Consumer NZ warns travelers to avoid online agent eDreams after complaints
Consumer NZ has received several complaints from customers who have booked with online travel agency eDreams. (File photo)
Complaints from customers struggling to get refunds and support from online travel agency eDreams prompted Consumer NZ to issue a warning.
The watchdog has received several complaints from customers who encountered problems after booking with eDreams.
Among the complainants was Alesha Canham, who had booked flights with eDreams for a vacation with her terminally ill partner and infant son.
After noticing that her son’s name was misspelled, Canham spent weeks trying unsuccessfully to have eDreams correct the error. The problem was finally solved when Qatar Airways intervened.
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For Alejandra Hernandez, the eDreams nightmare had dragged on for nine months, and she was still waiting for a refund.
“They pretended to do things, but they didn’t do anything…they wasted my time and stole my money,” she said.
Consumer review website Trustpilot shows that the complaints are not isolated. As of Wednesday afternoon, 33% of 106,152 eDreams user reviews rated the company as “poor” or “bad.”
eDreams has been approached for comment.
The company, which operates a New Zealand website, is based in Barcelona, Spain, and does not provide customer support by phone or email. Instead, customers can manage reservations through an online portal or chatbot service.
Consumer NZ investigative writer Rebecca Styles said it can be very stressful when travel plans go wrong.
“If you can’t get help and support from your travel agent, it makes a bad situation even worse,” she said.
“To avoid travel nightmares, we recommend booking with a New Zealand-based travel agent with a good reputation for customer service, or booking directly with the airline.”
Your international travel rights, according to Consumer NZ
- If your international flight is cancelled, your rights differ depending on a number of factors, including the reason for the cancellation, where you are, your destination and the location of the airline.
- At a minimum, you will be entitled to a refund, a credit or to be re-booked on another flight.
- You may also be entitled to compensation for any costs arising from the cancellation of the flight, such as food, taxi and accommodation costs.
- Check your travel insurance policy to see if you might be able to make a claim under it.
- If a travel agency or airline is taking a long time to process a refund for a canceled flight, you can request a chargeback through your bank if you paid with a credit or debit card.
- If you have a problem with a New Zealand-based travel agent, you can take them to the Dispute Tribunal to resolve the issue.