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Monday, October 06, 2008

argh! expedia and opodo ticket booking problems

just wanted to put out a 'warning' for anyone trying to buy airline tickets through or read on for my rant....

i'm trying to buy my tickets for the US for the holidays-- i first purchased the tickets through opodo, only to receive an email saying that for 'technical reasons,' my purchase did not go through. when i called them, they explained that that was because my ticket was a paper ticket, but since june 1, they only issued e-tickets, therefore they could not fulfull my request. was i given a choice to take an e-ticket? no. was i offered another ticket at the same fare or even assistance at finding another ticket? double no. on to expedia....

i actually found cheaper tickets [with same airline] on expedia after the opodo disaster. score! or so i thought.....the next day, i received an email saying, basically, that 'sorry, we were not really able to provide you with the fare that purchased online, so we did not charge your card, and you have no ticket.' again-- assistance? no. another fare offered? no. doubly disappointing? YES!

airlines are already taking away so much-- we now have to pay for pillows, snacks, luggage?! and the service is even worse-- i'm trying to throw money at these people and still have no luck. will it ever get better?


Anonymous said...

As a travel advisor for the past 21 years I have heard so many horror stories from my clients about these websites. If you do not use an agent or consultant then my advise would be to go directly to the airline's website. Better yet find a really good travel advisor. I feel that my experience and advise is well worth the fee I charge!

Anonymous said...

Spread the word. EXPEDIA is a scammer. SOurce:

AlexNc said...

Booking with – worst support I have seen before and other problemsOn this spring I’ve booked two hotels in Egypt with I have mixed fillings about this booking system.

First of all I want to mention that they have disgusting customer support. For any enquires that were sent using their web site, they have provided answers more than one week later or haven’t provided it at all. Also it is practically impossible to get answer for calls on the customer support phone number specified. All their phone lines are busy. You should be ready to listen for music during very long time if you will try to call them. Moreover they even don’t have 24 hours customer support, so if you going to check-in to hotel at night, and you will have some problems with you reservation, you will be single-handedly with it. Just for comparison, I receive answer for any my question that was asked using a form on the web site of other booking system ( during 3-5 minutes, even in nighttime.

Al Mas Palace Golden Five in Hurhgada, Egypt was first booked hotel. When I’ve tried to change my reservation to other hotel, and have sent change enquiry using web site, I’ve received answer only one week later. The answer was that I should call them with phone. Excellent! They need one week for such answer! I can’t understand why I can’t change or cancel my reservation using web interface, if I’ve booked it with web.

Since it was only several days before check-in date, I’ve decided don’t change the reservation. During check-in to hotel I was requested to pay additional 200USD (over 1050USD that were played with Opodo). It was confusable for me, because during reservation it was specified that all charges and fees were included. The reason specified in the hotel was that my nationality is Ukraine, but reservation was sent for United Kingdom nationality. But I’ve specified Ukraine country in billing address during booking! There were no any other fields to specify nationality. Moreover Opodo have no any nationality restrictions in terms and conditions. Due to “excellent” Opodo’s support, I had no other choice than to pay 200USD to hotel. A call from Egypt to England with 30 minutes duration “to listen music” will cost me higher. I’ve send enquiry about this problem to Opodo using form on their web site later, but I still haven’t received any answer from their support (during two weeks).

Concorde hotel in Cairo, Egypt was second booked hotel. I had no any problems with check-in in this case.

As resume I can note that it is possible to book hotels with Opodo if you have no any other choices. But if you don’t want to have headache, and if you want to be sure that you will have customer assistance in case of any problems with reservation, it is better to choose alternative booking systems. My own opinion is that now in my own black list of booking sites.

AlexNc said...

I’ve received such “excellent” answer from Opodo three weeks later after my request. They have said that charge taken by hotel due to mistake in our nationalities that were specified in reservation that was send by Opodo to hotel it was “hotel local charge”! Wow! I’ve heard never something like that before. Local charges it is charges for services that can’t be specified / calculated during reservation like restaurants, laundry services etc. But difference in nationality that was result of Opodo mistake can be considered as local charge!!!

Case No 090429-006292

Further to your recent correspondence, I am sorry that your experience of Opodo was not entirely satisfactory on this occasion. We do pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service and I was very concerned to learn of your recent experience with your hotel reservation at the Paradise Golden 5 Hotel and Beach Resort.

I can confirm that the rate charged by the Paradise Golden Hotel was correct. The additional charge will be the hotels tax and service charges. You were advised the following in the rooms terms and conditions at the time of booking online:

* Additional local taxes & service charges may also apply

As Opodo advised you at the time of booking that additional tax and service charges may apply, I regret to inform you that Opodo will be unable to offer a refund of these charges on this occasion.

Once again, please accept my sincere apologies for this unfortunate matter. We do hope that this will not deter you from booking with Opodo again in the future.

AlexNc said...

For justice I will add, 7 months later Opodo has returned our 200 USD to credit card (even a little more due to currency conversion) . The receipt with charge description and hotel’s stamp obtained in the hotel has helped me to convince Opodo and their partner that we really have paid money for citizenship change in the booking. BTW, when I’ve received the receipt in the hotel it has contained not clear charge description (Cash Paid). But we have asked to staff on the reception to specify manually that charge was paid for citizenship change.