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Expedia’s customer service is non-existent

wy
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Expedia’s customer service is non-existent

I booked a trip in December for my daughter and her fiancée, who live in the UK, to fly to Denver on June 29th through Expedia. On June 24th, my daughter was diagnosed with cancer and advised to start a drug and radiation therapy immediately. She contacted British Airways and they said since the ticket was bought through Expedia any requests would have to come through them. I contacted Expedia and was emailed a fax number, with a cover letter example saying what kind of information they would need. My daughter spent the next day getting documents from her doctors, scanning and emailing to me. I then filled in the fax cover sheet and included all the documents (lots of confidential medical information) and faxed to the number given. Several hours later (2:00pm), I called customer service to see if the fax was received and was told that it was, but it was late on Friday so I probably would not receive an email until Monday. On Monday afternoon I again called and was told that the fax was received and that I just needed to be patient. I was also advised to go ahead and cancel the reservations so that there was not a no-show fee. I tried to be patient as advised, but finally gave up on receiving an email and called again on Thursday, July 1st. This time I was told that the fax number that I sent the fax to was no longer right and that the fax had NOT been received and was given a new fax number to send it to. I ask for an email and tried emailing the document, but received a reply to fax to the new number which I did. I then received an email saying that the refund request for her fiancée was refused by the airline because he did not fall under their “specified relationship” requirement (although the letter from the doctor explained that he was required to be present as her primary caregiver). I have called countless times to request a copy of the decision from British Airways so that I can protest this, but never have received anything further. I have spent over 12 hours on the phone with customer service just trying to get a copy of this decision and three times after being on the phone for nearly an hour my call was transferred to a totally different company (Social Security hotline, a credit card company and a mortgage company). I also still have not received any decision on a refund of my daughter’s ticket. Every time I call I have to talk to a different, random person and start all over again on explaining everything. I am totally frustrated! I book a lot of travel for other people for my job and have used Expedia frequently, but never had to contact their customer service before; now that I have, I am spreading the word that Expedia is NOT a company that you want to do business with!

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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15,754 posts
71 reviews
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1. Re: Expedia’s customer service is non-existent

Hi,

I see two issues interconnected, but also somewhat independent issues here..

First, the "run around" in terms of getting the correct fax number to submit your paperwork to.. I do think that you have a reasonable expectation that you be given the correct FAX number to submit your forms.. Assuming that your initial request was correctly understood and there was no misunderstanding about what department you were looking for, I think Expedia owes you an apology and explanation as to why it's become so hard to simply return their FAX request.

Second, as to your 'denial'.. Again, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for and have the expectation to receive one of the two, either; a) a copy of the policy that speaks to the "relationship" limitations, or b) a copy of the airlines refusal/denial determination.

In the case of the second issue-- the basis for the refusal/denial-- I suspect that this will come down to a factual determination... and if there rightly is language in the policy that limits refunds to a specific outlined 'class' of passengers or similar-- and your situation doesn't meet those standards-- then I can see and understand Expedia refusing the request..

Travel Safe,

Seattle, Washington
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10,857 posts
94 reviews
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2. Re: Expedia’s customer service is non-existent

OP - not sure exactly what happened, because honestly, it is quite difficult to wade through a one paragraph rant. If you use your "return" key once in a while, you can make paragraphs, and it's much easier to know what you are talking about. I can say, it appears really that your complaint is with BA, not Expedia.

I am sorry to hear about your daughter, but when these tickets were purchased, you agreed to the terms of the ticket. As I don't know what the fare rules were for this specific ticket, it's difficult to comment on any of this. When booking tickets on Expedia, after you select your flights, there is a section you can click on that states "Review the Rules and Restrictions". It's a really good idea to read these before you make a purchase.

If you purchase a nonrefundable ticket, and cancel the reservation, you usually can obtain a voucher for the remainder of your purchase price, minus the change fee. Nonrefundable means nonrefundable. Expedia must abide by the cancellation policy of the airline, in your case, BA. BA has a section in their Contract of Carriage that covers what happens in case of serious illness. They may choose to extend the validity period of the ticket and let it be used as long as there is availability in the same fare class as the original ticket. It states, "if members of your immediate family are traveling with you, when you fell ill, we may extend the validity period of their tickets for a similar period." It appears BA does not consider a fiance an immedate family member.

You may find this article of interest:

elliott.org/blog/…

Next time I would advise booking directly with the airline, and purchasing travel insurance. I hope your daughter's treatment is successful and you can get this straightened out.

Edited: 3:25 pm, July 26, 2010
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
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3. Re: Expedia’s customer service is non-existent

First of all, I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's diagnosis. That must have been difficult for all of you to learn, and I do hope for the best possible outcome after her chemo and radio therapies.

And I'm with GOPBI that the fax number(s) supplied to you by expedia.com should have been correct from the start, to limit the amount of work needed in order to supply the correct paperwork to expedia.com.

But I think the time is well past the email and telephone stage. Write (and send it recorded deivery) to Eric Grosse, President of Expedia Inc at 333 108th Avenue NE, Bellevue Washington 98004.

Write a one page letter if possible; include the travel dates, flight numbers, ticket numbers (12 digits, they'll start with 125-) and names of your daughter and her fiance as on the tickets. Mention that you have tried to contact expedia.com and have been unsuccessful X times and have had little success in obtaining a result.

If there are specific issues you would like addressed (perhaps no more than three) ask about them as briefly and concisely as possible. Ask for these to be addressed in the reply, and that you would like that reply within 14 business days.

Speaking of results, if the tickets you booked are not refundable, you should be able to receive the credit for the tickets (less a fee) for future bookings, but that's dependent on the fare rules for the cabin / class of service tickets purchased.

Send a copy of the letter to BA as well. Don't bother with BA in North America, go straight to Andrew Crawley, Director of Sales and Marketing. Send that letter to BA plc, Waterside, P O Box 365, Harmondsworth Middlesex England UB7 0GB.

And please do read the CoC as shown below as there is information there about most fare rules. You can make a dummy booking in the class your daughter was to travel to find the specific fare rules for that booking type as well. britishairways.com/travel/…en_gb

atlanta
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46 reviews
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4. Re: Expedia’s customer service is non-existent

1. Paragraphs are good. Without them we get bored and quit reading

2. You purchased via an ON LINE travel agency and then want them to have humans to help you? Really?

I am sorry about your daughter, but in all honestly the airline's contract of carriage probably means you aren't entitled to any refund. What you do get would be a gift. Being nice when asking for something you probably aren't entitled to tends to be the best couse of action.

Edited: 7:58 pm, July 26, 2010
australia
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5. Re: Expedia’s customer service is non-existent

BA agent was wrong in declining the fiance a refund as primary caregiver AND travelling companion to the person that became ill, he is entitled to a refund also.

You have all the supporting paperwork that is required for a refund under "Compassion Policy"

Go for it, write one letter addressed to both parties to the addresses supplied by Travellerplus include copies of all documents.

Having cancelled the return seats allowed re-sale, BA not out of pocket there either

6. Re: Expedia’s customer service is non-existent

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