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Orbitz / Terrible experience!

1 500 W. Madison St., #1000Chicago, IL, United States
Contact information:
Phone: 312-894-5000

My husband served in Iraq beginning March 2006. During this time we planned to meet in Greece for a vacation after not seeing each other for over 6 months. After hours of research, I found the perfect spot on Rhodes. I made the reservation for the September 2006 trip in May 2006, paying in full 5 months in advance. I discovered the day before leaving for Greece that Orbitz had taken my money and never made the $2200 hotel reservation.

Mistakes happen and I am a very forgiving person. However, I called Orbitz's customer support to resolve the situation, and they were outright hostile to me over the phone, repeatedly disconnected me, and placed me on hold for a total of over 8 hours. I was told that because a partner is used for European reservations, it was not "Orbitz's fault" and that I should have called this partner to confirm, even though I was sent a confirmation email and was never previously directed to additionally confirm or ever given the contact information for this European partner. I was told repeatedly by customer support that the money was just "gone" and there was nothing they could do. Obviously, this is some sort of scam and Orbitz's support method of dealing with it is to try to tie you up on the phone for so long that eventually you give up.

I had to ask my sister and several friends to help me in calling the support line over and over so that we might find someone who would not disconnect us or put us on hold indefinitely. I looked up as many orbitz.com email addresses as I could find via google and sent my story to every one, several times. After continually requesting to speak to a supervisor, we finally got a woman on the phone who was exceptionally rude, but agreed to put us in a different hotel. I asked if I had a choice which one and she angrily replied: 'You are lucky I'm doing this at all - we don't have to do anything for you!'

I requested a confirmation email for this hotel, which stated this was an 'upgrade' from my original reservation. It turns out the "upgrade" hotel was actually considerably less expensive than the hotel I had booked. I accepted this because I didntt want to be sleeping on a park bench: Orbitz put me in the position of having no choice. The resort I paid for was on the beach with half board. The hotel we were redirected to was not on the beach (it was actually several miles from the beach in a non-tourist area) and included 1 meal over 10 days, versus 2 meals a day for 10 days. Due to this, we spent an additional $1400 in meals, rental car, taxis, and beach access fees. I had to take an entire day off work to try to get any sort of response from Orbitz. Even simple courtesy was beyond their fathoming: my husband was travelling on a military flight and could not be reached to communicate the change in plans. Orbitz staff refused to call the original hotel and leave a message telling him the address of the replacement hotel. I paid for the international calls to Greece. We had to pay the additional taxi fee for him to go to the original hotel on one side of the island, then call another cab to go to the replacement hotel.

What should have been a relaxing respite from the war in Iraq Orbitz turned into a nightmare for my husband and me.

A friend suggested that my credit card company might be able to force Orbitz to admit their wrongdoing. I contacted my credit card company who contacted Orbitz. Orbitz replied with a fraudulent statement that I had paid to book a hotel and they had delivered on that reservation.

Based on their 'business as usual' response to my credit card company, I believe this is a scam: they allow you to book the hotel of your choice, planning all along to dump you in a hotel where no one wants to stay and pocket the price difference, or you will give up and pay for a second reservation, allowing them to pocket the entire amount. In my case, the replacement hotel was $70 less a night than the resort I paid for.

I regularly travel for business and I have never been treated in such an egregious manner. This matter has never been resolved in any way. I have attempted to contact Orbitz many times and they have never responded.

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