Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Expedia Service - Horrible - Don't Use Them

The title really says it all, but here was my experience ...

I booked tickets for several one-way hops through different cities in a long week of travel on several airlines through Expedia. I needed to make a change to one of the legs and there's no way to do that online, so I called Expedia customer service. For a dual fee - both Expedia and the airline charge a fee for changing the ticket they changed the leg. What I didn't realize is that the customer disservice representative also change the other flights in my itinerary. She read the flight times over the phone very quickly to me (at the time I was wondering why she was bothering to mention the other flights) and I stopped her on the one that had changed and asked her what it was - and yes, she got that one right. The rest she changed from evening flights to early morning flights.

Unfortunately, I didn't catch that she had made that change until I was looking at what time my flight left in the morning of my second day - whoops - I missed the flight already. So I call Expedia. I'm on hold forever and then the rep tells me that, yes, they can see what happened, but that there's nothing they can do about it. I should talk to the airline. I asked repeatedly to talk to the supervisor or someone who would have authority to do something about this (note: the whole time I'm at a client site with them waiting for me to resolve this). The rep absolutely refused to put the supervisor on the phone. Literally refused. They kept refusing and saying there's nothing we can do until I was actually pretty mad and expressing that to the rep.

I finally asked, "So what you are telling me right now is 'screw you mr. customer' and 'you cannot speak to anyone else'." And he said, "Sorry for the situation."

Yikes! I'm still somewhat shocked.

Delta (the airline involved) did handle the situation at a cost of $150 per leg of the journey in order to yank the reservations back from Expedia.

By the way - total time - 90 minutes - 60 minutes with Expedia being put on hold while the rep talked to people. And 30 minutes with Delta waiting for them to answer and then to make changes. My client was understanding about the situation - but that made things uncomfortable to say the least.

From now on, it's go direct with the airline for me. And make sure I tell everyone that Expedia should absolutely, under no circumstances be paid anything. Go ahead and look up travel arrangements, but book direct.

I'm also struggling a bit to figure out what I can and should do here.

By the way - I'm not alone. I did a quick search for Expedia Service and found lots of examples - actually - I didn't see anything that indicates a good experience:

Expedia: Customer Service Shortcomings - Associated Content
Expedia Bad Customer Service

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