Expedia.ca Complaint - Expedia owes me $4,900
Resolution Update on 03/14/2008:
I was contacted today by Expedia (the first time ever despite numerous previous requests over the past month) and was advised that a full credit for $4,904 would appear on my card within 7 days. Although I'm am pleased Expedia has admitted their mistake and look forward to receiving a refund, there is absolutely no justification for the incredibly poor service and snail-like response Expedia displayed in addressing my complaint.
CANADA -- Three steps to Insanity:
1. Book a trip with Expedia.ca
2. Pay for the trip in full and then watch as another $5,000 is removed from your account
3. Call for a Refund for the "obvious error" and be told that it may take 120 days to investigate your complaint.
Hello? It only took you 2 seconds to take the money out of my account!!!!! And now I have to wait 120 days to see if I might get my money back?
Expedia! United Airlines! Check your records! I never requested or authorized you take $5,000 out of my account.
I had hoped to make some progress getting my money back the other day.
After placing a call and holding for ten minutes... I asked to speak to Spencer (the guy that's apparently hired to hold my file)..."sorry he's too busy...he may call you when his call volume declines around 2 or 3 pm eastern..."
Maybe if Expedia accepted a few calls and resolved a few issues they wouldn't have such a high volume. Expedia has never returned a call despite my numerous requests. Well, Spence never did call (apparently he does just get paid to hold the file) so I called Expedia again today. Hardeep now has my file (maybe Spence dropped it, I don't know) ... and he is doing further investigation... I explained that I live 200 miles from the nearest town - so any shopping I do is over the phone or via Internet. "It’s very important that Expedia returns the $4,900 taken from my account without my authorization", I said.
Hardeep said he understood and that I should have a nice day...(I guess Hardeep is Expedia's investigator and weather forecaster.) I hope I find the guy or girl that actually gives refunds one day...it was nice talking to their weather forecaster...just looked out the window...nope, doesn't look very nice today, not only does Expedia suck money out of accounts, they suck at weather forecasting too.
Until this problem occurred, we had not had any problems and often recommended their site to friends, business associates and tourists since we (mother/father/daughter) are in the aviation business. I must say that their front-line "counter" staff are very pleasant, but behind them there is an incredible void of inaction.
It has recently occurred to me that bin Laden must be hiding in the Refunds Department at Expedia.ca. Its an impenetrable place. No calls in allowed...and no calls out apparently. Oh I've seen the mighty military power of the US prowling through Afghanistan and Iraq looking for bin...but the jokes on them...he's over in Refunds at Expedia. I imagine he got the job because of his financial background and after all, its not like he'll ever have to process a refund. Expedia doesn't do that.
I have a vision of bin financing his next attack by fraudulently accessing funds from the accounts of loyal Expedia customers. I have a vision of a charge card receipt with my name on it for the sum of $4,900 being found as it flutters to the ground from the next explosion. Having found the receipt I get arrested and get thrown into jail for life for supporting the cause, while bin stretches out on the beach in Waikiki and orders another drink (ice water I'm sure) on my credit card.
I have been dealing with Expedia directly on this, since my lawyer advised us that it will be them that we sue if this does not get resolved, but we are also now trying to get United Airlines to investigate the issue. Previously they have said they would not discuss the issue because Expedia 'authorized' the charges and we have to resolve the issue with them, but we have now received an email saying they will look into the issue.
My credit card company has provided us documents to sign to lay a claim of fraud, but we are hoping to avoid signing them since the process to recovery may take up to 120 days. I really need to get my money back now...$4,900 is a lot to be tied up in Expedia limbo.
Its frustrating to me that I can book a $10,000 trip in 30 minutes and have the charges appear on my credit card almost immediately, but when a company makes an error (?) or commits a fraud (?) and takes almost $5000 away from you and says they'll look into it, what's that all about?
I see myself in a You Tube video with some Travel Agent pointing a gun at me, demanding I hand over all my cash and when I plead "why?", he (maybe a she - I can't tell because of the disguise) says ...I'll get back to you in 120 days. With what? Another gun to my head? Are you gonna take or want more next time?
It took an Expedia Rep 5 minutes to document my case , review it and comment "there is definitely an error on Expedia's part here. I'm so sorry this has happened. I'll forward tour case immediately to the Refunds Department Lead who will immediately see you have been erroneously charged". Great...thank you...six weeks later..."you have to be patient mam, these things can take up to 3 months to resolve".
Being involved in the aviation business for over 20 years, I have developed a lot of contacts. As I tell my story, people walk away saying "I'll never use Expedia!"...and then I give them a list of their affiliated companies...and they say..."I'll boycott those too in the future." "I don't need to use their services". I plan to be in the aviation business a longtime yet. Over 4000 European tourists pass through my office in 12 weeks each summer. My boycott letters are printed and ready for distribution. At each opportunity I'll tell my story about how a company can just take $5000 out of your account and then say it might take 120 days to resolve. Resolve to whose satisfaction?
Expedia will never know about the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousand of dollars they will lose as word of mouth carries and my lobbying continues in future years...and yet all they have to do to have the reverse be true is to take 2 minutes to process a credit for an error made on their part. I'll have a good story to tell then, a story about a company that cares about customer services and despite one bad occasion, I've been generally pleased with their service ( I think I just had an out of body experience). Heck, I felt like offering one of their Reps (Chris) a job - most efficient and pleasant customer sales rep I've spoken to in years. Unfortunately Chris does not own or operate Expedia - but he should.
Maybe I'll get a signature each time someone says they'll never use Expedia due to my experience and lobbying efforts. I know I can get 5,000 - 6,000 signatures easy this summer.
It's really sick when it gets to a point when you have time to look up the lyrics to the songs they play while you're on hold. This time the lyrics are in Arabic, but I have time to learn the language and decipher the singer's accent...after all I am on hold again at Expedia.ca!