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      09.06.2008 21:19
      Very helpful



      I am so cross with this experience.

      It takes a lot to reduce me to tears, EBookers did. Tears of sheer frustration!

      The past weekend will go down in my travel history as being the one on which I endured the worst booking experience I have ever had, in many travelling experiences.

      I have spent a week on the internet researching for my Christmas/New Year annual visit home to New Zealand and on Saturday night I made the decision based on price and availability to book on the internet..... using EBookers.

      I went through all the procedure required and when I clicked on the box to put through my credit card it came back saying my security number was not correct: ''use another card or try again later''. I do have another credit card but it's credit limit is low because I do not use it very often...... the amount I was putting through (GBP1044.00) was in excess of my limit on that card.

      I decided to try again later. When I did the same advice came back so I left it a while and tried again. I tried three times. This was my mistake - not that I knew it was erroneous. So, I looked up the top of the website and decided to phone them. This I did on my cellphone as I do not have a landline.

      A man said he would help me so we proceeded to do the booking. He was really hard to understand and I had to say ''I beg your pardon"" quite often and this really ''irked'' him - I could tell because be was extremly short with me when he repeated his questions to me.

      This first encounter was really awful. He asked me my first name and I told him it with each letter followed by a word - you know the procedure P for PET, A for apple etc etc. Now believe it or not he did this about three times. He repeated so much information my cellphone was about to have appolexy when he finally said he was in a position to put my credit card through. It took AGES to get to this stage and then blow me down he said ''because you have pressed the button to use your credit card three times on the site your credit card people have put a BLOCK on it.''

      He said he could not put the booking through... as it would be 24 hours before the credit card would work again. I said could you hold it for 24 hours and book it then. He said ""NO, and you will not be able to have this fare tomorrow either''

      When in doubt ... CRY. Well I can tell you it was out of pure FRUSTRATION ....... I did burst into vapours. He said that i should phone New Zealand and ask my credit card people to unblock it and he would phone me in half an hour and put the booking through.

      Well, at more cost to myself I did this and the lady said there was nothing wrong with my card and that if I went down the road and used it it would work no problem at all. It was not the bank that had blocked my card but the website security people.

      He was to phone me by 9.30pm Saturday night but did not do so and I remembered seeing a COMMENT ON YOUR BOOKING EXPERIENCE on their website so I with no holes barred I filled in the section and told them he had not phoned back in the given time.

      At 11.10pm when I was in bed he phoned and I told him the bank said there was no problem with my card and they could do nothing about it being blocked. Believe it or not he went through the entire booking process again..... yes the P for PET, A for Apple and all other information. I was cross. At the end of this second drama the card still would not work. I told him it was the worst booking experience I had ever had. He knew I was extremely angry and said a colleague of his would phone me the next evening to see if the card would work then.

      During the next morning another man who was extremely difficult to understand phoned and he started to go through the entire ''inquisition'' to do a fresh booking. I interrupted and said as 24 hours was not up until around 8.30pm later than night I saw no use in doing the ''rigmarole'' at that point. He agreed to phone at 9pm.

      Well,. he did and you guessed right he set about doing the entire interview again.... I said where is all the information I gave TWICE last night. He was perceptive enough to know I was not happy. He did dredge up most of the information but I had to do the P for PET, A for Apple bit again ........ only to spend another 15-20 minutes with him .... and you guessed it again.... the card did not work.

      NOW, I was EXTREMELY CROSS..... I told him that his website was the problem not my card..... or security number... I did say i realised this was not his fault but I did not wish to go any further with his company and would he please re-assure me nothing would be put on m y card at any stage and would my personal details please be removed from the system.

      My final sentence to him. ''I do not want to have anything to do with your company again... I will book with another company.''

      And I did.. Today I went on the internet and in 20 minutes I had chosen a set of return flights to New Zealand, paid for it with no problems with my credit card security number, had a confirmation email back and it was all filed in my travel folder in 20 minutes.

      There is nothing nice I can say about EBookers - a dear friend once told me you should not say awful things about people unless you can say something nice..... her rule was to say awful things and then say ''but he/she has nice feet''.

      I cannot even say that. I am wracking my brains to see if there was anything nice.... NO. My review serves to say the attitude of these ''foreign'' personnel when you politely say you cannot understand their language when they ask the sentence in this case was ''frustrating''.... they sounded frustrated and cross with me and i was honestly trying to understand without having to say ''I beg your pardon"" but I cannot help it if I cannot understand them.

      Please do not think I am racist. I am not. I am most tolerant of people of all cultures - it is just in this case I spoke to 2 or three different people and all expressed annoyance with me for not understanding them. This in turn stressed me out.

      This EBookers weekend was one I will never forget. Hopefully someone will find out what went wrong with their website and do something about it.

      Thank you for reading this... I think it is my first negative review and has been therapeutic to write it.... I guess that is not the reason you should write reviews and if I am rebuked for it i will have to deal with that when it happens. Apologies if I have transgressed.

      Final insult: the fare on the internet was GBP1044 and when he was asking all the questions he added that the fare would be GBP1054. I said that it was ten pound cheaper on the website and he said ''No madam, you have the knowledge that you have me booking it for you, no mistakes, so that is why you pay ten pounds more''. Now was that value for money? ... definitely NOT.

      Use EBookers at your peril. (also on Ciao)


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