I am not exactly IT illiterate, I have been a web developer for 15 years but I am human and humans do make mistake occasionally.
Yesterday, I unfortunately did 2 mistakes, the first one was to decide to book a hotel on lastminute.com, the second one was to enter the wrong dates for my booking, it never happened before.
As a normal human being I just thought that just calling them to amend the dates would fix the situation, I was very wrong, I had no clue about the type of people I was dealing with.
The first problem is that they seem to outsource their customer support to India, bless the indians who have their own problems there, but many of us are struggling to understand clearly the accent and it is particularly difficult to have a one to one conversation with people who have been trained to react like robots using list of pre-determined scripts and scenarios.
Anyway, after 30 minutes on the phone I was told to call the hotel and that they will sort it out. I called the hotel and they told me that lastminute.com only could amend the dates. So I called back lastminute.com and guess what they told me to call back the hotel. I called the hotel for the second time and was told that actually lastminute.com proxy their booking through Expedia and that I had to call Expedia, nightmare scenario.
Tired of explaining my story to scripted robots, I decided to explain my situation using the lastminute.com contact form, explaining that I wasn't asking for a refund but just for a change of dates or a voucher or anything really. I had spent £130 to book a hotel as a Christmas present for my partner and was shocked to realize there was no willingness from their part or gesture of goodwill to assist with the situation.
This is the reply I had from lastminute.com:
"Thank you for your email today about your hotel booking. I have checked the policy on your hotel booking and it states that your booking is non-changeable and non-refundable. So we cannot cancel or make any changes to the booking. There will not be any refund for the cancellation of the booking. I am sorry to disappoint you."
Those companies are trading "within the law" but the law has nothing to do with moral and the fact is that they don't care about their customers and not all companies are like that, I have left very positive reviews for many businesses. As an individual I unfortunately cannot do much to compensate that "legal thievery" but what I can do is to review them on as many popular review websites as I can and it will be done.
A little advice, stay away from lastminute.com and middle men in general, they are legal but morally they are rogue traders, they can get away with murder because they've been opted out of the "distance selling regulations", book directly from hotels or travel agencies, don't give a chance to those predators to rob you.
Poor customer service - promised Manager call back within 2 hours, but no call back at all.
My hitch with Lastminute.com is that it tries to perform all, so does not execute any single thing exceptionally well. For example, I know of better internet sites for hotel deals (http://www.theholidayhotels.com)
Got £250 worth of vouchers as a wedding present - very busy year (getting married and all that), tried to book something, hit technical problems and gave up. Tried again a couple of months later, and discovered they had expired a few days previously. Tried to email them, they will do nothing about it - expired vouchers will not be reinstated. Since I had emailed trying to resolve the issue, they then started sending me spam (which I had not consented to).Under no circumstances buy lastminute.com vouchers as a gift - the expiry dates are a massive scam. Reputable companies have vouchers without expiry dates.
My own single experience of this outfit has been awful. I had to book a return to Rio at short notice just before Xmas, and this lot made a small mistake (one letter in my middle name) in the booking. I advised them of this and they decided that my booking (£1760) had to be cancelled and rebooked (£1685). They informed me that I would be reimbursed for the cancellation in 8-16 weeks, but meantime they also charged me a fee for investigating whether they or I had got my name wrong. A pretty easy decision you might have thought. Anyway they made the new booking with my middle name run into my surname this time, giving an odd-looking surname. I also found when I got to the airport that my new booking had been cancelled, but fortunately the airline's booking staff were able to sort the matter out. I thought it was the airline's fault, but the airline now tell me that it was Lastminute who had not attached my reservation properly to my new booking. I had a similar problem in returning from Rio 3 week later.
In the first place it was lucky that I could afford to lay out 2 payments, and in the second place I was lucky with the airline staff I found. However it was all supposed to be refunded, and when 14 of the 16 weeks had passed I reminded them. They then tried to refund the cheaper flight and not the one they had cancelled. When I pulled them up for this they refunded the total £30 short, and 10 days or more later I an still waiting for the £30.
So it's my Lastbooking using Lastminute. If you're in a hurry do the thing yourself.
WE BOOKED AND PAID FOR A 3 NIGHT BREAK IN PALACE HOTEL ANTICO DOGE IN VENICE. LAST MINUTE CONFIRMED THE BOOKING 2 DAYS BEFORE WE LEFT HOME, WE ARRIVED TO BE TOLD LASTMINUTE HAD NOT BOOKED OUR ROOM AND THAT THEY WERE FULLY BOOKED. THE HOTEL COULD NOT REFUND THE £700 AND WE WERE FORCED TO SPEND 3 NIGHTS IN THEIR SISTER HOTEL CASANOVA. DONT BE FOOLED BY THEIR PHOTO'S EITHER,WE WERE IN A SMALL SQUALID ROOM AT THE TOP WITH A SOFA BED AND DISGUSTING MOULDY SHOWER ROOM, OPPOSITE A NOISY LIFT. LASTMINUTE WERE VERY RUDE AND DENIED ANY RESPONSABILITY FOR THEIR FAILURE TO BOOK THE ROOM. THEY REFUSED TO REFUND OR TO COMPENSATE US . ALWAYS PAY BY CREDIT CARD AS LUCKILY WE DID, AND KEEP CLEAR OF THIS LYING UNSCRUPULOUS OUTFIT.
My experience with Lastminute.com is horrendous, I would advice to keep well clear of this outfit.
We took them to small claims and unfortunately lost, we are rather annoyed by the old judge who did not seem to be able to retain much information, but anyway even he admitted (I believe) that lastminute.com rating of a hotel as 'objectively' 5 star, was not correct, you would think that this misrepresentation would make the contract voidable, but not according to British Justice.
Lasminute.com even send us a cancellation confirmation , later retracted, but that was an 'error' the judge said, which did not count even though unilateral error does not affect the validity of contractual actions., go figure.
A Consumer Unfriendly judge in my opinion, I am not an expert, only done business law and jurisprudence in university.....
Why do i get the impression that big business just rule the place and laws don't matter ? seems that lasminute.com is covered in legal teflon, nothing sticks, must be my ignorance , surely...
I and my family will stay well clear of lastminute.com and their parent company travelocity.com.
Another bitter taste from British justice and Big Business. Yep, the legal system being what it is, if you want an easy life avoid sharks. It can be costly and impossible to find redress.
One more tick in my book for Rip-Off Britain
Just my opinion folks.
I booked the second most expensive tickets for Phantom of the Opera as a gift for my wife and as time was running out i decided to use last minute. The booking process seemed easy and the tickets were to be collected at the theatre, On the night the seats were terrible, restricted view in front and above. Other people around me cleary hadn't paid the same amount yet had far better seats. About a week after the event, Lastminute.com e-mailed me regarding satisfaction and i took the tiem and effort to answer their survey, outlining my dissatisfaction but i am yet to even get an acknowledgement.I would not reccommend that anyone buys theatre tickets via Last Minute unless you are not bothered about the view.
This company should be renamed lastoption.com as I would use any other service than theirs! Booked a hotel through them on my iphone and when it came to purchasing the booking it did not complete so I used another service instead. A week later I noticed I was charged 137 pounds for a hotel I did not use. They maintain the booking went through and that I received a confirmation email (which I did not). They are now checking to see if I stayed at the hotel (which I did not). It took much longer than the 2 minutes specified on the customer service helpline to speak to an adviser who then told me that I had to email them regarding my complaint! When I did email through their website, no confirmation email appeared and so I manually emailed them and this did receive an automated confirmation email with a number on it (interestingly, the adviser never supplied this number). Called the number and spoke to a representative instantly but still the saga continues.....apparently I will hear from them on Wednesday (gives metimeto prepare for the Ombudsman!)
We have been notified two days before our holiday - which I spent ages choosing that the hotel had overbooked and offered in my opinion a sub par alternative. On the original email it stated that we were in our rights to get a refund for the accommodation part of the booking, and it says this is the case in the T&Cs, however calling them they claim this is not the case. The alternatives offered were only to the same price and as you can imagine a month after booking the hotel selection remaining is not great previously cheaper hotels are now the range we are entitled to the day before (a complete con)
I attempted to call their office back to enquire about this but it is only open 9-5, leaving us one day to debate this and sort an alternative holiday. I feel totally conned and will never use them again following this poor experience.
I have booked my flight through last minute and had to change my flight suddenly and found out that any changes to the flights must be through last minute. For that they charge you a service fee of £45 plus the airlines fees (which with last minute are much higher than if you do it yourself online) and any additional cost related to the change of dates. They also told me that I could only change the dates until the end of the following month. I called the airline and was informed that the tickets can be amended and are valid for 12 months, which means that they do not have any restrictions on the re booking dates. Summarising, the service provided was awful and all my money was wasted since it did not worth to change the dates. I would not advise lastminute to any one.
Tried to book a spa offer online only for it to come up with 'Ajax Error' whatever that is. Rang the 0800 number to book (not free as I rang from a mobile). I was on the phone for an hour to an overseas call centre. Complete chaos, the operative could not find the offer, then there was a problem with Mastercard bookings (had I got a Visa card? - no). I was placed on hold several times for periods of up to ten minutes at a time (operative taking other calls during this time? Who knows). After an hour they informed me that I would have to call again using someone else's Visa card!This was a gift that I promised to someone otherwise I would not have persevered for so long.
I was looking to book a holiday to New York and I was comparing whether it would be cheaper to book a package holiday (Flights + Hotel) or book seperately. I managed to look at many websites and lastminute.com attracted by eyes to its low prices for package holidays to New York. The hotel was very nice in Manhatten and it was 4*.
However, when I booked it, it soon become apparent that it was becoming a big mistake. Firstly, when I rang the Hotel in New York, they said our names were not on the system. Then I rang the flight operator and they did say we were confirmed.
I had to call to Lastminute.com but I was talking to an office in India, which had no sympathy or no understanding of the situation. They kept telling us we needed to pay an extra fee for the change in the room. Having previously said on their website that they would give us 2 beds, now saying they wouldn't do that.
I kept calling the Hotel in NY who were very nice and polite and they said they would even call us if our names showed up in their system.
In total we called the Lastminute.com office in India over 10 times with no good response to fix their mistakes. They left us so stressed and they told us even when we reach NYC we would not get the hotel. In my opinion the long hour flight to NY was the worst ever thinking about getting there and having no where to sleep.
In the end we just went to the hotel explaining our issue and that we paid for the room, the Hotel manager was so nice she explained that she would offer us 2 beds and we would not pay any fees also she said they finally received the confirmation on the day of arrival.
In my opinion if you do see a great deal to Europe than you could consider it but a great deal to the USA is very stressful since its a long distance from the UK, and "great deals" would usually start from £700 plus in comparison to European great deals which start from £150+
I was accidently presented with a bill containing a nightly charge for a booking I had made and paid for through last minute.com. I was staggered that the difference was £30 per night, needless to say I contacted last minute as soon as I got home. I was told that the hotel had reduced their rates since my booking due to low room occupancy take up. I knew that this was rubbish as if there are times that a hotel is not going to have a problem with occupancy it is when one of the town's most attended annual events is taking place.
When I followed up my phone call with an e mail, the summarised response was that lastminute.com acts as an agent and the charges are those that have been negotiated with the hotel management plus their commissions. They also apologised that I was misinformed by one of their customer service representatives regarding the reason for the price variance.
I have verified this with the hotel and they confirm that the commission charge is just under 32%.
You may of course think that is reasonable, if so. fine, but I don't. So my suggestion is that you go to lastminute and check availabilty and price, then call the hotel direct and negotiate. I would suggest a 50/50 spilt on the commission- then everyone is a winner. This will only work when someone at the hotel has the power to negotiate, but well worth a try as hotel occupancy is reportedly suffering in these austere times.
I've just got the worst experience in my entire life with "last minute"! No other services were so poor and non-professional and representative+supervisor were so ignorant! They sent me email two days prior the trip (international destination) that the reservation was canceled without any apparent reason! Honestly, neither the rep nor the supervisor did explain me what was the reason.... They claimed that they called me, but it's far from truth as I did not receive any voicemail. They started giving some other stupid excuse saying my bank was closed on the weekend! My bank - TD - is the only one that actually is open 7 DAYS a WEEK! And there is always a representative who will assist you on the phone even during the weekend! So what they say it's B.S. And lie!!!! When I spoke to supervisor she put the phone away and so when I didn't speak there was silence!no answer! After sometime you could hear her picking up the phone from the table and saying repeat it again.... This is soooooooo beyond my understanding! Now the tickets are much more expensive as the date of the trip is soooo close ( 2 days away). No one will pay me a difference! So you guys make your mind and don't use that poor service!!!!!!!