Tag Archives: online travel

It’s just getting harder

Nothing is easy these days.  Remember in the early days of the internet – wow this was going to be a Brave New World.  Everything was going to be just within a click – connecting with friends, doing business at the speed of light, shopping online, spending money without ever leaving the house or office.

So what happened?  Now it is a jungle out there.   Weird emails are so yesterday – now I get texts to my mobile phone warning me about “mistakes” in my latest cell phone bill or, even more laughable, links to photos that I don’t want to have shared online unless I pay in bitcoin.  I wouldn’t even know a bitcoin if I saw it and – yep – I am WAY to old to have compromising photos of myself online.  

Damn… I paid good bitcoin not to have this published

This internet jungle thrives in the world of travel and you can never be too careful.  These last couple of weeks the stories have been coming fast and furious.

First there was the lady who thought she was booking with the airline but instead she was booking with CheapFlightsFares in the USA – a company that has been reported to the Better Business Bureau on more than one occasion.  https://globalnews.ca/news/4662739/calgary-woman-warning-online-flight-booking/

Then there is the problem of that notorious message that appears on the screen when you have gone through the whole ticket process, entered the name, date of birth and the form of payment – only to receive this notification –
“your request could not be completed at this time”…. 

When you see that DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER.  There are numerous examples online and this happens with many airlines.  It is a computer problem and the techies claim that this may be due to your browser or too many cookies or whatever – but don’t assume that you do not have a ticket – check your credit card statement and if necessary phone the airline.  If you do not turn up for the flight it is regarded as a “no show” and there will be no refunds at all.

And it is not just flights – hotel booking sites are also implicated.  Want a luxury hotel for cheap?  Well there’s an app for that!   Hackers are offering luxury hotel rooms for dirt cheap…. how do they do it? According to this article they hack into reward programs and other dubious methods to offer up “unbelievable” deals.  https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/wj35yb/how-hackers-sell-luxury-hotels-cheap-discount-loyalty-points-airlines

I had a real chuckle reading this article as it even contained a screen shot as follows –

Wow – they even have to advertise on a  crime forum site!

Oh and yes – you have to pay in Bitcoin – way to make it even more difficult.

I miss the good old days of letters in envelopes and dare I say the old telex machine!  How many out there know what I am talking about?

Are you being ripped off?

Well  M. Joy Hayes PhD. of MotleyFool.com thinks you might be.

She reported that consumers “Turik and Balk are seeking class action status for a lawsuit alleging that these travel sites, as well as Priceline (PCLN) and others, not only failed to offer consumers the best deals, but actually conspired with several large hotel chains to fix prices and prevent competitors from offering you cheaper rooms.”

Well it’s not really surprising – the hotels depend on the large online travel sites for a big piece of their business.   So they have no choice but to smile while Mssrs Expedia, Travelocity and Priceline have them by the short and curlies (sorry old Naval expression I picked up from my dad – no idea what it means!)

Honestly, what is the world coming to?  We got the internet and everything was lovely – then it started getting horrible with worms, bots, viruses and spam emails galore.  Then our cell phones turned into mini computers with email coming in 24/7 and our kids won’t even answer their phones – they just text.

You can’t trust anything online any more.  For all you know I am not a real person at all.  I am just sitting here in cyberspace making this all up.

From : http://www.walletpop.ca/blog/2012/09/05/are-online-travel-deal-sites-ripping-you-off/