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Airfare.com / Fraudulent activity

United States Review updated:

DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH AIRFARE.COM THEY WILL STEAL YOUR MONEY!!!

On 2/19/2010, I began searching for airline tickets for my boyfriend, my sister, and I for a vacation we are planning to Europe this summer. I went to Kayak.com and found decent tickets through one of their sponsored sites, Airfare.com. It seemed fairly routine until I had to put in my bank's 1-800 number, but as I had never done business with Airfare.com before, I did not think much of it. What did strike me as odd, however, was that as soon as I put in my information into the system, I received a phone call from an Airfare.com representative who told me I need to fill out and fax back an authorization form that would give them permission to charge my card and complete my transaction . They also informed me that I needed to fax them a copy of my driver's license and credit card. This seemed extremely strange, but when I questioned this, they told me that I should black out all my information on the cards, and that they just need to see that the name on the credit card matches the name on my ID. They said this is all for my own security, and that they are just trying to verify that I am who I say I am, and that the extra precaution was being taken because we were trying to purchase one way tickets and that we have different last names. I still did not feel right about the whole thing, but since I have never purchased international airline tickets before, I thought maybe things were different than when buying domestic tickets. Then, I saw on the authorization form (please see the attached form), the word “signed” is spelled incorrectly as “singed” near the bottom of the page. This was a major red flag for me, as spelling errors are extremely unprofessional. I then noticed the form says “I hereby authorize WTC to charge my (credit card name)”--I thought the tickets were from Airfare.com, and did not know who WTC (Wholesale Travel Center) was, so I did an internet search on the company.

The results I got were frightening. Page after page, complaint after complaint, from tons of people who have been swindled by this company. Apparently, they take your money, make a reservation for you, either never put the reservation through so you are never ticketed, or cancel your reservation days before you leave so that you are stranded at the airport. You get to the airport, find out you have no tickets, and then find that if you are able to get through to someone at Airfare.com, you either get hung up on, transferred, or left on hold forever. If you actually get to speak to a representative, that person speaks terrible broken English and will only tell you that there are no refunds.

So, the first thing I did was check my bank account. I found that the despite the fact that I did not sign and fax the authorization form, the authorization had been put through and was showing up as a pending authorization from Continental Airlines. I immediately called Airfare.com and told them that they absolutely do not have authorization to charge my card, that I would not be sending in the authorization form, and that they need to cancel my reservation right away. I was told that it was too late, and there was nothing that could be done. All tickets are non-refundable and that is just how their policy is. I told the representative repeatedly that I did not sign the authorization form, and they do not have permission to charge my card. The man had terrible English, I could barely understand him, and no matter what I said to him, all I could get out of him was that it was too late, and their policy does not allow refunds. The representative was then trying to hang up on me and give me an extension to a supervisor I could reach the next day, and at this point, my boyfriend got on the phone and tried to reason with him. He repeatedly told the representative that we are not signing the authorization form, and they do not have permission to charge my card.

The next morning, I called to speak with a US Bank representative to see what could be done on my end. After I told my story to the first representative, she immediately put me through to the fraud department. When I first started to tell my story to the fraud specialist, she stopped me and said, “Did you do business with them?” I told her that yes, I intended to and I did give them my card number. She then said that my case would be a dispute, not fraud. I asked her to please listen to the details of what had happened, and upon hearing the whole story, she said, “Oh no, that is fraud!” and immediately began the fraud process for me. However, I just received a letter from my bank—they are denying my fraud claim, and I am now out $1400.I REPEAT, DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH AIRFARE.COM THEY WILL STEAL YOUR MONEY!!!

Je
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Comments

  • Sp
      22nd of Jul, 2010

    Since 1979, Airfare.com parent company has been dedicated to accommodating travelers with top value airfare made possible by discounted airline consolidation. In 1995, we became the first airline discounter to go online. Over this period of time, airfare.com has continually strived to provide world-class customer service and affordable airfare prices. We handle hundreds of thousands reservations a year and have dealt with millions of different transactions since our company has been in business. We are a fully bonded travel company, a verified merchant of authorize.net, an ARC appointed member of ASTA, a member of IATAN, Visa Verified, a member of Master Card Secure Code, Diners Club International, Discover Card Financial Services, American Express, and all bookings are Secured by GeoTrust Secure Socket Layer.

    Airfare.com understands that identity theft and fraudulent charges happen every day when making online bookings. For this reason airfare.com is 100% committed to protecting cardholders from fraudulent transactions. We work with the law enforcement authorities, VeriSign security officials, airport authorities, AntiFraud.com, Internet Fraud Watch, Merchant Fraud Squad and Merchant 911 on a regular basis. The authorization form was a required document to prove the identity of the card holder. We have requested this form with the copies of the credit card and photo ID only to protect our customers, not to commit any type of fraud. 97% of our bookings are to international destinations and many of the destinations have a high incidence of fraud so we have to double check for fraud frequently in these cases to protect our customers. By doing this process we have identified hundreds of cases of fraud ever month and report them to the authorities.
    However, as of July 14th, 2010, we are now using a new system that will help us in protecting our customers from identity theft; so, we will not be asking for our customers to send in copies of their credit card and photo id. In certain cases we will still request the authorization form with requested copies and dollar verifications. Hopefully in by doing this process we can still protect all of our customers from identity theft, fraudulent charges, and still provide 100% customer satisfaction to all of our clients.

    Airfare.com is a fully bonded travel company that follows all rules/restrictions placed upon us. Our company culture also insists upon exceeding customer expectations by looking for every avenue to assist our customers. If you have any comments, questions and/or concerns please feel free to contact our Special Operations team at [protected]@airfare.com. This team is specially dedicated to working diligently to resolve every customer concern.

    -1 Votes
  • Mi
      7th of Aug, 2010

    Dear friend,

    It happened to me too, the exact same thing. It's almost like you copy/paste my story with airfare.com
    This MFS recharged a cancelled ticket (which was cancelled by THEM on the date of the flight) to my debit visa card two months later, and the same bank !!!CHASE!!! ( now I really feel that they are also in on this scam) allowed them to do so even after I disputed with their fraud departement as faudulent charges. I went back and forth between the bank and this MFS, and nothing happened. I am still out of 1007.00 dollars.
    I contacted the FTC and OCPA, and I am waiting four their resolution. If you look on other complaint websites, you'll see howmany people got scammed by this company. I think if we stick together we can put this MFS out of business. I will try to gather as may victims as I can, and I will sue this company for $$$$$millions$$$$$$ for emotional and phychological harm and distress .

    0 Votes
  • Sp
      9th of Aug, 2010

    Dear Traveler,
    I am not satisfied with the experience you had with airfare.com. Please email me with your booking reference number, contact phone number and a good time for me to call you at [protected]@airfare.com. I promise that I will look into this situation and I will do what we can to resolve the problem.
    Again, I apologize for the experience you had with us, please give us the oppurtiutnty to make it right.
    Regards,
    Adrian
    Special Operations Manager

    0 Votes
  • Me
      14th of Nov, 2010

    Seems everyone complains about this company but nobody 'REPORTS them... why not?

    0 Votes
  • Te
      20th of Dec, 2010

    I ordered a round-trip ticket from Springfield, MO USA (SGF) to Istanbul, Turkey (IST) on 12/15/10. The departure was for 12/29/10 and the return flight was for 3/16/11. After reviewing the confirmation email (while I'm buying another tickets to my friends from my credit card, i thought that the company have a good deals and told my friends about it), I discovered that the date of departure is not what i ordered, it was 01/29/10 instead of 12/29/10. If the change was for couple days ago or couple days later, it would not be problem however 1 month later which the date i never been interested is not good for me at all. I tried to reach Airfare customer service many times by phone and email prior to my departure, the customer service did not allow the issue to be resolved until now.(Of course they were rude and even told me that "it is your problem!!" I have paid $785 for this ticket. Since I don't have long time to solve this problem i probably will buy another ticket and my money is gonna be trashed! Of course i will dispute it and try to get my money which i didn't get any kind of service yet! I also have another problem now about my friends ticket is on the right date for now but they are asking me to send them more information by fax and by my hand writings..which they didn't ask me before..as i read from the previous comments on web it is not a good idea but not sending is not a good idea neither cause they will charge more and more.. I saw that there are company answers to all complaints and 99% of them are copy/paste :(

    0 Votes
  • Sr
      24th of May, 2011

    These people are complete scam!!! unfortunately I happened to come across these reviews only after I was duped!!! I bought a single airline ticket (to and fro) from Chicago to Delhi, India and they charged three times for the same ticket amount. I went ahead and set up a dispute against those charges with my credit card company, but it is a lot of stress and anger and frustration when you know somebody has charged you more than $2500 just for nothing and you are gonna end up paying APRs on them!!!
    Airfare.com reps, if you happen to read this post, please bother to at least respond to my email.

    Sree

    0 Votes

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