Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Expedia Flight Booking - Currency Scam - Beware!

While booking on Expedia, please be aware and make sure you have a screenshot of every page you visit while booking. I would rather encourage people not to book via Expedia, because if there are issues, then you will have to reach out to their support and trust me, it is one of the worst support centers where the representatives don't have much insight or authority and cannot help you at all, except stating "we will escalate this". So better, choose trusted airlines websites or any others that have been working for you.

In short,  Expedia website displayed prices in SGD but on the last page after I entered my credit card details, the booking was confirmed and I received an email with receipt in USD (of same number of dollars). So in effect, I am charged 808 SGD while the ticket price was 574 USD; and even as I type this, on 23rd mid night, the prices are still about 600 SGD for the same route.

On Aug 17th, I booked a couple of tickets to Bali from Singapore. Here is how the booking was done (All screenshots attached below):
1. Open google chrome in Incognito mode
2. Type "Expedia" in the search window and enter
3. The first website that is listed is "expedia.com.sg" - click on that and move on to the flight search page; even if I would have typed "expedia.com", it would redirect me to local website with a pop up (and I just tested this); so there is no possibility that I would have gone to to expedia.com because my incognito window always redirects me to SG website.
4. Enter source as Singapore and Destination as Bali for Aug 25th as starting date and Aug 30th as return date.
5. Continue with the selection of flights; I choose Scoot and Garuda Indonesia (no additional charges for returning flight). The total cost displayed was 287SGD as on Aug 17th, but I took a example screenshot on Aug 22nd, which shows 294SGD (about 7 SGD increased)
6. On the final page, the total bill was 287 SGD * 2 which is 574 SGD plus additional 14 SGD for card charges
7. I booked the ticket and only realised that they charged me in USD 574 after 5 days.

I called up Expedia Support Center (Singapore) and they said, the booking is with Expedia US and they cannot help. I tried to explain them that I did the booking indeed through Expedia Singapore and prices were in SGD; they said they will update me in 3 days.

I talked about it on twitter and twitter handle @expedia requested details about booking. They said the same thing that I did the booking through US website and hence the price. I asked them to provide the fare listing of the particular route on Aug 17th at around 9 PM, when I booked. They said that they will not have this insight and they need to escalate. One of the customer support folks asked me to check if the credit card that I used is charged in USD or SGD. I looked into my credit card and it is even weird - half the journey is charged in SGD and half the journey is charged in USD. I asked them, how is it possible; even then they refused helping stating that it is still US booking and hence USD were deducted. 

I, then, checked on US website (which I never visited before for SURE) to even check the price listing for the same route, date and time. The USD price was much lesser that what I was charged; why did they charge me 574 USD plus, is a mystery. I can understand that the flight charges may vary but this is unreasonable. I believe there is some bug in their system that is creating this problem but the worst part is Expedia support is not even attempting to look into it. 

Simply, they can check the price listing for that particular day (they should be having this data for sure, being such a big company), and at least respond about that. There has been no response. I searched on google, whether someone else also faced similar issue and there you go; I was not alone. Someone else posted on one of Singapore forums here:

https://www.allsingaporestuff.com/article/beware-expedias-pricing-scam

There might be many more who are affected by this. 

If you have read through this, all I can say is that stay away from Expedia - because there are bugs and even if it is something else you need help with their support, they are just PATHETIC. 























Even if I type, expedia.com on the browser, it always gets redirected to expedia.com.sg:


































Credit card billing (half in SGD and half in USD); and I have no idea why they charged me twice on return ticket while I did a single transaction: