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Beware of Hotels.com

calbin
posts: 6
reviews: 33
Beware of Hotels.com

I have been using Hotels.com on and off for the past 5 years or so. I haven't had to cancel a reservation only once or twice. But unfortunately after my most recent experience I will not be using them again. I booked a room through Hotels.com that had a cancellation policy of no fees if canceled within 24 hours of the check in date. I canceled 3 months before the check in date using the Hotels.com online cancellation tool. I received a message saying the reservation was cancelled and thought it was done. However on the day that I would have checked in to the hotel I received a charge for one night. I contacted Hotels.com and thought that they would just get it credited back to my account since I clearly had the cancellation confirmation email and everything. The response that I received back from them was that they tried contacting the hotel but couldn't get through so I would have to deal with the hotel directly myself. What????? I couldn't believe this. I booked it and cancelled it through Hotels.com but yet they want me to take care of the errant charge on my own. I tried calling the hotel directly but the number I was given by Hotel.com was someone's personal number that didn't speak any English and had nothing to do with the hotel. So now I am left with having to dispute the charge with my credit card company. Needless to say I will not be using Hotels.com again. Interestingly enough I was looking for another forum here on TripAdvisor to post this information and there was one recently in the Support Forum (which was an incorrect place to post) but with several people's similar experiences to mine. So I am not the only one that this has happened to in the last few months. I am going to use Booking.com instead for all my reservations from now on. Haven't had any issues with them and I have used them several times.

33 replies to this topic
Milwaukee
Destination Expert
for Milwaukee
posts: 8,736
reviews: 59
11. Re: Beware of Hotels.com

If I was running a business and I took the reservation and issued the cancellation and the hotel still charged the customer you bet I would get involved. If the situation as reported is accurate I think hotels.com should be a little more concerned about the hotels they are representing. They could fix the problem real easy. Just tell the hotel they won't list their rooms until they correct the situation.

Mistakes can happen, but they should get fixed. For the OP definitely dispute the charge with your credit card company.

I booked with hotels.com once and cancelled my room, all thru hotels.com. I did not have a problem, but if I was billed I would be as upset as the OP.

Edinburgh, United...
posts: 7,355
reviews: 15
12. Re: Beware of Hotels.com

They can't tell the hotel anything if they can't get in touch with them but I agree that Hotels.com should reconsider listing such a hotel at all.

I don't think anyone suggested the OP shouldn't be upset about the charge.

Milwaukee
Destination Expert
for Milwaukee
posts: 8,736
reviews: 59
13. Re: Beware of Hotels.com

Lex,

You may have hit on something. Perhaps hotels.com could not get in touch with the mystery hotel to cancel the reservation. Although, at some point they must have been able to communicate the OP's credit card number or he would not have been charged for the room.

I guess I need to clarify that I think the OP has every right to be upset with hotels.com about the charge and every right to expect hotels.com take action to fix it.

Pacific Latitiude...
posts: 1,097
reviews: 94
14. Re: Beware of Hotels.com

We have used them with great success in booking our trips. However, we recently had a bad experience in Dubrovnik. We had to pay in advance to get the best rate. So we had 2 rooms prepaid for 2 nights. We were traveling with another couple but with different routings.

We arrived as scheduled and got a decent room. They assured us that the other couple had a similar room reserved. Then the other couple missed a connection and arrived a day later. So we had to pay for the first night anyway due to late cancellation because they could not rent the room.

They assured us that they had an upgraded room for the next night. When our travel mates arrived, they said sorry we have no room but have arranged for a nice room across town. We said wait a minute. We paid for last night to assure that they would have their room in this hotel with us.

They refused to give us any refund. And hotels.com refused also saying that what the hotel said would determine any refund. We said that hotels.com made the CC charge and did not fulfill their obligation.

Since that time we have switched to booking.com as they do not demand any payment and have had great results so far...Keith

West Chester, Ohio
posts: 1
15. Re: Beware of Hotels.com

I too made the mistake of booking with Hotel.com. First, we found a room at what we thought was a good price and a free night. When we got our receipt we noticed they raised the price per night by $24.00 then they applied the hidden fees. Turns out their hidden taxes and fees are about double the other companies providing the same service. What hotel.com specializes in is lies and deception. A week later we discovered our mistake concerning the dates. We tried to change the reservation, which is still 3 months out. Next, hotel.com told us the HOTEL required a cancellation fee of two nights. The reservation was for 5 nights so the cancellation fee should be less than half. Not with these folks. Next we tried to confirm the correct dates. Now hotel.com wanted to charge the full price with no incentives. We went to Travelocity.com and booked the SAME hotel for the SAME dates with incentives and lower prices. With Travelocity.com there would not be a hidden for changes or cancellation unless it fell within 2 weeks before the date. So when hotel.com said it was hotel policy do charge the excessive fee and other companies booking with the SAME hotel have no fees then we must conclude that the folks at hotel.com are liars. In conclusion we learned that hotel.com tries to cheat the customer during the initial reservation. Hotel.com lies about so called hotel policies in order the cheat the customer even more. Hotel.com then uses fuzzy math to cheat the customer out of more money if there is a change. Do yourself a favor and stay away from these folks.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 2
reviews: 1
16. Re: Beware of Hotels.com

I too have had a recent issue with Hotels.com. I booked a 6 night stay in Barcelona over the telephone and was told by the agent that the booking was changeable and refundable however when I got the email confirmation it said quite the opposite. I immediately advised Hotels.com who said they would check the phone tapes and if it proved to be thier mistake they would stand by the original conditions. I rang them every week for one month and finally they said the phone tapes we not available (very convenient) However they did tell me that if I wanted to change or cancel the booking to get back in touch with them. I now want to cancel the first night of the booking making it a 5 night booking. Bottom line is that as the Hotel has already taken the 6 night cost out of my account Hotels.com has advised me its better for me to discuss it direct with the Hotel to see if I can get a refund on the first night. The Hotel didn't make the mistake so I don't fancy my chances!! I too have used Hotels.com without any issues for years but this is the first time I have had a problem and Hotels.com have proved totally unreliable and untrustworthy. I will not use Hotels.com again. I will use these websites to choose the Hotel and then book direct even if it costs a little extra.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney
posts: 12,212
reviews: 30
17. Re: Beware of Hotels.com

Well it certainly does not sound like an ideal situation.

Why did you choose to book over the phone and not online? With Australians booking, it's almost unheard of to book anything over the phone these days - the only exception being a hotel direct.

And have you contacted the hotel direct to see if anything could be done?

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 2
reviews: 1
18. Re: Beware of Hotels.com

Yes I have now contacted the Hotel direct and am awaiting an answer.

I didn't intend to book on the Telephone I just wanted some information as I wasn't exactly sure of the dates but the lady agent said I should book there and then as the Apartments were getting heavily booked. I could change and cancel she said so it didn't matter. Only when I received the email confirmation did I realise the problem. It appears that if you have a problem with this booking Co it is very hard to get satisfaction. I must have spent between 30-60mins each time I ring as you get a different person and have to start at the beginning each time. Don't count on Hotels.com to really help at all they will only waste your time thier after sales service is apalling - if I had known at the beggining what I know now I would have gone direct to the Hotel in the first place

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney
posts: 12,212
reviews: 30
19. Re: Beware of Hotels.com

Difficulty in getting issues resolved is not isolated to just Hotels.com, it's prevalent with any online agent who ulitises an offsite call centre.

Usually the difficulties arise when there is two sets of cancellation policies - one for the site and the other for the hotel. And they both have to fit your requirements. Consumers often mistake this to be misleading, which may in some circumstances maybe so. But like other online agents, Hotels.com are only the selling agent and so the supplier (hotel) is entitled to have a completely different cancellation policy altogether.

Hope it resolves for you

Edited: 1:19 am, May 08, 2013
Leicester, United...
posts: 8
20. Re: Beware of Hotels.com

I can see both sides of the coin here but I do agree with the OP - if the reservation was originally booked and cancelled through hotels.com they should really be doing a little more to assist him with this problem. I find it very hard to believe that all they have is one incorrect telephone number for the hotel. If the OP is still having difficulty contacting the hotel, perhaps it might be worthwhile looking for alternative booking websites that work with them and finding alternative contact details that way?! Just a thought really.

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