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Vayama.com - Worst, Irresponsible agent - consider to avoid

Sao Paulo, SP
posts: 1
reviews: 3
Vayama.com - Worst, Irresponsible agent - consider to avoid

I sincerely warn all travelers to AVOID and to NOT USE this booking site, even it is rerouted from Kayak.com, from my direct experience. If you encounter any issue with your booking, the service you are given will be the worst one in your life. Vayama.com will not even responsible for any fault/ mistake it made. The below story is real and happened to me directly. I spent time to share this story as I do not wish this experience to repeat with anyone from this irresponsible agent again.

I booked a ticket from Brazil to Bolivia via Kayak 2.5 months prior to my departure; the booking went straight to Vayama.com. I trust Kayak therefore did not do any research about Vayama.com as it is Kayak’s partnership and preferred agent. This booking with the 4.5-hour-flight schedule with TAM airline had changed, approximately 4 hours after my booking (same date as my purchase confirmation). TAM airline sent information to Vayama via ticketing system twice – on the date of change and a month after the change of the flight schedule. Vayama.com did not provide any information regarding the change until 6 days before my travel date and provided me with 2 options; one is to get a full refund (the full refund is not my option as I invited a friend from Europe to take this trip with me and I have booked and paid everything at the final destination already) and another option is to take an alternative flight, which will take 14.5 hours. I searched through Kayak and found that this 14.5Hour-flight is even cheaper than the original flight I purchased. I also found better alternative options to fly with 6 hours. I called Vayama.com several times in order to seek for an alternative option. The only response, with rude and incompetent representatives, was to take 14.5 hours flight, as they claimed the airline only approved one alternative option. I therefore tried to fix by calling the airline. The airline actually approved an alternative flight (which will take 6 hours, instead of 14.5 hours). I called Vayama back and informed about this approval, they refused to take it and kept mentioning that the only flight I could take was 14.5 Hours flight. I therefore called the airline and the agent to have a conference call together to confirm with this new schedule. I made a confirmation when I was in a call with Vayama (an agent name Chris, ID 0280OW) and the airline (the representative named Katiano, ID 57114). At the same day, 2 hours after the conference call, Vayama called me back to reconfirm the new flight with 6 hours. I reconfirmed the second time to the agent that I would take this flight and request them to perform the change and issue to ticket. All these happened in one day, Friday. I spent approximately 4-5 hours to fix this; my understanding is that providing the good alternative option is a minimum task of the booking agent.

The weekend went by, the agent failed to rebook that flight, sent me an email to call them back to confirm (after my 2 confirmations via phone). I called back to make a confirmation the 3rd time on Monday early morning, hoping that everything would go well. The booking center agent, named Sagy, called me back and told me that my 6 hours flight was no longer available, and again this time forced me to take the 14.5 hours flight. Sagy was rude and at the end of the call she screamed at me when I refused to take the 14.5hours flight. I request Sagy to escalate this case to her manager and to work with an airline in order to provide me with a better alternative. At that point, I had only 3 days left before my departure. I realised Vayama.com failed to perform its task multiple times –failed to inform the flight change (waited until 6 days before the departure), failed to provide the best alternative to a client and failed to book a new better schedule even after the confirmations.

I had many phone calls with Vayama and the airline over and over to find a better solution. The airline offered me again with the better flight, 9 hours. I called Vayama call center, named Greg, who can only send a message to booking center, could not perform any change, and refuse to transfer any call to a booking center. I told him my concern and said to him that it was urgent as the flight only had a few seat lefts. Greg responded rudely and was not helpful; he kept telling me to take the 14.5hour-flight. I told him to inform the booking center urgently for this new possible schedule and he said something around “if you want me to send a message, you better hang up”.

Then, the booking center manager, named Michael, called me back. I tried to explain all situations since the inception and Michael did not consider or assume any responsibility on the agency’s faults. He kept telling me the same option that I could only change the flight to 14.5 Hours and that was my ONLY option. I told Michael that in this case it is Vayama’s fault as the agent failed to perform its task multiple times. I request Michael to escalate my case and fix it by either book me with a new flight with a new airline with better timing or book me with the 6 Hours flight in a different travel class. Michael refused to solve anything and kept repeating himself of my option to take 14.5Hour-flight, then he hang up the phone on me while I was talking and trying to tell him another alternative of 9 hours flight.

With all these experience with Vayama.com, I therefore decided to book a new flight directly with the airline, avoid having any contact with Vayama.com again if there is a change in schedule. I booked the 14.5Hour-flight as I am left with no other suitable options (the better timing at this point will cost me USD1000+/- more as I booked the flight 2 days before my departure). I requested Vayama.com to give a full refund, I DO NOT WISH TO ASSOCIATE WITH THIS AGENT VAYAMA.COM ever again in my life. THE OVERALL EXPERIENCE WITH VAYAMA.COM IS JUST HORRIBLE, UNACCEPTABLE, NIGHTMARE, AND THIS AGENT IS DEFINITELY NOT WORTH EVEN A STAR FOR ANY REVIEW.

My conclusion from my experience with Vayama.com,

• Vayama.com failed to perform its task properly e.g. not provide the information of the flight change in advance, forced client to take the option that is almost impossible to take (14 hours and 30 mins flight for when there is an alternative)

• Vayama.com does not resume any responsibility for its faults and mistakes

• Vayama.com is not providing the best option available for the client

• Vayama.com provides the worst customer service - rude, incompetent and definitely the worst service that I ever experienced in my life.

14 replies to this topic
Edinburgh, United...
posts: 7,355
reviews: 15
1. Re: Vayama.com - Worst, Irresponsible agent - consider to avoid

It doesn't matter what the airline offered, you chose to book through a 3rd party so you must deal with them and it can limit your options. As for the schedule change, it as always adviced in here to keep a check on them yourself since notifications can get lost and airlines/agent can fail to send them out.

Seattle, Washington
posts: 6,659
reviews: 85
2. Re: Vayama.com - Worst, Irresponsible agent - consider to avoid

Sorry, just couldn't get through all that.

If they offered you a full refund, why didn't you just take that, and then book the flight you want?

Watford, United...
posts: 3,620
reviews: 12
3. Re: Vayama.com - Worst, Irresponsible agent - consider to avoid

You could always send a PM to Vayama Voice who comes on here occasionally. Fat kid in an orange baseball cap I seem to remember.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
posts: 9,743
reviews: 182
4. Re: Vayama.com - Worst, Irresponsible agent - consider to avoid

It was tough for me to tronch through it, too.....

My only question is why the OP initially waited until 6 days before his flight, to reconfirm his flight with the airline, even though he purchased 2.5 months in advance? And, in fact, the only reason they checked was because Vayama did send him a change notice (albeit late). I always check my itineraries regularly and set up alerts directly on the airline websites, if something goes wrong. As for the conclusions, just insert the name of most 3rd party booking agents....

Here is the link to Vayama Voice (Dave):

tripadvisor.com/members-forums/VayamaVoice

Edited: 10:50 am, November 12, 2013
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 30,452
reviews: 38
5. Re: Vayama.com - Worst, Irresponsible agent - consider to avoid

I'm sorry you experienced all this trouble. Unfortunately, this story is very, very common with third party booking agencies. Your thread joins countless others posted on this forum. I hope next time you will book directly with the airlines. You have been a member if TA for over a year. Now you know to use the forums first, to research before making travel decisions.

London, United...
posts: 14,817
reviews: 22
6. Re: Vayama.com - Worst, Irresponsible agent - consider to avoid

Actually I made it through the whole thing, quite good use of paragraphs.

To the op, yes, when you book through a third party this is what tends to happen. You do always need to check the airlines schedule yourself though, even when booking with the airline direct, often the airlines don't notify at all.

I am also curious, why did you keep pushing it,,,why not just get the full refund and book the flight you wanted yourself?

Anyway, as mr macoos says, Vayama do read and post on here,,normally just "give us a call, sorry to hear that" type of stuff. However do beware if you have missed something pertinent out of your story they do like to put their side forward as well and provide the balanced view...much to the dismay of the original posters. Lol.

And yes, for some bizare reason, Vayama represent themselves as a fat kid in an orange baseball cap, a boy I think. Go figure.

Bay Area, CA
posts: 118
7. Re: Vayama.com - Worst, Irresponsible agent - consider to avoid

Vayama Voice here.....the "fat kid in the orange hat"! :-)

It does appear from Oim888's perspective that Vayama is only here to take travelers $ and wash our hands of everything else. Just not the case!

Without seeing this PM's booking and reviewing the history, I really can't provide a knowledgeable response. But it does seem what he experienced was an unacceptable schedule change initiated by the airline. To that end, you can say what you want about booking directly with the airline and avoiding 3rd party distributors. But at the end of the day, the schedule change will still occur. And the more exotic/remote the destination, the fewer options the options will be when a flight is canceled or times change.

Thank you to the other respondents here for shedding a different perspective on Pim8888's post.

Happy Travels!

David

(AKA - The fat kid in the orange hat)

Director Customer Relations

Fort Lauderdale...
Destination Expert
for Fort Lauderdale
posts: 31,587
reviews: 12
8. Re: Vayama.com - Worst, Irresponsible agent - consider to avoid

Would love to hear Vayama Voice's "spin" on why the request for that 9 hr option would not be filled...

London, United...
posts: 14,817
reviews: 22
9. Re: Vayama.com - Worst, Irresponsible agent - consider to avoid

David,,,c'mon, you could at least ask him to email you and ask for additional detail,,,

Ps nothing wrong with being a fat kid in an orange hat...,sure your name is not stelios?

Edinburgh, United...
posts: 7,355
reviews: 15
10. Re: Vayama.com - Worst, Irresponsible agent - consider to avoid

"David,,,c'mon, you could at least ask him to email you and ask for additional detail,,,"

Sounds like the OP has already travelled so there'd be little point I guess.

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