My Painful Expedia Refund Process – Never Use Expedia

Expedia SucksThis is a writeup of my experience of having to deal with an airline ticket refund I purchased via Expedia.com. If you know me, I’m a very patient and understanding guy but after dealing with such a poor and ridiculous customer experience with Expedia, I felt it was worth documenting the steps I painfully went through in my attempt to collect the refund/credit I rightfully deserved.

I’ve read other horror stories on the web from people who had similar problems so I know I’m not the only person having to deal with such crap. I am actually writing this post as I wait on hold with Expedia (one of the many many times). I have also attempted to collect each persons name and call center location I speak with from Expedia. So here’s how the story goes….

On December 30th, 2006 I purchased a round-trip ticket from San Francisco to Tokyo on Japan Airlines (JAL) from the Expedia.com web site for $876.52. My flight was scheduled for January 25th, 2007 but I had to cancel the ticket because I could no longer go. I called Expedia in January a week before my flight and let them know I needed to cancel. I spoke to someone in their Philippines call center and they had no problem canceling the ticket. They informed me I had 12 months to reuse the credit of $871.52 and there will be a $100 re-booking fee per the airlines ticketing rules. Fine with me…I’ll just re-book the trip next time I plan on going to Japan.

The time finally came in September 2007 when I needed to book a flight to Tokyo. Here are the events that occurred while trying to book the flight. Each bullet represents either a call or email exchange I had with Expedia or Japan Airlines.

  • Called Expedia on 9/26 to book my new ticket. They started booking the fare but for some reason their system wouldn’t book it. They called the airline to ask what the deal was and according to JAL, the ticket isn’t valid anymore because it needed to be re-booked immediately once I canceled it back in January 2007. This is the exact opposite of what Expedia told me and even the Expedia system says I’ve got the credit to use. Now Expedia tells me to call JAL to resolve. Call time – 45 mins
  • Called JAL and they said I needed to contact Expedia since they originally booked the ticket. Call time – 10 mins
  • Called Expedia back and explained the situation. I was put on hold while they read the details on this case. They left me on hold and never returned so I eventually hung up. Call time – 53 mins
  • Called Expedia back again and told them the same story. The woman read my case and told me I needed to contact the refunds department and gave me the email address. Here’s the email address she gave me “expedia.com-refunds”. I told her that’s not an email address and it won’t work. She assured me it’s what her reference paper says. What a joke. Call time – 24 mins
  • Made another call back to Expedia and spoke to Sarah in the Ohio. She recommended I email the refunds dept directly since they are the only ones that can handle this issue. I was given the email address travel@expedia.com . Call time – 25 mins
  • I spent the next 30 minutes preparing an email with all the details about this case. I sent the email and waiting for a response. Time spent – 30 mins
  • About 1-2 hours later I received a reply from Expedia and they said I needed to call their 1-800 number and speak with a support rep to resolve this. Hello?? That’s what I’ve spent the last few hours doing and they referred me to you! How come nobody will take ownership and handle this issue? (At the bottom of this post is the actual email exchange I had with them)
  • Called Expedia again and spoke with Dan Lewis from the Atlanta call center. He read my case and then called JAL and spoke with Kaori. Dan then got back on the phone with me and said he had good news. JAL will give me the ticket credit and I just needed to call them directly to book it. Finally! I thought it was resolved and I was starting to get excited. Call time – 22 mins
  • So I called JAL and tried to get in touch with Kaori so she’d know exactly what to do but ended up speaking with another JAL rep. She said Expedia needs to handle this since they originally booked the ticket. What the heck??? I told her Expedia just spoke with Kaori at JAL and she said to call you directly. She said Expedia made a mistake and that’s incorrect. I was so upset at this point but I couldn’t get mad at JAL since it’s all Expedia’s fault. Call time – 12 mins
  • Called Expedia back and told them JAL cannot handle this since Expedia was the ticketing vendor. Told them I want my refund or credit asap and need to book my ticket today. I was placed on hold while the agent read my case. I waited on hold for over 40 minutes and she never returned so I hung up. Call time – 48 mins
  • Called Expedia back and told them they need to handle this now and I’m sick and tired of the runaround. I was put on hold while the support rep read my case. I explicitly told her to be quick so I wasn’t put on hold for more than a couple minutes. A few minutes later, I’m no longer on hold but connected to JAL! She didn’t tell me anything….just transfered directly. WTF? Call time – 10 mins
  • Called Expedia back and spoke with Jardine from the Philippines call center. I requested to not be placed on hold while she reads my case notes. She agreed and instead put me on mute. She then read the case and got back to me. She now needed to call a different department and speak with a supervisor. I told her I do not want to be placed on hold because of my previous experiences of being left without resolution. She agreed to check back in every 5 minutes to let me know she’s still working on it. So far so good. She’s been checking back every 5 minutes to let me know she’s still trying to get in touch with her supervisor (Call time – 60 minutes already). After being on hold for 1 hour and 40 minutes, Jardine finally got connected to her supervisor. They are looking over the case and reviewing the details while I wait on the other line. (Fingers crossed) Great news! Jardine got back on the phone and told me my credit card will be credited in the amount of $823.37! It’s about $50 less than I should be credited but at this point I’ll take what I can get. Now I won’t believe it until I see the credit on my next statement (it could 30-60 days) but I’m done! No more Expedia….ever.

Summary: So after making 10+ calls to Expedia and JAL, speaking with several different call center reps from all over the world, and spending over 7+ hours of my personal time trying to resolve this issue (not to mention the new gray hairs I got) I finally got what I deserved.

Bottom line: NEVER book something with Expedia unless you definitely plan on taking the trip. Their customer support is HORRIBLE and you can just search google to read other people’s experiences. Try searching Google for “expedia refund” to see what I mean. This is not the first time I’ve had a problem with them but it’s the worst one to-date. I now use sites like Kayak.com and then book directly with the airlines instead. This allows you to cancel or call the airline directly if any changes need to be made. They can’t refer you to someone else to resolve the problem like Expedia continued to do.

Here’s the email exchange I had with them. They never replied to my last email.

Hi Andi-

Thanks for the coupon. So what should I tell the support line when I call this time? They just tell me they can’t help. I need this resolved asap….I’m tired of being thrown for a loop.

~David

—– Original Message —-
From: Expedia Travel Support
To: David Cowgill
Sent: Monday, October 1, 2007 4:44:57 PM
Subject: Re: Attn: Refunds Department – Case # 30864XXX – Case ID: [REQ:36659241]
Dear David,Thank you for prompt reple as well.We would like to take this opportunity to apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We understand how frustrated you are at having to wait. Unfortunately, we cannot handle your refund request via e-mail. We are limited in the information we can provide via e-mail. This is something that would need to be resolved on the phone with one of our customer service representatives and internal helpdesk. Thus, it is imperative for you to call our Customer Support line for further assistance.For the inconvenience, we would like to extend to you a goodwill coupon in the amount of $100.00 toward a future stay at any of our preferred properties. (For more information regarding coupons, please see the page titled “Using your Expedia.com coupons”)If you have additional questions regarding this issue, feel free to reply to this e-mail or contact Expedia customer services at 1-800-397-3342 and reference case ID 36659XXX. You can also visit the Expedia.com “Customer Support” page (http://www.expedia.com/daily/service/default.asp ) for more customer service information.Thank you for choosing Expedia.com

Andi
Expedia.com Customer Service Team

—–Original Message—–
From: David Cowgill
Sent: 10/1/2007 4:14:19 PM
To: Expedia Travel Support
Subject: Re: Attn: Refunds Department – Case # 30864XXX – Case ID: [REQ:36659241]Hi Claudine-Thanks for the quick reply. I’ve actually already spoken with several
customer support reps via the number you gave me and none of them are
able to handle my request. They told me the only way to handle this
situation is to email you this address.Please let me know how to proceed since everyone I talk to at Expedia
refers me to someone else. I’m a very frustrated consumer at this point.~David—– Original Message —-
From: Expedia Travel Support
To: David Cowgill
Sent: Monday, October 1, 2007 4:07:04 PM
Subject: Re: Attn: Refunds Department – Case # 30864XXX – Case ID:
[REQ:36659241]Dear David,

Thank you for contacting Expedia.com about your refund request.

Unfortunately, we cannot handle your refund request via e-mail. However,
we would be happy to assist you over the phone. Please give our customer
support desk a call at 1-800-EXPEDIA (1-800-397-3342). If possible,
please have your itinerary number and/or booking ID available when
calling.

If you have further questions regarding this issue, feel free to reply
to this e-mail or contact Expedia customer services at 1-800-397-3342
and reference case ID 36659XXX. You can also visit the Expedia.com
“Customer Support” page (
http://www.expedia.com/daily/service/default.asp
) for more customer
service information.

Thank you for choosing Expedia.com

Claudine
Expedia.com Customer Service Team

—–Original Message—–
From: David Cowgill
Sent: 10/1/2007 3:16:16 PM
To: travel@expedia.com
Subject: Attn: Refunds Department – Case # 30864XXX – Case ID:
[REQ:36659241]

Hello-

I’m writing in regards to a credit/refund I should be receiving in the
amount of $871.52 for a ticket I purchased which was never used.

Back in Dec 30, 2006, I booked a flight with JAL to Tokyo using
Expedia.com. The actual flight date was not until January 25, 2007 and
after I booked the flight my plans had changed so I needed to cancel the
flight. I called Expedia.com in January prior my flight to let them know
I needed to cancel this flight and ended up speaking with someone from
your Philippines call center. She told me that it would not be a problem
to cancel the flight and I would have 12 months to use the $871.52
credit on Japan Airlines. I asked her twice just to make sure and she
confirmed that the only extra charges would be whatever the airline
charges for a change fee (in this case she said $100 from Japan Airlines
and $30 from Expedia).

So last week I called Expedia to regain my $871.52 credit and the
customer service rep saw the credit and began booking my flight. She
then started having trouble and had to call Japan Airlines and put me on
hold. After speaking with them she said the ticket that was originally
booked was a discounted fare and Japan Airlines can not give me credit.

Since Expedia.com’s customer service rep gave me the wrong information
when I was canceling my ticket in January 2007, (she said I had 12
months to re-book this ticket) it is obviously the mistake of
Expedia.com so I demand a credit or full refund of the $871.52.

Please review the case and notes (case # 30864XXX) to see my pain,
hassle, and trouble (not to mention over 3 hours of either being put on
hold or trying to explain my situation to one of the many customer
service reps whom I spoke with). It’s very frustrating trying to deal
with a situation like this and spend my time chasing down money that
I’ve spent but never received a ticket or refund for.

I encourage you to pull the actual tape of our recorded conversation
back in January to prove to you that in fact this customer service rep
did tell me I had 12 months to reuse my credit.

I am requesting either a credit or full refund in the amount of $871.52
so I can rebook my flight to Japan asap.

Thank you,

David

——————————————————–

27 thoughts on “My Painful Expedia Refund Process – Never Use Expedia”

  1. I am currently going through the same thing with Expedia. I have already spent a little over 5 hours on the phone over the last 3 days trying to get refunded for a cancelled hotel reservation that they flat didn’t do by the deadline as I requested. Now they won’t take the full blame and pay up. Hyatt has already agreed to refund expedia after I called the corporate office and told them about the ordeal I have been through. NEVER BOOK WITH EXPEDIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are crooks and the supervisors have no accountability. You will be promised and promised but they will not follow through. I even had one hang up on me and then noted my file that the phone went dead……

  2. well, I booked a hotel that has been shut down for maintenance. Of course I paid the full amount and it was me who found the hotel was closed. Now it has been 10 days and they told me they are working on the case, which is contacting the hotel. They told me I won’t get my money back until they get a hold of the hotel. I am not really into law, but am I eligible for a refund asap from expedia so they can deal with the hotel later? Plus, some of the operators are good, but some are really bad.

  3. –ß–?—Ç–?–ª –ø—Ä–æ —ç—Ç–æ —É–?–µ –?–? –?–?–?–æ–º —Ç–æ –¥—Ä—É–?–æ–º —Å–?–?—Ç–µ, –?–æ —É –?–?—Å –?–æ—Ä–?–?–¥–æ –?–?—Ç–µ—Ä–µ—Å–?–µ–? –?–?–ø–?—Å–?–?–æ 😉

  4. I will never use expedia again! I bought a Hotel reservation on Expedia. When I got to the hotel they did not have my reservation. So I had to pay the hotel. I then called Expedia and they said they paid the hotel.

    Expedia acknowledged that I paid the hotel and refused to provide a refund. Everytime I call they blow me off.

  5. I’ve been on the phone for over 8 hours over the past 24 hours. What am I trying to do?

    Add one extra day to my vacation. They want to charge me a 100% change cost to “Re-Book” the hotel. Idiotic? YES. Why? Because I can just buy an additional night at the hotel under a separate itinerary #. Why am I not doing this? because the hotel cost for that one night has gone up $300!!! but if they book it on the old itinerary # I will get the early booking rate and save that $300 but not at the cost of doubling rest of the trip. I’ve spoken to 6 different people and I get 6 different responses. Idiotic? Yes. Expedia has one of the stupidest call centre personnel.

  6. I think who’s at fault in this situation is the company. They think that they are providing the best customer support they could offer when the truth is, they are not. They should provide more training with their employees in order to improve the quality of their services. And in order to avoid situations like this which are really frustrating.

  7. had the same experience with expedia. you are all right the customer service support is sucks. nobody can help you and you stay on the phone for a long time.
    they made a mistake on spelling my name gave them a call and was told I have to pay $ 400 for any changes and mind you called them with in 10mins after I got the confirmation thru email. horrible horrible.. never again will
    I use expedia.

  8. had the same experience with expedia too.. its worst!!!! i cancelled my flight but its really hard to get the refund!! and they wanted me to call back again, and hang on the phone!! so i decided to let it go!!! seems i read some bad feedback from other customers. i cant do anything anymore!!!!.. i will never buy ticket trough expedia anymore!!! at all… ever!!! worst customer service!

  9. I am going through the refund process with expedia right now. It’s been two weeks and everytime i call i get the same answer. Now i have to go through my bank’s claim dept to have them help me get MY money!! I’m so mad right now. I say we band together and call Good Morning America and have them exposed for the crooks they are. I’ll NEVER EVER use expeida again and I’ll tell it everywhere I go!

  10. I second what everyone here is saying. I get that the airline won’t refund my money… though why I purchased travel insurance so that I could cancel I don’t know.

    I have now made 5 calls to them and each time I’m told something different, and a later time that I need to call back.

    Fraud doesn’t even begin to describe these people!

  11. Their agents dont have the aptitude to make a coordinated booking nor resolve problems.
    We got to our destination at 0945pm as scheduled, we got our car then got to the hotel at 1110pm. Hotel office was closed as and agents were clueless on what to do. I had to ask to be booked to another hotel which they also failed to do. I had to walk around a few blocks to find a hotel myself at 1 in the morning.
    My mistake of trying expedia, i should have stuck with the auto club as always for the last 20 yrs. They are really triple A and expedia is triple 0.

  12. I’m putting on my battle gear as I wait the “24-72 hours for your refund to be issued.” On two consecutive days, we have booked flights with Expedia and the flights were changed AFTER our purchase. We had to cancel all tickets as none of them would get us to our destination by the needed time. I thought they issued a refund a little too easily considering they were all non-refundable tickets. I’ve already contacted my bank to alert them to the situation and confirm the process for dispute. Meanwhile, one of our checking accounts had been rendered useless while their enormous hold sits on the account. I will NEVER use Expedia again and will warn everyone I know not to use them either!

  13. Currently on hold with Expedia. I’ve been on the phone for 7+ hours over three days trying to sort out a change to the schedule that Jetblue made leaving me with an 8-minute layover in Boston. This time I’m not hanging up, I’m not going on hold, I’m staying on the line until it’s resolved. I’ve been told “we’ll call you back” twice and been disconnected while on hold twice. The so-called Supervisor, Enzon, told me it was Aer Lingus who needed to refund me so that I could rebook. Aer Lingus said it’s Jetblue. New supervisor, Joe, said he’d get me some answers and call me back. Never happened. Now “Dale” is researching options while I listen to the worst Latin/Flamenco music ever. You can tell what circle of hell you’re in by the playlist they have you listen to on hold.

  14. I spent two weeks running back and forth from Malaysia air headquarters doing exactly what Expedia told me to do in order to get a refund for a canceled flight. The airline itself had no problem refunding my money but explained that Expedia would need to complete the process as they were the booking agent. After being lied to time and time again, receiving a different story with each agent I spoke to, Expedia now has $1300 of my money as payment for a flight that was successfully cancelled with the airline. Just out of principal don’t go near them.

  15. I have had the same issue, when my flight was cancelled due to the volcano in Iceland. I ended up getting refund from my credit card company but now Expedia has sent us to a collection agency to get the money back from us…. At this point I would love to go before a judge and tell him that I didn’t get my trip and Expedia didn’t want to refund me even though Delta said all tickets were refundable.

  16. Online booking is full of hazard. Just recently I wanted to book air travel, and I was dis guided by the idiot Google into Expedia.
    The booking didn’t appear to work , because their search engine and book system leaves your computer vainly trying and whirring around for a long time. So I booked again.

    Expedia charged me for both flights, and were incapable of process, and refused to return the money spent on two flights.
    All this took hours to unravel with a precious litle Indian, who was most interested in my
    negative attitude about the fact that I could not understand him because he could not speak English.
    When you ring Quantas about the problem, they just say ‘oh well you booked through expedia didn’t you’
    Quantas blame Expedeia for this, so why do they allow this Internet rip off to use them.

    Contact me for unsavoury and sad details .
    Do not use Expedia.

  17. I hate Expedia. I am just needing to type right now because I want to yell obsenities at the poor and inept call center folks at expedia. they can’t help me and I know they can’t help me and the so-called supervisors can’t help them help me. same story as everyone else with the finger pointing from expedia to f**king Delta and Delta wanting to charge me additional fees to take over the rebooking for f**king expedia. I refuse to pay an additional $50 for each ticket to rebook. That is what the $150 change fee is covering. Or should be. I had 12 months to use my credit and knowing I would have to pay the $150 fee…fine…ya got me…no problem…but another mystery fee to Delta because expedia says the booking is too old for them to be able to access it? back-n-forth I go…each sending me back to the other and no warm transfer and they say they don’t conference with each other…ferfukksake. hate. all I want to do is sit on a beach with my husband for a few days. ugh.

  18. Expedia sucks big time.
    I cancelled my Japan trip due to the tsunami. I was told it was up to 12 weeks to get my money. – USD $150 fee
    12th weeks and I still have not receive my money. I emailed 3x and received no phone calls, even though I’ve requested it.
    I called back and they say they cant see why my money was not refunded.
    They make empty promises, saying they will call Korean Air. But I hear nothing back. I sent another email, requesting an email from a manager. Again, nothing. Called and one the phone for 70 mins, being told the money was paid already, and Im like, then where is my money then?>
    Then I worked out they short changed me by $400.
    I still have not got my money back.

  19. I recently booked a hotel and paid in full ( around 300 $) Once I got to my hotel, their water was yellow and smelly and they were telling everyone not to use the water WTF?? My husband and I couldnt take shower for few days and had to use our bottled water to brush our teeth. We went to a different hotel the first chance we got. Now I called Expedia to get a refund and they are giving me run arounds. Now, finally!!! after weeks, they called to say “No Refund” . I will Never use Expedia again!!!!!

  20. I booked a flight with Expedia nearly a year ago, it was cancelled due to weather. I have been calling them regularly, as they told me to, to see about the refund- which, after nearly a full day on them the day of the cancellation- they advised me to get.
    Now the ticket was never used (flights cancelled) and the agent is telling me I might get but a partial refund from United. They are saying I used a portion of the flight, which is impossible- as United cancelled the flight.

    I feel like I am in a house of mirrors. WHY WOULD ANYONE USE THIS COMPANY? I don’t care about all their problems with United- I dealt with them.

  21. OK here’s my story. I had to cancel my vacation package and I did. Having done that I decided to google expedia refund policy to look for the answers how long I will have to wait for this refund. I was so pissed that I would have to wait for so much time as you all mention here BUT here’s what happened. I made a cancelation on 9/7/2011 today (9/9/2011) the money is back on my account!! I have no idea why you had to wait for so long

  22. I had a cancelled flight to the Philippines in June 2011, and after several phone calls, I was promised again and again that the refund will come in two billing cycles or up to 60 days. It has been more than 60 days now, and my $1,500 has not been refunded back to me. Air Canada emailed me that they have refunded Expedia, and so I should follow-up with Expedia. I mentioned this to Expedia, and as usual, they kept telling me that the refund will come soon. But it’s been more than 60 days now, and more than two billing cycles in my credit card, and nothing has happened. I finally reported the case to my credit card company and disputed the charges, and they are working on this now.

  23. EXPEDIA travel insurance MONDIAL ALLIANZ
    When you are booking travel online with Expedia, you will notice and invitation to take travel Insurance at the same time. I did this when I booked New Zealand to Thailand.
    The travel insurance is with a world wide company called MONDIAL Insurance.The Mondial insurance group did have quite a good name. Recently Mondial has an association with another Company called ALLIANZ Golbal assist. I am not sure whether ALLIANZ is a subsidiary to Mondial or the reverse.
    Whenever you see one big Company bought out by an aggressor or with satellite associate Companies
    ‘ caveat emptor’ is a major consideration.

    I suffered a ruptured spinal disc in Laos, and was shortly quite incapacitated in that I could not walk properly and was in intense pain. My traveling companion nursed and cared for me over the next two months.
    For the next six weeks, after the accident we had continuous dialog with ALLIANZ Global assist. ALLIANZ tried by every possible means to avoid the contract for medical and surgical help. There is a clause in the Mondial travel overseas insurance which states that once the Company fly you back to your home country their obligations are over.

    What ALLIANZ did was to require that an incapacitated person, provide copies of certificates of treatment,
    travel recommendations, agreement to release of medical information. bla bla and so on and so forth, for six weeks until you realize that this company will do anything at all to get you on an aircraft and roll you onto the tarmac dead or alive at your home country.
    From which point on you still have your medical condition but no insurance.
    Just to send a medical release form requires the incapacitated person to 1. download form 2. go to printer to get hard copy 3. sign hard copy 4. scan hard signed copy, 5.place signed copy on USB drive 6. Send that copy of release form to ALLIANZ Insurance.
    All these necessaries of a person who is unable to walk or concentrate.
    At the same time ALLIANZ have an agent here in Bangkok just down the road who will not lift a finger for you. His job is to sift through records looking for a way to refuse the claim and send you back to home country.

    ALLIIANZ continued their game of delay and obsfucation of the fundamental necessity for surgery despite clear written advise from surgeons that surgical intervention was urgent and delay may exacerbate the condition.

    We had to build up support from relatives and friends to tell ALLIANZ that they could expect a legal claim, and damages unless thy honoured the contract. Eventually they agreed to pay for surgery 6 week after our request.
    Now I have medical and nursing expenses for another long battle with them.

    Do not buy the Expedia Mondial travel insurance policy.

    The policy requires you to follow the advice of the insurance company, or suffer refusal of part or all of your claim. The advise you receive from ALLIANZ will have nothing to do with your needs, it will be self serving

    It provides for the Insurance Company to drop you off in your home country and that ends your claim.

    You have taken out travel Insurance and you arrive home with your injury and you now have no insurance

    This insurance Company is completely devoted to and will and does turn a blind eye to medical advise other than the return home option.

    You will receive devious offers all for the benefit of the Insurance company getting you off their books.

    sincerely, Peter Laing

  24. I’ve never really trusted Expedia. I go there to look at available flight/hotels. When I find what I’m looking for, I ditch Expedia and make reservations directly through the hotel/airline website.

  25. I think J.J above has it sussed.
    Use Expedia and then go from there back to the airline, or hotel and do direct booking.
    Both airlines and hotels resent Expedia fees and will treat direct booking better. However you must be sure of proper confirmation. With Airlines this should be no problem, but some hotels, well you never know.

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