John Lancer recently placed a bid with Priceline for a room in a specific area of Georgia, but the order that went through didn’t come close to meeting Lancer’s expectations and he requested a refund in order to book the right room. So why did Priceline balk at his request?
If your blood pressure spikes when you think about the words “kids” and “plane” in the same sentence, as you just did (sorry about that), then this story may have a calming effect.
True, there’s no faster way to start a brawl on a flight or an online chat room than by putting the two together. Some passengers feel the interior of a plane should be a designated quiet zone; others treat it as a playground. It’s a conflict as old as commercial aviation.
It’s been almost a year since Terry Bienstock rented a Peugeot 3008 Hybrid in London, and for almost as long, he’s been fighting Avis over a pesky $162 traffic ticket.
Gary Murray’s credit card is declined when he buys an AirTran ticket, but he doesn’t find out until he gets to the gate. How much should he pay for the new ticket?
A few months ago, while I was shopping for a new Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, I printed an “estimated price” from the dealership website – “estimated” being the operative word.
After Cathleen Kirk flew from Oakland to Washington for a funeral in April, she noticed something unusual: Her online travel agency, Globester.com, had charged her twice for one ticket.
Russell Higley is promised a refund after his flight is canceled. But now his airline is trying to bill him twice for a flight he never took. What’s the problem?
Question: I read your columns and appreciate what you have done to help especially the less fortunate among us who are being wronged with financial penalties because we did not receive a promised refund. For someone like me, who is nearly 67 years old, with a pacemaker, heart and liver disease, and arthritis, this $371 loss is a nightmare.
American Airlines canceled my flight from New York to Palm Springs, Calif., and agreed to refund my fare.
Seth Elsen receives a mysterious $250 charge on his credit card after staying at a La Quinta hotel. Now the property’s general manager is hiding from him, he says. Can he get a refund?
Question: I recently stayed at a La Quinta Inn and Suites in Walla Walla, Wash., with two guests. We were there one night, and everything went fine.
Two nights after I checked out, I noticed a $250 charge on my credit card, in addition to the $100 fee for the room. I called, talked with an assistant manager, and was told that it was a smoking charge, and that I needed to talk to the general manager about it.
I asked when she’d be in, and was told the next morning. I didn’t get a call back. I called again during the weekend, talking to other front desk people, trying to find out when the manager would be in.
Question: Last year, before I signed up for DirecTV, I called the company to find out its moving policy. I wanted to know if I could transfer my service to a different residence, and how much it would cost. I had my house up for sale so knew I would be moving within the next year.
I had seen a TV advertisement that said “DirectTV moves with you.” I was told by their sales representative that there was no charge to transfer if I signed up for two years; I would just have my satellite dish moved to a new location.
Last April, I moved. But when I called to set up service at my new residence, a DirecTV representative told me that it will cost $230 for the installation.
Question: My husband rented a car from Hertz in Madrid last summer. The car broke while he was on his way back to the airport, and he had to abandon it by the side of the road in order to make his flight back to the States.
He informed the Hertz people at the airport what had happened and they told him it was fine and the car would be retrieved. Three weeks later, we received a letter that there was 850 euro charge for a burnt clutch on our credit card. We tried to contact Hertz Spain, both before and after the bill, to ensure the car had been collected and everything was fine but they didn’t answer the phone or respond to emails.
Harry Good recently prepaid for his rental car through a Swiss company called HolidayCars, which makes sense, since Good is an American expatriate who lives in Switzerland.
But what happened next doesn’t make any sense. When he picked up his car from Avis in Phoenix, where he planned to rent it for three months, all seemed well. Then, a few weeks later and without any warning, he found a $6,742 charge, in addition to the $3,711 he’d already paid HolidayCars.
When Daniel Weisleder tried to board his return flight from San Jose, Costa Rica, to Houston with his wife and 10-month-old son recently, a United Airlines ticket agent delivered some bad news: He’d have to pay another $166 to fly home with the baby.
“Someone made a mistake,” the agent said.
That might be an understatement. Weisleder, who directs an educational consulting firm in Pittsburgh and is an elite-level United customer, reluctantly forked over the extra $166 to fly home. But he couldn’t understand the late charge.
“When I booked the reservation, I notified United that I would be traveling with an infant on my lap,” he says. “I was charged $991 for the tickets. We checked-in in Houston without a problem, but when we were coming back, we were told that our baby had to pay an additional ticket.”
Question: I have a problem with DirecTV that I’m hoping you can help me with. The building I live in has been sold and all leases have been terminated, including mine. Just a month before, I signed up for DirecTV. I have lived there for five years and intended to remain. So it came as a huge blow to suddenly get that dropped on me.
I have found a new place to live. One of my requirements was being allowed to keep my DirectTV and when I found a place that allowed it, I was happy. I called today to set up a service transfer, only to be informed that I must pay $238 for it.
A representative said because I was moving within the first year of my contract that was the best he could do, and that was discounted from $500. That seems excessive to me.
Question: My husband and I recently flew from Mexico City to Fiji for our honeymoon. One leg of our flight between Los Angeles and Fiji was canceled by United Airlines. We booked tickets on a different airline for that portion of our trip.
Due to bad weather, our return flight from Fiji to Los Angeles was delayed 24 hours and we missed our connection to Mexico City on United Airlines. As soon as I knew we would be missing our flight I called a United representative, who rebooked us for a flight the next day. I paid a $150 change fee per ticket. I understand this charge and am fine with this transaction.
Ric Vesely knows about the car rental industry’s double standards. When he returned his Dollar Rent a Car vehicle in Minneapolis recently, an employee asked him a strange question: Did he have a receipt for his gasoline purchase?
Vesely, an engineer who was visiting from Colorado, hadn’t bought Dollar’s pricey fuel-purchase option, agreeing instead to return the vehicle with a full tank. He said he didn’t have a receipt, but that it didn’t matter — the needle on the gas gauge pointed to “full.”