We have booked at least 10 trips with Expedia the past couple of years and they were ok, good rates and everything went smoothly, until recently.
My wife asked me to book a flight for her cousins who are migrating from the Phils. to Canada.
She told me to get the cheapest available rate, so I checked Expedia online, but decided to call and book on the phone. It went smoothly as usual. couple of days later, we got a message from my wife's cousin requesting to re-book their flight because online search led them to find out that they are required to get a US transient visa because their layover in Honolulu is more than 4 hours, and this visa usually take 30 days to get in the Phils.
We called Expedia again, explaining that the passengers does not have enough time to get a visa. The agent initially told me that the tickets are not refundable. I said please help us cancel or rebook this one - and I argued that their booking agent failed to inform us about an important requirement, and their website does not inform passengers of that requirement either. The guy argued that it is passenger's responsibility, not theirs, but will try to find an alternative anyway. He said he will call us back in an hour. We waited for 2.5 hours and nobody called, so we phoned back. Of course, we got another agent. We explained the whole story again, and the agent told us he could cancel the original booking, but we have to pay $100 penalty per passenger. We agreed to that and booked another flight with Japan Airlines. He gave us a confirmation number for the cancellation of the previous flight.
2 hours later, we got a call from Expedia, telling us that their agent made a mistake and will only credit us $2,750 of the original $4,415 we paid for the Hawaiian/Air Canada tickets, but they can still cancel the Japan Airlines flights if we will rebook with HA/AC. Since I was driving, I said can we call you back when we get home - said ok and gave us a reference number again.
When we called back, we got another agent, gave him the reference numbers again and so on. This time, they will only credit back $2,500. We argued for hours, and requested them to find an alternative flight for Hawaiian or find a work around. Since it was already 11pm already, the agent told us he will get somebody to work on it and somebody will call us back.
I sent Expedia an email telling them that due to the numerous mistakes of their staff and because we get different answer from different agent all the time I would like to put all future communications in writing, somebody replied and explained that due to security reasons, they don't do that and gave another number to call. I said no, but they replied again saying the same.
I got a call from Expedia in my office yesterday, now from a department manager who is supposed to be handling the case. Since I was busy and my wife happened to be there, I let my wife deal with the guy. Now Expedia refunded $1,008 to my credit card, and offer $200 in travel coupons but won't refund the rest of the $4,415 paid to Hawaiian Air/ Air Canada and won't cancel the flight with Japan Airlines anymore. The ticket holders have a $4,415 credit which they have to use within one year - my wife said she will only take this offer if the credits are transferable because she know that the ticket holders cannot afford to pay the HA/AC $4,415 (less $1008) and the JAL $4,715 at the same time because they are new immigrant and don't have money to travel that often. The guy argued they are not travelling by choice and no the tickets are non transferable.
The guy admit that their agent made a mistake, but always point out that we were told that the tickets are non refundable when we booked the flight. We argued that we booked a second flight because their agent told us it is refundable (less $400 penalty) and why should we be held financially accountable for their staff mistakes? It is clearly Expedia error and Expedia should be accountable for it. The guy said yes they made a mistake, but they are not financially accountable.
We did not agree to close the case and now thinking of hiring a lawyer to pursue the case, or escalate to upper Expedia management.
is it worth taking this case to court?
anybody has similar experience?