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Customer Service Complaints Have Piled Up For Travel Agency GoToGate, And New Customers Have Meant New Complaints

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.

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.

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.

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