Dealing with Expedia.com was unbelievably wretched customer service nightmare, and by the time it was over I still had a hard time believing how horribly run Expedia is.
This is what I experienced when trying to book a Legoland “Expedia Extras” deal on July 13, 2009.
The following offer came up when I was booking a San Diego hotel reservation:
"Buy Adult 2-day LEGOLAND/SEA LIFE Park Hopper Ticket, get Child 2-day Hopper ticket FREE. This offer is effective for admission on the Two Day Hopper ticket from 7/1/09 - 9/30/09, with a discount on additional child tickets when you book by 7/31/09. Must purchase LEGOLAND® + SEA LIFE˙ Park 2-Day Combo Ticket on the Customize Your Trip page to qualify."
Below that, there was also an “Expedia Extras” offer for a $50.00 Visa gas card.
I completed my hotel reservation, and was taken to the offer page for the Visa gas card, which I also completed, but I was never taken to the “Customize Your Trip” page to get the Legoland offer. So I called Expedia’s customer service number.
This was the beginning of a total of six hours of phone calls to Expedia.com, by myself and by management and staff of the hotel I booked through Expedia, who also tried to help.
The main problem is that their customer service phone staff seem to be making up information as they go along. Over the course of these multiple phone calls, I received a plethora of different answers as to why I could not access this offer, most of which contradicted each other or the text of the offer above. Here is a summary of the explanations I received over the course of these numerous phone calls:
· “This offer has expired.” (Me: “but it says it doesn’t expire until July 31.” Agent: “We haven’t updated our web page yet.”)
· “The hotel has decided to discontinue this offer.”
· “Legoland has decided to discontinue this offer.”
· “I don’t see any such offer anywhere on our site.” (Two different agents told me this.)
· “You have to cancel your hotel reservation and re-book it again for a later date to be eligible for this offer.”
· “You have to book this offer at the same time you make your hotel reservation – it cannot be booked separately.”
· “You can get this offer by visiting the ‘Activities’ tab, it does not have to be booked in conjunction with a hotel.”
· “You have to visit Legoland on the same date as your hotel check-in date.”
· “This offer is only available with a two-day advance purchase.”
· “This offer is only available with a five-day advance purchase.”
· “There is no reason why you should not be eligible for this offer, and I will transfer you to customer service.” (I was then disconnected after a 20-minute hold.)
· “You are not eligible for this offer because it only applies to children ages two and under.” (Two different agents told me this.)
The only reason I was finally able to get the promised offer was through the combined efforts of the hotel management and the Legoland Guest Services office – because both knew that Expedia’s incompetence reflected poorly on them. Ironically, the only party that never came through was Expedia – and it was their company’s offer that created this problem in the first place.