Priceline.com Complaint - Swindles And Sinks Customer Service To An All Time Low
WORLD-WIDE -- Complaint Description:
Priceline.com may quote you a price for a hotel, but the website does not adequately inform the buyer that you maybe subject to an array of hotel fees that are not optional. In our case, the fee is over two hundred dollars! Now, we are subject to that fee and unless we pay it, we can not use our hotel rooms, which we already paid a great deal for - approx. $1000. I feel like I have experienced a "bait and switch." We agreed to one price, but then we were subjected to hidden fees from the hotel, which raised the price a great deal. Priceline is aware of this problem and condones the practice as the cutomer service agent told us this, today (3/19/09.) As you will read below, the list of possible fees is quite long. (I cut and pasted the letter below from Priceline below.) I feel like the public should be made aware of this practice. I certainly was not aware of it. Furthermore, Priceline has sunk customer service to an all time low. There is no phone number at which I can even talk to someone about this problem! They only allow phone calls if you are "approved" for one. I was forced to wait three hours for an email response! I hope this is not the wave of the future. It is bad enough that cutomer service is so often outsourced by businesses and customers are forced to speak to people who's native language is not English, but now this practice of email only "customer service!" I've been treated like a second class customer. Never again, will I use Priceline! As mentioned before, below is the letter written by their "customer service" staff who outlines about 10 different fees a hotel subject customers to. Priceline works with these hotels and quotes customers a price - therefore, Priceline should be responsible for informing their customers of these fees!
"Thank you for taking the time to send us an e-mail. We understand that you would like to know whether it is a standard policy for a hotel to charge you additional fee (eg. spa, bellman, resort) for the facilities that they offer. Depending on the property you stay at, you may be charged certain mandatory hotel specific service fees, for example, resort fees (which typically apply to resort type destinations and, if applicable, may range from $10 to $40 per day), energy surcharges, newspaper delivery fees, in-room safe fees, spa fee, tourism fees, or housekeeping fees and/or certain optional incidental fees, for example, parking charges, minibar charges, phone calls, room service and movie rentals, etc. These charges, if applicable, will be payable by you to the hotel directly at checkout. For specific information on additional hotel fees, we ask that you contact the hotel directly as they will be applying these charges. You may contact the Resort And Spa directly. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope you find this information helpful."
Did you count the number of hidden fees, which are considered standard?!