Find out the legal options available to consumers that gets Orbitz to listen to consumer complaints.
Travel and vacation are supposed to be easier when you use platforms like Orbitz. But when big companies like Orbitz make mistakes, their corporate offices clam up and don’t budge, even when you’re totally in the right and just want a refund for a mistaken charge. You can spend hours calling their customer service centers and be put on hold after hold, all for nothing.
Is there anything you can do? Don’t worry – you don’t have to feel like a chump that’s been taken advantage of.
Orbitz is one of the largest travel meta-search engines online, just like Expedia or Kayak. But although they supposedly pride themselves on offering fantastic customer service, many Orbitz users find that it’s impossible to get a resolution for a customer complaint or grievance.
For instance, talking to the corporate offices about a refund or about switching your travel arrangements is more likely to result in an unending line of conversation with phone operators who ask you to “please hold” for the hundredth time than a real resolution.
You can’t get the Orbitz corporate offices to listen, you might consider filing a lawsuit. But this is likely impossible based on the specifics in your contract with Orbitz. Whenever you use their services, you agree to a clause that prevents you from suing them for these issues.
However, you can pursue something called independent arbitration, during which process you’ll hire an impartial arbitrator who can negotiate a legally binding settlement between you and Orbitz. This is allowed in virtually every corporate contract used today.
Any arbitration case that is handled by the American Arbitration Association must comply with a set of rules called the Statement of Principles of Consumer Due Process Protocol. These guarantee that:
As opposed to a regular court case, arbitration can give a customer much more leverage over a big company like Orbitz. That’s because things aren’t automatically tilted in their favor, and larger companies like Orbitz might take greater notice of your complaint or grievance once they realize you are committed to pursuing arbitration.
For instance, Orbitz knows that they’ll have to spend some amount of money preparing for the arbitration hearing regardless of whether or not they win. Then they know they might have to pay extra in the event you win the hearing. All of these monetary factors combined are arguably the best way to get the Orbitz corporate offices’ attention, especially if they’ve ignored you before.
Still, Orbitz might decide to continue ignoring you or treat your complaint as unimportant. In this case, you can still pursue independent arbitration even if you don’t have tons of cash. FairShake can help you prepare for and file your arbitration case without charging you a dime unless you end up winning a settlement.
Be aware, of course, that arbitration is a serious matter and you should only leverage it if your complaint is worth the time and money on both sides. The independent arbitrator may decide that your case is frivolous and put you on the hook for the costs Orbitz incurred during their preparation for the hearing. If your case is reasonable and serious, however, you won’t have to worry about this.
Once Orbitz realizes that you are serious about getting a resolution for your complaint, and that the two of you are on equal footing with arbitration, they may be much more open to negotiation. They may even give you a fast settlement.
But to start arbitration proceedings, you have to give Orbitz a formal heads up that you plan to take them to Independent arbitration. FairShake can assist with this part of the process if you contact us today.
Specifically, we can send a demand letter that begins a 30-day countdown, during which time Orbitz must either give you a settlement offer or at least indicate that they are open to negotiation. Otherwise, we can begin the arbitration filing process. The countdown is 30 days to allow for the required window for arbitration as is likely stipulated in your contract.
About half the time, companies like Orbitz end up caving to customer demands and offering a settlement or solution that’s sure to satisfy. However, they may also decide to hunker down and ignore you even further. In this case, you can start the arbitration filing process by contacting the American Arbitration Association. FairShake can assist both with the filing process and the steps that come afterward.
Arbitration proceedings will normally allow you to decide whether you want an attorney to represent you and provide more legal assistance.
Why should you consider hiring an attorney? Hiring an attorney will allow you to more easily sway the arbitrator to your side of the argument, especially since that legal counsel can point out specific statutes and laws that may apply to your case. But you can also represent yourself – in this case, be sure to check out information from the American Arbitration Association’s Pro Se Case Administration Team so you are prepared.
Overall, hiring an attorney is a smart move. Cases that deal with subjects like improper debt collection or robocalls can be particularly tricky without an attorney on your side.
Ready to get started? The journey to a resolution begins by explaining your complaint against Orbitz and filling out our contact form below. FairShake is dedicated to helping you take on big companies like Orbitz and won’t charge you a cent unless you win your case and are 100% satisfied.
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