Written on: 12/03/2013
My husband and I used last minute.com to book a 5 star hotel for our honey moon weekend. On the website we came across a mystery/secret deal and called up the customer service to ask about it. The secret deal was for a good deal on a 5 star 'rating' hotel. When we called the lastminute team to enquire about this, the person who assisted us that day, convinced us that it was actually a '5 star' not 5 star rating only, hotel. My husband specifically told him that we were looking for a 5 star hotel and asked the agent if it indeed was a 5 star hotel. The agent emphatically confirmed that it was. Based on that information, we booked the hotel. After we made the online hotel, the secret hotel was revealed and we discovered that although it seemed like a decent hotel it was not a 5 star hotel. We called the agent back but the lines were closed by that time as it was 8pm. The next morning i.e Thursday the 14th of February, my husband called the helpline to talk about this problem. The agent who picked up listened to us and told us that he would get back to us within an hour after listening to the call records of the night before. After 2 hours when he did not get back to us, my husband called back again. First of all he was shuffled between 2-3 different agents none of which had any updates on the case, which is very strange as customer service provides should store this information in their database. Anyhow, finally the agent said that they has listened to the recording and that the manager would get back to us within an hour and they will issue us a refund and bear the charges, since we were mislead into thinking that the secret hotel was indeed a 5 star one. We were very relieved as we could then re-book a 5 star hotel for ourselves and go ahed with our plans. we requested the agent to ensure that the manager gets back to us asap as our booking was for the next day, The agent assured us that 'she would' But no one did for the next 4 hours and my husand and I had to keep calling back about 6 times to chase the issue. The agents kept telling us that the manager was busy with another customer and would get back to us on an hour.We kept doing this till 7 pm that day.By this time we had had it and were very very mad. This was highly unprofessional and unethical. Not only were we mislead about our booking but now after assuring us that our issue would be resolved, and promises were made, no one had the courtesy to get back to us! Anyhow, finally, we placed our call at 7.30 and told an agent that if the manager wouldn't get back to us, we would go to our hotel and tell the hotel manager about our experience and treatment.This apparently worked and by 8.30 pm after the helpline was closed we got a call from the manager. She told us that she was completely oblivious of the situation and apologised. She then said that since our booking was the next day it was too late to cancel it but in a gesture of goodwill she would issue us with a £50 pound refund by the next morning and I would get an email confirmation of it. But ofcourse, there was no email the next morning. Anyhow, after work we headed to London to our hotel. When we reached there, I was livid and called up last minute one last time. I told the agent who picked up, a man called puneet the whole story again and then told him that I would go down to the reception and talk to the manager right now. This agent was more helpful then most of the agents I had come across here especially more than the incompetent manager lastminute had on duty on the night of 14th February 2013. He said we would get a refund within 2 days. I said that was no good as I didn't trust that as we had been mis-lead before and that if I didn't get an 'email confirming that I'd get the refund' promised to me by the manager, I would go down to reception now. Puneet sent me an email confirmation in 5 minutes which stated that I would get the refund within 7-10 working days. 10 working days have come and gone and I have not received a refund. And now I will not only call up the hotel that we went to but also report this issue to the Trading Standards. Last minute .com and its agents are highly unproessfional and do not know the forst thing about customer service. I have used several websites to make bookings for holidays and weekend stays and i have never been treated this way. Not only was I mislead but I was made promised that were not kept. After this experience I am highly unlikely to use or recommend last minute.com to friends and family. In fact, I shall discourage them, based on my experience.