpleasant encounter with the receptionist. At checkin, she wanted to charge me an extra $25 for having my 12-year old and 15-year old daughters with me. She said that the reservation was made for 2 adults and since there were 4 of us, we have to be charged extra.
I explained that there must have been some kind of mistake since I made reservation for 4 people through Priceline. The receptionist did not badge and so I was infuriated. We both knew that the hotel charges per room and for the same price, whether there are 2 or 4 people. Not sure why she wanted to take more money from me... She may be owner/part owner, that's why! If I were to pay more money, then I'd go somewhere decent. The overall appearance and cleanliness of the lobby area was questionable to me.
I cancelled my reservation and the receptionist reminded me to do it through Priceline. Called Priceline immediately and explained everything that happened hoping that they would cancel or give me a different hotel. Talked to 2 people who wouldn't refund my money. I got nowhere and they insisted that they were right and I was wrong! It didn't matter whether I was a loyal customer, they just didn't care.
Bottom-line, no exceptions for anyone. They will stick to their lousy company rules just to make money! No cancellations, no refunds, no exchanges, therefore no business from me anymore! Do not buy from PRICELINE... BOYCOTT THE COMPANY AND SPREAD THE WORD! I am sorry that I gave them so much business in the past, but that's the end of the Priceline for me!
I was trying to book 2 hotel rooms through Priceline.com for a little weekend family get a way before school starts back & I tried 2 different hotels. First the Hampton Inn and the rooms we wanted they didn't have (after I searched certain dates this hotel came up saying it had the oceanfront rooms we wanted). When entering in the credit card information it says the website was down, to try again in a few minutes. So I tried our 2nd choice hotel and it wouldn't go through again. Priceline was saying that for 2 rooms for 2 nights that the total would be 747.68 okay but it didn't go through.
When I go to call the hotel to see if I could book the rooms through them straight it turns out the rooms are $10 dollars cheaper than Priceline had quoted. (Note when the website went down it stated that my card would not be charged). Monday after all this happened I get a phone call from my bank saying that Priceline is holding $1500.00 of my money. I try to call them and of course the phone number listed is automated.
I try to email them. Then finally I am able to chat online with a person that is supposed to work for this company, her name is "Samantha". She isn't much help either. She just keeps telling me to call the number of the website and go through the prompts. I kept telling her I had tried over and over again and it was not sending me to a real person. She wasn't helpful at all.
FINALLY after hours of dead end phone numbers and poor customer service, I spoke with someone and got it straightened out. In the beginning I thought that the hotel that was being held for was the Hampton since I tried it first. When I called them they told me they didn't deal with Priceline and I said "well that is odd since I can book rooms with you through them". I wouldn't suggest anyone use this website.
N/A -- Booked a cruise through Priceline for two cabins on a Western Caribbean 4 night trip for my in-laws and fiance. Departure date 2/18/2010. We drove from NJ to meet my in-laws in Florida. Day before I contacted Carnival to make special arrangements for my fiance. At that point I was told that the trip was cancelled because of side engine thruster repairs to the ship Carnival Destiny.
I was shocked and completely surprised. I asked why we were never contacted, she told me I had to contact the Booking Agency which turned out to be another company I never heard of, NLJ. I spoke to an agent and he claimed that someone had sent an email to my address on 1/28/2010. There was NEVER SUCH EMAIL RECEIVED. Agent offered $75.00 per person and $200.00 per person if we travelled by air.
This is an embarrassment to myself, my fiancee and to the industry as a whole. The information received by the booking agency was complete with my cell, my home number, my office number, all the personal numbers of the parties travelling. To add insult to injury, $75.00 in credits against your next cruise?? I tried to contact Priceline, could not get in to speak with anyone yet, only was able to leave a message with corporate headquarters.
Priceline is a poorly run company. Here is why. The bloodline of the business is to sell, not only they failed with the customer service process, they failed to initiate a resale of another cruise at another time. Had they properly executed the customer service component, it would've created another sale as these issues of breakdown and repairs happen. I would also make the recommendation as a financial planner to expect the company to run into financial turmoil in the future, if they operate.
Just a few quick notes on the other side of Priceline. While most if not all of their customer service is outsourced it is not all offshored. The representatives that they hire do in fact read off of a script and are essentially not permitted to deviate from the scripted guidelines. They physically do not have exception options built into their software. Even if they want to change or cancel your reservation, if they say they can't, they honest to God can't do it. It is not a matter of lack of will or lack of skill.
When a customer requests/demands escalation, the call is transferred to a Customer Relations rep, who is bound by the same scripts and same limited software as the initial representative. The fact that reservations can't be changed or canceled is disclosed on the "contract page" which is the page displayed on which the customers' initials are entered, and the "buy now" button is clicked. General rules of personal responsibility dictate that one should read contracts where initials and signatures are bandied about, and it isn't customer service's fault when this page isn't read clearly. This page also happens to review all details of the travel plans that have been entered.
Double check to make sure you didn't enter the correct information. It only takes an extra minute or two. In the end, what I'm saying is that a lot of Priceline's customer dissatisfaction can be attributed to customer error and misunderstanding. This is not to say that in some cases the company could be a bit more lenient. I'm asking that consumers bear this in mind when calling customer support. The powers that be decided the policies that should be followed by its customer service representatives, and refused to allow these representatives actually take care of its customers. Please don't take this out on the representatives. Most of them genuinely want to help, but can't.
I purchased a vacation for my wife and I almost one year in advance on Priceline. It was a good deal for the airfare and hotel to London. With how expensive the UK is, there is no arguing it's a good deal. I did purchase travel insurance just in case... Fast forward about 7 months. I am moving due to military obligation and my wife has moved out of the house, so needless to say we are not taking the trip. I contacted customer service and was told to call the insurance company.
I called them and obviously they are not an American company. I was basically told (in poor and broken English) that "Too bad so sad, your reasons are not good enough for us to give you money back." I contact Priceline again and complain. I will not be taking the trip, period. I want my money back and here is why. They tell me they can refund the hotel but not the plane tickets, for that they have to contact the airline. I give them all the information they ask for. (Still in broken English) And they tell me they will refund it all as soon as they can. No refund comes.
2 Months later I call again. Talk to another representative who I can't understand who tells me to contact their refund department directly. I finally do and actually get an American woman. Jennifer (**) is awesome. She refunds me the hotel and I actually get an email confirming this. AND she called the airline on my behalf and was told to fax them a copy of my orders and they would refund immediately. Why can't Priceline hire Americans directly? Why do the customer service reps act so rude when you say you can't understand them? Why do they get even ruder when you ask to speak to an American?
PENNSYLVANIA -- On Sept. 17 I placed a bid on a hotel, via Priceline, that was supposed to be in the San Fernando Valley. The trip is not for pleasure; it is for cancer surgery for my husband... So it is very important that the hotel be very near the hospital, in Sherman Oaks. I was not allowed to bid on just one area (Studio city) - I had to bid two areas, so I also entered Warner Center. Well, I ended up with a hotel that is not even in the S.F. Valley!!! It's in Eagle Rock!!! This is ludicrous and entirely unacceptable. I have called and written Priceline about a dozen times to explain the problem, and they have turned a deaf ear, saying no refund will be given. I am dumbstruck.
What's worse, I checked the box for "insurance" in case I couldn't make the trip, for an extra ten dollars. I told them they can keep the ten dollars, but I must be given a refund for the balance. They said they have to have a "doctor's note" within three days of the trip!!! This is absolutely wacky. I am so mad. And when you call Priceline, you're speaking to people in the Philippines, who have no idea of the topography of the San Fernando Valley and the situation they have forced me into.
They say their map indicated my possible hotel area before I bid. But their map has no "Eagle Rock" on it, and on double checking, I found no "shaded area" they said covers the areas that were supposedly acceptable to me. This is a very serious matter. My husband is in very poor health, he needs a hotel close to the hospital, he could die in the course of a long drive to Eagle Rock after his surgery, and I am worried sick, not to mention him. I am crying out for help to anyone out there who can help us.
What has happened to ethics and a fair market in this country? I am ready and eager to pursue legal action against this unscrupulous heartless and greedy company to the fullest extent allowed by law. My Big Question: Why won't they just refund my money, minus the ten dollar cancellation insurance??? Please, can anyone help me on this???
Here is your guide to getting out of the reservations, so long as the date of the reservation hasn't passed: Name Your Own Price Reservations (where PCLN chooses your itinerary):
* Airline: If you don't like your flight times, and just booked the flight, just claim you entered in the wrong name, and you'll only be charged $7.45/ticket, and they'll cancel it (so long as the airline is NOT Jet Blue, Spirit, ExpressJet, or Air Tran). If it's been more than a day after you booked the reservation, you can claim miscarriage, or missing child. No documentation is required, and they'll cancel it for you!
* Hotel: If you call and say someone died, just say a family member died, and find a funeral home in the phone book and give the name and phone # of the funeral home. They'll claim “upon verification, your reservation will be cancelled”, but they don't verify any information, you'll get a full refund.
* Rental Car: Claim that you meant to book a one-way reservation (picking up and dropping off in different locations) and they'll issue full refund
Retail Reservations (where you choose your itinerary):
* Airline: Unfortunately, if it's been more than a day since you booked the reservation, your best bet is to call the airline (go by the first 3 numbers of your ticket # to determine which to call should you have an itinerary with multiple airlines), because they are most likely the merchant, and PCLN will charge a service fee/ticket.
* Hotel: If the reservation is prepaid, claim you entered the wrong date. You'll only be charged $25/room to cancel. (With these reservations where you choose your hotel, you'll always have a fee of at least $25 to cancel, no matter how far away your reservation is, but some cancellation policies aren't cancellable at all.)
* Rental Car: These reservations are not prepaid, you should be able to cancel, no problem.