A Preston woman has waited more than six weeks for a refund from a popular travel fare aggregator.Advertisement
Charlotte Alty, 27, from Bamber Bridge, used Booking.com to book two nights in a Finsbury apartment while her boyfriend took part in Ride London for Teenage Cancer Trust.
Her booking included Charlotte and her boyfriend, along with two friends and their baby girl.
On their arrival at the Super Central Flats Finsbury apartment, the group were unable to access the apartment due to the four digit pin they received for a key safe, via email, being incorrect.
After contacting the apartment company via phone and email, and having no response, they contacted Booking.com who refunded the apartment and found them suitable alternative accommodation near by.
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However, it was £240 more than what we had had originally booked, and so after stating their concerns, Charlotte was quickly reassured that Booking.com would cover the difference and process a refund as soon as they had checked into the new place and paid the total.
Charlotte said: “We were also worried because we had paid a £200 damage deposit for the original booking, that was due to be refunded when checking out. Again, I was quickly reassured that as soon as we sent proof of this (bank statement) it would be processed for refund too, since we never actually stepped foot inside.
“So we went to the new hotel relatively pleased that the ordeal was over and was being dealt with, aside from the fact we were only checking in at 11pm,four-and-a-half hours after arriving, and had been stranded in Finsbury with an 8 month old baby.
“As soon as we got back, we sent off the bank statement and emails confirming the second booking and we were told by Booking that it was being processed and the apartment company told us that we would be reimbursed within 14 days.”
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After the is period, no money appeared and having contacted Booking.com again, they were told it hadn’t been processed because the bank statement was missing key information and needed re-sending.
Charlotte continued: “Nobody mentioned this when we sent it and it was supposedly being processed? We also got in touch with the apartment, they apologised and assured us that they were going to manually process the deposit so it would definitely show in 8-14 days.”
This time also passed with no money being transferred, and after calling Booking.com, Charlotte stated they seemed angry about the reimbursement not being paid and that they would take it into their own hands and process it with the £240, with it taking no longer than 7-12 working days.
The worst experience ever with @bookingcom – I don’t have enough characters but still waiting for a £441 refund SIX WEEKS after the trip. Every single advisor says something different and makes new promises but money never appears!! ABSOLUTE SHAMBLES https://t.co/Q09qA25m4S
— Charlotte (@Charlotte_Alty) September 7, 2018
Charlotte continued: “We’ve now waited these 7-12 working days and neither amounts of money have appeared. In our latest call to Booking.com we were told to send the bank statement again for the deposit as there was no record of it on our file. After asking for a manager they found one copy of it and this is supposedly being processed now.
“They’ve said that the £240 difference has definitely been processed so they can’t do anything else and it will appear when it appears? Apparently, it’s ‘peak season’ so it might be delayed beyond the 12 day’s promised, and they can’t tell us how long.”
It has now been six weeks since the group returned from their trip, having not yet received any of the money promised.
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Charlotte said: “We’ve basically been forced to give up on Booking.com taking care of it, if you look through the comments on their Facebook posts you’ll see that there’s so many other people that have had similar issues that aren’t being dealt with!
“I think it’s a disgrace that they are getting away with taking people’s money, making so many false promises and then accepting no responsibility for their affiliated companies! We won’t ever use them again and would really urge other people not to either. We have used them so many times in the past and been fine but it seems like as soon as an issue arises they are totally incapable of dealing with it.
“They may have good prices but it’s just not worth the risk if something goes wrong, they obviously don’t regulate or check on the places they’re promoting and have no concept of customer care whatsoever!”
A spokesman for booking.com said: “At Booking.com, our top priority is to help guarantee a smooth and pleasant experience for our customers that empowers them to enjoy travelling wherever and whenever they choose.
“Our customer service team are available to answer any questions or concerns they may have 24/7, especially when in very rare cases, something unexpected occurs with their reservation at a property.
“Regardless of the issue, we always try to resolve it quickly and satisfactorily, so that our customers can get back to having a great travel experience, just as we have done in this case, relocating the customer to a suitable alternative as soon as were notified that she couldn’t gain access to the property when she arrived.
“We are also working to expedite the refund process (for the deposit charged by the original property as well as extra costs associated with relocation) following receipt of relevant documentation from the guest.”
Have you booked with Booking.com? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below