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Agoda - the worst hotel booking website on the internet

Jakarta, Indonesia
posts: 62
reviews: 3
Agoda - the worst hotel booking website on the internet

Yesterday, I booked a 12 night stay at Fraser Place Central Seoul, South Korea using the agoda website.

I had a terrible experience dealing with the agoda customer service staff via email because I asked them to produce a receipt that shows the hotel rate that is separate from all the extra taxes. I remember seeing the hotel rate on the agoda website was about 180,000 korean won per night not including extra taxes. When I got the receipt, I saw that they just gave a total cost of 12 nights stay including the taxes which was USD 2416.23 or 2,614,896.34 korean won. This means that the price per night including tax is 217,908 korean won and the tax I'm paying is about 37,908 korean won per night. The tax is about 21% of the room rate. Ok, I understand that I have to pay the tax, I'm not disputing that, but what I'm asking them is for a breakdown of the hotel rate and the tax, which they seem to refuse to give me! I have been emailing them several times today asking them about this but got no reply. What is going on with Agoda? Are they trying to hide the fact that they are charging their customers extra taxes and worst of all, they have a smelly policy of not deducting one night's stay off your credit card if you cancel within 7 days. My booking was made within that time frame.

This is a warning to comsumers out there, do not deal with unethical hotel booking sites like agoda. It is a singaporean company and I'm sorry to say this, but some singaporean companies have the reputation of using unethical practices. Do not fall for agoda's trap of having the lowest rates, you might end up getting conned like me.

Please read other bad reviews of agoda:

complaintsboard.com/complaints/agoda-c37412.…

Cala d'Or, Spain
posts: 2,915
reviews: 87
1. Re: Agoda - the worst hotel booking website on the internet

Why did you not book directly with the hotel?

Jakarta, Indonesia
posts: 62
reviews: 3
2. Re: Agoda - the worst hotel booking website on the internet

I tried booking directly through hotel website but it said that the dates I wanted was fully booked. I'm not an inexperienced traveller, I did my research before going ahead with the booking. Anyway, I did deal directly with the Fraser staff after I got the booking confirmation to ask them for an early check-in andI found out that the rate I got from agoda was slightly cheaper. But my complaint with agoda is why is it so difficult for them to produce a more transparent receipt? It's like they are trying to hide something. I got caught out with Agoda because it was my first time dealing with them and needless to say, this is the last time ever.

Edited: 10:41 am, August 24, 2011
Jakarta, Indonesia
posts: 62
reviews: 3
3. Re: Agoda - the worst hotel booking website on the internet

There was a typo: i meant to say ''Are they trying to hide the fact that they are charging their customers extra taxes and worst of all, they have a smelly policy of deducting one night's stay off your credit card if you cancel within 7 days. My booking was made within that time frame.''

Jakarta, Indonesia
posts: 62
reviews: 3
4. Re: Agoda - the worst hotel booking website on the internet

OK, latest news about agoda. They have offered to refund me the tax and charges. I did not ask them about a refund of any kind. I only wanted the receipt that showed the breakdown of the amounts. I accepted their offer on the basis that they could not produce a receipt that showed the breakdown between the hotel rate and the tax. To be fair to agoda, they did try to help me. It's good of them to do that. But I still feel like they are trying to hide something, why are so adamant not to give the receipt I wanted but instead they rather refund me the taxes?

UK
posts: 40,497
reviews: 84
5. Re: Agoda - the worst hotel booking website on the internet

<<I still feel like they are trying to hide something .... why are so adamant not to give the receipt I wanted >>

Rather than hiding something, how about something more mundane, such as that their IT system simply wasn't written with this requirement in mind*, so for members of staff to provide that info may be simply impossible.

* And why would it be? I suspect very few travellers care what proportion of their room is taxes and which is the nominal room rate, so this may just never have been produced as part of the standard system for billing customers

Jakarta, Indonesia
posts: 62
reviews: 3
6. Re: Agoda - the worst hotel booking website on the internet

The agoda staff told me that they only gave the receipts which shows the tax only to singaporeans. As a foreigner, when I heard that, I was really put off by them. They said that it is their company policy. So I don't think it's got anything to do with IT systems.

There are hidden costs which are not revealed on the receipts. The total tax and service charge came up to 21% on top of the room rate. How much of it is the tax and how much is the extra charges? Maybe some customers are not as fussy as me, but I would like to know that info.

Edited: 5:40 am, August 26, 2011
UK
posts: 40,497
reviews: 84
7. Re: Agoda - the worst hotel booking website on the internet

<<There are hidden costs which are not revealed on the receipts. >>

For sake of argument, if the room rate is 100 and they charge you 700 for a week, are you saying they then charge you extra tax on top which is a surprise?

Or that there is some tax within the 100? In which case, does it matter as long as the rate you agree and paid for is the rate you agree and pay for? Would it matter if the room was 1 and the tax 99, or the room 99 and the tax 1, as long as you pay 100? Of course, if you pay 1, turn up and they want an extra 99 I can understand your annoyance but otherwise I really dont see your issue, especially if,as you say, their rate was cheaper than the hotels standard price?

Jakarta, Indonesia
posts: 62
reviews: 3
8. Re: Agoda - the worst hotel booking website on the internet

Whether or not I agree to the price before I made the booking is not the issue. I did not agree with their company policy (refer to my earlier posts) which is why I accepted their offer to give me a refund of the tax and charges. This company policy is not stated on their website.

I hope you have a more clear understanding of my issue now.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
posts: 9,941
reviews: 182
9. Re: Agoda - the worst hotel booking website on the internet

Not sure why you posted this in "Business Travel". I know that for my business travel, I must use the company-approved travel booking site and I'm never allowed to use a budget 3rd party website.

Jakarta, Indonesia
posts: 62
reviews: 3
10. Re: Agoda - the worst hotel booking website on the internet

Different companies, different rules...what else can I say?

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