Written on: 11/06/2014 by Cunninghamjp333 (1 review written)
Just because the review system requires me to give a star. Quite frankly, smartfares should not be given any stars. None. Getting a star means it is actually doing something right, even if it's minimal. But it didn't do anything right. Instead, it is roaming the internet space causing inconvenience to world travelers. I travel alot so I know budget tickets website can sometimes cause problems but never ever have I encountered such a terrible service. I don't usually leave reviews but this time, I feel that it's my responsibility to warn everyone to NOT USE SMARTFARE'S SERVICE. You've been warned:
I booked a flight from Berlin to Prague through smartfares and shortly after I got an email confirming my booking. On the email it stated, in red might I add: "Please note that reservation requests are only confirmed once the airline has issued a ticket number. A second and final email with ticket numbers will be sent to your email address within 24 hours (up to 72 on the weekends) indicating that a ticket has been issued." I received that second email with my confirmation number and ticket number from both smartfares and the airline shortly after. I thought, great, no problem. One day later, I received an urgent email from smartfares asking me to authorize my credit card and within a second later another email from smartfares again to ignore that urgent email and that the reservation has been settled. I did not receive any email/call from smartfares since then. On the very same day, my credit card was charged the amount of the fare and no other notification was given to me from my bank, smartfares or the airline that my reservation was canceled.
On the day of my travel, the airline told me that my reservation did not exist so I couldn't board the plane. I called smartfares and an agent name Florence told me that my reservation has been canceled on the day of the booking because they couldn't confirm my credit card authorization. She claimed that an email has been sent, an email after checking through my inbox and spam I confirmed I did not receive. She went on to tell me that regardless of whether I have received this cancelation notification or not, I should've called and check with them or the airline to confirm my booking 72 hours before my flight because it is in the terms and condition. It was pretty much my own fault that I went to the airport and have no seat on the plane. She then offered me a seat on a flight that's 10 hours later at double the price of my original fare. She insisted that there is no way that I could have boarded on the flight I was supposed to get on because it was fully booked. Lies. I was able to buy a ticket directly from the airline for the same flight at the airport.
After I settled my flight situation I continued to ask her for proof of refund. So far, without any apologies and continuously being put on hold, she told me that it has been refunded. End of story. I insisted I needed proof to show the bank and with more hold, I was transferred to Nelson the supervisor. Nelson didn't sound apologetic at all causing such a big inconvenience to the company's customer. In fact, he sounded quite annoyed with me. My frustration increased with his tone of annoyance and he went on to recite the same lines Florence has already told me. Please note that I was on long distance call this whole time. I asked him to sent me proof that the cancelation email has been sent and he said he couldn't send me the proof. After a long discussion of back and forth it was obvious he wasn't going to provide any useful information, I asked him to send me at least a cancelation email again so I can at least go to my bank and ask for the refund. This was what he sent: "As per our telephonic conversation this is to confirm you that your booking was cancelled on 20th May and the refund of $355.04 has been processed on the same day. So, you can call your bank and ask them to credit back that amount into your credit card as we are not claiming that amount." After I said I received the email, there was no "sorry for the inconvenience" or "thanks for calling," just "anything else?" and when I said no he hung up.
Now, can you feel my frustration? I spent 50 minutes on a long distance call with smartfares for a budget fare of $355.04 and I still had to contact my bank myself after my trip to confirm that this amount has been refunded. So, if you do not want to ruin your trip, do not book your flight with smartfares.