My problem with Priceline.comMy problem with Priceline concerned double booking, i.e. booking two rooms in the same city for the same night. It began when I received a MasterCard bill with two Priceline charges. I had bid (low) for a room in downtown Salt Lake City and was not surprised when Priceline rejected it. I then placed a second bid, slightly higher, and got a room near the Airport. It was still a good deal and I mentioned it to friends. When I got the bill, I called the Priceline consumer number and was assured that I'd accepted both bids. A supervisor confirmed their position.
I immediately wrote to corporate offices (Stamford CT - my home town), the CT BBB and the CT attorney general. At the time Priceline had been expelled from BBB and sued for reinstatement; they were under more than normal pressure to be reasonable. BBB eventually gave me a corporate headquarters number. I explained my case to the representative and was told she'd call back in a couple of days. About 5 days later, I called myself. The representative said that Priceline couldn't prove acceptance of the first bid (I hadn't saved the rejection) and that if I paid the $5.95 handling fee they'd accept equal blame and cancel the charge. I agreed and asked for written confirmation. Shortly thereafter I discovered that by paying the fee I was accepting blame (on their books). I called the representative again and asked for written confirmation of the oral agreement. I never received it.
Since then I've made double bookings on purpose. Standard procedure is for the computer to warn me before the second booking. In retrospect I should have insisted on paying the first (lower) charge, waiving the handling fee, and agreeing only in writing and never orally.