Priceline - Beware of sneaky currency switch!

I live in Canada and therefore search for my flights in C$. The site then makes C$ the default. It remembers my previous searches. I wanted to book a multi destination flight (Busan-Taipei-Amsterdam). I found a deal for C$905. Pretty good. I didn't book yet though. A few days went by and I searched the price again. It had gone up to C$950. Then I decided to try the "Name Your Own Price" feature. It was my first time trying this. So I noticed 2 things first off.

1: You can only bid on 1 way flights (not multi destination)

2: You have no other option but to bid in US$

So I made a bid in US$ (Obviously, I looked up exchange rates to get a better idea of what would be a good deal).

My bids failed. So when this happens, the site brings you to a page that says "Sorry, we were unable to book your flights. Please take a look at the next best deals below."

Now, the site changed the currency back to C$. This is obviously very clear to see. At the top right corner of the page, it shows that C$ is the setting, as well as all flights listed are clearly shown in C$. At this time, the site was showing some great deals! The combined price of the 2 one way tickets were cheaper than the C$905 deal I had found before and obviously, much cheaper than the more recent price of C$950.

Busan-Taipei C$373

Taipei-Amsterdam C$468

Total C$841

So, like any customer would, I jumped on these deals. I clicked on "Choose Itinerary" next to the prices that were shown in C$ and I purchased. YAY! I just saved C$109! Or so it seemed....

Then when I checked my bank balance, I noticed that a lot more was taken out than I expected. I was very confused. I then later figured out that I had been charged in US$! I had been charged a total of C$978! I was angry for a few reasons. Not just the false advertising and trickery, but I actually ended up spending more than another option that was shown by the same website!

So needless to say, I contacted priceline and this is when the real frustration began. OH MY GOD! These people do not give a ***! It is actually insulting. I explained the situation to them and all they did was respond with a paragraph or 2 of text that was just that! TEXT! Words on a screen. No meaning. They use terms like "I'm sorry that you feel..." "I'm sorry that you believe..." "I'm sorry that you seem to think....". Are they trying to make the customer feel delusional or insane? Like they are perfectly innocent and we, the customer, just dream up these issues in our heads. They use these terms in order to not admit fault. Trying to get them to admit that they made a mistake is impossible. They will deny everything to the bitter end. At one point, I told them to forget about compensation, just admit that you're wrong!

So I had a lot of back and forth emails with them, every time supporting new evidence of the glitch in their website (both screenshots and video footage!) and clearly showing how it is misleading to the customer but I was getting nowhere. They then passed it on to the executive offices (probably because I'm not they type of person to quit and it was going nowhere with them). At first I thought yes! Finally! Someone is going to take this seriously. Nope! Executive office workers (if they even exist) are just more people who don't give a *** but earn more money than the standard customer service workers.

I am still battling it out with them. It's a frustrating ordeal altogether. I still can't believe that such a well known and popular website, in this day and age, is screwing people over like this. They are a bunch of cons!

I told them that the glitch will occur 100% of the time. To show this, I would select a random flight (I attached a couple of pics to show an example. NOTICE THAT IT'S THE SAME FLIGHT AND DATE IN BOTH PICS. NOTICE THAT ALL PRICES LISTED ARE EXACTLY THE SAME. ONLY THE CURRENCY CHANGES. THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE. THEREFORE, THIS IS A GLITCH). So I would make a bid and deliberately bid too low, just so that I could get to that page that says to check out the next best deals. And of course, as always, it switches the currency back without the customer selecting this. Then, when you actually pay, the currency switches back to US$. All done without the customer choosing this.

So I would like to think that when something like this is pointed out to a company, their response would be more like, "Thank you very much for bringing this issue to our attention. We value our customers. We apologize for this and of course, will compensate you for this error. We pride ourselves on our customer service and will fix this error immediately."

What company doesn't want to improve their website and overall customer service? I guess that's not a rhetorical question here actually. The answer is....PRICELINE!

This review is a subjective opinion of a user.
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More Review Details

  • What I liked
      No items
  • What I disliked
    • Horrible customer service
    • Not receiving refund
    • Not acknowledging site error

Reason of review:
Problems with payment
Monetary loss:
Product or service
Multi Destination Flight
Review category
review #573053
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