When Cena and i first booked tickets to Vietnam and Bali we made our arrangements using frequent flier miles and a few reservations through Expedia. Our initial reservation used miles to fly to Singapore from Seattle. Then we booked tickets for a round-trip flight from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City (255.89 for each of us) for the Vietnam portion of the trip and another round trip ticket to Bali and back to Singapore (284.89 each) for that part. Unfortunately there were not seats available for the Singapore to Tokyo segment of our legs that we used frequent flier miles for so we also had to pay for one way tickets to complete the flight ($546.59 each). So aside from our miles we spent $1087.37 for each of us ($2174.77 total) to complete the flights mentioned above. Then in late September we decided to add Cambodia to our trip. We received all of our frequent flier miles from Alaska Airlines without a penalty. We purchased tickets on Eva airlines to fly from Seattle to Ho Chi Minh City for $858.70 each. Cena contacted Expedia about receiving a refund for our tickets. They initiated a refund for the $546.59 tickets which i received on November 30 minus a $100 cancellation fee per ticket and without a refund of the Expedia booking fees. My credit card was credited $431.60 for each of us. On the 5th of October we paid $561.10 directly to Garuda for our flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Bali and back – that price was lowered by us using one of the Expedia purchased tickets toward the purchase. Our second time booking the trip cost a total of $3409.39 for the two of us – which includes the cost of the original Garuda ticket bought through Expedia ($569.79). The last tickets that we were left with amounted to $511.79. Expedia told us that we could take them with us and use them for credit with Garuda. So we carried them around and 4 different times tried to use the credit. Each time they refused and told us we needed to seek a refund through Expedia. We were not trying to get a refund from Garuda – just use the credit Expedia told us we would have for a seat upgrade or a side trip ticket. We were supposed to have two credits of $240.
At this point, Expedia has $741.78 in purchases that they have not refunded or fees that they have assessed me for travel that i never made.
Upon returning i contacted Expedia. On January 10th i spoke with Meriel. She put me on hold while checking our account file. I explained how we attempted to use our “credit” and she said I had to cancel with Garuda directly. She called Garuda and then told me to call Expedia back the next day when the Garuda call center would be open. On January 11th i called Expedia again and spoke with Laurie. She told me to mail the tickets back to the Expedia.com Refunds “Customer Service Department” with a note indicating i am seeking a refund for the tickets. On January 12th i mailed the tickets out with delivery confirmation and return receipt for $5.38.
At 6 pm tonight i received this email:
Dear Expedia.com customer:Thank you for using Expedia!For itinerary number – [redacted] This e-mail is to inform you that our office has received tickets to process for a refund.Please allow thirty days for the refund to be credited to the orginal form of payment credit card. Expedia.com representative are ready to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Please do not reply to this e-mail. Thanks for choosing Expedia.com!
Expedia.com Customer Support Team
Dont just travel. Travel Right.
Yes, the spelling error and lack of apostrophe was like that. Exactly three hours later i received this email.
Thank you for contacting us regarding your paper tickets with Garuda Airlines. We have received your paper tickets in house at our ticketing department. However, we are awaiting instructions of how you would like to use the value of these tickets.
Your tickets expire on January 27, 2008. Please contact our offices immediately to advise us how you would like to use the tickets.
Please contact us at 1-877-247-0153 and reference your case ID [redacted] when you call. This is the only department that will have the full details surrounding your reservation. We are available at this number 24 hours a day. We look forward to hearing from you immediately.
Thank you for choosing Expedia.com for your travel needs.
Air Fulfillment Operations
So naturally i call. I spoke with Sarah who briefly looked at my account notes and just had one question – what do i want? I told her a refund for the tickets and she said it wouldn’t be a problem – just a week to 10 days to process and then one or two billing cycles on my credit card. I hung up smiling. In less than an hour she called back and told me that she couldn’t refund the tickets. She could offer me a $90 credit on Garuda for each of the $240 tickets because each would require a $100 change fee. I asked Sarah how i will be able to get my money back and she suggested calling customer service during a time that a Garuda agent is available for a three-way call to iron out the confusions (as was the intent on January 11th). So of the $741.78 that Expedia still has of my money they plan on returning $180 of it but only in the form of a credit with a regional airline in Southeast Asia. You can bet that I’ll be fighting this. I’ll continue by calling tomorrow to try and arrange the three way call.