SUBMIT A COMPLAINT / paid for round trip ticket, received one way

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I, on my sister-in-law's behalf booked a round trip ticket for her and her husband on Priceline. Right up until I hit the button that accepts your payment did it show BOTH legs of the trip on the itinerary. Only after accepting the payment did it boot out the return leg of the trip, without a price adjustment. We canceled the flight and tried again with the same result before online chatting together with customer service. They instructed us to try again on their site. When we explained that we had already done that many times, and even paid for it twice (money apparently refunded each time, not part of my complaint) she suggested that we use another site to book. When we asked for a phone number to call to help us further she gave us the Priceline customer service line and said that we could call but they would tell us the same thing.
We gave up for the night and I called on my own in the morning. I was told to call the airline to see if there was a problem with the return flight that kept getting bumped. I asked if I should call them back afterward and was told to call back to let them know that everything is all set or if not to book with another site (Kayak was recommended). I asked if they were associated with Kayak because it seemed strange that they would ask me to use another company and they assured me that they were. I called the airline and they told me that there are plenty of seats on the flight in question and were very kind. I took that information back to Priceline as I called them for a second time. After relaying all that had happened AGAIN (I must say, each time I was on the phone they were very courteous and made sure they could hear your side, they just couldn't do much to solve problems.) after being told again that they cant make sales over the phone I asked how to purchase the tickets if I cant buy them over the phone and I cant get them on the website; their answer was to book with another site or with the airline directly. I said thank you, as this whole mess was clearly not the fault of the people on the other end of the phone, but with the company itself. They have a lot of customer service options in place but leave these people with very few options in the way of actually being able to help with anything.
In the past I have used Priceline customer service on my own with help canceling a hotel booking and they were able to help and accommodating. It would seen that their scope is rather small and that they are left with few options when something outside of their scope comes up, which sets the employees up for failure. When their advice for a customer is to use another company, that tells me that Priceline doesn't care about its customers or employees.
Advertising a certain price for a product and then changing the product after payment is made is wrong and illegal. I have used Priceline for years with no large issues and was excited to recommend the product to my sister-in-law, as they have been so helpful to me over the last 10 years or so. I've since deleted the app from my phone (my "go to" travel app) and intend to take my business elsewhere, in addition to discouraging those I know from using the product as well. So sad to end a customer-business relationship on this note.

Apr 02, 2017

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