ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. (CBS) — A long list of bad reviews and an F rating with a major consumer advocate aren’t stopping an online travel agency from picking up new customers.
As CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas reported, the travel agency is also picking up new complaints.READ MORE: Chicago Weather Alert: Snow Totals From Lake Effect Snowstorm
Every second counts at Hermitage International, an Elk Grove Village-based freight company that
works hard to move goods in and out of the country on time.
But lately, co-owner Ned Milic is working to move a refund into his bank account.
“You’re spending a lot of time spinning your wheels,” Milic said, “and that’s a waste of time – time that’s valuable to me”
Over the summer, Milic wanted to transport himself to Serbia to visit family and meet some overseas employees.
“So it was a business trip as well as a personal trip,” Milic said.
Milic found an airfare deal through the online travel agency GoToGate, which boasts of “unbeatable low prices.”
He booked the flight for $670, and later realized he needed to make a change.
“When you call the phone number, nobody is responding. That got me a little worried,” Milic said. “So then I did a little research on it and I found out this company is a company with a lot of complaints.”
GoToGate has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau due to 736 complaints – 73 of them unresolved.READ MORE: Chicago Public Schools Cuts COVID-19 Isolation And Quarantine Period For Students, Staff From 10 Days To 5
Like Milic’s, many of those complaints are about customer service struggles.
Milic said he never got a hold of anyone at GoToGate or the airline who could help him change that August flight – so he didn’t go.
“After a couple months – where is my ticket?” Milic said. “Where is my refund or anything, or a response of some sort?”
CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg said when it comes to overseas trips, it’s best to skip the travel agencies.
“You wanna talk to a travel agent – a travel agent, or to the travel retailer directly – the airline, the hotel, the cruise line, the safari operator,” Greenberg said. “You want to establish a relationship so that if something goes wrong, you actually have somebody to talk to.”
Milic’s bank refunded him – only to reverse the decision, and for some reason give the money back to GoToGate.
“Buyer beware,” Milic said.
Now it’s a load that just keeps getting heavier.
After we reached out to Gotogate, the company immediately began to look into this matter.
Within hours, it promised a full refund and an apology.
They also acknowledge some customer service issues, which they say are being addressed as soon as possible.