I bought an airticket on cheaptickets.com.
I got a confirmation email from them, and a second confirmation email from Access American for travel insurance.
I never buy travel insurance. The cheaptickets.com order fulfillment is set up so that travel insurance is included in your purchase by default. The insurance is billed to you unless you notice this and click on the 'no thanks' (or whatever it says) box.
I went to the cheaptickets website and found the insurance charge at the very end of the invoice, after the tax and service charge, with the label "CheapTickets CTP" and the amount ($36 for two travellers on a one-way Rome-London flight that cost $300 for the two of us). Under that there was a policy number. But that's it - not enough information to identify the charge.
I then looked at the Access America email, downloaded the PDF of the policy, and found the link to 'modify' the policy. I went to the link, logged into my account, found the cancellation option, and cancelled the policy.
Or so I thought.
Access America sent a confirmation email. No text in the body and I again downloaded and read the PDF. Not a cancellation. Same PDF as the first time.
I then returned to their website, logged into my account again, and was informed that "this policy cannot be changed at this time."
My next option is to dispute the charge with my credit card company. Of course, the process is set up such that I have no record of my attempt to cancel the policy.
An earlier post to ripoffreport documents this scam and states that cheaptickets.com changed several years ago to the default-yes on travel insurance with purchases from their site. So this is a deliberate choice on their part, not a temporary glitch in webpage design.
cheaptickets.com was, I thought, a legitimate company. Apparently not. Access America on the other hand, seems to be a known bad actor, and I interpret cheaptickets.com association with them as another sign of their poor corporate ethics.
It's all a bit creepy. Good thing it was $36 and not $3600. But of course it is $3600 to them, every time they scam 100 customers.