The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfactionResolved Orbitz.com — refund refusal and denial of responsibility
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
On July 4, I bought a ticket on from Mexico City to Singapore on Orbitz, entering the exact name, as it appears on the passport, of the person traveling. When the confirmation arrived, the complete name was not included. The person traveling called and spoke to a supervisor at Orbitz named Sidney, who acknowledged the name was captured correctly but not passed to Singapore Airlines. Her solution was to buy another ticket where the two last names were joined together and we would receive an immediate refund (within 2 days), including the difference between the first and second ticket, which was of a higher value. She said to call if we had not received the refund on the date she committed to (July 10).
On July 14, I called and spoke to a supervisor named Linda. The call was cut off, I called back and spoke to someone who investigated the situation and told me that the refund would be credited in a matter of hours. It wasn't. I received an email from Linda saying that although we were cut off, she was investigating the matter and would respond. I provided her with contact details. On the 15th of July, I received this email from her:
Response Via Email (Linda) 07/15/2012 11:54 PM
Hello Mr. Brian X,
I apologize for the late response.
We are still reviewing the reservation and the refund for the original ticket with locator PBORB1316733234.
We understand that the passenger's name was incorrectly inputted online and having "X" as a middle name instead of adding it as part of the actual last name. Because of this, an attempt to correct the name has been requested multiple times to the airline but failed.
A refund request for the full amount of the ticket was sent to the airline and regrettably, the airline declined the full refund. Another refund request has been sent to the airline to retrieve at lease some of the unused taxes. The refund request for the taxes is still pending.
As we reviewed further, we found out that the root cause of this matter was because "X" was incorrectly placed on the middle name box instead of being placed on the last name box as per the traveler information requires. Regardless of how many first name or last name a customer have this personal information should be typed in accordingly in the respective boxes provided online.
We are still reviewing this matter and need more time. Please allow me to provide you another update tomorrow, July 16 within the day.
Your patience and understanding regarding this matter is greatly appreciated.
I responded to this message, citing many of the above facts, and went on to say:
Today, after not receiving your response on time, I wrote and received a message from you that now implies we are in the wrong, the airline won't refund the money and that maybe the taxes can be recovered. Clearly, this is not acceptable.
I am assuming the airline in question that is refusing the refund is Singapore Airlines and that you are aware that the replacement ticket that we bought at the suggestion of Sidney was also on Singapore Airlines. I fail to see how an airline could refuse a refund in this case, especially when the matter is explained to them. However, that is not my problem, it is yours. Your commitments are clear.
Linda then responded again:
Response Via Email (Linda) 07/17/2012 12:32 AM
Dear Mr. Brian X,
Please accept my apology for the late response. Also, the last email we forwarded was not meant to blame and it was never intended to offend. We only wanted to relay all the information gathered regarding this matter after reviewing the reservation multiple times. Please accept my apology for the misunderstanding.
The refund that was promised is still being reviewed for further approval. Although my updates are late due to the heavy volume of calls we are experiencing, I will continue to provide you an update regarding your refund. I will do my best to provide an update earlier tomorrow, July 17.
On the 17th of June, a further follow-up from Linda:
Response Via Email (Linda) 07/17/2012 11:29 PM
Dear Mr. Brian Hubbard,
Please be informed that I am still waiting for the final approval for your refund. I will not be available from Wednesday and Thursday but I will be back on Friday, July 20. I will check if the refund has been approved and provide you another update with in the day.
I had a phone call from Linda on July 22nd at 3:30am my time, in which she assured me that the refund was awaiting approval, it was too much for her to approve herself, and that it would include the difference between the 1st and 2nd ticket, which as mentioned, was of higher value. The implication was that it would happen within a day or two.
Today, I received this incredible email from the Orbitz refund department, once again shifting the blame and responsibility to Singapore Airlines and saying that IF the refund was approved, it would be approx. 45 days in being credited.
Message Via Email (Refund Department) 07/23/2012 04:30 PM
We wanted to let you know that we have submitted your refund request to Singapore Airlines.
• Orbitz Record Locator - AP110101NQRR7OH0
If the airline approves your refund, it will take an average of 45 days to process the refund to you. We will send you an e-mail once the airline has confirmed the final status of this request.
Thank you for traveling with Orbitz.
The Orbitz Refund Department
I am incredulous at the amount of blame shifting and lack of responsibility and integrity Orbitz has shown in this matter. We bought a second ticket with Orbitz because they admitted their mistake, promised a refund and now they are doing everything possible to avoid responsibility and payment.
While in my mind, this has nothing to do with Singapore Airlines, I happen to live in Singapore and plan to take the matter up directly with them here and on their complaint site locally, sharing Orbitz's blame-shifting emails. It is interesting how Orbitz says that Singapore Airlines refused the first refund in a matter of days, but the latest request will take over a month to process.
Orbitz is deceptive, irresponsible and lacks integrity. What more can I say?
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