• Report: #292157

Complaint Review: ORBITZ/GREAT FUN

  • Submitted: Mon, December 17, 2007
  • Updated: Tue, December 18, 2007

  • Reported By:Denver Colorado
500 W. Madison St., #1000 Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.


*Author of original report: Orbitz Reply/ GreatFun/ Trigilent Reply

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EMAIL sent on: December 11, 2007

Steven Barnhart,President
500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60661

Dear Mr. Barnhart,

Please review the situation that occurred today and, hopefully, you will agree on the importance of correcting a problem that could financially be affecting millions of your clients.

While reviewing our credit card charges noticed a monthly recurring charge from a company listed as TLG*GREATFN 800-290-8603 CT. Called the 800 number listed and was told this company is a discount membership company sanctioned by Orbitz.com marketing department, per Cheryl of Great Fun customer service department.
Cheryl relayed the charge occurs when:
1) customers finish their purchase orbitz.com and automatically a
2) large sized 15% rebate on next purchase coupon appears on your computer screen and
3) Customer clicks on coupon and Orbitz tie-in with Great Fun transfers your credit card information to this company who immediately bills your credit card monthly for a small charge that most people probably overlook. We did, my husband thought this was my charge and I thought it was his, after all, who worries about a $10.99 charge? After months and months the charge is no longer small.

The problem with the above is you are not allowed to cancel once you click on the coupon. If, after reading the fine print you choose not to join you are not allowed to cancel. You can try not clicking on the submit button or using your web browser back arrow to get out of the area. They do not work and you will not hear from the company again.

Requested to speak with a supervisor after learning the above information. A person by the name of Lee Wallace from Great Fun came on the line. I asked him what is $10.99 a month purchasing? He stated that it is a discount membership program. I replied, What type of discounts are you referring to? He stated discount pricing on dining, events, attractions, etc. I asked him how does the customer know about it. His response was to disconnect the call.

Next, called Orbitz (1-800-656-4546) and spoke with Kristi, ext. 68402 regarding the above program. She stated that customer only needs to enter their email address on the 15% rebate coupon to be charged. An Orbitz customer will enter their email address thinking they are getting 15% rebate on their next Orbitz purchase.

After hearing this, I requested to speak to a person of authority to question the ethical nature of this practice. A Sophia from the Escalation Dept came on the line. She knew all about the 15% rebate coupon and stated it was our fault since the fine prin states you must cancel before two months in order to avoid monthly charges. I explained to her that my husband did click on the coupon and that once he realized it was a come-on, he did not click submit but instead used the browser back button as the only way he thought would not result in authorizing a charge. Sophia also stated and I'm quoting her exact words, If we had ignored the 15% rebate coupon that Orbitz displays, you would not be charged a monthly charge. If you click on the coupon you have automatically agreed to the monthly charge.

At this point I requested the physical address of Orbitz and the name of a person in a position of authority to write concerning this matter. She put me on hold for 40 minutes and then came back on the line and stated she had no name to give me. Told her that was not acceptable and to give me the name of the president of Orbitz, knowing that was one name she should know. She did and disconnected the call.

Mr. Barnhart, people who are using your web site are being taken in by what I believe is a bait and switch come-on that was approved by Orbitz marketing department. I sincerely hope you care about the integrity of the company and will step in or assign people to research and develop a solution to the fraudulent practice going on at the web site.

Denver, Colorado

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/17/2007 09:15 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/ORBITZGREAT-FUN/Chicago-Illinois-60661/ORBITZGREAT-FUNTriligent-Corporation-MEMBERSHIP-DISCOUNT-PROGRAM-MARKETED-BY-ORBITZ-UNA-292157. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Orbitz Reply/ GreatFun/ Trigilent Reply

AUTHOR: Denver joy - (U.S.A.)

Dear RipoffReport folks:

If this sounds familiar to you. Send your experience to

1) www.chicago.BBB.org and reference case #:94156269,
2) Tom Martino, showmethetrouble@myfoxcolorado.com (note: he is nationwide so you might need to change colorado to your state).
3) Attorney General, Consumer Fraud Division, Illinois and
4)www.FTC.gov reference: #12488069 The FTC consumer fraud division responded with:
This is in response to your recent complaint. The Federal Trade Commission acts in the public interest to prevent unfair and deceptive practices in the marketplace. Letters such as yours help us monitor activities and identify problem areas.

The Commission does not resolve individual complaints. However, the information you have provided concerning the practices of the company will be considered to determine what, if any, action should be taken by the Federal Trade Commission in the public interest.

Again, thank you for bringing your experience to our attention.

My response to Orbitz: Dear Ms. Burney,
Unfortunately, your message has a lot of we're "sorry you are disappointed blah blah blah", but has done nothing to address the issue of fraudulent behavior. If you really wanted to correct the issues described, you would have mentioned them in more detail and in a thoughtful manner. Maybe even requested more information to be in a well placed position to correct them.
I'm sincerely sorry that nothing stated in your response eases my feelings that Orbitz is concerned or troubled in any way with the information supplied to you Nor, the consequences of possibly cheating thousands or millions of consumers by $10.99 a month.
I'm inserting a copy of this email into the packet set up for mailing to the Illinois Attorney General, Consumer Fraud Bureau, along with the complaint paperwork already completed in regard to your company.
Joy Denver

ORBITZ response to my initial email to President Steven Barnhart:
----- Original Message -----
From: Customer Relations - Orbitz
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 2:27 PM
Subject: Your recent inquiry to Orbitz Senior Management! [Incident: 071212-003279]
(Nadeem Burney) 12/12/2007 03:27 PM
Mr. Barnhart & Mr. Shaughnessy has shared your recent correspondence with me and asked me to respond on their behalf. Thank you for writing. On behalf of my colleagues at Orbitz, I sincerely apologize for this disappointing experience. It is always nice to hear from our valued customers; although we regret that it is the poor impression you have received of our service lately that has prompted you to write.

We are always very concerned when customers tell us that we have failed to provide the high quality service that they have come to expect from Orbitz. But, it is especially disheartening to read comments such as yours as it is truly difficult to realize that we have let you down. Still, the value that we place on the comments (both positive and negative) that we receive from you and other elite customers is immeasurable. So, I thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to write.

We want to assure you that customer satisfaction is an integral part of our commitment to you. Together, we share in the responsibility of maintaining a strong corporate commitment and a simple value to acknowledge, respect and support all our customers and employees It is clear from your letter that we did not meet our mutual expectations and I am truly sorry. I deeply regret, on behalf of all of us at Orbitz, for any unprofessional service you encountered recently.

I know that when Orbitz fails to deliver the online service you anticipate you doubt our desire to be an online travel agency you can count on. Nevertheless, our Technical Support management staff is dedicated to making your experience online as streamlined and as simple as possible and we are extremely sorry for the inconvenience that it has caused you. Nevertheless, please be advised that once a customer click the purchase or submit button during a transaction; by clicking the back button on the browser will not stop the purchase process on almost any internet transaction including Orbitz and CheapTickets.

Moreover, we have contacted the Great Fun Corporate Office and requested them to cancel your membership and refund the membership fees collected in full.
We appreciate your business and we hope you will provide us with a future opportunity to fully restore your confidence in our products and services.
Nadeem Burney
Orbitz Customer Relations

They also included a $50 rebate (I know what all of you must be thinking! OH NO, ANOTHER REBATE COME-ON. Pretty pompous of Orbitz
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