Expedia, You Don't Mess With the Zohan -- or Anybody Else!

09/17/2010 02:41 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

By the way that was a truly awful film, but now back to the Guns of August!

Expedia sent me an e-mail last night saying they would refund me the $1,319.69 for their August duplicate booking of my flights, and give me a further $100 coupon as "a gesture of our goodwill." But this still leaves several hanging chads, so to speak, most notably: what would have happened had the issue not appeared on the HuffPost?

Firstly, they say: "Expedia is a company that prides itself in providing the highest standards of quality customer service." In that case, why was I treated so shabbily until the issue was featured on the HuffPost? The hours of telephone calls over three days two weeks ago produced a brick wall of denial and total refusal of any refund, despite the obvious fact that Expedia sent me what Alitalia tells me was a false statement, namely that Alitalia had cancelled three booked flights I made with the airline -- New York-Rome, Naples-Rome and Rome-Tel Aviv. It was on the strength of that statement that I rebooked the flights with Expedia. For fuller details of the kerfuffle see my Sept 10 blog. I can only assume that without the HuffPost publicity I would still be fighting for my money through the Better Business Bureau and the credit card company.

Secondly, Expedia says they worked with Alitalia to secure a full refund, as though they did something creditable. But nowhere do they explain why they sent me that first e-mail saying Alitalia had informed them that it had cancelled my flights, an assertion an Alitalia official told me by phone was a lie.

Thirdly, Expedia says they were unable to ticket my original Expedia reservation "due to a communication glitch in our booking system, and we apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this communication issue caused." But I did not complete any original reservation with Expedia since I was surfing various travel sites at the time, including Travelocity. The only confusion or inconvenience caused was due to Expedia's own claim that Alitalia had cancelled my flights. If they were completing a so-called original reservation, why did they not say so plainly? In that case I clearly would not have taken up that new Expedia booking, having already purchased the ticket direct from Alitalia -- and would have told them so.

The lesson? Forget all that caveat emptor crap, folks! You just have to fight, fight and fight again by all means possible if you think you've been cheated, conned or whatever-ed by business.

For more travel experiences see

Also by the same author, Shakespearean spoofs on current day politics at