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Charges for incomplete transactions at Trip.com

Open Letter to ( CEO ): 
Mr Travis Katz
Open Letter to ( Company ): 
Trip.com (Part of Ctrip)
Nigel Morris-Cotterill

The Trip.Com website has some serious errors. One is where it takes payment even though the user leaves the payment page without clicking "pay."

Full Details: 

Dear Mr Katz

Last night, using your site as marked on the hotel website, I tried to book for two nights at the Vapa Hotel in Phuket where I will arrive on Saturday. The nights were 23 and 24 February.

I got an on-screen notification that the hotel was available and proceeded through the system. When I reached the final confirmation page, after I put in my card information, I noticed that the amount was wrong. I DID NOT PRESS PAY.

I checked and saw that the amount was for one night only. Also, I was booking for one person but your system had reset to 2 persons. Then I noticed that your system had reset the date and was booking for the 18th February. That being obviously wrong, I DID NOT PRESS PAY and returned via history to the booking page. After two or three more attempts and the date being re-set, eventually, it did show the correct dates, number of persons and then said that the hotel was not available for those dates. I quit out of the site and I did not return to the payment page. Nor, incidentally, did I at any time agree to my payment card details being retained and I trust that they have not been.

Once more, I emphasise, at no time did I press pay and at no time did I authorise any payment via your website.

So far as I was concerned, there was no booking and therefore no reason to check my e-mail.

This morning, I was surprised to find two e-mails purporting to provide a booking confirmation. I immediately went to the website where once more your site's operations provide inadequate service. You want confirmation of the person accessing a booking reference and you do that by way of an authorisation code sent to the registered e-mail address. That's fine. What is not fine is that the numerical value, which must be entered into a grid, does not display when entered from the numerical keypad or the top line numbers on a (my?) PC. the only way to enter the code is to copy and paste each of the six numbers, individually, in sequence. That is ridiculously convoluted and time consuming. Later, I found that the chat system truncates replies with no hint as the acceptable length and, even more stupidly, the input box has a colour scheme of grey on grey which makes it almost impossible to see what one is typing.

Your website shows a completed booking. I did not make that booking. That booking was for the wrong number of nights and the wrong dates and I did not confirm it. I did not press "pay" and I did not go through my credit card company's on-line confirmation process.

Are you getting the point yet? I DID NOT complete a booking nor did I authorise a payment.

I clicked to report to support that this had happened and that your system had made a series of errors which have resulted in an unauthorised charge.

Below is the transcript of the chat:

Trip.com complaint 19 Feb 2019

Welcome to Trip.com. My name is Sophie, I am glad to be of your assistance today.
Sophie_X Today 10:11
Please give a moment, I will look into your or.der.

-Hello Sophie. Thanks

Sophie_X Today 10:11
It is a hotel booking, correct ?

Sophie_X Today 10:12
You are welcome.

Sophie_X Today 10:12
For security reason of this order, could you please tell me the email address that you left in the order? And could you please tell me the guest name?

- It is. there were problems with your website which kept changing the date I was searching for. I realised this just before completing the booking and aborted. I made several more attempts to get it to recognise the dates and when it finally did, there were no rooms available for this coming Saturday

- Nigel Morris-Cotterill xx@xxx.com (redacted)

Today 10:14
- ... Saturday and Sunday so I left the site without completing a booking.

Sophie_X Today 10:15
The email address and guest name is incorrect .

Sophie_X Today 10:15
Sorry it is correct.

- Your system is writing to xx@xxx.com (redacted). I was Nigel Morris-Cotterill when I went onto your site and I still am.

Today 10:17
- there are some serious problems with your website. Even this chat is difficult to use. What kind of dimwit thought grey on grey is a good colour scheme for in input box? I can barely see what I'm typing.

Sophie_X Today 10:18
A second please, I am checking for you now.

- Thanks

Sophie_X Today 10:20
- As long as I can see, we have sent you several emails for this hotel confirmation .

Sophie_X Today 10:20

Dear [redacted], For your booking at Vapa Hotel (Booking no. 8654194893), the hotel has provided a hotel confirmation number: 1. Simply present this confirmation number at reception when you check in.

- I have seen those this morning. I didn't see it last night. But that's not the point: I didn't complete a booking for a night when I wasn't even in that country.

Sophie_X Today 10:22
I am so sorry to tell that his booking is normal and it is non-refundable now.

- It is in response to those emails that I'm contacting you.
- Is that seriously going to be your stance? Your website a) makes mistakes as to date and b) completes a transaction that I have not completed?

Sophie_X Today 10:23
As long as I can see, this booking is submitted at 2019-02-18 18:50 Beijing Time, and we replied you the confirmation email at 2019-2-18 18:52:37 Beijing Time, so in few minutes, it is confirmed.

Today 10:26
- I put the card details into the system, made a final check on the booking details, then realised that the price was wrong. That led me to re-check the
booking information and I noticed it had charged for one night when I was booking for two. Then I re-checked the dates and found that your system had

- ..the character limits on your chat system are driving me mad. There is no warning that it is going to truncate my reply.

- .... your system had redated the booking to one night i.e. last night. I therefore clicked out of the page. I DID NOT PRESS ANY PURCHASE CONFIRMATION and the charge is unauthorised.

Sophie_X Today 10:32
I am so sorry for your situatio, as I double checked for you, your booking payment and reservation is confirmed in 3 minutes .

Sophie_X Today 10:32
And we sent your confirmation email immediately.

Sophie_X Today 10:32
Normally if you enter your card information and click Pay, then the booking is submitted.

Sophie_X Today 10:34
Without your reply in time, this chat will be ended. If you need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

- And that's the point. I DID NOT press "pay" I clicked out of the screen when the errors were noticed.

She then ended the chat and in the "review box" I put "Your response simply perpetuates the fraudulent transaction on my card. A charge-back will now be made. "

So, the question for you, Mr Katz, is simple: are you going to recognise that your company's website is defective and effect an immediate refund or do I make a chargeback?

And, in the spirit of doing business the way your company deals with complaints, you have two minutes to answer.


Nigel Morris-Cotterill