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We booked this holiday through groupon, as a tour package called 777.. actual COST $777 each X3
We live in Sydney, but booked Melbourne to China, even though we'd have to pay for domestic flights too, as Sydney was sold out, but we thought it'd be worth it as the deal was so cheap.
We contacted SNA many times to find out the actual day the flight leaves, always they said, we're not Sure probably 7th or 8th November.
Finally we get confirmation after months of calling, that the flight is on the 8th Nov, and flights always leave in the afternoon around 4 to 5 pm so you'd be safe to get there about 12-1pm
Many times we asked SNA to send confirmation of tickets to both adults emails we originally gave, as the phone with one of the email addresses is shattered, and we're locked out of the email, as we don't have email password nor original phone number, they continuously ignored our request to do so.
After they confirmed the flights for 8th Nov in July /Aug, we booked flights melbourne, for the 7th.. and hotel. Two months after they confirmed the flights for 8th Nov, a women from SNA, called me in Sept, and said, "sorry, your travel dates have been changed for the 7th of November, i started bawling my eyes out, crying "but you told us that it's definitely the 8th of Nov, and we've already booked domestic flights to melbourne for the 7th, and hotel.. Eventually she got back and said, 'yes it's ok your flights are now confirmed for the 8th again" I asked, where is the tickets, I've given you the correct email address 6 times, still we received nothing
That's when I really started to panic and called groupon, in October, telling them of the situation, how I feel they can't be trusted, changing dates and ignoring both our request for plane tickets ect to be sent to correct email..
Groupon didn't care less, stating the vouchers had been redeemed in August already by merchant, no refund allowed
This is where it gets really ugly...
The morning of the 8th Nov, I called SNA from the melbourne Hotel, panicking, pleading, "where's our tickets, we've still not received them, he said" your flights have just left, 9am" I cried we were told the flight leaves around 4-5pm!"
He said," your tickets were sent to you via email, in October.. I started bawling," nooo you didn't send them, I don't have them, you've made a mistake, and the flights we were told always leave in the afternoon, around 4-5 pm latest"
He asked, who told you this, I told him his name, and stated 'he even said he confirmed with a supervisor "he argued," no he didn't.. a woman then took my call and told us to go straight to the airport and explain what happened to the airline, China Southern Airlines.. When we got to the airline, we were told by the manager of China Southern, "we can't help you, its our policy, no show no go, we can't arrange another flight, even if there are vacant seats because, its against our policy, call the travel agency..by now we are all bawling our eyes out, trying to explain what SNA had done, but this Chinese man was so cold he didn't CARE, continuing to tell us, "I can't help!" .
The agency called back, he, the supervisor said, you're just trying to blame someone, the tickets were sent your email address in October... "I had a nervous breakdown,, then and there, and kept repeating, but you didn't send them to the correct email address if you even sent them at all" he then hung up.
My young son was on the floor bawling his eyes out.. a help desk referred us to a team of 2 who worked for airport, who help people in crises, to negotiate on their behalf with airlines... But they said China Southern are worst to deal with, ruthless, and have left the office.They then organised for jetstar to change our return flight to Sydney ASAP.
Next flight avail was following day, 12.30 pm.
We slept at airport overnight, 30 hours waiting to get home, from a trip to no where, all of us devastated. Total cost lost, $6000+. Visas, passports, hotel, domestic flights, taxis to and from airports, and over 2300 lost through groupon, I can't believe I trusted them after already one bad experience with a merchants false advertisement in groupon, which they refused to remove from their site even after I show them evidence of this illegal advertisement.
Don't trust them, groupon, nor the merchant SNA...
when groupon were notified, they asked for details of Events, total expenses lost, dockets ect, to be sent via email to groupon customer support, but before I had the chance to send anything they sent an email saying, not our responsibility, take it up with merchant your tickets were already redeemed in August this year.
When I asked groupon, "why didn't you wait for details of events like you asked?", they sent practically the same previous email.. When I then threatened to go to media or lawyer, they replied,
"go to third party, we'll tell them the same thing"
We've all been so depressed for three weeks now, as we saved for this trip for years and lost it all, we feel totally scammed by groupon for ruining what was meant to be, the holiday of a life time for my small family.
Reason of review: Totally scammed through groupon by their dodgy merchant.
Monetary Loss: $6000.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
Groupon Cons: Conned me.