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Priceline Dispute: Help!
Old 09-24-2005, 07:20 PM   #1
 
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Priceline Dispute: Help!

I wanted my daughter to make her own plane reservations for flying home for Christmas, and gave her a temporary credit card number.

She used Priceline.com, did a name-your-own-price, and got a response that she thought meant "sorry, no flights at that price."* Apparently she didn't read the fine print, and in fact she was committed and the credit card was charged.

However, thinking it hadn't gone through, she made, 10 minutes later, another reservation, and now she has two.

She tried a few times to get it undone, then I took over.* I've tried everything: "You're taking advantage of a minor," "The website wasn't clear," "Can we get credit", "Can we get a partial refund", "She wouldn't have made a new reservation if it was clear, etc." * Spoke with supervisors.* No luck at all.

On Monday, I'll pass this on to the MBNA dispute resolution, who will work on my behalf.*

The second ticket was made with CheapTickets.com, and trying to cancel that might be the next step, but the case is even weaker there.* We'll be out $407 if we can't get it fixed.* Or in other words, I'll be paying $407 for my daughter's class in "Read the Fine Print 101."

Any other suggestions?*
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!
Old 09-24-2005, 07:51 PM   #2
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!

If you don't get anywhere with customer service for both places make sure disputue them through your credit card company. I deal with credit card chargebacks as part of my job and I can tell you that 99% of the time the cardholder wins the dispute. Also where it's an online transaction you have an even better chance. Good luck.

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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!
Old 09-24-2005, 08:26 PM   #3
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!

Settle on your one best defense.* Talk to cust service and when they say no give them the old "I realize you cannot help me so please refer me to the manager or whatever.* Tell that person the problem and that you'd like to avoid the hassle of a chargeback- - -so could we settle this here, given that you are wrong* anyway.
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!
Old 09-24-2005, 10:09 PM   #4
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!

I used priceline a couple of times but several years back. The first experience was great and got a good price on a hotel, then second was lousy and it was somewhat of a hassle. I asked for certain locations in the southern part of a city and they booked me in the north part. I pointed out and they refunded. If it got to cc dispute, it was an easy win. So maybe that is something to go on (make sure they booked her on what she exactly wanted and requested). I think otherwise, it is pretty hard to get out of. I dont know what you are going to dispute, unfortunately? Maybe just come up with something and hope it sticks/priceline just writes it off.


http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/fcb.htm
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!
Old 09-25-2005, 09:33 AM   #5
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outtahere
If you don't get anywhere with customer service for both places make sure disputue them* through your credit card company.* I deal with credit card chargebacks as part of my job and I can tell you that 99% of the time the cardholder wins the dispute.* Also where it's an online transaction you have an even better chance.* Good luck.

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I've disputed a bunch of stuff (through the CC company). Always won, never much of a problem.

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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!
Old 09-25-2005, 10:32 AM   #6
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!

Tell her to quickly develop a new, serious boyfriend and bring him home with her on the second ticket.
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!
Old 09-25-2005, 10:45 AM   #7
 
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!

Good idea, except that she'll have to find someone with the same name as her.
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!
Old 09-25-2005, 11:56 AM   #8
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!

Eh, a dress, wig and fake ID. Think of the hilarity that will ensue with the airline security people!

Clearly a story that will grow more entertaining over the years...
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!
Old 09-25-2005, 12:32 PM   #9
 
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!

Right.

But it is interesting that now although one "owns" a temporary seat in an airplane, it is not longer something you can turn in, transfer, or sell. I wonder how much each of the following lead to that:

1. Eticketing
2. Terrorist Security
3. Overbooking
3. Companies make more money if you are stuck with it.
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!
Old 09-25-2005, 03:07 PM   #10
 
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!

You're probably not going to get anywhere with Priceline. I use them extensively (for hotels only) and they are not flexible.

However, isn't cheaptix.com just a regular online travel agency? If so, depending on the airline, you can usually get credit for the non-refundable ticket. You will be sacked with a $100-$200 change fee, but at least it hurts a bit less. Good luck.
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!
Old 09-25-2005, 04:00 PM   #11
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!

If all else fails could you pay the change fee on one of the tickets and book new dates for her next trip home?
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!
Old 09-25-2005, 08:37 PM   #12
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Right.

But it is interesting that now although one "owns" a temporary seat in an airplane, it is not longer something you can turn in, transfer, or sell.* I wonder how much each of the following lead to that:

1. Eticketing
2. Terrorist Security
3. Overbooking
3. Companies make more money if you are stuck with it.
#1 and 2 may be used as excuses, but I recall fighting this problem (unsuccessfully) back in the early 80s when we bought a ticket for one employee to a trade show, and then needed to send a substitute.

I think #4 your second #3 is the answer.
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!
Old 09-26-2005, 10:46 AM   #13
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!

You mentioned that she was a MINOR... is this true?

If so, and she did the purchasing and you can prove that she did.. just tell them a minor can not make a contract and to cancel the ticket..

Also tell the credit card company that a minor made the contract and you will not pay no matter what....

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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!
Old 09-26-2005, 11:28 AM   #14
 
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Re: Priceline Dispute: Help!

Thanks for the suggestions guys.* This morning I cancelled the CheapTickets.com flight, will pay a $150 charge, and will have a credit for a new flight made before Sept 20, 2006.*

MBNA told me they didn't think they could get the charge reversed.

Your suggestions might have worked, Tex, though I might not have gone that route, since I authorized her to make the reservations.

As to what exactly happened, it looks like DD made about five tries for the name-your-own-price, and one of them was accepted.* Either she didn't notice that, or she shut down her computer before that final acceptance was made.

I'm not going to give her a hard time, since I'm pretty sure she's learned her lesson.* I'll do a little probing to see whether she sees it as "I should have been more careful." or just "Priceline $ucks."

I'm also going to ask her to try to eliminate $150 from her discretionary spending.

As to what I learned: when I saw that $407.25 temporary charge on the card, I shouldn't have assumed that it was just a test charge. I should have told DD to wait a few days before making a new reservation to make sure it would disappear.



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