Wednesday, January 25, 2012

eDreams?! More like eNightmares !

Back in mid November I decided I wasn't going home for Christmas but instead in early January, and boy was it stressful getting the flights booked!!

Before last fall it would have been a really easy and straight forward process: get on the Ryan Air web site, skip through all their attempts to make me book expensive extras I don't need, and voila! Flights booked in less than 5 minutes.
Unfortunately since last October Mr O'Leary decided to get even greedier and the airport I usually use was forced to cancel a few Ryan Air routes, including Dublin. Was I travelling between April and October I would have booked Aer Lingus, but their Dublin link only operates between those 2 months.

I was then faced with the fact that I was gonna have to get connecting flights with a non low cost company. For a few days I kept an eye on a few different web sites offering cheaper flights than the actual companies' web sites, and in the end I decided to pick eDreams .
Man was I in for a few EXTREMELY stressful weeks!!!!
I am a very organised person, and especially when I travel I ALWAYS need to be in total control; particularly when I fly on my own stress hikes up to ridiculous levels, for I have to book special assistance because of my eyes, never mind knowing I needed connecting flights!
So there you have it, I was already agitated even before booking flights.

Before picking flights I researched how the web site helps you booking special assistance: during the process, you get asked if you need a wheelchair or if you need their customer service to contact you for any other type of assistance.
I booked my flights and it all went well...until I got my confirmation e-mail, which stated my wheelchair assistance was also confirmed. Pardon? Wheel chair? Were they not meant to contact me like I had stated?
I took into my own hands to contact them about it: I informed them that I could walk with my own legs but needed assistance as visually impaired. Their response: "Dear customer Your wheelchair request is confirmed".
Huh?! What?!?! Do they not understand basic English?!
At this point I should point out that then they only had 2 or 3 Customer Service phone numbers, and from Ireland I was meant to call a number in France. I don't think so!
Thankfully a simple e-mail to Lufthansa a few weeks later fixed the problem for me; it was only ONE e-mail that was needed but they were really kind and understanding in it, and after the APPALLING way eDreams had been treating me, it was a breath of fresh air. Keep reading and you'll be gobsmacked too...

After a few more phone calls to friends and family friends to organise days and evenings out, I picked a date to fly back and stupidly decided to use eDreams again, mainly because all the other web sites offered extortionate prices.
I found what I thought was an extremely cheap option to fly back through London Gatwick for €150, I couldn't believe my eyes and reserved the journey straight away!
I was pretty happy with that considering the going out flights through Frankfurt had cost me €276... except I wasn't ready for the confirmation e-mail for the returning flights.

I was REALLY close to a panic attack when I opened it and to my horror saw that yes, I was flying into Gatwick....but I then would have had to pick up my checked in luggage, transfer to Heathrow and check in to another flight?! EXCUSE ME?!?! I did NOT book a flight from Heathrow!!! And all with THREE hours between landing and taking off again!!
I went into all out panic because I had the feeling they would have not refunded me!
If their web site had shown HEATHROW in the search engine and booking process, I would have NEVER booked it, with my eyes I could never make the transfer and everything on my own!
I decided to try contact them anyway, maybe they'll understand, seeing as I'm gonna have to book ANOTHER set of flights anyway as all the other web sites are too pricey. And boy was I wrong!!!!
My e-mail: "Whilst making this booking today on the web site, it kept coming up as Bologna to Dublin through Heathrow. However when I got the first of the 2 confirmation e-mails I saw that the first flight was to Gatwick and not Heathrow. I am visually impaired so there is no way I would have booked it had it said from step 1 that I had to transfer to another airport.
Don't worry, you will still be making money from me as I have had to make a new reservation: #XXXXXX.

I am writing this e-mail to ask for the cancellation of the first booking and to request airport assistance as visually impaired on the second booking as I had no option to request it during the booking(I require a walker from the check in desk to the plane and again from the plane to the terminal).

I REALLY hope you will be able to help me.

Their response: "Dear customer We would like to inform you that the airline allows changes to flight reservations with a charge of 70 euros . If your original fare is not available you will have to pay the difference plus the indicated charge.
Furthermore, as stated on our website, eDreams calculates 35 euros or every modification
Please contact us via phone for any modifications."

It does not make sense?!?! Does anyone in your customer service team understand English?!
I asked for clarifications and all they e-mailed back was "We are sorry to inform you that this reservation doesn't allow any cancellations as this ticket is non refundable .
In case of doubts or any questions, you can just contact us.
Contact you?! No, I can't because you do not comprehend basic English!!!

I know it was my "fault" and I should have activated my video desktop recorder whilst booking the flights, but surely I shouldn't HAVE to?!?!?!?!?!?!

I don't exactly swim in cash at the moment and the fact I had lost those €150 made me furious beyond belief!! Never mind their ridiculous Customer care!

I thought that would have been it and I didn't have to hear from/see eDreams ever again: AGAIN I was VERY wrong!!!!!!

A few days before I was due to fly out Lufthansa kindly sent me a reminder e-mail of my journey and details to check in online if I wish to do so. My blood FROZE when in said e-mail appeared extra return flights for 2 weeks later I HAD NEVER BOOKED!!!!!!
I phoned Lufthansa who kindly informed me that when my booking was made by eDreams on my behalf, return flights were also booked.
I got on to the ****** straight away!!
"I am writing in relation to a booking that I did NOT make and have been charged for on my credit card (please find your confirmation e-mail attached) .

Lufthansa emailed me a journey reminder for this Sunday, January 1st (also find this attached), flying from Dublin to Bologna via Frankfurt, as per booking made by me, like your confirmation e-mail attached shows.
However, said Lufthansa reminder also showed coming back flights on the same routes for Sunday, January 15th WHICH I NEVER BOOKED on your website, and which you can see do NOT show up on your confirmation e-mail.

I did call Lufthansa and they confirmed that eDreams booked going out AND coming flights on my behalf, even though I NEVER booked flights for January 15th, as shown by your e-mail.

Also, I find it VERY bad customer service form that there is no phone number for me to contact you from Ireland.

This is the THIRD time I have issues with you in the space of a month, once involving my trying to book special assistance as I'm visually impaired (and you still couldn't help). both previous occasions I have been treated VERY badly, by your International customer service that could barely grasp/write basic English.

Their response:
In reply to your request, we kindly inform you that during the booking, the system selected a round trip ticket because it was cheapest than a one way ticket. With this process, the customer pays the best fare available.

The return ticket will be automatically canceled with no charge.

My reply to that was:
"IF that is the case, then why was I not informed of this during the booking process?

Do you not think your customers should be made aware of this instead of causing confusion and panic?

What if I rang your UK premium number from Ireland to resolve this instead of by email? I get the feeling this is how you make extra money from vulnerable customers like me. I would be ready to bet on the fact I'd be put on hold straight away for a few minutes.

I feel your customer service/information is EXTREMELY poor and I will make sure I point this out in a post on my blog, read by many people from all over the globe.

I for one will not be using your web site EVER AGAIN and I feel other people need to be warned against your scheming ways..

Once can happen, twice is kind of suspicious, but a third episode of appalling customer service is well out of order/a joke."

This last e-mail was on December, 29th.
I am STILL waiting for a reply.

An eNightmare INDEED!!!


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