There are PLENTY of lessons in this cautionary tale — a company that doesn’t have a customer help phone number on its site probably shouldn’t be trusted. The big takeaway from my experience is this: Don’t book through Wegolo.
The other week I was looking to purchase plane tickets and went to Kayak. I had been planning to buy these tickets for some time but for some reason I had set my mind to buy them that day. Hastiness: that was my first mistake. I’ve had great luck with Kayak pulling up some winning (and trustworthy) flight combos for me in the past so I flew a bit blindly into this ticket booking session; whatever it pulled up would be good. That was my second mistake.
Kayak turned up a flight that looked perfect. It was a direct from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Manaus, Brazil. While I was surprised the route from Argentina’s capital to the Amazon was available, I saw Brazilian airline GOL’s logo and jumped on it. I did not bother to check this out another time as the logo was enough for me. Kayak rerouted me to Wegolo. I hadn’t heard of it before and the website honestly looked a bit janky but the flight was still there it seemed, so I continued. (The mistakes just keep accumulating!)
I made the purchase and once all my payment and personal information was in and submitted, it gave me not a confirmation but a red error message.
Then I started seeing the huge red flag wave in front of my face. There was no customer service number found on the site and contact the “Support Team” involves submitting a query in a basic online form. OK, I did it anyway. The automated email response said they would get back to me in two days. Two days?! That’s an awful lot of time in a situation like this if you ask me, especially when that’s the only means of communication. Meanwhile, my credit card already had been charged. It was a pending charge, but it was there. (It showed up as a charge from “CheapTickets,” by the way, and CheapTickets.nl seems to be the parent company.)
I did the research I should have done well before typing in my credit card information. One Google search and I had TripAdvisor forum reviews dating back years detailing awful, faulty experiences. Lots of other people, it seems, have received the same error message I had, including others who like me (woof) had duped themselves into trusting the site through Kayak. Unfortunately a leopard truly doesn’t change its spots, or spotty, shoddy service in the case of Wegolo.
Other people called Wegolo an outright scam and including posters on Fodor’s Travel forums how they or others had been totally and, sadly screwed over. Even when the charges went through and the tickets were “confirmed,” sometimes they weren’t actually real. Can you imagine showing up at the airport and finding out then? Somehow this company is still in business.
Scam or incompetence? Whatever it is, it’s no good. That GOL flight? I searched directly through GOL and it looks like it never even existed. Kayak isn’t the only site that loops in Wegolo to its search results, even TripAdvisor links to it. It’s a good lesson to remember to book directly through the airline… even if sometimes you pay slightly more. But I guess I couldn’t resist the allure of a good deal; sometimes a deal may just be too good to be true.
I alerted my credit card company of the situation and they assured me I wouldn’t be held accountable for the charges. (Thank you!!) Wegolo responded to me a day later. (Response below.) They did credit the ticket cost back to me but because it wasn’t immediate, I lost about $13 USD in exchange rates. I’m counting myself as lucky at the end of it all.
Wegolo: a major no-go.