Woman talking(l+r), Expedia App(c)

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‘They do this all the time’: Expedia customer issues warning after getting ‘scammed’ by a ‘fake’ company (updated)

'I have learned to NEVER use Expedia.'


Natasha Dubash


Posted on Feb 28, 2024   Updated on Feb 29, 2024, 11:07 am CST

An Expedia customer shared a warning about “fake” car rental companies that are allegedly scamming customers through the travel website. 

Chelsea Gerbeshi (@sagittariusicedlatte) has had viral moments in the past when she shared her experience working as a Starbucks barista and being fired from another serving job by a boss who assured her that her job was safe. Recently, Gerbeshi hopped on TikTok to warn others not to fall into the same trap she did with her rental car company.

“I was scammed pretty badly using Expedia, and if I were you, I would think before booking anything through them,” she says at the start of her video. 

Gerbeshi launches into a detailed explanation. She says that after arriving at Fort Lauderdale airport, she discovered that the car rental company she had booked with was located outside of the airport. 

She says that she called the company while she was waiting for the shuttle to take her to where the cars were, noting that the company wasn’t listed on the board with the other companies. This was the first red flag, she says.

Gerbeshi says that after confirming with the person on the phone that she would be arriving shortly, she had to wait almost an hour for the shuttle to arrive. She says when a shuttle finally came and took her to the car rental area, it was pandemonium. 

“I get there, and I wait in line for almost two hours,” she says. “People are leaving the front desk, and they’re pissed; they’re like yelling. Something’s gone wrong with every single reservation that somebody’s had.”

Eventually, it was the Expedia customer’s turn, but she says the employee told her that since it was two hours past her reservation time, she was considered a no-show and wouldn’t be getting her car. 

“I’m like, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been here. … I’m not a no-call, no-show. Like, before I came here, we were on the phone multiple times where you got the name for my reservation, and you knew that I was coming here,'” she reportedly told the employee.

However, according to Gerbeshi, they refused to give her a car or her money back. She says that while renting a car through another company, airport employees told her of her original car rental company,”‘ That’s not a real company.’ Everybody at the desk of this place is like, ‘Yeah, no, that’s a fake company. They do this all the time. People always end up in our line after.'”

Gerbeshi also says that when she reported the incident to Expedia and explained her side of the story, Expedia sided with the “fake” company and said that since she was a “no-call, no-show,” she would not receive a refund. 

@sagittariusicedlatte if youre traveling DO NOT USE @expedia but shout out to chase bank and the car rental company that helped me after this #iwasscammed #scams #travelstory ♬ original sound – chelsea gerbeshi

Green Motion Car Rental has not responded to a request for comment from the Daily Dot as yet, but according to its website, the United Kingdom-based car company is the world’s only “100% franchised and affiliate vehicle rental company.” Still, like Gerbeshi, all nine reviewers on TripAdvisor say that they were ripped off by the company and strongly advise others not to book with them.

The TikToker’s video received over 80,000 views, and a number of people shared their thoughts in the comments section. Many people agree that booking with Expedia is a mistake. 

“DONT EVER USE 3RD PARTY SITES!!!! I used to be a manager of a hotel. ill never use them,” one person wrote. 

“I cried in the middle of an airport because of Expedia. That was fun,” a second shared.

A number of people offered Gerbeshi advice on how to get her money back and tagged Expedia in the comments. 

“Contact your credit card company and tell them the situation. They’ll give your money back,” one viewer said. 

“Keep contacting Expedia and use the chat bot to get a live agent on chat. Took me 7 months and multiple agents until one finally gave me back my $450,” another suggested. 

“@Expedia I’ll never book with you because of your shady business,” a third said.

The constant tagging seems to have worked. In the comments section, Gerbeshi updates her viewers, saying, “It took them a minute but i got refunded. it wouldn’t have happened w/o people commenting/tagging them so thank you.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Gerbeshi via Instagram direct message and to Expedia and Green Motion Car Rental via email. 

Update 7:48am CT, Feb. 29: In an email to the Daily Dot, an Expedia spokesperson said the company was “disappointed” to hear about Gerbeshi’s experience and shared further details about the issue.

“Green Motion is a legitimate rental car partner for Expedia,” the spokesperson wrote. “Upon review, we were able to confirm with Green Motion that there was a service failure from their franchise partner in Fort Lauderdale, Chelsea’s pick-up location for her booking. We have worked with Green Motion to process a full refund for her booking and reimbursed her for extra costs incurred due to this issue.”

Regarding fake listings on the platform, the spokesperson had this to say:

“At Expedia Group, we take the well-being and safety of our travelers seriously. When we receive any reports of fraudulent listings, we escalate the report to the appropriate teams to remove the listing from our platform, issue necessary refunds, and ensure that future guests are supported appropriately.”

They added that Expedia has a “dedicated team” to check for “fraudulent or suspicious activity.”

“Listings Expedia determines to be fraudulent after review can be blocked and removed from our site,” the spokesperson continued. “If guests come across a suspicious property via Expedia, we encourage them to share their experience and feedback directly with our Customer Support team.”

Update 11:07am CT, Feb. 29: In an email to the Daily Dot, Green Motion shared the following statement:

“Upon notification from Miss Gerbeshi regarding Green Motion Fort Lauderdale franchise’s failure to service a booking provided by our valued partners Expedia, Green Motion’s Founder and CEO, Richard Lowden, personally contacted her to understand what had gone wrong. Investigation revealed that due to staffing issues, the franchisee transferred the booking to a neighboring car rental business without informing the customer, Green Motion International, or Expedia.

Miss Gerbeshi received a full refund and compensation for onward travel arrangements directly from Green Motion. Allegations of Green Motion being a fake rental company originated from an individual at the airport, but Green Motion is a legitimate British registered company established in 2007, operating in over 70 countries and is the largest franchise car rental brand.

We sincerely apologize for the service lapse in this instance and hope our recent actions restore Miss Gerbeshi’s trust in our brand, which we believe is the case as noted in her update post – vm.tiktok.com/ZGeD33DMu/. “

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*First Published: Feb 28, 2024, 11:00 pm CST