BEWARE OF EXPEDIA'S PRICING SCAM

Beware of Expedia.com.sg pricing scam

This is in relation to an incident that happened in Sept 2015 when I was booking a return flight ticket to Indonesia from Singapore on Expedia.com.sg

For the onward and return days I chose, the best airline price was close to SGD 214. As any traveller booking online would know the airline ticketing sites are pretty competitive and offer almost the same fare. And I had also verified the net price on the airline websites themselves (Jetstart for onward and Tiger for return). Since I did not want to go through booking two times on two different sites, I choose to use Expedia.com.sg as they were offering almost the same fare (may be 10-15$ more).

I completed the booking and was alarmed to find I had been quoted and charged for USD 214 as per the confirmation email and not SGD 214. I immediately again went to the individual airlines sites to confirm the fare and it did not even add up to SGD 215 and also on Expedia.com.sg it was showing SG $214. I immediately took screenshots of the same which you can see here.

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Now I received the ticket and found only one part of the journey (onward) was booked and the return journey did not go through. I was already on call with customer care (which is by the way in India) regarding the pricing issue and now told them the return journey had not been booked and I was to fly in a day. They could not help me on either and asked me to wait a day without any common sense for the return to get confirmed. I was really frustrated at this point. So I saw on my card I was charged USD 118 for the one way ticket itself. I must have made like 10 calls and spent 2-3 hours that night talking to these 'support specialists' at Expedia for trying to get some help regarding the over charging and non-confirmation of return ticket before I gave up on them as they only put me on hold and could offer no help and not even a call back to me citing 'company policies'.

Anyways I wrote complaint emails to Expedia regarding the over charging of nearly 1.4 times the SGD rate shown and booked the return myself on Tiger Airways. After I came back from my vacation I noticed the supposedly singapore support team (based in India) telling me since it was in USD, I should contact the US support and when I wrote to US support at Expedia.com they told me the tickets were issued in Singapore so I should contact Singapore support. In the mean time I had many calls with their support team and they told me to contact the airline!

This caused me severe frustration and mental stress that I shot off an email to both customer supports explaining what had happened and sent them the screen shots showing Expedia clearly cheating the customer showing SGD prices and charging the same price in USD. Then someone got in touch with me from Expedia and were trying to explain that the prices though show SGD on the top in bold they have in fine print below 'All prices are in USD'. I was taken aback by this as I too now this on my screenshots and had missed it all along. Here I found this unscrupulous company not only cheating the unsuspecting customer but also trying to justify what they were doing was right. I immediately shot off another email warning them of serious consequences if I take this up legally in Singapore small claims court.

And after that they immediately relented saying they are extremely sorry and will refund the amount asking for my card details. When I told them about all the frustration and peace of mind and time and money I lost they said they will compensate me for $50 in voucher too. And now is April, am still awaiting their compensation and voucher in my account. There must have been a dozen emails exchanged regarding this and same number of phone calls by different support executives on the same. For my M1 Prepaid outgoing call to their supposedly 'toll-free' number is being charged. I do not know if that's M1's issue or these guys not having a proper 1-800 number. And my incoming costs me too. I must have spent more than $30 just talking to Expedia support to get back my money.

Even after giving my card details to 3 different support executives on 3 occasions the refund is yet to come through. And forget the voucher! And when I email them about it they just send an canned email saying I was not reachable on phone and ask me to give an alternate number. Even though everyone is able to reach me and my number is fine. Clearly they are not even calling me. And there is no need to call me as they can easily answer my email via email itself. I feel totally cheated and taken for a ride by this company. As a last option I am going to the small claims court myself to sue them soon.

So please beware of Expedia.com.sg's scam and also of their terrible customer support team.

Aravind C
A.S.S. Contributor

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