4 comments

I found several round-trip flights from RDU to PDX on TripAdvisor, mostly provided through Orbitz or Cheaptickets. I selected the most appropriate one for my timetable, which took me to the Orbitz site.

I filled out the required customer details (name, address, etc) and proceeded to seat selection for each leg of the trip. Notably, there were multiple seats still open on each flight.

On the payment page, I entered my American Express card and billing address/contact information. After submitting, the page showed an error message indicating Orbitz was unable to charge my credit card and I should re-enter my payment info or contact my financial institution.

Assuming I mis-typed either the CCV or some piece of the contact information (middle initial vs. middle name, for example), I tried again. Three times.

Each error indicated that Orbitz was unable to charge me, so I called American Express. They discovered I now have 4 pending charges for the flight Orbitz claimed it was "unable to charge". Amex said I should contact Orbitz to zap these charges, pronto.

I called the Orbitz customer support number and sat in the hold *** for approximately 10 minutes. When an agent finally answered, they said I should just pick a different flight, that one must not be available anymore. The pending charges would be removed once I got a flight. I asked when the charges would be removed if I didn't book another flight with Orbitz -- the answer was "in a few" (I believe she quantified it to 5-7) days.

Of course, the same flight is still available according to multiple search engines (including Orbitz), so I just don't buy that it was an unavailable flight causing my problems.

The rest of the conversation roughly went thus:

Me: Can you pull up my records to cancel these transactions now?

Agent#63: No, I don't have that information.

Me: Wait, what? You have ~ $3000 worth of pending transactions against my card but can't pull up anything other than confirmed trips with a record locator?

Agent#63: Sorry, I cannot do that. Just book a different flight with us.

Me: I don't have unlimited ability to put thousands of dollars of pending transactions on my card you know.

Agent#63: Those charges will go away in a few days.

Me: Can you transfer me to someone that can handle my billing problems?

Agent#63: Sorry, I cannot transfer you. You can call back.

Me: What? You want me to call back and just talk to someone else?

[dead air]

Me: Hello?

Agent#63: Yes, sir.

Me: I don't think I'll be using Orbitz anymore.

Agent#63: Sorry to hear that, you can call back.

Me: Ok, what's your agent number, by the way?

[more dead air]

Agent#63: 63.

Me: That's it, just 63?

Agent#63: Yes.

Me: Ok, I'll call back later.

At this point, I just want to have these pending charges reversed so my Amex available account balance gets back to normal; I'll use my corporate travel rep to book me a flight. Get your $%^# together, Orbitz.

Monetary Loss: $2954.

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Anonymous
#1374786

Yup, my boyfriend and I are having this problem as of 9/30/17. It's amazing this these creeps can automatically charge your card when

1.) They denied you the service. If you don't give me what I'm paying for, you can't charge me.

2.) NOWHERE on their page does it say you will automatically be charged when you click the button.

3.) Amazing that they can charge you automatically, but take forever to give you your money back.

bmr32809
Winter Garden, Florida, United States #1249747

This practice is still occurring with Orbitz as of today (December 14, 2016).however my wife and I were not so lucky.

We attempted to book a flight for 6 of our family members through Orbitz, however they failed to process the transactions and generated a "unable to process at this time" error message. They were, however, successful at running the transaction 12 separate times that created a hold on my bank account totaling $28,392 (again, for a flight we weren't even able to book with them).

I only found this out because the card was declined when we attempted to book the flight on another travel site.

I have been on the phone with their "customer service" team for over 4 hours today, as well as an hour with my bank, and another hour with the ultimate airline the charges were attributed to, and all Orbitz can tell me is that I'll need to wait it out or dispute the transactions with my bank.

Other than this terrible financial position we've been put it, I think the second worst thing about this experience has been the consistent unwillingness to escalate this issue to individuals within Orbitz that could offer me a solution that didn't involve simply stating "please wait 5 days for the charges to come off your account".

My offer is this - I want Orbitz to wire me the $28,392 they carelessly and negligently charged against my account, and THEY can wait 5 days for me to issue the refund once this all works itself out.

colorgirl05
Los Angeles, California, United States #628373

Don't EVER use Orbitz, go with Travelocity instead...after purchasing a vacation package from Orbitz, several days later they started debiting my checking account with unauthorized charges.I tried to dispute this additional charge through customer service, but I was on hold forever.

I had to go through my bank to make a stop payment from additional charges from Orbitz.

Go with Travelocity.I used them before and I never had any hassel with them in booking vacation packages.

Orbitz
#609379

Hi,

My name is Shalon, and I am part of the Orbitz Customer Relations Team. We want to learn more about your experience so that we can address the issue. Please email us at socialnetwork@orbitz.com and enter my name in the subject line, so that I can investigate further.

Thank you for your patience, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,

Shalon

Orbitz Customer Relations

Chicago, IL

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