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Old Aug 20, 02, 2:26 pm   #1
 
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Priceline.com: Help Resolving Dispute

I have had a recent awful experience with Priceline.com.

Every agent that I have talked to (requiring a near act of God to reach a human-being) has read from the same script. Nope, can't help you.

Has anyone had any luck resolving a dispute with Priceline.com? I am counting on some help from American Express, but would like to have my ducks lined up.

Thanks!
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Old Aug 20, 02, 2:33 pm   #2
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At least you got through to a rep, I am in a dispute with PL as well right now, so in order to get them to talk to me I'm going to dispute the entire PriceLine billing & Hotel Incidental charges (these two billings are related as that is why I'm challenging them as soon as the cc bills me for them) on my credit cards as well as having sent complaints to the local BBB and FTC.

I figure either they contact me to discuss the issue or I don't pay. They made it this way by making it so difficult to get to someone.

For the record I would imagine that this post would and should be moved to FT Travel, online bidding forum but I thought I'd answer while its fresh in my mind.
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Old Aug 20, 02, 5:03 pm   #3
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Curious... what did Priceline do to violate their terms?

Not much info provided... so tough to provide advice.

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Old Aug 20, 02, 5:19 pm   #4
 
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Good luck getting any sort of resolution from priceline. Back in October, I had used priceline to bid on a weekend trip from ATL to TPA and received a $70+bonus routing on US Airways.

Unfortunately, the return flights that I was booked on wound up being cancelled as US Airways tweaked their schedules. Priceline sent me an email 2 days later advising me of this and giving me a revised itinerary.

A few days before I was due to leave, US Airways cancelled my outbound flights as well and offered to rebook me on other flights during the day. Unfortunately, due to other appointments that I had scheduled around the original flight times, we could not find any acceptable alternatives. US told me that they were willing to refund the ticket as a result, but that I would have to go through priceline.

I have called priceline FOUR times since then (twice before the travel dates and twice after) to try and get a refund, but they have steadfastedly refused saying that I entered into a *binding contract*. I countered with *but you changed the product AFTER I accepted the contract*, but to no avail. I've spoken to agents, supervisors, uber-supervisors and probably even the grand poo-bah, but no dice.

I did not use the ticket in the end, but wound up using a Delta award instead.

Priceline specifies that once tickets are issued, they "are subject to the published conditions of carriage and rules of the applicable airline".

They add the caveat that "All tickets will be non-refundable, non-endorsable and non-changeable".

Thats fine by me. But THEY just CHANGED my ticket, and accordingly BROKE their side of the contract. I believe that entitles me to a refund.

I see absolutely nothing in the terms and conditions that specify PRICELINE's right to change flights. The CARRIER reserves those rights, and the CARRIER is willing to RETURN MY MONEY to priceline. It is just priceline that stonewalls and refuses to refund.

Unfortunately, I had paid for these tickets with a debit card instead of a credit card, so I was S.O.L. as far as contesting the charges. I wound up writing it off to experience and swearing that I'd never deal with priceline for air tickets ever again.
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Old Aug 20, 02, 7:57 pm   #5
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Sean, could you take them to small claims court? either the airline or PL
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Old Aug 21, 02, 6:04 am   #6
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by B747-437B:
Good luck getting any sort of resolution from priceline. Back in October, I had used priceline to bid on a weekend trip from ATL to TPA and received a $70+bonus routing on US Airways.

Unfortunately, the return flights that I was booked on wound up being cancelled as US Airways tweaked their schedules. Priceline sent me an email 2 days later advising me of this and giving me a revised itinerary.

A few days before I was due to leave, US Airways cancelled my outbound flights as well and offered to rebook me on other flights during the day. Unfortunately, due to other appointments that I had scheduled around the original flight times, we could not find any acceptable alternatives. US told me that they were willing to refund the ticket as a result, but that I would have to go through priceline.

I have called priceline FOUR times since then (twice before the travel dates and twice after) to try and get a refund, but they have steadfastedly refused saying that I entered into a *binding contract*. I countered with *but you changed the product AFTER I accepted the contract*, but to no avail. I've spoken to agents, supervisors, uber-supervisors and probably even the grand poo-bah, but no dice.

I did not use the ticket in the end, but wound up using a Delta award instead.

Priceline specifies that once tickets are issued, they "are subject to the published conditions of carriage and rules of the applicable airline".

They add the caveat that "All tickets will be non-refundable, non-endorsable and non-changeable".

Thats fine by me. But THEY just CHANGED my ticket, and accordingly BROKE their side of the contract. I believe that entitles me to a refund.

I see absolutely nothing in the terms and conditions that specify PRICELINE's right to change flights. The CARRIER reserves those rights, and the CARRIER is willing to RETURN MY MONEY to priceline. It is just priceline that stonewalls and refuses to refund.

Unfortunately, I had paid for these tickets with a debit card instead of a credit card, so I was S.O.L. as far as contesting the charges. I wound up writing it off to experience and swearing that I'd never deal with priceline for air tickets ever again.
</font>
You have to be flexible to use Priceline. That's why it's cheap.

Priceline told you before you placed your bid that the tickets are non-refundable. I don't know why US offered you a refund on a Priceline ticket. They are non-refundable.
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Old Aug 21, 02, 7:36 am   #7
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by JS:
You have to be flexible to use Priceline. That's why it's cheap.

Priceline told you before you placed your bid that the tickets are non-refundable.
</font>
It appears that you completely miss the point, JS.

In the case described by B747-437B, he agreed to the Priceline conditions; Priceline accepted his offer, took his money, and confirmed a flight. B747-437B then planned his schedule around the flights that Priceline confirmed.

Now the airlines make it impossible for Priceline to fulfill their commitment. Priceline should obviously either offer a refund, or offer alternative flights that provide transportation in the same time period to which Priceline had previously committed.

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Old Aug 21, 02, 10:44 am   #8
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by TrojanHorse:
I figure either they contact me to discuss the issue or I don't pay. They made it this way by making it so difficult to get to someone.

</font>

Actually, you have already paid. it's not up to you to pay the bill or not, it's up to how the dispute, should you end up filing one, turns out.

It's one of the reasons they can do what they do, everybody pays up front. They already have your money, and they simply won't just turn it over in a dispute.

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Old Aug 21, 02, 12:24 pm   #9
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The way I understand it is, when I contact the credit card company that I used for my PL bid and challenge the billing, the CC company turns around and takes the money back from PL. then some sort of investigation takes place. I know that it is taken off my billing from the cc until the dispute is resolved. I haven't had many disputes over charges, but all the ones I have had, I've never had to pay for. So either the CC eats it or the merchant eats it in the end. In this case I hope its the merchant (PL) if they don't try to settle this issue with me.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by cordelli:

Actually, you have already paid. it's not up to you to pay the bill or not, it's up to how the dispute, should you end up filing one, turns out.

It's one of the reasons they can do what they do, everybody pays up front. They already have your money, and they simply won't just turn it over in a dispute.

</font>
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Old Aug 21, 02, 2:59 pm   #10
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The money is removed from Priceline only if they lose the dispute. If the bank gives you a provisional credit and you lose the disupte, then they take the money back from you again, but Priceline is only out if they lose the dispute.
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Old Aug 22, 02, 4:01 pm   #11
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by wideman:
It appears that you completely miss the point, JS.

In the case described by B747-437B, he agreed to the Priceline conditions; Priceline accepted his offer, took his money, and confirmed a flight. B747-437B then planned his schedule around the flights that Priceline confirmed.

Now the airlines make it impossible for Priceline to fulfill their commitment. Priceline should obviously either offer a refund, or offer alternative flights that provide transportation in the same time period to which Priceline had previously committed.

</font>
Priceline cannot offer alternative flights. They don't have any airplanes!

Non-refundable means exactly that -- NON-REFUNDABLE. If you can't re-schedule yourself when the airline revises its schedule, then don't use Priceline.
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Old Aug 22, 02, 5:20 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by JS:
Non-refundable means exactly that -- NON-REFUNDABLE. </font>
I might make a evaluative comment, but such comment could be perceived as rude, so I shall not do so.

If you purchase a NON-REFUNDABLE ticket from an airline and they substantially change the flight schedule of your NON-REFUNDABLE ticket, your non-refundable ticket is now a refundable ticket.

JS, I would encourage you to read the previous paragraph carefully, then continue to re-read it until it sinks in.
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Old Aug 23, 02, 5:29 am   #13
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by wideman:
I might make a evaluative comment, but such comment could be perceived as rude, so I shall not do so.

If you purchase a NON-REFUNDABLE ticket from an airline and they substantially change the flight schedule of your NON-REFUNDABLE ticket, your non-refundable ticket is now a refundable ticket.

JS, I would encourage you to read the previous paragraph carefully, then continue to re-read it until it sinks in.
</font>
Your second paragraph refers to published fares.


P.S. your attempt to put me down is not working.
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Old Aug 23, 02, 6:29 am   #14
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May I respectfully disagree with you? While you need to be flexible to use Priceline,they have to deliver what's promised as well. If I bid on a 4 star hotel in Houston and my bid is accepted, I certainly can expect that they will honor the dates I agreed to. Likewise,if I am told by PL that I have a 10am flight to HOU and they weeks later try and change that to a 11pm flight (thus making it impossible to make a connection),they have failed to produce the product that I originally paid for. I understand that they could have "awarded" me the 11pm flight when I placed my bid,but when they didn't, they provide a 10am "product".The e-ticket at the earlier time was "non-refundable",but after the change(s) the entire product change. In B747's case the airline was willing to refund (to Priceline )their applicable fees. It's unreasonable for PL to not refund their fee/commission.
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Old Aug 23, 02, 9:39 am   #15
 
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It looks like JS either works for Priceline or owns its share. Maybe he will understand it in another way. A lot of things are NON-REFUNDABLE on the contract around us. Some examples include software purchase, currency exchange, pre-paid phone cards, etc. However, when the product is altered to mismatch the original agreed terms, the transaction is considered VOID. If a software package contains a broken disk or phone card contains a disconnected access number, then the consumer cannot be penalized. The consumer protection laws definitely allow changing a same product or refund in these cases.

Think about this, Priceline can simply sell you non-existant flights. Then cancel those flights two days later... too bad NON-REFUNDABLE, eh? Too bad, it is a SCAM. With enough complaints, this can even be turned into a class action civil suit.

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