The general dot-com fall from grace continues. The Connecticut Better Business Bureau has busted a move on Priceline.com, booting the Norwalk, CT-based company after receiving more than 300 complaints from Priceline customers. It was not a good week for Priceline, which was also the subject of a report on CBS's 48 Hours that revealed that pitchman William Shatner does not in fact use Priceline for airline tickets (gasp!), but flies first class. (Everyone who thought the commander of the Enterprise hunkered down at his computer and hunt-&-pecked his way to a bargain seat, raise your hand in a Vulcan salute.)
Priceline VP of communications Brian Ek said his company has 'no clue' why the BBB acted as it did, but he confirmed that Priceline briefly removed the BBB logo from its Web site in June while it made changes, including clarifying that airline fuel surcharges are added to customers' ticket bids.
'We're going to make every effort to square this away and answer their concerns,' he said.
Ek said most complaints come from dissatisfaction with the timing or airline route. He said Priceline can only offer discounted tickets by letting airlines choose the itinerary.
Shatner's Burbank, CA agent could not be reached for comment. The actor is under contract to Priceline until 2001, and reportedly took much of his fee in stock options, some of which he cashed in last spring. Priceline's low-20's stock price is off 85% from 18 months ago. No word if Shatner will be called upon to sing 'Stairway to Heaven.'