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Kno
Topic Author
Posts: 614
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:08 pm

Orbitz promised to refund me via email and is now refusing...

Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:10 pm

Hi guys,

This past June I had plans to travel with my girlfriend from BOS to YVR and SEA on Air Canada and JetBlue. Orbitz sent me the following email to inform me that our flights had been cancelled:

"Dear Traveler,

Re: 7524739031209 Booking ID: R7MQVK
We regret to inform you, that your flights have been cancelled by the airlines due to the Global Coronavirus Outbreak.

Based on the policy of the airline, we have received no options to place you on a new flight, therefore we have processed a full refund on your flights.
Should you wish to still travel, you will need to make a new booking at the prices currently available.
Please note your refund can take up to 8 weeks

Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter, we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

--------Please do not reply to this email; this mailbox is not monitored for responses--------
Yours sincerely,
The ORBITZ Travel Team "


After 11 weeks of patience I had only been refunded for one of the Air Canada flights. I called to ask where the rest of my refund was - the agent couldn't figure it out so the next day her supervisor contacted me. I was told the entire refund email was a mistake that only pertained to Air Canada and I never should have been refunded for the one flight in the first place. They said my JetBlue flights were in fact not cancelled and I was marked as a no show and it's my fault for not checking the reference code. I rebutted that the email they initially sent clearly said AIRLINES plural, and FULL REFUND, and that I would not be able to travel without making a new booking. Why, when I made this as one booking via Orbitz would I go back through Orbitz and the airlines and verify my reference code after receiving a crystal clear email that both airlines would refund me unless I assumed Orbitz refund email was BS? Now I'm out over $600 because of Orbitz false email - the frustrating thing is had I known Orbitz was BSing me I would have called both airlines right up and been able to collect vouchers for the full value of the tickets no problem!

I'm currently going back and fourth with Orbitz and getting nothing but polite apologies. They are refusing to acknowledge the refund email they sent me, despite an agent telling me over the phone she sees the exact email I was sent on file.

I never book with OTA's unless it's multi-airline trip - Orbitz has always been reliable in the past. Clearly I wont be dealing with this nonsense again. I'm guessing I'll have to take this up with Bank of America since I booked this on my BoA travel card, however I have little faith in them to properly resolve this which is a whole different story.

Now that I've explained the situation I was hoping some of you might have some helpful two cents or ideas on how to best handle this?
 
PI4EVR
Posts: 174
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:29 pm

Re: Orbitz promised to refund me via email and is now refusing...

Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:03 pm

As you likely realize, the airlines will offer you little as you booked thru a 3rd party. You'll get the push back to Orbitz.
It may be worth the call to BofA to discuss any option along the line of a disputed charge, and they may ask for a copy of the email you received.
My best suggestion. Contact a local TV station that has a consumer investigative reporter/department and file the complaint with them. It can be amazing the results they get and quickly when it is realized bad publicity will be broadcast about poor customer service over a TV network.
I got a run around from an applicance store concerning a large rebate on a applicance package I purchased for my new home that spanned 5 months. I was told "the salesman likely did not tell you that", "you likely misunderstood what was in effect for a different product" to "you failed to file the sale papers with the applicance company". Fail. All wrong assumptions folks. After 5 months of rude treatment and even before my story was broadcast on the TV segment, I received the full rebate amount from the store in 5 days! They freaked when the TV station called to discuss my sale and rebate, and did not want "this matter to go forward."
Be honest and straightforward. No drama just the facts. Its your money and you're entitled to it. Good luck.
 
FriscoHeavy
Posts: 1847
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 4:31 pm

Re: Orbitz promised to refund me via email and is now refusing...

Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:23 pm

I hope things work out for you. I also hope that you have learned to book directly with the airline(s) going forward and not through 3rd parties. It becomes a real nightmare when something doesn't go right.
Whatever
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 4294
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: Orbitz promised to refund me via email and is now refusing...

Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:19 pm

Orbitz is terrible to deal with. I had a similar issue and to reach out and get the refund directly from the airline.
 
Kno
Topic Author
Posts: 614
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:08 pm

Re: Orbitz promised to refund me via email and is now refusing...

Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:51 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
Orbitz is terrible to deal with. I had a similar issue and to reach out and get the refund directly from the airline.


How similar was your issue?

I doubt I can go to Air Canada and JetBlue almost 3 months after the trip was supposed to take place and beg for a refund because somebody at Orbitz made a sloppy mistake that neither airline is responsible for.

PI4EVR wrote:
As you likely realize, the airlines will offer you little as you booked thru a 3rd party. You'll get the push back to Orbitz.
It may be worth the call to BofA to discuss any option along the line of a disputed charge, and they may ask for a copy of the email you received.
My best suggestion. Contact a local TV station that has a consumer investigative reporter/department and file the complaint with them. It can be amazing the results they get and quickly when it is realized bad publicity will be broadcast about poor customer service over a TV network.
I got a run around from an applicance store concerning a large rebate on a applicance package I purchased for my new home that spanned 5 months. I was told "the salesman likely did not tell you that", "you likely misunderstood what was in effect for a different product" to "you failed to file the sale papers with the applicance company". Fail. All wrong assumptions folks. After 5 months of rude treatment and even before my story was broadcast on the TV segment, I received the full rebate amount from the store in 5 days! They freaked when the TV station called to discuss my sale and rebate, and did not want "this matter to go forward."
Be honest and straightforward. No drama just the facts. Its your money and you're entitled to it. Good luck.


I like your idea of going to the media and may try it if all else fails - although I doubt my story can ruffle Orbitz feathers the same way a similar story could grab the attention of a local store.

BoA might be my best option. They've failed to protect my credit card from similar situations in the past so I'm weary.
 
B6BOSfan
Posts: 114
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:11 am

Re: Orbitz promised to refund me via email and is now refusing...

Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:25 am

This has been an ongoing issue with them. Our local ABC station in Boston has called them out
https://www.wcvb.com/article/expedia-ow ... s/32855949
 
Kno
Topic Author
Posts: 614
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:08 pm

Re: Orbitz promised to refund me via email and is now refusing...

Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:48 am

B6BOSfan wrote:
This has been an ongoing issue with them. Our local ABC station in Boston has called them out
https://www.wcvb.com/article/expedia-ow ... s/32855949


Helpful - the link suggests I file a complaint with the DOT which I had not thought of before.

I used to work for one of the OTAs biggest partners and competitors. I got into the industry because of my love of travel and aviation, and unfortunately I quickly realized that all of these OTAs have one thing in common, shady business practices that take advantage of consumers and business partners. I won’t name the company I worked for (hint, top 3 largest in the industry) but as a member of the sales team I will confirm we were regularly instructed to rip people off and mislead people. Rarely would we honor refunds that were rightfully deserved.

I realize many would read that and say “why would you book through orbitz knowing this”

I agree - the combination of orbucks to burn and convenience Was a deciding factor but ultimately not worth what was an even bigger gamble than I had realized.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2653
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: Orbitz promised to refund me via email and is now refusing...

Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:46 am

Kno wrote:
BoA might be my best option. They've failed to protect my credit card from similar situations in the past so I'm weary.


I doubt there's anything for BoA to protect you from. Websites like Orbitz have been taking people's money for years and they know what they're doing in situations like this. Somewhere in all the clicks you make to buy a ticket you are probably agreeing to a long list of terms and conditions (that nobody reads) which give them the right to keep you money in all sorts of eventualities.

If Orbitz did not live up to the deal they made with you then BoA should withhold payment. But if you aren't happy because you agreed to a bad deal that's on you, not BoA.
 
Aptivaboy
Posts: 997
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:32 pm

Re: Orbitz promised to refund me via email and is now refusing...

Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:46 pm

Can you file a DOT complaint against an online travel site? I'm not sure. However, since Jetblue is an American carrier and Orbitz is an American company (I presume) you may be able to. I'd check the DOT website (google Department of Transportation, Complaint, etc.) and find out.

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