Before I begin my rant, let me tell you that I work in customer service so I’m usually very nice and patient with customer service representatives. And as someone who is booking travel everyday for customers, I’m in frequent contact with travel agencies, airlines, hotels, etc. etc. In all my time I can definitely say that Expedia.ca’s customer service is the worst I’ve ever experienced. Their level of incompetence is hard to describe but I will certainly try! Hopefully, this story will serve as a warning to you and save you some stress.
Now I usually don’t book on third-party sites such as Expedia. Why book with them, thereby adding in a middle man, when you can often find a great deal offered directly by the hotel and airline? Third-party booking sites are great if you happen to find an awesome deal and everything goes according to plan, but god help you if something unexpected happens and you actually need some customer service! You’ll be speaking to a robot in the Philippines, India, or some country in the Middle East. Yes, I fully expect that when you book a cheap package or ticket, don’t be expecting Ritz-level customer service. But what I’m about to describe to you is evidence of unacceptable customer service on any level.
So we booked a two night flight and hotel package from San Francisco to Las Vegas through Expedia.ca because we found an awesome deal, which meant that we were going for the cost of a cheap lunch. Lo and behold the day arrives to depart and I get a lovely message from US Airways that my flight has been canceled. Side note: another pet peeve are airlines that don’t automatically put you on the next flight out when they cancel a flight. We call the airline only to find that all of the other flights getting into Las Vegas at a reasonable hour (meaning not past midnight) were sold out with long standby lists. Now, we were due to fly back from Las Vegas at the crack of dawn Sunday and were looking forward to going to a nice dinner, show and lounge Friday night, so flying to Las Vegas Saturday just for a day isn’t really worth it for us.
Anywhoo, I proceed to contact Expedia.ca to try to get a refund as a credit with United (who ticketed the tickets and with whom we’ve flown two unpleasant times) doesn’t really do us much good.
I called around 1PM and spoke to agent Nesereen who, despite the online flight status and airline representative’s confirmation, repeatedly told me that the flight is not canceled. She placed me on hold for a long time and eventually said that she could not contact the airline (although I myself had no problem contacting them prior and after my conversation with her when I tried to change my flight directly with them) to confirm that yes, indeed, the flight was canceled. I asked for a supervisor and she said there is no supervisor to talk to.
After a 1.39 hour wait on speakerphone, she again told me the flight is due to depart and to just show up at the airport. Why would I show up at the airport when the flight is canceled?!?!!? She could offer no help other than to repeatedly say that the flight is scheduled to depart, despite my telling her to go on their website to see for herself that it’s canceled.
At 3:19PM I called and spoke to another agent Achmed who questioned how I knew the flight was canceled. After a 30 min hold with him I had to hang up to do other things.
I then called United and told them that Expedia.ca does not believe me when I tell them the flight is canceled. The agent said they will make it clear in the record that the flight is canceled.
At 4:24PM I called and spoke to Kensley. After explaining the situation to him, I was placed on hold and then hung up on.
At 4:28PM I called Expedia and spoke to Yehia (Yehal?). After 59 mins, the call was hung up, guess I was on hold too long.
Now it’s not like I don’t have anything better to do with my time and the amount I wanted refunded was not even an hour’s wage. But I admit I just got caught up and wanted Expedia.ca to give me a satisfactory response just out of principle! I was on a mission!
I called again and spoke to Kareem (sp?) who said that since I used a discount coupon that was already expired to book the original package, I would have to be charged the full amount of the package first and then I would be refunded within 1 – 2 billing cycles a certain amount so that the end difference is the amount I originally paid. I could not just get the amount I paid refunded to my card.
I then got a call back from Yehal (agent #4) who politely informed me that they can charge the full package price first and then I will get a refund later. Yehal was nice enough but do you think it’s a good idea for me to be charged the full package price and then wait around 1 – 2 billing cycles for a promised refund from this company???? I think not!!!
Lesson learned – AVOID Expedia.ca at all cost.