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Travelocity.com / car rental gone badly wrong

1 United States
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I'm a professor involved with student organizations. I took a student group to Seattle in April 2006, booking travel and especially a rental minivan through Travelocity. I arrived with four female students at 9:30 pm and we needed to just pick up the minivan at SeaTac airport and drive to the hotel in downtown Seattle. The car rental company, Advantage, did NOT have a minivan as we had reserved. I tried to call Travelocity (like in their numerous tv commercials) but 1-800 information DID NOT HAVE A PHONE NUMBER FOR TRAVELOCITY CUSTOMER SERVICE.

I had booked through Travelocity in order to get a good rate, especially to save my college's money. I had to spend almost $400 more to book a minivan, not to mention the inconvenience of going counter to counter in the late night hours in SEA airport. I was told by Travelocity that when I returned they would work out the problem.

I lost count of how many times I contacted Travelocity about getting reimbursement. Once they told me (get this) that they could not reimburse ME until the offending car rental company reimbursed THEM. That is simply unacceptable. Then I was told that they had the money, but they didn't have my address to send the check. I contacted them with my home address, and of course never saw any money. Calls about every two weeks yielded total confusion on the part of customer service about my case and its disposition. I gave up after about a year.

Oh, I should mention that I am/was A TRAVELOCITY PREFERRED CUSTOMER. God help those who just booked cold.

One last thing. I understand companies outsourcing calls to India for business efficiency. I really do. But the customer service reps I spoke with simply had no idea what I was telling them and what my needs were. That alone was excruciatingly frustrating.

I have used Travelocity many times for my own travel as well as college bookings. Most often, things have gone fine. I make about 3-4 overseas bookings a year and 3 domestic trips. I understand that sooner or later a problem will happen. That's where Travelocity completely failed me.

Va

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