Breach of Contract

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Sep 4, 2018
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#1
I am having an issue with Priceline regarding a minivan rental. Details are outlined below:

  • I booked a 7-seater minivan 3 weeks prior to rental date to attend a major out-of-town event with some family members from abroad
  • On travel day, we arrived at rental company and they didn't have a 7-seater minivan and instead offered us a 6-seater which couldn't work for 7 people on a 7-hour drive across 3 states. The rental company also tried offering two small cars, but was no good as I was the only person able to safely drive that distance
  • We immediately contacted Priceline to redo the reservation for any other local rental company as we were actually okay with just picking up the vehicle elsewhere and going on our way, but their agents refused and claimed they were unable to make another reservation even though they had local rentals posted at the time
  • Instead, they advised that I pay for a new reservation and go through their reimbursement process for the difference at a later time - the problem with that (and as I explained to them) was that since the rental price on travel day was almost double the regular rate and the initial rental agency already put a hold on my credit card before finding out they didn't have the right vehicle, there was now insufficient funds on the card to do a new reservation
    • Side Note: For some reason, their agents kept trying to get me to cancel the reservation, but I declined to do so as I believed it was a tactic to absolve them of responsibility for the situation if ordered the cancellation, so I stuck to my guns
  • After 3+ long hours of back and forth with various Priceline agents and some manager, we were unable to get the reservation redone and ended up missing our trip and the family event as we couldn't get another vehicle that late on a Friday evening
  • At the end of the call, I requested that a corporate representative contact me to discuss my experience and appropriate compensation for my lost time, breach of contract, and the inability to attend the family event which cannot even be quantified in dollar amounts. The agent sent an email to their Ops team which was shared with me, but I am yet to be contacted almost 3 weeks after the incident. My reason for asking for corporate was that I was tired of dealing with people that kept saying they can't do this or that
What I find interesting is that I have tried several times to be very understanding and offered up simple ways of addressing what could have been a minor issue with a quick resolution, but the Priceline agents refuse to pay attention to the customer's needs and their own agreement, which is only making matters worse. The first agent I spoke with on travel day offered a 5% discount towards next travel or something like that - I declined as this felt like an insult. After reaching out on social media, another agent came back and offered 20% off next travel - again, I declined. My reasons for declining are as follows:
  1. We were effectively in contract the moment they accepted payment for the reservation, so this was a breach of contract and it was upon them to make it right
  2. My time is valuable, and as a customer, I shouldn't have to spend 3 hours dealing with and getting aggravated by their screw up when they could have remedied it by redoing the reservation (even if it required seeking additional approvals). Keep in mind that for most OTAs, the actual rental companies do not charge the customer's credit card directly; Priceline charges the customer and then pays them directly on the back end as is standard for most OTAs
  3. We missed the family event as we ran out of options after they failed to honor our agreement - I can't even place a price on this
  4. I gave them an opportunity to remedy the situation in real time and they wouldn't budge. I wasn't even upset initially; all I wanted was just for them to get me the 7-seater minivan I booked from somewhere close so I could continue my journey
  5. Clearly, Priceline doesn't seem to understand the concept of compensation. They are not doing me a favor by offering me coupons to spend even more money on their business for a trip I may not need. True compensation would involve something that is of benefit at no cost to the inconvenienced customer
I am looking for any suggestions on best approach to get them to compensate and perceptions on a reasonable value as it is unfair to screw a customer over on their day of travel and have no responsibility, but rather ignore them. So far, I have talked to their agent on phone on the incident day, contacted them on social media, and I just sent them an email through their portal today. If I don't get a favorable response (or any at all), I plan to utilize the executive email list here, report to BBB, go to arbitration and/or small claims court if needed. Anything else I should do or skip?

At this point, it is now turning into a fight based on principle and I am willing to go to any length to get them to be held accountable. The more they ignore and fail to do the right thing, the more I want them to pay.

Appreciate your help, folks.

Phil.
 
Jun 30, 2017
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#2
I am having an issue with Priceline regarding a minivan rental. Details are outlined below:

  • I booked a 7-seater minivan 3 weeks prior to rental date to attend a major out-of-town event with some family members from abroad
  • On travel day, we arrived at rental company and they didn't have a 7-seater minivan and instead offered us a 6-seater which couldn't work for 7 people on a 7-hour drive across 3 states. The rental company also tried offering two small cars, but was no good as I was the only person able to safely drive that distance
  • We immediately contacted Priceline to redo the reservation for any other local rental company as we were actually okay with just picking up the vehicle elsewhere and going on our way, but their agents refused and claimed they were unable to make another reservation even though they had local rentals posted at the time
  • Instead, they advised that I pay for a new reservation and go through their reimbursement process for the difference at a later time - the problem with that (and as I explained to them) was that since the rental price on travel day was almost double the regular rate and the initial rental agency already put a hold on my credit card before finding out they didn't have the right vehicle, there was now insufficient funds on the card to do a new reservation
    • Side Note: For some reason, their agents kept trying to get me to cancel the reservation, but I declined to do so as I believed it was a tactic to absolve them of responsibility for the situation if ordered the cancellation, so I stuck to my guns
  • After 3+ long hours of back and forth with various Priceline agents and some manager, we were unable to get the reservation redone and ended up missing our trip and the family event as we couldn't get another vehicle that late on a Friday evening
  • At the end of the call, I requested that a corporate representative contact me to discuss my experience and appropriate compensation for my lost time, breach of contract, and the inability to attend the family event which cannot even be quantified in dollar amounts. The agent sent an email to their Ops team which was shared with me, but I am yet to be contacted almost 3 weeks after the incident. My reason for asking for corporate was that I was tired of dealing with people that kept saying they can't do this or that
What I find interesting is that I have tried several times to be very understanding and offered up simple ways of addressing what could have been a minor issue with a quick resolution, but the Priceline agents refuse to pay attention to the customer's needs and their own agreement, which is only making matters worse. The first agent I spoke with on travel day offered a 5% discount towards next travel or something like that - I declined as this felt like an insult. After reaching out on social media, another agent came back and offered 20% off next travel - again, I declined. My reasons for declining are as follows:
  1. We were effectively in contract the moment they accepted payment for the reservation, so this was a breach of contract and it was upon them to make it right
  2. My time is valuable, and as a customer, I shouldn't have to spend 3 hours dealing with and getting aggravated by their screw up when they could have remedied it by redoing the reservation (even if it required seeking additional approvals). Keep in mind that for most OTAs, the actual rental companies do not charge the customer's credit card directly; Priceline charges the customer and then pays them directly on the back end as is standard for most OTAs
  3. We missed the family event as we ran out of options after they failed to honor our agreement - I can't even place a price on this
  4. I gave them an opportunity to remedy the situation in real time and they wouldn't budge. I wasn't even upset initially; all I wanted was just for them to get me the 7-seater minivan I booked from somewhere close so I could continue my journey
  5. Clearly, Priceline doesn't seem to understand the concept of compensation. They are not doing me a favor by offering me coupons to spend even more money on their business for a trip I may not need. True compensation would involve something that is of benefit at no cost to the inconvenienced customer
I am looking for any suggestions on best approach to get them to compensate and perceptions on a reasonable value as it is unfair to screw a customer over on their day of travel and have no responsibility, but rather ignore them. So far, I have talked to their agent on phone on the incident day, contacted them on social media, and I just sent them an email through their portal today. If I don't get a favorable response (or any at all), I plan to utilize the executive email list here, report to BBB, go to arbitration and/or small claims court if needed. Anything else I should do or skip?

At this point, it is now turning into a fight based on principle and I am willing to go to any length to get them to be held accountable. The more they ignore and fail to do the right thing, the more I want them to pay.

Appreciate your help, folks.

Phil.
Why did you use Priceline instead of booking directly with a rental car agency?
Did you pre-pay? If you did, why did you do so?
Was your reservation with a major car rental agency (Hertz, Avis, Thrifty etc) or a local agency?

Unfortunately, minivans are often in short supply at regular rental sites unless you are booking with a rental agency that specializes in these types of rentals. There may not have been 7-passenger vans available anywhere at the time you were looking.

A late arrival looking for a specialty vehicle is a situation that will lead to the outcome you encountered.

Realistically all you are likely to get is a refund from Priceline of your pre-payment if you prepaid, and they might fight you over the refund if your rental was non-refundable.
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#3
Priceline is not in "breach of contract." This is the contract that you agreed to when you booked through Priceline: https://www.priceline.com/static-pages/terms_en.html. There are numerous places where the contract notes that Priceline is not responsible for the performance of travel providers, including specifically this:

"While our rental car partners strive to honor your request for car type (economy, full size, SUV etc.), your requested car type is not guaranteed to be available. Specific cars, makes and models are not guaranteed and listed car makes and model are for example only. Car fleet information including capacities is based on the latest information provided to us by the supplier and is subject to change."

You have very little negotiating power beyond Priceline's desire to keep your future business. You can write Priceline's execs and propose a gesture that will make you happy, but you're not likely to get much more than they have already offered. If you do decide to write, I'd remove any legal threats from your letter and focus on customer satisfaction.
 
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Likes: AMA and ADM
Sep 4, 2018
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#4
Why did you use Priceline instead of booking directly with a rental car agency?
Did you pre-pay? If you did, why did you do so?
Was your reservation with a major car rental agency (Hertz, Avis, Thrifty etc) or a local agency?

Unfortunately, minivans are often in short supply at regular rental sites unless you are booking with a rental agency that specializes in these types of rentals. There may not have been 7-passenger vans available anywhere at the time you were looking.

A late arrival looking for a specialty vehicle is a situation that will lead to the outcome you encountered.

Realistically all you are likely to get is a refund from Priceline of your pre-payment if you prepaid, and they might fight you over the refund if your rental was non-refundable.
Prepaid 3 weeks prior to trip through their Express Deal, and they selected and confirmed Advantage. We did not get there late and it was a 1-week rental.

They refunded the the payment without my authorization, I presume because they knew they were in the wrong? As I mentioned earlier, they kept trying to get me to cancel the reservation while this was going on, even after I'd told them I did not want to. After the deed was done, I also told them to hold onto the money until the compensation case was resolved since we weren't traveling anymore, but they rushed the refund anyway without my approval. In my opinion, it seems like a tactic to put it behind them quickly.

I hear and appreciate what you're saying about the realistic expectations, but is it fair that they dump you at the last minute when you've run out of options based on their screw up? I remember telling one of the agents that I would have been fine if this had happened a few days before travel date when there were still options as I'm not an unreasonable customer. I would be very understanding if it was an unavoidable situation and there were no other choices. My biggest gripe is that they had options and just didn't care as they have further demonstrated even after the event.

Is this what doing business in America has come to, and what are we going to do about it as a society? I can guarantee you that if I'd called them to cancel or change a non-refundable reservation on the travel day, I'd be paying fines through my nose. Why should they be treated differently?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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#5
This is what happens using Priceline and another reason not to pre-pay. Their terms state they aren’t responsible for the performance of the supplier. In fact, no car rental company can guarantee that the particular car you rent will be available even if you book directly. That’s why they say “or similar” when you make a reservation.

What if the person with the van before you had an accident and totaled the van? The rental company cannot control things like this.

They refunded the payment because the rental company didn’t have the car you pre-paid for. What else could they do?

I know quite a few people that make reservations (not prepaid) with two car rental companies when rue need a van so the have a back up if one doesn’t have the car.

The OTAs are great until you have a problem. You nice you do- then you see what kind of service they give you. Their terms are clear that they cannot guarantee the type of car. And they have very few vans and cars for 7 people especially in Europe.
 
Sep 4, 2018
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#6
This is what happens using Priceline and another reason not to pre-pay. Their terms state they aren’t responsible for the performance of the supplier. In fact, no car rental company can guarantee that the particular car you rent will be available even if you book directly. That’s why they say “or similar” when you make a reservation.

What if the person with the van before you had an accident and totaled the van? The rental company cannot control things like this.

They refunded the payment because the rental company didn’t have the car you pre-paid for. What else could they do?

I know quite a few people that make reservations (not prepaid) with two car rental companies when rue need a van so the have a back up if one doesn’t have the car.

The OTAs are great until you have a problem. You nice you do- then you see what kind of service they give you. Their terms are clear that they cannot guarantee the type of car. And they have very few vans and cars for 7 people especially in Europe.

Apologies, but I'm not sure I'm following how pre-payment comes into play here. Even if I didn't prepay, I certainly wouldn't want to do business with an entity that took my reservation and screwed me over on the day we actually need the service and are ready to pay. When they say no rental company can guarantee the particular car, it is understandable if I got a Toyota instead of a Nissan, but what is being suggested is like asking for a sedan and getting a roadster - it doesn't even remotely serve the purpose. Am I missing something?

Also, I should have stated that this was in Chicago. I understand that larger vehicles are harder to book in Europe as I've lived there, but a minivan in Chicago is not a rarity.

Again, I appreciate the responses, but I am seeing a trend that's mildly disturbing: the fact that we as a people are ready to accept whatever corporations do even though we as consumers are not held to the same standard. To clarify what I'm saying, you may notice that all the responses received so far make it seem like it's the customer's fault for taking them at their word. It may sound naive, but disturbing none the less. I encourage us to be careful not to shame the victim.
 
Jun 30, 2017
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#7
Apologies, but I'm not sure I'm following how pre-payment comes into play here. Even if I didn't prepay, I certainly wouldn't want to do business with an entity that took my reservation and screwed me over on the day we actually need the service and are ready to pay. When they say no rental company can guarantee the particular car, it is understandable if I got a Toyota instead of a Nissan, but what is being suggested is like asking for a sedan and getting a roadster - it doesn't even remotely serve the purpose. Am I missing something?

Also, I should have stated that this was in Chicago. I understand that larger vehicles are harder to book in Europe as I've lived there, but a minivan in Chicago is not a rarity.

Again, I appreciate the responses, but I am seeing a trend that's mildly disturbing: the fact that we as a people are ready to accept whatever corporations do even though we as consumers are not held to the same standard. To clarify what I'm saying, you may notice that all the responses received so far make it seem like it's the customer's fault for taking them at their word. It may sound naive, but disturbing none the less. I encourage us to be careful not to shame the victim.
If the rental of a 7-passenger van was the linchpin of your trip, the only way to ensure the availability of such a vehicle was to arrange pickup 1-2 days before you actually needed it so if it was not available from your original rental agency you could have easily found one at another car rental outlet.
Should that be the case? No, but it is analogous to people who come to this site departing their home airport in the morning of a cruise embarkation and missing the cruise because of weather/mechanical etc, etc, etc delays. This site is full of requests for help in exactly that scenario. Your cruise happened to be in a minivan, not on a ship, but if the ship is not in port because you arrive after sailing (or the ship hit the rocks like the Costa Concordia), your cruise won't happen. Traveling, even by local car rental, has inherent risks and delays. If it really has to be there when you need it you need to build into your plans the "what if" factor and leave extra time (sometimes several days) and flexibility in your plans. If you were renting the usual 4/5 passenger econobox you would not likely have had this happen, but looking for a specialty vehicle like a minivan (or a Porsche) even in Chicago may not get you the vehicle you need when and where you need it. We are going on a cruise in October that embarks Oct 6-we arrive at the port of embarkation Oct 2.

And no, you can't take them (whoever they are) "at their word" without backup and contingency plans for the exact scenario you encountered. Not to blame you, and not to say this is the way it should be, but this is the way it is. "Customer beware". Make two non-prepaid reservations in this type of situation, and pick up the vehicle 1-2 days in advance. And choose a rental agency that specializes in the type of vehicle you need. And avoid (DIS)Advantage.
 
Likes: krisseye

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,373
13,044
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#8
We have company contacts on our pages. Read the information on the bottom of the page about how to write and then start writing.

We are only telling you what Priceline is going to tell you- I agree with you that taking your reservation and not having the car isn’t right, but we are here to educate you on what the terms say and what Priceline’s response is likely to be.

You should take this up with the Executives at Priceline. Let us know what they say after you complete the writing process.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#9
What was the size or category of the car? On Priceline it says Mini Van up to 7 people — and Full Size Van is up to 12

The problem is that the car rental companies have different categories and makes — so doing a blind express deal is risky. When it says “up to” that means up to and Priceline protects themselves.


“At the end of the call, I requested that a corporate representative contact me to discuss my experience and appropriate compensation for my lost time, breach of contract, and the inability to attend the family event which cannot even be quantified in dollar amounts. The agent sent an email to their Ops team which was shared with me, but I am yet to be contacted almost 3 weeks after the incident. My reason for asking for corporate was that I was tired of dealing with people that kept saying they can't do this or that”

No company is going to reimburse you for your time and not being able to attend a family event.

You booked a blind express deal and the category is up to 7 people. The cheap express deal got you a place that has a 6 seater minivan. Advantage has nothing larger to offer. None of the other companies want to honor the price of the express deal.

Priceline legally protected themselves so no breach of contract.

Specialty car needs, Priceline, blind express deal and smaller car rental company— what could possibly go wrong?

I would suggest dropping the my time is valuable and compensation compensation compensation talk. It is evidence of unrealistic expectations.

Car rentals guarantee a class, not particular make or model Some minivans have 6 seats some 7. This has been the way of car rental companies for decades (30 plus).
 
Sep 4, 2018
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#11
We have company contacts on our pages. Read the information on the bottom of the page about how to write and then start writing.

We are only telling you what Priceline is going to tell you- I agree with you that taking your reservation and not having the car isn’t right, but we are here to educate you on what the terms say and what Priceline’s response is likely to be.

You should take this up with the Executives at Priceline. Let us know what they say after you complete the writing process.
Appreciate the comments - you just nailed the point I was trying to make by acknowledging that it's wrong rather than blaming the victim. Now that the deed is done, I just need to deal with the reality and figure out how to deal with them.

I am following up on your recommendations next. This is very helpful.
 
Likes: Mel65
Sep 4, 2018
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#12
the BBB is useless and cannot do anything.

What exactly are you looking for as a remedy.
Thanks for the info on BBB. There were several assumptions in your previous post, but this isn't intended to be an adversarial discussion and you guys are only trying to help, so I'll let it be. However, after booking the Express Deal, I got a confirmation of size and everything else that's expected. Advantage themselves acknowledged that I was supposed to get a 7-seater, so again, it wasn't a case where we didn't know what we were getting until the last minute.

In terms of remedy, a simple acknowledgment and prompt resolution would have been sufficient while it was going on and still resolvable. As I stated in previous posts, the biggest issue was the tone deaf attitude while it could still be remedied. If Advantage didn't have the minivan and there were no other companies available for some reason, it'll be a different story. Instead, all I got was "Oh well, you're SOL, but we can go ahead and cancel your reservation." Who does that on the day of travel?

Now that the deed is done, they're still ignoring and offering coupons like they are doing me a favor. That in itself is insulting and insensitive to the customer's experience. Not all aggrieved customers are looking for a money grab as most people think; sometimes, simply having authority acknowledge their pain and figuring out the simplest ways to make it right is all they are asking for. It's shameful to think that we would be looking to the airline industry as a moral compass in this regard. At least they offer small vouchers, not a coupon, which requires that the customer again spend their money on the product. Make sense now?

Again - I appreciate your time in responding and I'm only trying to clarify the details for you, so don't take my responses the wrong way. Typing can easily be misinterpreted.
 
Likes: Mel65
Sep 4, 2018
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#13
If the rental of a 7-passenger van was the linchpin of your trip, the only way to ensure the availability of such a vehicle was to arrange pickup 1-2 days before you actually needed it so if it was not available from your original rental agency you could have easily found one at another car rental outlet.
Should that be the case? No, but it is analogous to people who come to this site departing their home airport in the morning of a cruise embarkation and missing the cruise because of weather/mechanical etc, etc, etc delays. This site is full of requests for help in exactly that scenario. Your cruise happened to be in a minivan, not on a ship, but if the ship is not in port because you arrive after sailing (or the ship hit the rocks like the Costa Concordia), your cruise won't happen. Traveling, even by local car rental, has inherent risks and delays. If it really has to be there when you need it you need to build into your plans the "what if" factor and leave extra time (sometimes several days) and flexibility in your plans. If you were renting the usual 4/5 passenger econobox you would not likely have had this happen, but looking for a specialty vehicle like a minivan (or a Porsche) even in Chicago may not get you the vehicle you need when and where you need it. We are going on a cruise in October that embarks Oct 6-we arrive at the port of embarkation Oct 2.

And no, you can't take them (whoever they are) "at their word" without backup and contingency plans for the exact scenario you encountered. Not to blame you, and not to say this is the way it should be, but this is the way it is. "Customer beware". Make two non-prepaid reservations in this type of situation, and pick up the vehicle 1-2 days in advance. And choose a rental agency that specializes in the type of vehicle you need. And avoid (DIS)Advantage.
We learn the hard way, don't we? Appreciate the response. :)
 
Jun 30, 2017
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#14
We learn the hard way, don't we? Appreciate the response. :)
I reserved a VW van in Geneva (for a family trip of 8 people) and took the TGV train from Paris to Geneva with my 10-year-old daughter (why, because Switzerland has no VAT so the price was 30% lower than France). I arrived at the rental agency and was told they had no VW vans available. This was before internet booking (and no, the car did not have a crank to start it), so I had all kinds of hard copy confirmations in hand. They did have a Peugeot Familia station wagon which seated 8, but would not remotely hold all of our luggage. Having no other choices I drove the Peugeot back to Paris and collected the six other family members and we tied about 5 suitcases on the roof (there was a roof rack). We then began our travels which took us back to Geneva where we stopped to see if they had our VW van--Nope. So we rented a Renault 5, since we had plenty of people to drive and put two people in the Renault and used it as a motorized luggage cart. Things sort of worked out, and I realize that did not happen in your case. Unfortunately, things happen in travel and life. There are things you can do to try to avoid the situation you encountered, but sometimes this fails too. Hopefully in the future, you can have backup plans, and even backup for the backup plans. Fortunately, car rental agencies still allow free booking and cancellation (or simply no show) without penalty, unlike the airlines.

If you peruse this forum you will find some remarkable fails of people making airline reservation prior to a cruise and finding that the name on the airline reservation does not match their passport when they arrive at the airport (often a nickname or simple misspelling mistake). They lose the cruise and other prepaid things like hotels and car, and travel insurance generally will not fix it. There are many ways that travel can be problematic.
 
Likes: krisseye
Feb 21, 2018
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#15
Prepayment of a car rental significantly reduces flexibility. I could have saved about $50 on a prepaid car rental in Phoenix, but very happy I chose a 'regular reservation'.

We were in Phoenix earlier this year and had a reservation with Budget, and when we got to the airport car rental center the line for Budget was LONG, while every other rental agency had a short line. We initially got in the Budget line because of the reservation, but it wasn't moving...and I listened to those around me who were complaining about the wait. One couple in particular were having a heated discussion because they had prepaid, and the wife wondered just what kind of 'deal' they had to make it worth the wait.

While in line and tiring of the wait, I got on my phone and booked an Avis car. We left the line just as a Budget rep came out and said it would be another 30-45 minutes before they had cars to give out as they were having 'processing delays' on returned vehicles. We were on our way 10 minutes later in an Avis car.

It was well worth the extra $50 paid for a regular reservation to be able to freely get out of that line.
 
Mar 23, 2015
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#16
"A late arrival looking for a specialty vehicle is a situation that will lead to the outcome you encountered."

I didn't see where the OP mentioned they had arrived late on the day of the booking? Only that when they arrived, there were no 7 seaters available.

Also, as a general comment, I'm not sure that all of the "why didn't you do this" and "that was a mistake" responses are really answering the OP's request for assistance and advice.. IMHO.
 
Jun 30, 2017
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#17
"A late arrival looking for a specialty vehicle is a situation that will lead to the outcome you encountered."

I didn't see where the OP mentioned they had arrived late on the day of the booking? Only that when they arrived, there were no 7 seaters available.

Also, as a general comment, I'm not sure that all of the "why didn't you do this" and "that was a mistake" responses are really answering the OP's request for assistance and advice.. IMHO.
" as we couldn't get another vehicle that late on a Friday evening " So not only late, but on a Friday.
Some issues cannot be resolved but can be prevented in the future.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,856
6,779
113
San Francisco
#18
We learn the hard way, don't we? Appreciate the response. :)
Phil, I'm so sorry you indeed had to learn about an online booking service the hard way. Priceline is the very bottom of the barrel and offers very little customer service. They spend their money on television ads and slick websites. People think they're getting good value, what they're getting is a bare minimum. In a case like yours, going for the cheapest deal is an awful choice. But America's a free country, so we cannot just go shut down these horrible online booking services, it will take years before the travelling public realizes what's really going on. My sympathies.
 
Sep 27, 2017
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#19
In communications, do not even give a hint of legal action (not even small claims court). While you do have that option, the moment you mention it, your complaint gets sent to their legal department and they will no longer talk directly to you.

Also, while BBB has already been mentioned as worthless, here's why: I opened up a case a few years ago with BBB. They have no authority or legal powers whatsoever. All they did for me was pass letters back-and-forth between myself and the company that wronged me. Once that company decided to stop responding to my letters, the BBB just shrugged like, "Well, we did our part," and that was all.
 
Feb 17, 2018
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#20
Also, while BBB has already been mentioned as worthless, here's why: I opened up a case a few years ago with BBB. They have no authority or legal powers whatsoever. All they did for me was pass letters back-and-forth between myself and the company that wronged me. Once that company decided to stop responding to my letters, the BBB just shrugged like, "Well, we did our part," and that was all.
Basically, isn't this the same for this site? What authority or legal power does this site have? I'm not knocking this site, it is very helpful and a great resource, but there are limits even here.

For example, I had a problem earlier this year, after asking for Elliot's help I was referred to the forum and company contacts. I tried them all as recommended and was unable to get a response or resolution. I finally tried the BBB and finally received a responded and they ended up refunding me. So sometimes it does work. At least they passed the complaint on and as the company was accredited, the BBB requires the company to respond. I don't know, but maybe it is because the complaints and business responses are made available to the public, there is more incentive for them to provide a positive resolution.

In any case, it only takes a few minutes of your time to file the complaint, so it doesn't hurt. Just one more option for people to use especially if everything else has failed. A lot of people still check out the BBB on companies before doing business with them, so it is also helpful to read the complaints and responses. How a company responds, at least to me, is much more informative than a general complaint.

In my opinion the OP should file with the BBB, it doesn't cost anything but a few minutes and it might do the trick.