Orbitz: Pay For Ticket We Never Sold You Or Else

UPDATE: Orbitz Sent Reader To Collections For Ticket They Never Sold Him

Imagine a mugger holding a gun to you and saying, “I need you to pay for that gold watch I gave you last week.” Confused, you say, “Uh, you never gave me a gold watch.” The mugger says, “Hey buddy, pay me for that watch or else…” He cocks the hammer. Ok, that’s a little melodramatic, but essentially that’s what Orbitz is doing to Josh; they want him to pay for a ticket they never sold him, or else they’ll send him to collections.

June of last year, I tried to book a ticket for my brother through Orbitz. The process went as usual and when I completed my transaction, I was presented with a screen telling me to expect a confirmation email shortly.

Several days later and with 48 hours to go before the flight, still no email. So I called the fine customer service folks at Orbitz and was told, in no uncertain terms, that they did not have a reservation for my brother or myself (just in case I had made a mistake on my end filling out the form). I was then offered the opportunity to buy a new ticket at $200 above what I had originally signed up for. I had to pass and my brother missed a very important family event.

Move forward in time a week, and I find that my BofA checking account has charges from Orbitz and the airline I had originally booked through (American Airlines). You know, the flight that didn’t exist.

I called Orbitz again and was now told that Orbitz never gives refunds. I escalated from one outsourced call center worker to another equally inept call center worker who read from the same script. Since that went nowhere, my next call was to BofA.

It took a lot of time and documentation, but I finally received a letter in October from BofA letting me know that the funds I had been forwarded when I initially disputed the charge was to be made permanent.

So what’s the problem? The call I got today from Orbitz telling me that they got a letter from American Airlines hadn’t received payment and that I would be sent to collections.

Is this true? How can this be? I am lost and confused and just plain fed up. Any guidance or suggestions would really help.

Let’s see, some options:

1) Resubmit your disputation of the charges with Bank of America
2) Forward your complaint to BoA’s CEO (address here).
3) Hire an attorney specializing in consumer debt cases

Any other notions out there?

(Photo: Shermeee)