Expedia Best Price Guarantee Turning To A Scam?

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A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a message couple of months ago regarding issues he was having with the Expedia’s Best Price Guarantee and I had it as a Reader Question.

Expedia Best Price Guarantee

Reader was complaining that Expedia was not processing his claims, replying to emails or depositing the $50 Best Price Guarantee coupons to his account.

You can access Expedia’s Best Price Guarantee program page here.

Why does they offer guarantee in the first place?

Expedia Best Price Guarantee Fantastic Value

Expedia prominently advertises the guarantee on its home page and on various other pages when you are making hotel and air bookings.

The company wants to reassure the consumer that they would have the lowest prices by offering the guarantee, although this is rarely if ever the case when it comes to the hotel prices.

Basically Expedia wants to close the sale while you are at their website before venturing out to other sites to compare their prices to (Expedia shows some comparison prices from other websites they own that have same prices).

Here are my two recent negative cases with Expedia’s Best Price Guarantee program:

1. Expedia Flight Purchase

Purchased flights on Expedia that were lower on Priceline and filed for the claim. Expedia acknowledged the receipt of the claim and promised to get back to me within 72 hours.

Thank you for your submittal. We’ve received your request for the Expedia Best Price Guarantee.
Please expect to receive a response from us within 72 hours.

Thank you for choosing Expedia and letting us help you Find Yours.

—–Original Message—–

To: travel@customercare.expedia.com

Additional Recipients:

Subject: Best Price Guarantee Flights

Sent: Feb 4, 2015 4:16:21 AM

BEST PRICE GUARANTEE CLAIM

—————————

Purchase Date: 02/04/2015

Purchase Type: Flight

Price Paid: 489.40

Lower Price Found: 489

Where lower price was found: website

Website URL (Lower price found): www.priceline.com

Additional Comments: Priceline has the same itinerary for $489 compared to $489.40 on Expedia.com. Please match.

Attachments: Expedia Priceline HKT-AUH BPG.png

On February 8, sent the following email to Expedia:

It is now more than 100 hours since I filed the Best Price Guarantee and have not heard back from you yet, although you promise to get back within 72 hours. What is going on?

No reply and sent the following email on February 10:

It is now more than a week since I filed the Best Price Guarantee for the flight that I purchased and now had already flown as well. You promise to process these within 72 hours, but apparently that is not the case.

No reply and sent the following email on March 3:

It is now more than a month since I filed the Best Price Guarantee to which I did receive a confirmation that promised you to get back to me within 72 hours.

Please process the match without further delays.

Automated reply from Expedia on March 3:

Thank you for your submittal. We’ve received your request for the Expedia Best Price Guarantee.
Please expect to receive a response from us within 72 hours.

Thank you for choosing Expedia and letting us help you Find Yours.

The reply included the entire message chain from the original claim.

Then on March 5 came the email:

Thank you for contacting Expedia regarding our Best Price Guarantee.

We’ve got great news!

We’ve approved your request and initiated a refund in the amount of $.40 to the original form of payment used during your purchase. The time it takes to post to your account will depend on how quickly your credit card company processes these funds.

In addition, your $50 Expedia Travel Coupon will be added to your account within 6 to 8 weeks after your qualifying travel itinerary has been completed.

2. Expedia Hotel Purchase

Purchased a hotel reservation and filed for the Best Price Guarantee. Never received the email confirming that they would have received the claim.

Forwarded the reservation confirmation email to <eliteplus@expedia.com>, <bpgreview@expedia.com> with the following message:

I filed a Best Price Guarantee claim for the hotel below more than 10 hours ago and never received even an email acknowledgment that you have received the claim and would be replying.

The hotel is more than $20 less on Travelocity’s mobile app and likely on the website as well per the attached screenshot.

Expedia’s reply:

Thank you for your submittal. We’ve received your request for the Expedia Best Price Guarantee. Please expect to receive a response from us within 48 hours.

Thank you for choosing Expedia and letting us help you Find Yours.

Didn’t receive reply from Expedia and sent the following reply:

It is now more than 48 hours since I filed the claim and have not heard back from you.

Please process the claim without any further delays.

Reply from Expedia:

We’ve approved your request and initiated a refund in the amount of $16.80 to the original form of payment used during your purchase. The time it takes to post to your account will depend on how quickly your credit card company processes these funds.

In addition, your $50 Expedia Travel Coupon will be added to your account within 6 to 8 weeks after your qualifying travel itinerary has been completed.

Thank you for choosing Expedia.

Name removed
Expedia Customer Service Team

The claim wasn’t processed the usual Best Price Guarantee department because they never include their names on replies.

Conclusion

Expedia used to have very fast reply time to the Best Price Gurantee claims (sometimes within minutes). Seems that they have started to “forget” claims or simply not process some unless you keep bugging them.

If Expedia doesn’t want to honor their own Best Price Guarantee program, why continue offering and promoting it? Nobody forces the company to have it. They certainly wouldn’t unless they feel that it is beneficial for their business.

These $50 coupons really don’t cost $50 to Expedia especially now that they come with $100 minimum purchase requirement. Expedia’s margins on prepaid hotels are 15% to 25% (read more here). I would imagine that they break even on most orders placed using these coupons.

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