Report: #180374

Complaint Review:

  • Submitted: Fri, March 10, 2006
  • Updated: Fri, March 10, 2006
  • Reported By: hilo Hawaii
    U.S.A. AKA Cheap Tickets double charged, but no tickets! travel plans are ruined Internet

*Author of original report: responds

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

It took more than an hour to make an online Hilo-Phoenix flght reservation because the first several dozen packages offered were 'not available.' So, trying one flight after another, I ascended the price ladder until finally, for $687, tickets were supposedly available. But after filling out all the information and finally clicking the 'Purchase' button, a screen advised me that the airlines were unable to take the reservation. Another dud.

Having wasted two hours already, I gave up on Cheaptickets and purchased from another source. The following day, however, I received an email from Cheaptickets requesting that I call them at a given number immediately, so I did. At that number I found myself speaking to a woman who finally admitted that she was on the Marianna Islands (I could barely understand her, and she could barely understand me). After a lot of going around in circles, it became apparent that, though I had received nothing from Cheaptickets (i.e., no confirmation, order acknowledgment, itinerary, etc) except this request to call them, I seemed to have been charged for the denied reservation.

A call to my credit card company revealed that I had been billed not once, but twice, for the Cheaptickets reservation -- once by each airline involved, for a total of $1,325.00 (one of which, putting me over my limit, was declined). So I called back to the same woman at the Cheaptickets number and found myself on hold for most a nearly two hour period, during which I was led around in circles, as follows:

1. The woman, claiming to have called my credit card company, said that they refused to reverse the charge. But in the next sentence she was asking me for the name and phone number of my credit card company.

2. I asked to speak to her supervisor, but was denied an opportunity.

3. I asked for the phone number of Cheaptickets' USA office, but was told it couldn't be given to me.

4. Apparently realising that I wasn't going to kiss off my money so easily, after leaving me on hold for another 20 minutes she advised me that she had FAXed my credit card company a charge reversal order.

An hour after speaking to her, I called my credit card company: they never heard anything from anybody concerning the charges.

I then went to where, due to there being no phone numbers or compaint options offered, I messaged them under their FAQ category, 'changing or cancelling reservations.' I immediately received an automated acknowledgment, but have yet to receive a reply, now some seven hours later.

So, my credit card has been over-limited, I've got one charge against it for a non-reservation, and another similar charge possibly soon being returned for another attempt. I got that card for this trip, and until cheaptickets does something to rectify this, my travel plans are ruined, as I won't have the anticipated expense funds available.

hilo, Hawaii
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/10/2006 01:37 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report responds

AUTHOR: Gil - (U.S.A.)

I first received from the following email on 3/9:

"In reviewing our resources, I show that you are not registered with CheapTickets under the e-mail address[my email address].

"However, for further assistance regarding this issue, please contact CheapTickets Customer Service via phone at (888) 922-8849 or internationally at (615) 874-4304. "
That phone number is the same one I spent hours on with no results. I emailed back to cheaptickets the same day:

"Someone there has my email address. At [my email address]I received the following from on 3/9 at 12:19 AM: [attached the initial 3/9 email from cheaptickets, asking me to call them about my 'reservation.']"

On 3/10, I received, in part, the following from cheaptickets:

In response to your query, please note that each time you attempt to make a reservation, a soft charge is created. However, if the reservation is not completed, the charge will drop off within seven to ten business days if not sooner.

A soft charge is a temporary authorization that will automatically drop off your account within seven days, if not sooner. A soft charge is when CheapTickets asks for funds from a credit/debit card company but does not actually charge the card. By doing this the funds are taken out of the available credit on the card but not included in the balance that you need to pay to your credit/debit card company.

Soft charges 'Fall off' or are added back to the available credit after 7 - 10 days. For further assistance in this regards, you may call Customer Support at 1-888-922-8849 from the US and 615-874-4304 from outside the US.

Okay, give them the benefit doubt that these charges will be dropped. But, having one's travel fund credit card tied up for 7-10 days with phony charges? Beware!!!

But then, quite unsettling, I received yet another email, as follows, grammatical errors included:

"In response to your recent e-mail, please note, it may be possible that some one else must have booked a reservation in your account. Please confirm that these details does not belongs to you.

"However, for further assistance regarding this issue, please contact CheapTickets Customer Service via phone at (888) 922-8849 or internationally at (615) 874-4304."
" is POSSIBLE that someone MUST have....."???

So, here is a largely unintelligible email telling me to call the same number I already spent hours speaking to, where the person ('Karen') at the other end of the line could barely understand me, I could barely understand her, and from which nothing positive or productive transpired, leading me to email cheaptickets in the first place.

This what is meant by a 'run-around.'
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