Priceline.com chops customer service with dishonesty

Priceline.com chops customer service with dishonesty

ninja star

Is it weird for me to expect decent customer services when dealing with online purchases? In the past, there were a few times when I had to dispute an online order. To my surprise — in those few times — the customer service was stellar. So is it weird that Priceline.com’s customer service was everything but that?

Just this past weekend, I was in San Diego to celebrate my birthday. I had never been there before and I thought it would be a nice get-a-way. Before my trip, I went on Priceline.com to look for a hotel that was near downtown and had free parking. I found that the Doubletree Hotel was located downtown and Priceline.com was calling out free parking as part of their “Hotel Freebies.”

Once we arrived at the hotel parking garage, we noticed a sign at the entrance saying that parking was $22 a day. At first, I thought this probably was meant for the public to park at their garage — it couldn’t mean it was for the guests staying at the hotel as well. The front desk clerk later confirmed that parking is “never” free and I would have to pay the $22 a day for my four day stay. Luckily, I had my iPad in-hand and showed the clerk the Priceline’s page that clearly promotes free parking. He got the manager who told me that they can’t honor the free parking because they never knew about this promotion and never offered parking for free. This left me feeling infuriated. I would have chosen a different hotel if I knew I would have to pay $88 dollars on top of my bill.

Free Parking?

Are you serious?!

Soon after entering my room, I called Priceline’s customer service. I spoke with a man who told me that he also see’s the promotion online, but would have to transfer me to an agent that could resolve these types of issues. I was transferred to a woman and I explained the situation. She told me that she could only go by what is stated in my itinerary, which didn’t mention “free parking.” I asked her how could that be fair if the website clearly says parking is free? She then told me that she doesn’t see “free parking” on the Doubletree Hotel’s page. I offered to tell her the URL over the phone or send her screen shots. She wouldn’t accept any of these and wouldn’t offer me anything for this problem. I guess I was to blame for being foolish enough to believe in such silly offers.

I did take the time out to write Priceline.com an email about the issue, but I have yet to hear back from them. Here’s a tip, if you decide to book a hotel on Priceline.com make sure you confirm with the hotel that all the information online is correct. My advice: use a different service other than Priceline.com.

February 23, 2012