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Our experience with Travelocity September 6, 2006

Posted by hamcoder in Bad Customer Service, Reservations, Travel.

Here’s a tale of woe about customer dis-service. It won’t fit in one post and the story isn’t finished yet. So I’ve broken it up into pieces.

Aug 2, 2006
My fiance booked a trip for us to Kansas City, including air fare, a hotel, and a rental car. Her confirmation e-mail arrived at 9:18 a.m. At 3:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. she received e-mails stating that the airline had NOT confirmed our booking and that we should call Travelocity. So she called.

Despite the e-mail to the contrary, Travelocity could not put us on the flights we wanted, and none of the other flights they offered were even close to convenient for us. So she told Travelocity to cancel the whole trip. She even verified with Travelocity that all transactions and reservations were to be canceled and that there would be NO charges on the credit card. Travelocity agreed that that was the case. It would be as if she had never been to the Travelocity web site.

My fiance re-booked the trip directly with the arilines, etc – including the hotel, rental car, and seats on the same flights that Travelocity could not confirm. It cost about $20.00 more than the Travelocity price.

At the appointed time, we took our trip. We had a grand time, but that’s for another post.

Aug 3, 2006
Travelocity posted a charge for $600.00+ to my credit card. Travelocity had failed to cancel the transactions. Later, at the car rental desk, we discovered that we had two reservations. We didn’t think too much about this because we hadn’t received the credit card bill. In retrospect, it’s obvious that Travelocity canceled absolutely nothing.

Aug 23, 2006
The credit card bill arrived. I called Travelocity and their computer said:

“Welcome to Travelocity, where we guarantee that everything about your booking will be right. Or we’ll work with our partners to make it right , right away.”

The menus weren’t too onerous and I quickly connected to TL1 (Travelocity Lady #1). She confirmed my information and did the other parts of her job with no visible problems. I don’t know what TL1 was using for a computer, but she did put me on hold several times – always saying “just for two minutes”. After several minutes, she said she would process a reversal of the $600 charge; it will take about 30 days to appear on my credit card account. Although that pushed a button, I kept it pretty calm (firm but calm).

30 days to process a reversal was not good enough because I had done nothing wrong – the blame was entirely Travelocity’s. There has to be a way to process this faster. After all, I don’t have the use of my own money, Travelocity is using it! After more time on hold, again “just for two minutes”, TL1 finally agreed to expedite the reversal so that it should post to my credit card account with 7 days. I asked if that was 7 calendar days or business days. If you guesed “calendar”, you need a bit more cynicism in your life. I also asked for her name, payroll number, something I could use to identify her in case I had to call back. She said I didn’t need any of that because she had put it all in the computer and our conversation was now part of the booking records.

I wasn’t happy, but it was the best TL1 could do.



1. shannon - September 12, 2006

i was doing a project on good customer service and i came across your journal from google. i was courious of how long it took you to get your refund back from them? i also had a problem with them also and it took me like 3 months for them to give me back my money. i had them keep telling me im sorry they filled it wrong. and they also wouldnt let me speak to management. at least i know im not the only one who had a big problem with them.

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