Written on: 27/05/2014 by Alianai129 (1 review written)
I wanted to visit the Aeolian Islands, off the coast of Sicily, and I had a long weekend in which to do it, so I thought the best thing to do was to arrange it via Expedia. Boy, what a mistake that was!!!
Expedia gave me a guide price for a lovely looking hotel and flights, and I was thrilled, absolutely over the moon: the hotel looked gorgeous, the flights were leaving the UK at 8.30am, so I would be landing at lunchtime...flights home leaving at lunchtime...all for a really good price.
When I went through the booking process, there was a page that brings up other flights that you can choose. The initial one, the one that they'd initially suggested was top and the next was about 15 hours flying time etc etc, so I just clicked on and booked.
A transfer to the ferry port and a ferry/hover crossing had not been included in the booking, so I called Expedia customer services sales line to see if I could buy one. I was on hold for donkeys and its expensive, so I hung up, and called a well known London minicab company, and asked them if they had any affiliates in Sicily to arrange a transfer. They came back to me with a HUGE price, and told me that the airport was the other side of the island to where I needed to get the ferry to the islands was going to take a minimum of 6.5 hours as it was lots of twisty country roads. I was due to land at about 1.45pm, assuming I got through the airport really quickly I'd be out by 2, that meant the earliest ferry I could get would be 8.30/9pm...and the last ferry to the island I needed appeared to be at 7pm.
So, this is all on the same day as I had made the booking...I called Expedia, I waited for Customer Services for 45 minutes, and eventually got through to someone. I explained the situation and was told that they wouldn't refund me. It's an offshore call centre, so I asked to speak to a supervisor. Same story. I tried a manager. Same story. I then (foolishly) decided to try to compromise, to be reasonable.
I said, "Ok, Ryanair are notoriously awful and don't really have a concept of customer service. Please could you just change my accommodation to somewhere I can actually get to for the first night of my holiday?" NO
"Can you please refund my accommodation, and I will find alternate accommodation?" NO
It went on and on.
I later discovered that I was eligible for a full and complete refund as I contacted them shortly after making the booking and explained the error. I also later discovered that my credit card company would have been extremely happy to cancel the payment, on the basis that I had tried very hard to come to a resolution.
After NUMEROUS calls, every day for a week, I eventually got the accommodation costs refunded (after I got an Italian friend of mine to call the hotel, explain the situation and how badly Expedia had handled it) though not the fees. I recently got my phone bill and saw that I spent a further £54.63 on calls to Expedia trying to resolve the issue, plus £3.78 on a call to the manager of the hotel Expedia booked for me that I couldn't go to.
The end result is that I am now staying in a B&B in Sicily, and not a gorgeous hotel in the Aeolian Islands. I am out of pocket by a fair amount, as Expedia refused to refund any of the fees, so I have overpaid on rubbishy Ryanair flights by over £100, plus just under £60 on sorting out Expedia's incompetence, all of which was unnecessary as I was legally entitled to a full and complete refund and could have then rebooked to go to where I actually wanted to go.
The experience was awful. I would thoroughly recommend NOT using Expedia at all ever.
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