Is this Iberia's fault or Expedia's? Certainly it's Expedia who are ignoring me...

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Mar 19, 2015
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#1
I'm being ignored by Expedia who charged me for tickets they could not issue and aren't refunding the money they took.

I needed to fly from Manchester to Barcelona on Saturday 28th February. I booked tickets on Tuesday 17th February, I was in Thailand at the time. My flights were Manchester to Heathrow on BA then an Iberia flight (operated by BA who share owners with Iberia anyway) from Heathrow to Barcelona. Flight booked on expedia.co.th and paid in Thai Baht.

The response came through

"Thank you for booking with Expedia! Ticketing is in progress." along with "Your ticket is not yet confirmed. We are confirming it with the airline and will update your online itinerary within 24 hours."​

Almost immediately a second email

"Now that your flight is booked, check out our top tips to ensure you have a seamless flying experience". You would THINK that barring some kind of calamity, everything was set and ready...​

I logged in to Expedia (for something else) the following day and noticed that the itinerary still said "Your ticket is not yet confirmed. We are confirming it with the airline and will update your online itinerary within 24 hours."

I rang Expedia. They told me to wait for 24 hours as the ticket would be issued within 24 hours. My call log is below. For the following several days, I got the same message from Expedia - that the tickets could not be issued yet but would be issued within 24 hours.

I then logged in to my BA Executive account (again, for something else) and in big red letters it said that my flight from Heathrow to Barcelona had been cancelled! I looked on the Iberia website and they were still selling tickets for that (codeshare) flight. I rang BA who assured me that the flight was cancelled but, as I hadn't been issued with an e-ticket, my complaint should be with Expedia. BA confirmed that the second leg flight had been cancelled and removed from sale BEFORE I BOUGHT MY TICKET.

Calls to Expedia Customer services in Singapore on +65-6622-7399 and in Thailand on +66 2 105 5728 as follows:
  • 18th Feb 2015 05:48 (GMT+7) - 02 min 54 secs - telling me to wait for 24 hours.
  • 18th Feb 2015 11:38 (GMT+7) - 35 min 11 secs - eventually telling me to wait for 24 hours.
  • 19th Feb 2015 11:34 (GMT+7) - 48 min 32 secs - I told them the flight had been cancelled and was issued with a fax to send to my bank to cancel the authorisation for the payment for my tickets.
  • 20th Feb 2015 07:55 (GMT+7) - 1 hr 12 min 32 secs - this call was escalated to a manager.

On the 20th I pointed out that the only flights NOW available at such short notice were 5 or 6 times the original price I was supposed to pay for my flight to Barcelona - and that in any case I couldn't book them as Expedia had my money. The Expedia manager was very apologetic and said that as the money hadn't actually been drawn down by Expedia, all I needed to do was forward the fax he sent me, on to my bank, to tell them that this money was not going to be claimed by Expedia - it was just an authorisation.

He also said that, as a goodwill gesture, due to the extra I would have to pay for my flight and the aggravation up til that point, he would be adding some vouchers to my account to give me money off a future flight and that it would all be sorted out.

I sent this fax to my bank the same day and called them to follow it up the same day, 20th of Feb. My bank told me that, in fact, Expedia had claimed the funds the previous day. In the end I set up a 3-way between my bank and Expedia. I went through this, over the phone, with a member of Expedia's staff, 3-wayed in to my bank and the bank told him quite categorically that the funds have been claimed. And as soon as the bank hung up, the guy from Expedia said "well we will have to send this pre-authorisation form in because we haven't claimed the money".

So they've claimed the funds and haven't provided a ticket. They haven't "got it sorted out", or provided the promised voucher or goodwill gesture. Contrary to what the "manager" told me.

So far I have spent several hours on the phone to these idiots. I have sent complaint emails to Expedia and got back a message to say "we acknowledge your complaint and will respond within 48 hours". That was on 20th February. I've heard nothing.

In the end, and at considerable additional expense to myself, I bought a different ticket, for a different airline and flew.

I then went back to have a look at my "itinerary". Now it says "This reservation has been fully cancelled. We're sorry your plans didn't work out. When ready to book a new trip, we'll be happy to help."

But no refund. Perhaps it should say "When ready to book a new trip, we'll be happy to help ourselves to your funds."

I am now going to have to open a dispute using the Visa disputes department of my bank to issue a chargeback. This could take months. How on earth can I get some sort of response from Expedia - or even my money back???

Expedia still haven't refunded the tickets. Or responded to my queries.
 

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
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#2
Dear uptoeleven,

Here's what you do. First, don't ring anyone else. Going forward, for the purposes of plain speaking and clear understanding, all of your contacts with Expedia should be by email. And second, those emails should be a lot shorter. I groaned when I saw your letter to us... and I'm on your side. Can you imagine the response of a busy executive? I sympathize with you and know you have a lot you want to say, but do yourself a favor... tighten up your email by at least half before sending it off to Expedia. You're far more likely to garner a positive result. That being said, here's what you do:

Usually, I'd suggest that you complete and submit Expedia's Customer Help form, except they don't seem to have one...or for that matter, any way to email their customer service department. Every avenue I explored defaulted to a toll-free phone number. And you've already seen how well telephone calls work with them.

So, it's on to the next step. Here's a link to our Expedia contact page:


Send short, polite emails to, one at a time, with a week between each, the Primary Contact, Secondary Contact and Chief Executive.

Save all your correspondence and if you don't receive satisfaction, feel free to complete and submit the Elliott.org "Help" form you'll find here:


Chris will review your case, and if he can help... he will!

Good luck!

Grant
 
Mar 19, 2015
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Hey Grant,

Do I ditch the last paragraph and just leave it open ended about "needing resolution"? Or shall I state those options (court, chargeback)?

Thanks

here is the proposed message:

Re: Itinerary #XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sir,

I am contacting you because until now your customer services team have ignored my requests and failed to respond to them adequately.

This itinerary #XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX was booked and paid on 17th February. The flight was cancelled by the airline on the same day that I made my booking, the booking was never ticketed. Nonetheless funds were claimed by you from my bank on 19th February. I have been haven't been refunded but I HAVE been given a royal runaround.

I have logs of calls to your customer services department trying to sort this out, in the end I had the issue escalated to a manager.

Your manager apologised for the problems, told me it would all be sorted out and refunded and promised vouchers as a goodwill gesture for the inconvenience. He sent me a form to fax to my bank to cancel the authorization - I pointed out that funds had already been claimed. He told me this didn't matter and the charge would be reversed. My bank told me this was nonsense and my subsequent email to your customer service team confirming this has not had any response so far (til now, 4 weeks later).

In the end I went through this with a member of your staff 3-wayed in to my bank, the bank told him quite categorically that the funds have been claimed. And as soon as the bank hung up, the guy from Expedia said "well we will have to send this pre-authorisation form in because we haven't claimed the money".

So you've claimed the funds and haven't provided a ticket. You haven't "got it sorted out", or provided the promised voucher or goodwill gesture, contrary to what your "manager" told me.

The itinerary now says, "This reservation has been fully cancelled. We're sorry your plans didn't work out. When ready to book a new trip, we'll be happy to help."

But you still haven't refunded.

(cut the next bits out)
And my goodwill has definitely run out.

Are you happy for me to do a chargeback WITHOUT PREJUDICE (I don't want you chasing me for this money in 6 months time) - or would it be more appropriate to take this through court as my employer has requested - given the amount of time wasted on this when I should have been working?
(/cut)


Is there anything you can do to expedite a resolution to this situation?​
 
Last edited:
Sep 8, 2014
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#6
You should definitely leave out any references to court because as soon as that possibility is mentioned all customer service contact will be shut down and everything turned over to their legal department. This is the last thing you want at this point.
 
Mar 19, 2015
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#7
You should definitely leave out any references to court because as soon as that possibility is mentioned all customer service contact will be shut down and everything turned over to their legal department. This is the last thing you want at this point.
Yup. Good tip. Message duly edited. Thanks for that :D.
Any other tips gratefully received.

Actually there's an interesting side question:
I'm a British citizen and the card I used is issued by a British Bank. The website I made the booking with is the Thai franchise of Expedia, a US company, whose franchise is run from Singapore. 4 different sets of rules. Which ones govern this transaction? I'm hoping it's the British rules - I'm reasonably familiar with the 1974 Sale of Goods Act: offer + payment = implied contract of sale, governed by 1974 SoG if there isn't a different contract in place: SoG is your statutory rights - the bare minimum.

I suspect the law in Singapore will be pretty similar to the UK one; the one in Thailand - the difficulty there will be the court system is bonkers. They do have rudimentary consumer protection but it isn't always as effective as the systems in Northern Europe (which is also why a LOT of travel agencies aren't based in Northern Europe?). I guess for future reference I always make my bookings through a Northern European site...
 
Jan 8, 2015
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#8
This is the type of scenario in which I would use bullet points to get your message across. Bullet points would also allow you to make an impact because you could then show the dates in which you called regarding the cancellation. Avoid using "the guy" and other similar language. Use terms like the Expedia representative, or the manager at the Expedia Call center. Avoid the sarcasm, as you are looking for assistance from a person working in that company. Yes, they do owe you money, but you also want to make sure you get that quick, not after a long, drawn out battle.

For example; (edit dates and times as needed)
Sir,

I am contacting you to request your assistance in securing a refund for the itinerary listed above which was billed, but for which tickets were never issued by the airlines. Below is a summary of the series of events which has led to me requesting your assistance.
· February 17th, I made the purchase of a flight through Expedia but did not get confirmation of ticket purchase.
· February 17th, I called customer service and told to wait 24 hours from booking for confirmation.
· February 18th early morning, again told by Expedia representative that I needed to wait an additional 24 hours to get flight confirmation
· February 18th very late in the evening I found out the flight I had purchased was actually cancelled on the 17th. I then asked for the hold to be removed from my bank card.
· February 19th hold still with bank, and advised by Expedia representative to fax cancellation notice to bank and also advised by Expedia representative that the funds would not be withdrawn.
· February 19th later in the day, funds withdrawn from my account.
· February 20th call is escalated to Expedia customer service manager who said that I would have to send request through email to customer service, which would reply within 48 hours.
As of today, March 20th I still do not have a refund of funds which I was told would not be taken from my account, but yet were withdrawn. I am in need of your assistance in getting these funds refunded in a timely manner. Also, because of Expedia telling me to continue to wait almost 2 days to receive confirmation of the flight, I then had to book a new flight at a significant price increase. I am not asking for reimbursement of this amount, but I would be grateful if you could provide my account some type of credit for future bookings through your company.
Thank you for your time and assistance.
 
Likes: Grant Ritchie
Mar 19, 2015
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#12
I have already sent a request for a chargeback to my bank who also seem to be busy ignoring me.

Anyhow.

First email sent:

SUBJECT: Itin:XXXXXXXXXXXX - 1 month, no tickets, no response, no refund...

Itin: XXXXXXXXXXXX

Sir,

I am contacting you to request your assistance in securing a refund for the itinerary listed above. It was billed, but tickets were never issued by the airlines. Below is a summary of the series of events which has led to me requesting your assistance.

· February 17th, Flight purchased through Expedia Thailand but no confirmation that tickets had been issued.I called customer service, was told to wait 24 hours from booking for tickets to be issued.

· February 18th early morning, again told by Expedia representative that I needed to wait an additional 24 hours to get tickets issued.

· February 18th very late in the evening I found out the flight I purchased was actually cancelled by the airline on the 17th. I asked for the hold to be removed from my bank card.

· February 19th hold still with bank, advised by Expedia representative to fax cancellation notice to bank, also advised by Expedia representative that the funds would not be withdrawn.

· February 19th later in the day, funds withdrawn from my account.

· February 20th call escalated to Expedia customer service manager who said I would have to re-send the fax to my bank. I said you’d already taken these funds, which he ignored. He apologised for the inconvenience I was experiencing and said I would be credited the money I had spent AND a voucher against future flights as a goodwill gesture. Neither of these have been received to date.

· February 20th – I receive email from customer service manager above, to which I respond. I am promised a response to my email within 48 hours. No response to date.

· February 20th – with no hope of being able to use my Expedia tickets, I pay for an additional flight with a different airline. 3 day delay means has caused ticket prices to rise dramatically.

· February 22nd - I 3-way my bank in to Expedia customer services to try to get you to refund the money. My bank tell Expedia agent “you’ve taken the money”. Your agent agrees that you’ve taken the money. Then after the bank has hung up your agent says “well you need to send in this fax so they’ll remove the authorisation – we haven’t claimed this money” – contradicting himself.

As of today, March 24th:

1. I still do not have a refund of funds which I was told would not be taken from my account, but yet were withdrawn.

2. I am in need of your assistance in getting these funds refunded in a timely manner.

3. Because your staff told me to continue to wait 3 days to receive confirmation of the flight, I then had to book a new flight at a significant price increase. I am not asking for reimbursement of this amount, but I would be grateful if you could provide my account with some type of credit for future bookings through your company.

Thank you for your time and assistance.​

I'll keep you all posted :)
 
Mar 19, 2015
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#13
Spoke to the Co-operative Bank (who I bank with). They HAD received my request to open a "item not received" case, which is apparently what it's called. They hadn't bothered to let me know they'd received the information or that they'd opened the case. A week ago. They'll let me know of their decision in due course. Probably.

No response from [email protected]. Whether I get a refund or not, I think the goodwill gesture promised so nebulously by their manager would be appreciated.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#14
What happens after the cc company does a chargeback is Expedia has to reply to the dispute with the cc company on why you should be charged so they most likely will not contact you directly at this point.

They have 45 days to respond to the cc company. You should have received a provisional credit to your account. If they do not respond or if their response convinces the cc company you have a valid claim, the credit remains. If their response proves their case, your card will be charged again and then you will have to take this further up the Expedia chain.

When you hear from your bank, let us know the outcome. Good luck.
 
Sep 8, 2015
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Hi Grant Ritchie,

Could you help with this? I am currently having the same issue with the OP, and my flight is less than 8 days from now:


i have purchased airfares from Expedia (online), from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Anyway, i bought the fares in June, paid cc for USD 1.1k for 3 pax. And received a confirmation email after that.

Anyway, from Aug (until now sadly) onwards, whenever i tried to log into my online itinerary, the Expedia page shows that the "tickets are confirmed" most of the time, and "your ticket is yet to be confirmed. we will confirm it with the airline and update you within 24 hours" for some times. WTF.

After many backs and forths with the support team (which took an amazing 3-5 days to respond, and no, their hotline does not work), I informed them that i am going to take it as a confirmed purchase (it's already paid for according to the credit card statement), regardless of what their system says, since I have a confirmation emailed to me.

Anyone has any experience of this sort? I am so worried that, i might be denied the flight when i arrive at the airport, which wouldnt be the worst if i were traveling alone. But I am with my aging parents who wish to visit China...sigh

I am so disappointed in Expedia. I have used it in the past it had no problem at all!

If anyone could share any insights or tell me that I worry to much and that all will be fine, i'd appreciate it..thanks all

to answer some of questions you might ask:
- yes, i emailed them via the feedback form. 4 times
- out of which, 3 replied. 2 of them confirmed that flight, one of them said not confirmed
- i have screenshot all the confirmed and unconfirmed itineraries
- as of yesterday, the itinerary was "confirmed", as of today, apparently i need to "wait for 24 hours" before Expedia "updates" my itinerary

I would appreciate any help..thanks in advance
 
Sep 8, 2015
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#17
hi promal,

I booked through Expedia, and they have sent a confirmation email that matched the itinerary number, the following step required me to "Manage My Flight", and when I clicked on it, it was mentioned that online (web) check-in is only available 24 hrs prior to flight. Which means that, i can only do the check-in next Wedneday.

Tried to call Expedia 3 times, but no avail.

Any advise?

Thanks
JN
 
Sep 8, 2015
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#18
Hi Promal,

in the confirmation email which confirmed the flight, at the bottom it does however, state that:

"
That's it!

There's no need to re-confirm your flight.
Your online itinerary can be used as an e-ticket. For your flight journey, please print the itinerary containing the airline ticket number and present at the airport check-in counter.

If you have any questions, check our Customer Support FAQs."


Best regards
JN
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#19
@russell is cute i may be wrong, but I usually when I book tickets with a third party, like Expedia they provide 2 record locator numbers, one for their own records and one to reference with the airline. When you spoke with the airline, did you provide the record locator number and were they able to use it to find your reservation? I wasn't sure.
 
Sep 8, 2015
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#20
hi AAGK, i actually have not spoken to the airline. The only party i deal with is Expedia (customer support). I bought it via Expedia, and all i got from the confirmation email is something called "itinerary number".

On the confirmation email, one of the options was to "Manage your flight". That page is like an instruction page on what to do next, for Malaysian Airlines (the one i booked), the instructions was that i could do web check-in 24 hours prior to flight (which is next Wednesday). Else, i could print out the "online itinerary" and go to airport straight away.

So do i wait until next Wednesday? Just worried that I might be denied entry on plane.