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Another Orbitz screw up


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#1 TammyWright

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 06:18 PM

this was in our local paper today and has some good tips on what to do if you book on your own and your reservation gets mixed up. Of course if you booked with a TA they would be the one to help you resolve this issue.

source:Hey, that's not the hotel I booked

Q: I am writing to you in frustration over how Orbitz has misled me and now will not even admit to its obvious mistake.

I recently booked our annual vacation through Orbitz at Barcelo Maya Palace in Cancun, Mexico, because the resort sounded beautiful and the hotel is new, with rooms described as excellent by most visitors.

When we arrived at the resort, we were told that we didn't have reservations. After much confusion, they told us we were supposed to be at the Barcelo Maya Beach Hotel, the oldest and lowest-rated hotel in this complex.

I immediately contacted Orbitz customer service and spent more than an hour trying to get this resolved. After speaking with several people, I finally was connected to a supervisor, who told me that she could upgrade us to the Barcelo Maya Palace Hotel for an additional $2,000, and if I could provide her proof that we were booked at the hotel, they would reimburse us.

Though I was very upset that my family and I were forced to stay at a hotel that we did not choose or want, we tried to make the best of the remaining time there.

After our return, I contacted Orbitz repeatedly to try to resolve this. They have offered me a $75 voucher and now say that the reason my confirmation says the Barcelo Maya Palace is because this is the logo of the resort complex and has nothing to do with my selection. Why do they send confirmation if it means nothing? This is so frustrating. Can you please help or give me any advice?

Donna Savic, Louisville, Ky.

-----------------------

A: If Orbitz promised you a room at the Barcelo Maya Palace Hotel, then that's what you should have received.

I reviewed your e-mailed confirmation. It says your hotel is the Barcelo Maya Palace within the Barcelo Riviera Maya All Inclusive Complex. Any reasonable person would conclude you were staying at the nice hotel - not the dump.

The burden should have been on Orbitz to find a copy of your confirmation and verify that you had been booked at the wrong hotel. I can't believe the online agency would ask you to spend an extra $2,000 and offer to refund it only if you could prove it made a mistake.

Did Orbitz try to deceive you when you booked your Cancun vacation? I doubt it. This kind of mix-up isn't uncommon. I recall another case with Orbitz, where a guest believed he was staying at a Reno resort but ended up being sent to an adjacent property, where he checked into what he called the "worst hotel room I've ever seen." When I asked about his reservation, Orbitz not only refunded the full price of his stay, it also dropped the hotel from its reservations system.

There are two ways you could have avoided this. First, you could have phoned the hotel to confirm your reservation. That's always a good idea when you're booking through a third party, because reservations can get lost. You'd probably be surprised by how many hotels still handle their reservations by fax.

Second, you could have applied the "too-good-to-be-true" litmus test to your resort. Was the price so low that something didn't seem right? For example, if you're getting a brand-new, highly rated, all-inclusive resort in Mexico for $59 a night, you might want to double-check to make sure you're getting what you think you're getting.

I contacted Orbitz on your behalf. It apologized for the "disappointing experience" and refunded you $135 for the phone calls you made from Mexico. It also changed the amount of your voucher from $75 to $200.

Christopher Elliott is the ombudsman for National Geographic Traveler magazine. E-mail him at celliott@ngs.org, or troubleshoot your trip through his Web site, elliott.org. E-mail feedback on this column to travel@sfgate.com

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#2 Ginalyn

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    Posted 06 July 2009 - 08:23 PM

    Wow, that sounds like a nightmare!! Great information!

    #3 drucky14

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      Posted 08 July 2009 - 08:11 AM

      That's awful that they can do that to a person!! I agree though, every time I book anything through somewhere other than the resort, hotel etc...I always make the phone call to confirm.

      I don't want to end up like this person, trying to enjoy a vacation that just cannot be enjoyed.

      #4 foxytv

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        Posted 08 July 2009 - 08:16 AM

        Thanks Tammy. That is really good to know about calling the hotel to confirm your reservation if you book through a third party. We usually book direct through the hotel, or use a TA, but I have certainly used Orbitz and other discount sites before for flights and rental cars.

        #5 HooSe Laamour

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          Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:06 PM

          Screw Orbitz seriously!

           

          I just hung up from Orbitz and I am very dissatisfied, very pissed as I am writing. They are not helpful, not understandable, and bullshit!!! Here's my case, I have booked for an international flight on June 2012 that costed me 1855$, then a week after I was accepted for a summer job, so I had to stay in the United States to work. So I called Orbitz to cancel my ticket, they canceled it and told me there is no way to refund it, I can only use my credit within a year, and I can only use it with American Airline; I told them ok as long as I could use the credit later which is in the timeline of June 2012 to June 2013.

           

          The agent told me that my 30$ rebooking fees will be waived in the email I have posted in here. Christmas came and my family spent the time in the US which there is no point for me to use my credit at that time to go home. Finally, I have decided to use it in March 7th which is my spring break holiday and the only holiday that I have until the expiration of my credit it as I am a full-time student and work in the summer.

           

          I called them today which is Feb 21st to book for March 7th and to return before school starts at March 15th and the agent basically told me, the other agent that waived your 30$ rebooking fees did not give us reasonable information to waive it so we did not waive it, I said OK! Whatever, let me just book my flight and use my credits. So he went searching for a flight and get back telling me that there is no American Airline flying in the Spring Break so I basically can not use it!!

           

          They are telling you to use your credit whenever while you are not sure if they will fine the Airlines that "they want you to use", they will not extend the expiration of your credit, they will not refund your ticket?! What a rip off!! It is 1855 dollars have just went out of my wallet for nothing with this bullshit company! They will not understand any issues that happen to their customers.

           

          I will not use Orbitz whatever happens, I will not deal with them anyway possible, and I do not want anyone to be in my situation. It is easy for them to charge your card but they would not give you a cent back whatever issue that might occur, and expect surprise fees as you go into any process with them.

           

          Anyone who have credit with them, use it manually through the Airline itself because if Orbitz do it for you, THEY WILL CHARGE YOU A REBOOKING FEES and 275$ FOR WHATEVER REASON THEY SAID its for. Use your credit, and never deal with them again because I assure you, you will have headaches if you change your mind on a flight! Ripoff company, money all matter to them, screwed a lot of customers.

           

          Cheers






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