Booking.com complaint: Have Booking.com made it impossible to make a complaint?

on 21 November 2022 about Booking.com in category Hotels / Motels

New complaint
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Complaint resolved
Complaint closed

My complaint:

Booking.com made so many errors, caused so many problems. At one time you could email their Customer Service by email but, perhaps because they were getting too many complaints they stopped this. As far as I can tell the only way to do so is by telephone and since it is the customer service that was the root cause of all the problems I know from experience that doing so is futile.
I know that I am not the only person having similar problems but if anyone has found a way to reach them other than by telephone I would love to hear.

The message I am trying to send follows. I am sorry it is so longwinded:

2002 BOOKING.COM COMPLAINTS.

Booked flights on-line 14 September, given booking reference number and cost taken from my credit card. I failed to receive ation of booking so spoke to company. There were a number of conversations with various staff members none of which resolved the issue. I must have spoken to at least 10 members of staff overall and not only was each conversation of considerable length there was added time waiting for calls to be answered and also whilst each person tried to find the booking in question. To my disgust, on 34 occasions, staff members, clearly being unable to resolve the issue, whilst they did not disconnect the call, left me simply hanging. It became obvious that this feature of leaving calls connected but simply leaving them lying open and still connected was in the hope that customers would conclude that the only way forward was to hang up, redial, and start all over again. At a guess it did seem to me that some staff were working from home which would explain why I could not be transferred to another staff member who may have had the nous to sort the problem out.
Since you were unable to trace the booking from the reference number previously given they refused to simply rebook leaving me no option but to ask my bank to make a ‘chargeback’ under the original booking reference if I was to progress matters further. Surprisingly, Booking.com acknowledged responsibility with my bank exceptionally quickly and accepted the chargeback for the original sum! To do so, they surely must have located the original booking. They made no attempt to contact me or offer an apology.
This left me in a situation that the only way forward was to rebook. I did so but because the people I spoke to continued to claim there was no previous booking and they would only do so if I paid a now higher price than previously. I did try on a number of occasions asking them to match the original price but met with a refusal to do so on the premise that they could not find the original booking and using the logic that if they could not find it I had not made the booking even though it was obviously clear other since they would not have refunded my first payment. After failing to win the argument despite numerous phone calls I gave in leaving it clear that I would pursue this matter on my return from holiday. (It seemed crystal clear to me that you had no way of checking the financial side nor the persondepartment to enable a check). The original flights cost £1199.98 and the second charge came to £1231.19. I am therefore, claiming the sum of £31.21 overcharged by virtue of the original mistake.
In conjunction with this, when I first booked, the deal on offer was for free transport from Athens airport to the hotel. They refused to acknowledge this arguing that I had lost this benefit by amending the hotel booking to the next day to coincide with the flights. This was despite the fact that the offer was still available on the day of amendment and has been on offer until at least 6 November and probably remains so. It is reasonable to assume that the free taxi offer was a permanent feature. Time was beginning to run out so I had no alternative but to make a taxi booking for which I was charged extra. As you can imagine the number of phone calls dealing with this i.e. waiting for calls to be answered, being transferred from one person to another or given other numbers to call or being left hanging when someone could not resolve the issue was becoming a constant and unwelcome feature of dealing with the company. The amount of £93.69 charged for taxis to and from the hotel was debited to my account on 14 September. The sum relating to the free taxi offer was £50 and I am also claiming a refund for this amount.
On the website it was stated that if both hotel and flights were booked there would be a 10% reduction in the cost. There was nothing in the paperwork which clearly stated or indicated that the 10% had been applied. At the very least I would appreciate an acceptable explanation.
A problem also arose when trying to upgrade seats for the flights. We only managed to achieve to book seats for one flight at a cost of £22. For some reason this part of the organisation appeared to be in turmoil and we never managed to obtain what we wanted since, for some reason they could not handle all the transactions required. I made phone call after phone call speaking to a number of different people resulting in even further frustration. At the time I did say that I would have to raise this subject after my return home. In the end I had no alternative but to resort to KLM and book the required seats directly with them. I would be grateful for a refund of £22 which for some reason could or would not be cancelled.
In total my actual monetary loss, excluding the 10% on which I await an explanation, amounts to £101.71 for which I would expect recompense.
However there remains the question of what was an appalling all round experience. Had I been allowed to speak to someone with more experience and an all-round knowledge of the various segments within the company I am sure these matters could have been resolved speedily and efficiently. Instead I was passed from person to person some of whom clearly made an effort to understand the difficulties I was facing but lacked the required knowhow or indeed the right persondepartment to speak to. This in itself would have left me pulling out my hair if indeed I had any. What was unforgiveable was the way certain staff members, perhaps with their frustration could find no way to resolve the issues and simply left me hanging on the phone. As far as the company is concerned that does nothing but create customer annoyance and frustration at the same. By blocking phones to this extent they are effectively downing tools. I imagine all of this will have been recorded.

I hate to complain and am swift to praise where it is deserved but these incidents one after another caused my wife to become concerned for my health as time before departure was looming. Apart from the sum claimed above I am also hoping that the company will see its way to recompense my wife and I with regard to the trauma experienced. I also hope my experience will be used in a positive way to make staff aware of what is required. From my viewpoint I would suggest you are in dire need of a specialist department with the knowhow and authority to resolve issues such as I experienced. I still find it impossible for a company to charge a bank account and provide a referencebooking number and simply lose trace of the transaction concerned.

I look forward to hearing from you.

2002 BOOKING.COM COMPLAINTS.

Booked flights on-line 14 September, given booking reference number and cost taken from my credit card. I failed to receive ation of booking so spoke to company. There were a number of conversations with various staff members none of which resolved the issue. I must have spoken to at least 10 members of staff overall and not only was each conversation of considerable length there was added time waiting for calls to be answered and also whilst each person tried to find the booking in question. To my disgust, on 34 occasions, staff members, clearly being unable to resolve the issue, whilst they did not disconnect the call, left me simply hanging. It became obvious that this feature of leaving calls connected but simply leaving them lying open and still connected was in the hope that customers would conclude that the only way forward was to hang up, redial, and start all over again. At a guess it did seem to me that some staff were working from home which would explain why I could not be transferred to another staff member who may have had the nous to sort the problem out.
Since you were unable to trace the booking from the reference number previously given they refused to simply rebook leaving me no option but to ask my bank to make a ‘chargeback’ under the original booking reference if I was to progress matters further. Surprisingly, Booking.com acknowledged responsibility with my bank exceptionally quickly and accepted the chargeback for the original sum! To do so, they surely must have located the original booking. They made no attempt to contact me or offer an apology.
This left me in a situation that the only way forward was to rebook. I did so but because the people I spoke to continued to claim there was no previous booking and they would only do so if I paid a now higher price than previously. I did try on a number of occasions asking them to match the original price but met with a refusal to do so on the premise that they could not find the original booking and using the logic that if they could not find it I had not made the booking even though it was obviously clear other since they would not have refunded my first payment. After failing to win the argument despite numerous phone calls I gave in leaving it clear that I would pursue this matter on my return from holiday. (It seemed crystal clear to me that you had no way of checking the financial side nor the persondepartment to enable a check). The original flights cost £1199.98 and the second charge came to £1231.19. I am therefore, claiming the sum of £31.21 overcharged by virtue of the original mistake.
In conjunction with this, when I first booked, the deal on offer was for free transport from Athens airport to the hotel. They refused to acknowledge this arguing that I had lost this benefit by amending the hotel booking to the next day to coincide with the flights. This was despite the fact that the offer was still available on the day of amendment and has been on offer until at least 6 November and probably remains so. It is reasonable to assume that the free taxi offer was a permanent feature. Time was beginning to run out so I had no alternative but to make a taxi booking for which I was charged extra. As you can imagine the number of phone calls dealing with this i.e. waiting for calls to be answered, being transferred from one person to another or given other numbers to call or being left hanging when someone could not resolve the issue was becoming a constant and unwelcome feature of dealing with the company. The amount of £93.69 charged for taxis to and from the hotel was debited to my account on 14 September. The sum relating to the free taxi offer was £50 and I am also claiming a refund for this amount.
On the website it was stated that if both hotel and flights were booked there would be a 10% reduction in the cost. There was nothing in the paperwork which clearly stated or indicated that the 10% had been applied. At the very least I would appreciate an acceptable explanation.
A problem also arose when trying to upgrade seats for the flights. We only managed to achieve to book seats for one flight at a cost of £22. For some reason this part of the organisation appeared to be in turmoil and we never managed to obtain what we wanted since, for some reason they could not handle all the transactions required. I made phone call after phone call speaking to a number of different people resulting in even further frustration. At the time I did say that I would have to raise this subject after my return home. In the end I had no alternative but to resort to KLM and book the required seats directly with them. I would be grateful for a refund of £22 which for some reason could or would not be cancelled.
In total my actual monetary loss, excluding the 10% on which I await an explanation, amounts to £101.71 for which I would expect recompense.
However there remains the question of what was an appalling all round experience. Had I been allowed to speak to someone with more experience and an all-round knowledge of the various segments within the company I am sure these matters could have been resolved speedily and efficiently. Instead I was passed from person to person some of whom clearly made an effort to understand the difficulties I was facing but lacked the required knowhow or indeed the right persondepartment to speak to. This in itself would have left me pulling out my hair if indeed I had any. What was unforgiveable was the way certain staff members, perhaps with their frustration could find no way to resolve the issues and simply left me hanging on the phone. As far as the company is concerned that does nothing but create customer annoyance and frustration at the same. By blocking phones to this extent they are effectively downing tools. I imagine all of this will have been recorded.

I hate to complain and am swift to praise where it is deserved but these incidents one after another caused my wife to become concerned for my health as time before departure was looming. Apart from the sum claimed above I am also hoping that the company will see its way to recompense my wife and I with regard to the trauma experienced. I also hope my experience will be used in a positive way to make staff aware of what is required. From my viewpoint I would suggest you are in dire need of a specialist department with the knowhow and authority to resolve issues such as I experienced. I still find it impossible for a company to charge a bank account and provide a referencebooking number and simply lose trace of the transaction concerned.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Suggested solution:

Details are within the proposed email which I have been unable to send.

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