This is an update to my credit card dispute against Priceline. When I went on vacation a few months ago, Priceline gave me a bad hotel. I’m usually not very picky. But this time it was bad enough for me to file a dispute with my credit card company against Priceline. It was the only dispute I ever filed against anybody. Just as I predicted, my dispute was denied. I received a form letter from my credit card company, which said:
“We have thoroughly reviewed the details of your dispute, and based on the information we have received, we are unable to issue a credit for the disputed amount(s). We understand that you were not satisfied with the outcome of the service provided by the merchant. Unfortunately, the merchant has the right to receive payment for services that were rendered. At this time we consider this dispute closed and the full amount now due.”
So basically as long as *some* service was provided, no matter how crappy it was, no matter whether it was misrepresented or not, there is NO protection from the credit card company.
I was not alone in complaining about Priceline’s misrepresentation. Many other travelers left negative comments about the same hotel right on Priceline’s website. Here are few of them:
“You can tell just from looking at the outside of the [...] Hotel that the building is old, and the rooms are just as shabby with old or cheap furnishings, a tiny television, and ceilings that are in ill repair. It really seemed more like an old Holiday Inn or similar budget hotel, and not a three star establishment.”
“I was very disappointed even with the reduced price. The A/C was on its last legs.”
“Very poor! Not a 3 star hotel–dirty chairs with large stains. Dirty curtains. Slow room service. A clock radio that was broken. And a very noisy room–both from road noise and hallway noise. I’ve traveled for years for work–and this was not a 3 star hotel!”
Yet Priceline continues passing off that hotel as a quality hotel.
I didn’t have high hopes for the credit card company. I always thought the credit card protection is a myth. Now it has become very clear to me. Choosing a reputable company for your business is the best defense against unsatisfactory experience. I learned my lesson.