[Resolved] CheapoAir.com / very misleading, hidden charges and terrible customer service
I searched all around for a good deal on a hotel for 3 nights. I found such a great deal on cheapoair.com & was happy to see that it was refundable up until the day before my stay. Well got it all booked and realized (too late) that they charged me $85 in taxes & "govt" fees!! That was more than the cost of 1 night in the hotel. Extremely sneaky, but I should have been checking closer.
Then I found out that I wouldn't be able to stay at the hotel after all. Good thing it there was the option to cancel at no charge. WRONG!!! I called to cancel and they told me that there is a processing fee for canceling of $35 and a service charge of $50. Are you kidding me????? I saw nothing about these fees anywhere on the page while I was booking. (That was the one thing I was paying very close attention to) I tried to tell them this & they wouldn't budge. I asked to talk to a supervisor & was basically told too bad, you have to pay it.
The other upsetting thing was trying to get through to this place to cancel in the first place. I spent a 1/2 hour on hold & had to give up. Tried again & finally got through after 45 minutes! Then was placed on and off hold for 20 minutes while they worked on pulling up my info. Their phone lines were crappy so it was very hard to hear, plus we had a serious language barrier to deal with.
Please stay far away from this site!!!
Customer care service did everything in their power to resolve this complaint. All attempts to contact the complainant have failed. Therefore, this complaint has been annulled and must not be considered where image of the company in question and it's services are concerned.
CheapOair Customer Care's Response, Feb 23, 2009
All airline tickets have additional taxes and government fees applied to each ticket. This is mandated by the airline and the government, not CHEAPOAIR.COM. If you bought a ticket via the airline, you are also going to pay all the government taxes. Our website clearly displays all the taxes that are applicable to each ticket, it is hightlighted in red under TAXES AND FEES.
Also, the total cost that you agreed to is in the total price before you even submit for purchase, I'm sorry that it was an overs sight prior to hitting submit, and giving us your electronic signature for authorizing the charges you agreed to.
Under our terms and conditions it also mentions the cancel fees and service fees:
In order to serve you better and for costs of automation, customer service, quality control, airline reporting, GDS scan costs, Fulfillment, Dispatch, and other reated services, we charge a fee from 5 USD to 25 USD. These fees are always NON - REFUNDABLE. Original service fee charged at the time of bookings is non-refundable. Cancellation fee charged at the time of cancellation of reservation is non-refundable
Most of our tickets are non refundable, unless the above purchased a first class or business class ticket, so I am not sure why the above customer thought her ticket was "refundable". When it clearly mentions on the receipt that tickets are non refundable.
The customer who bought insurance, this is through a different company who you file a claim with. Yes we allow you the convenience of purchasing travel insurance via our website, however, the policy is held with one of our insurance providers. There is also a complete explanation of benefits, and just to cancel to cancel is not one of the benefits. Perhaps another oversight of missing the information!
HERE IS THE TAX GRID THAT IS ON OUR WEBSITE DESCRIBING THE TAXES THAT ARE MANDATED BY THE AIRLINE:
Travel Facilities Tax
(aka Alaska/Hawaii Ticket Tax)
Applies to certain flight segments to or from Alaska or Hawaii. U.S. Domestic and International US $8.00
U.S. Federal Segment Fee
Per-segment fee applicable to flights within the continental United States. U.S. Domestic and International ZP $3.60
Passenger Facility Charge (PFC)
Variable fee based on airport for facilities improvement. A maximum of 4 charges per itinerary applies. U.S. Domestic and International XF up to $4.50
September 11th Security Fee
(aka U.S. Passenger Civil Aviation Security Fee)
U.S. government-assessed fee of $2.50 per U.S. enplanement per ticketed journey for security costs not to exceed $5.00 one-way or $10.00 round-trip. U.S. Domestic and International AY $2.50
Also, out of the fees, Cheapoair.com does charge a 24.00 service fee, which is included in the 'TAXES AND FEES".
I would suggest checking via the airlines website, you will clearly see the additional taxes on your ticket.
CheapOair Customer Care's Response, Feb 27, 2009
April, my response was for Nancy, she is the one who had the airline reservation and mentioned all the taxes and fees. I am aware that you had a hotel, but without you contacting me so I can review the hotel taxes and fees, I cannot provide proficient explanation of what you are speaking of. Taxes again are not determined by Cheapoair.com but the hotel itself. They charge a hotel surcharge perday, and they charge sales tax. Gov't fees may not be applicable for the hotel, but the taxes were grouped as TAXES AND GOVT. FEES on our receipt. Cheapoair.com does charge a service fee for the automation and processing your reservation and you agreed to the charge when you booked under our terms and conditions.
If you want me to look into all the charges you have mentioned, please give me the booking confirmation via my personal email, and I will research the fees you have mentioned.
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