Cheaptickets.com Complaint - Reservation hold on bank account
CALIFORNIA -- My husband and I had to fly to Chicago, from California for a funeral. Since it was short notice, I went through cheaptickets.com to get a lower priced ticket. I got us both tickets and noticed that same day they "reserved" the money in my checking’s account.
The day we had to fly I didn't check my bank account, we had to be at the airport early. We got to our destination, with no problems. Until I tried to get the rental car, my card was declined. Since this was a unexpected trip, money was a little tight, but I got the rental car through cheaptickets.com and the hotel was very inexpensive, so it was do able, we were only staying 3 days. My husband had to put the car on his card and we knew that was it. He was taking care of all the bills at home (either of us have a credit card, we only use our ATM/debit cards). So we get to the hotel, I tried to put the room on my card (its was cheaper than the rental car) but again my card declined. The lady behind the desk was so nice to allow me to use their computer so I could check my checking account. I noticed that a new charge of $320, then another for $320 was made to my account that day, along with two separate over draft fees of $24 (since I didn't have the money in my account). I also noticed cheaptickets was still holding the $640 reservation fee for the flights, even though I was charged that day. (Each ticket cost $320 each). I didn't know what to do. All I needed was $210 for the rental car and hotel room, but I didn't have it, they were holding onto it.
I called back home, to my in-laws house and asked them to get us cheaptickets.com customer service number, in the meanwhile, my mother in law called the hotel and put the room on her card, she didn't want me, who is pregnant sleeping in a car for two nights.
I called the number and after being put on hold forever, I finally got through to some guys, who barely spoke English. I explained to him the situation and he said there is nothing they could do about it. He said they never "hold" money, even though the amount help was the exact amount the plane tickets cost and it was the exact day I initially "bought" the tickets. He said he was looking in my account and only charged me once, which wasn't true, they actually charged me twice, each ticket separately. He said I need to call the bank because they are holding the money. I told him my bank was closed, its a Credit Union and they are only open Mon - Fri and I was calling Sat night... banks aren't open at night either. My bank doesn't have an 800 number, where people work late. But in the past my bank has never done this, weekday or weekend. I had this happen to me once before by a different company and when I called it was a simple minute and the money was released and I told them that and he said he wouldn’t do anything. The guy kep t putting me on hold and each time he came back on line, he was very mad and "bothered" by me. I told him I was done speaking to him and asked for a manager and he said the company doesn't let people like me talk to managers. He continued to put me down and be mad at me and told me the money problem was my problem and if it doesn't get better by Mon call him back and he will see what he can do. I told him if he could fix it Mon then he needs to fix it NOW, that we are on the phone. He said No; it’s not his problem. He put me on hold, this time it was close to an hour. I waited, I needed my money. Finally he asked me for my phone number so I gave it to him and he said the manager would call me back.
I was upset, crying and gave up. I didn't know what else to do, but at least my mother in law got us the room and we had gift cards for different restaurants. Right after the funeral I get a phone call from a manager, I told him what happen with the money being held and about the conversation I had with his employee and he asked me to hold on and when he came back he said the money should be there and asked if there was anything else I needed. I told him about the 2 over draft fees and he said he couldn’t help that. I was still upset about the guy I spoke to the night before but he never apologized or anything for his employee's behavior. We hung up, I went to an ATM and the money was released, this was on a Sun (when my bank was definitely closed).
I used cheaptickets so help us out, but in the end, they caused more heartache, as if we weren't suffering enough. I will NEVER use them again.