Please understand that in this situation, my wife and I live overseas. For the past several years, we've been using Expedia and other websites to book plane tickets and hotels with very few problems.
While processing a $2,100 e-ticket through Expedia, a company that had served me well up until that point, an error message came up indicating that the itinerary/ticket had not been booked or paid for, and could I please input the information again?
I proceeded first to check that that was indeed the case, and sure enough, no ticket had been booked or paid for according to Expedia. I processed the information again, paid using my wife's credit card, and was sent a proper itinerary to my email address.
A week later, my wife checked her credit card statement online and saw that she was double charged for the same ticket by American Airlines. I called up Expedia first, who avoided all responsibility and then proceeded to direct us to American Airlines. I called them up, and they passed the buck to Expedia.
I then called Expedia back again, and after 45 minutes on the phone, a call center employee (I have this call recorded) explains that even though the problem was with the Expedia website, American Airlines is responsible for double charging the credit card, but that Expedia got in touch with AA and a refund was being processed as we spoke. We were told to expect the refund within 2 to 3 billing cycles.
A month after that intitial call, I did receive an email from an AA employee named Essie Waqairawai, asking for more information regarding the refund. This email was sent to my spam folder, and I didn't notice it until months later--mind you, I had no reason to check for this email if I was told the refund was being processed, which I was.
Every couple of weeks, I checked the AA website, and the refund status never changed from the initial status: "refund request submitted". As I type this, I'm trying again and now the website says it's "connecting", but it still hasn't.
That was in May of 2012. It's now February of 2013 and we've still not received proper word, even though I have since responded to Essie Waqairawai and given her all the information needed to process the refund.
At this point, if Expedia or AA had any kind of self-respect as companies, one of them would have apologized profusely and refunded the money as fast as they snatched it from my wife's credit card. Instead, they've essentially pocketed the money and forgotten about customer service completely.
I have no idea what kind of legal recourse I can take with this, being as that neither my wife nor I are American citizens, nor do we live in the U.S. where we could attend a small claims court or see people in person. But it's shameful to have to chase down money that belongs to you, when the companies in question should be refunding customers posthaste in addition to offering some kind of gratuity.
Seoul, South Korea