Opodo – fraud?Back to Forum
Anonymous8 Jul 2015
Occasionally I make a personal flight booking through Opodo. Recently I had to do this due to a complicated flight schedule. The cost was €596 and the website clearly stated there were no additional administration or service charges. The same €596 cost (with no fees) was confirmed on the page where I clicked to confirm payment.
However, immediately after payment, I got a receipt charging me an extra €39 credit card fee. 39 euros!
I complained to Opodo who merely gave stock responses about how the cost was non-refundable even after I showed evidence of the ‘no fee’ promise. Their only meaningful response was that it is standard to charge a credit card fee of 2.5% I responded that:
1. the fee was not advertised in the first instance; and,
2. 39 euros is a fee of 6.5%, not 2.5%
I got no further with Opodo, so asked for details of their local trading standards office. Thereafter they ceased replying even after multiple (polite) reminders.
Given that fraud is defined as obtaining an advantage by deception, I consider that this falls in that category. Yes, mistakes happen but Opodo have not indicated this.
Has anyone else had poor experiences with Opodo?
JE8 Jul 2015
I’ve used Opodo but never had problems like this. You might wish to consider writing to Watchdog (BBC) to see if they have other people complaining about these practices? Also, check out moneysavingexpert.com and see what complaints they have about similar practices.
I bought a ticket last year online via US Airways. Between clicking the buy button, and US Airways issuing my ticket (about 3 days later), the fare mysteriously went up about £140 GBP. I had a print out of the fare I clicked, and when challenged they said it was ‘currency fluctuation’ plus a change in the fare. When challenged further and a chat about trading standards being involved, they managed to re-issue the ticket with the correct fare. Amazing that.
So keep pursuing it…I think they are on very thin ice and just trying it on to make some money.
Keep us posted!8 Jul 2015
JohnnyEnglish – my son had a near identical experience with them however once he let them know he was a lawyer and would not give up they quickly backed down and refunded the fee. Don’t let them get away with it, they rely on people giving in after a time and of course do let them know you are letting others know via this forum.8 Jul 2015
StephenLondon – 08/07/2015 09:59 BST
Your post remind me of my students days where I worked for a corporate travel agency. It was back in 2007 when ‘online’ booking engines weren’t as automated as they are now and online bookings needed to be manually processed by a human (that same day to guarantee the fare). There were several occasions where a booking would be missed and when it came time to issuing the fare it had increased significanty. We’d either cover the difference or call the airline and beg that they honour the fare as it was at the time of booking (not time of processing).
We never tried to pass it onto the customer though !8 Jul 2015
I stopped using Opodo a long time ago. They refused my card – for no reason – and sent me an email saying “your booking has not been confirmed, please try again if you wish to rebook’.
I then re-booked, but directly on the airline’s website(using same card with no problem).
Three days later, I received an email from Opodo “Your booking has now been confirmed and your card has been debited”.
Opodo immediately admitted their error and promised a refund.
It then took me three months to get my money refunded. Yep, 3 MONTHS.
Why anybody still uses them is beyond me.8 Jul 2015
Why anybody continues trying to get the CC refund from the rogue company, after one attempt, baffles me.
If I don’t get a justified refund, then I tell them I’m going to my CC company, and will raise a complaint, and they will be billed by the CC company for the cost of investigation (as they are – CC firms back-debit the biller when there’s an issue).
That usually brings them to their senses, and if it doesn’t – well, let the CC card issuer handle it.8 Jul 2015
“let the CC card issuer handle it”
From my home here in sunny Beirut, I can tell you that your strategy, whilst perfectly suited to those of you banking in colder climes, most certainly would not work here.
Alas, my bank are using the framed ‘customer service charter’ as a tray from which to serve coffee and I’m left with the option of chasing the rogue company myself.
Hope that unbaffles it a little for you 🙂8 Jul 2015
Thanks to all for responses and suggestions. The credit card route does sound like a good option.
However, the real issue for me here is not so much the 39 euros but what appears to be systemic shady practices by Opodo (there are plenty of other incidents online in addition to those from the BT forum). So trading standards remains an option.
Such duplicity is particularly disappointing from a company supposedly set up by a consortium of major airlines…9 Jul 2015
JE, you should also speak with the Advertising Standards Agency, they will investigate this matter. You cannot go directly to Trading Standards, but the ASA can involve them if they choose to.
Given that you have hard evidence of a firm price quote – then a high er final price, all Opodo will be able to say to the ASA is that it was a systems error, which will automatically result in a refund for you.9 Jul 2015
The problem is finding the right person who actually cares about the problem.
I would complete the paperwork for the small claims court and send it to an identifiable person within the Opodo’s legal department with a comment they have 14 days to resolve with a full apology, otherwise the papers are submitted to the court with copies to Martin Lewis and “The Press”.
Oh… if they ask you to sign an “silence” agreement, tell Opodo they have to pay for you to remain silent…9 Jul 2015