Priceline.com - Thank You for Nothing!
Customer Service - Complaint
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 (202-048-470-10) 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 conformation e-mail 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(211-185-482-62), 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 days 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 though 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 Celine(#85111813) 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 customers 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 Celine 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 Celine had told me to and send this letter to corporate, however I expect very little from that. I am also going to e-mail this letter to the Priceline.com general customer service e-mail 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, Celine(85111813) 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.
I look forward to your response,
No response was ever given.