I feel very strongly that SkyAuction.coms auctions are both very misleading and very unethical. I had bid on and won an auction from SkyAuction.com in mid-November. The description for the auction was Depart anytime thru March 31, 2001 via a Major International Carrier to Taipei from any of the following cities: Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, or Eugene. However, after winning this auction and then immediately submitting my requested travel dates (both first and second choices of travel dates), SkyAuction responded 2 and half days later with an email telling me my all requested dates are not available.
Even worse, SkyAuction told me a total of 26 days are not available for travel with my tickets, however they claim these unavailable travel dates are not the same as blackout days. I have continued to correspond both by phone and by emails with SkyAuction but they refuse to honor the auctions description of depart anytime thru March 31, 2001. Instead they stuck me with an itinerary that is not even close to my requested travel dates.
In my opinion this is how SkyAuction works: 1. Bidders bid on an auction. 2. High bidder(s) win and submit their travel dates (first choice and second choice dates). 3. SkyAuction after receiving the travel information, THEN they proceed to try to buy the tickets for the requested dates. SkyAuction does NOT actually have ownership of tickets prior to beginning the auction. 4. If SkyAuction can not get the requested travel dates they will try to stick you with travel dates that are up to their discretion. Is it ethical or even legal to auction off an item when the auctioneer does NOT have ownership of over the product? And should Skyauction not be bound to guarantee travel for an auction where it clearly states depart anytime?
I believe Skyauction should fulfill the winning bidder(s) travel dates as close as possible, even if it means Skyauction will take a lost by purchasing a higher cost ticket then the winning bid. The reality of an auction is a bidder bids up to what he believes is the maximum fair value to himself for the item or bids up to what his own purchasing power can pay.
On the other hand the auctioneer puts an item up for bid knowing there is the chance the winning bid will be above the cost of the item, but also there is the risk that the winning bid will be below the cost of the item. Either way, unless it is a reserve auction, when the bidding time is up, the winning bid walks away with the item.
This has and continues to be a very frustrating issue trying to resolve the situation with SkyAuction, especially with their very very poor Customer Service department which the SkyAuction management seems to so highly tout on their own website.
I will continue to demand that SkyAuction fulfill my travel request AND provide better disclosure to warn potential bidders that depart anytime does NOT mean anytime.