Cheaptickets.ca Complaint - Phone contact impossible and US/CAN dollar par wreaks havoc on quote!

Review by Abbalino on 2010-04-15
Yesterday, I went on a final search for the best deal on fares from Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland departing 01 JUL 10 returning 15 JUL 10. Cheaptickets. ca posted the best fares, but all websites (Expedia, Kayak, Momondo, flightnetwork, etc.) essentially offered the same selection of flights which amounted to 1 direct flight on Air Transat on those dates. I have no complaint with Air Transat. For the money, they are a pretty good airline. My complaint is with Cheaptickets. ca. The price I was quoted before hitting "make reservation" button on website was $288.00 less that what they said my credit card was billed. Which of course, prompted some questions. That's when the problems started. After 15 phone calls and approx. 5 hours of trying to find a person who knew anything about flight reservations, I began to think I had made reservations with a completely bogus company. Here are the highlights:
1. The phone numbers listed on the website (cheaptickets. ca) as the place to get all questions answered about any reservations 24/7 (1-800-454-0870 and 1-800-454-0876) do not get you anything, but a hotel reservations dept.. They can't help you with any detailed questions about your flights.
2. You are talking to someone in El Salvador or Manilla and some other country that the one employee couldn't remember the name of. I am not racist in any way whatsoever, but I do think that the English language should be used and understood well if you are working in customer service.
3. The endless list of telephone numbers that you will undoubtedly gather as you try to reach a person who can help you are ALL of no use. I think I probably gather about 15 phone numbers, not including all the departments I was forwarded to, all of which were hotel resservation desks.
4. Your frustration level will run high, but be prepared to get nowhere. Tip: emailing travelnow.com brought the best results. Apparently, travelnow.com and cheaptickets. ca are either the same company or very closely linked because noticed my reservation conf. email was from travelnow.com even although I had booked through cheaptickets. ca.
5. If you do manage to get a person in the flight dept. (I think they are located in North America), don't even think about letting them go until your reservation is completely made, you know the price, the actual billed amount and you are looking at the confirmation email with an itinerary number. You'll never be able to reach that person again, no matter how many times they swear they have given you the right telephone number this time. Don't do it...don't hang up unless everything is in order!!

Now, as regards the billing discrepancy. As it turns out, the fact that our Canadian dollar is at par or above with the American dollar seems to have wreaked havoc on their price quoting. Cheaptickets. ca is underquoting the price of flights because of the messed up currency exchange on their website. The problem occurs when the flight is billed to your credit card at the price you really should have been quoted. They know about this problem, but don't seem to be in a hurry to fix it. As a result, if you are prepared to lose your hair and marvel at the incompetence of so many customer service reps at the hotel reservation line that you will always reach no matter what number you dial and spend hours on the phone, it would appear there are some good deals to be had. When I did reach someone on the phone at an hour when the last guy said they were closed (24/7??), the flight dept. representative refunded the full price I had been billed to my credit card and then purchased new tickets with their company credit card and then billed my credit card for the (under) quoted price. And, she waived the admin fee of $10 per ticket ($40) to cover any exchange rate charges. She also called my credit card company to make sure that my money was fully refunded. Then she is going to (still to happen) bill my credit card for the significantly discounted amount. We are saving about $200.00. She apologized profusely for the problem, said that she knew what was happening on the website and made the appropriate correction. She then gave me a phone number that she swore blind was the right number to reach her dept., but alas when I had to call back later to get my itinerary number, I got the hotel reservation service again! So if you hurry, there are probably some good deals to be had due to the messed up website currency exchange. We checked a flight from Buffalo to Texas and it was coming up cheaper than anywhere else too, so it might be worth a look. Just remember, no matter what they tell you, the phone number they've just given you is useless..use email (the email address under "contact" on cheaptickets. ca works fine). Expedia does not own or have any affiliation with cheaptickets no matter how many times they tell you to call Expedia. Even if they say they will call you back if the call gets dropped when they forward you to the "right" dept., they won't call you back. The flight dept. of cheaptickets. ca is not closed until 10 A.M. (CST), it is open much earlier than that, try it before they are open, that's when I got transferred to the right person.
Happy travels...sure hope everything is in order for our flights..or there might be more to this story.
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