Rick Hudnett recently pulled into a Chevron station near his home in Orlando. He wishes he hadn’t.
When Larry Chrysler saw a good deal posted on American Express Travel, he was ready to book it. His flight of interest was on Air France, going from New York’s JFK airport to Tel Aviv, Israel.
The advertised flight listed all the pertinent details, times, layovers, flight numbers, even the declaration: “3 tickets left at this price” and the price, of course. Continue reading…
My patience was running thin.
I’d picked up a pack of Flair pens at a great price to use as prizes at a junior high volunteer event. Just $4.79 per packet, according to the tag. But the Walmart register begged to differ. It displayed the price as $6.29.
Young people are flocking to big, expensive cities, according to data crunched by housing market information service RealtyTrac, and that might not be the greatest of ideas.
If you look at the chart below, you will see that young folks are moving to the Washington D.C. area, which occupies three of the top 10 counties where high percentages of millennials are moving in. They are also moving to places like San Francisco, Denver, and New York.
That’s probably not much of a surprise: Young adults go where opportunity is.
After spending three hours body-checking other shoppers in pursuit of the best prices on a blustery February afternoon, my head’s spinning with numbers — one in particular. When I close my eyes, all I can see are 9s with a leading dot.
Egad! Could a simple, innocent combination of characters be the true source of all my shopping frustration?
A $275-a-night rate at an all-suites hotel on Times Square is not a bad deal. But $255 is an even better deal, and Joan Kozon thinks InterContinental Hotels should honor it.
Robert Bernard just wanted to buy his wife a nice present for their anniversary. As he was paging through the Macy’s catalog, he found a deal: A diamond necklace that normally sold for $1,500 on sale for $47.
Pay attention to the last digit of the price tag. It could tell you if you’re getting a bargain, or paying full price.
At best, the proposed Transparent Airfares Act of 2014, a bipartisan bill introduced this month in Congress, would open a window into the many taxes and mandatory fees attached to your airline ticket — charges that the airline industry believes you should know about.
At worst, the proposed law would give airlines a license to quote an artificially low ticket price, undoing years of regulatory efforts to require the display of a full fare. And if the bill passes, critics fear that an airline could quote you an initial base ticket price, minus any taxes and government fees, leaving you with the mistaken impression that your total airfare is far cheaper than it is.
No one wants to overpay for a product or service. But how do you know you’re getting the best rate? And if you’re not being offered the lowest price, how do you negotiate it?
Answer: You can’t know — but you can haggle. And how!
A recent survey suggests a quarter of consumers go online to find the lowest price on an item, but it doesn’t say if they find it. Maybe that’s because the answer is unknowable. Businesses, it turns out, can’t be sure if their prices are the lowest, or even if an item that’s on sale will be profitable.
Richard Barnes wishes he hadn’t rented the car.
The vehicle, which he reserved for on a business trip in Atlanta, was absolutely fine. It’s what happened afterwards that makes his blood boil.
Barnes picked up the vehicle at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. He drove it to the Hyatt in Atlanta. The next day, he returned it to the airport without a scratch.
“Four months later I received a bill for $12,000 for an accident and damage to the car I had rented,” he says.
Yep, $12k for a rental car returned undamaged. I recently wondered how careful you have to be in order to not get scammed as a consumer.
But there’s another side to this issue: How careful do businesses think we are?
It’s been five short years since the airline industry, led by an ailing American Airlines, quietly stripped the ability to check your first bag at no extra cost from the price of an airline ticket — an act given the antiseptic name “unbundling.”
At about this time in 2008, passengers were beginning to adjust to a new reality, as other airlines eagerly joined in separating their luggage fees from base fares. Now, they’ve finally accepted the fee revolution, according to most experts.
An airline ticket doesn’t have to include a “free” bag or a meal, no more than a hotel room should come with the ability to use the hotel’s exercise facilities, or your rental should cover the cost of a license plate. And that’s the way it should be, they say.
Well, the experts are full of it.
Mark Hegeberg thought National would reward him with a lower price in exchange for his loyalty to the car rental company. So when he was looking for a car in Mexico, he clicked on the company’s website and volunteered his Emerald Club number.
“I checked reservations using my Emerald Club number and thought the charges were high,” remembers Hegeberg, who works for a packaged goods company in Mill Creek, Wash. A one-week, full-size rental in Los Cabos during August came to $246 with his membership, he says.
“Then I checked rentals without using my Emerald number and found them to be significantly less,” he says. The site returned a rate of $126 for the week — almost half the amount.
“Quite a difference,” says Hegeberg.
What’s going on?
How much does your online travel agency know about your reservation? If you said “too much” then you must still be upset about that whole NSA affair. I can’t blame you. Or, maybe you’re thinking of the legendary screenshots a company like Priceline produces when they’re challenged on a nonrefundable reservation.
I say “legendary” because no one I know has actually seen these images. Until now.
Here’s the case that prompted the disclosure: Mike Flanigan contacted me a few weeks ago and said he booked a flight, hotel, and car rental on Priceline, and needed to change the dates afterwards.
Question: I’d like to share my recent Budget Car Rental experience with you that has me committed to never doing business with them again.
A couple weeks ago I received a voicemail saying the Budget at the Kansas City airport would be charging me an extra $104 because an “internal audit” found they gave me too much of a discount. My receipt shows the $85 discount, which seemed right since there was an advertised discount.
So, they billed my credit card without my authorization, and then added in all the additional taxes and fees to bring the amount up to $104. I called Budget corporate and the franchise, but nobody would help fix the issue, even though I had a receipt to prove we “agreed” on the lesser amount.