For all you travelers out there, BEWARE. You know the sites.. .Orbitz, Cheapoair, Travelocity and all the gazillion other ones. Every day there are new ones, too. I know a lot of people who read this site are travelers and that means you are buying airline tickets regularly. . .which also means you are quite often looking for the best prices.
I recently just had the most awful experience with one of these websites and I feel like it is my duty to humankind to disclose this information so that you won’t get screwed like I did. I mean, it’s really all about sharing the love, and if that means you will read this and save yourself a headache, lost money, or lost time, then I can rest knowing I saved you somehow, somewhere in this gigantically small universe of ours.
DO NOT USE CLEARTRIP FOR ANY BOOKINGS!!!
Just the other day I was happily booking my ticket back to good ol’ America to see my family and found a nice looking ticket on Cleartrip. It’s one of those sites that pops up when you do the compare option like on Kayak or Travelocity, etc. It comes up like the rest of them do so I didn’t think anything of it.
But, boy oh boy, was I real disappointed in a matter of seconds. . .
I clicked on the flight I wanted, I put in my credit card details, and then I clicked ‘Buy’ like usual. Instead of getting a confirmation screen I got an error message saying I was getting a refund.
A refund? For what?
Then I logged onto my bank account and found that 86,000 rupees (which is almost a lakh and A LOT OF FREAKIN’ MONEY) or 1400 US dollars was withdrawn from my account.
Um, wait. I didn’t get a ticket AND I got charged for the ticket I didn’t get?
Yep, that’s right, folks. I don’t really know what kind of a business takes money from someone without the exchange of a product other than idiotic assholes. . .ahem. . .bad business people. . .but I find this technique to be dodgey, unfair, and truly screwed up.
I called up Cleartrip, obviously, to figure out why they took my money and why I didn’t get a ticket. They informed me that the airline hadn’t given them a proper code for that specific flight. . .which basically means that they didn’t really have that flight to offer and took my money for it anyway. Are you getting this?!
Then, they so nicely told me that they would “kindly” refund my money in 5-7 business days!!!!! WTF!!!!
Okay, my blood was boiling at this point. First of all, that’s a lot of money to take and hold for no reason, no service, and no product. It’s not like we’re talking about five bucks here, people. This is unacceptable.
Second, I didn’t have enough money in my account to buy another plane ticket until they “kindly” refunded the money that they temporarily STOLE. And you know what? Ticket prices go up every day, dude. This is not fair.
Also, if you’re in a situation where you need to exit a country for visa reasons and they just take your money and don’t give you a ticket, well, you’re totally screwed. So, travelers. . .many of us travel with small budgets and this kind of thing could really get some people into a big mess. And according to the research I have done on the internet, Cleartrip apparently doesn’t always refund people, either.
When I asked the Cleartrip customer service person why they took my money without giving me a ticket they had no response. They also said it was “policy” to hang onto my money for almost a week before they refunded it. Crazy people!
For almost a week I watched ticket prices go up every day and then I FINALLY got my refund. I am very glad that I was one of the lucky people to actually get my money back but now the ticket that I wanted is 200 dollars more. Thanks for nothing!
Cleartrip will never have my business again. They are not trustworthy and they are dodgey thieves who don’t know how to run a proper business. Between long, annoying phone calls to them and to my bank, losing out on hundreds of dollars, and the stress of not knowing if my money was going to be returned. . .
Do yourself a favor and NEVER USE CLEARTRIP for your travel booking!
Okay, that’s my rant. I hope it serves you well. And I hope you find happy travels with another site. There’s plenty out there, family.
Next time, if a site comes up that I don’t recognize I will Google it before using. Check your sources. Always.