We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Avoid Agoda... Playing credit card games

Manila, Philippines
posts: 5
reviews: 11
Avoid Agoda... Playing credit card games

Last week, I booked a quick trip to Hong Kong. I used to generally like Agoda, not necessarily for the rate, but because the web site was well-designed and it lists serviced apartments, along with some lesser-known boutique hotels outside the major chains... Note that I travel weekly and understand about taxes, fees, etc. and the normal complaints.

So, I chose a hotel, entered my CC info (You pay in advance with them)and get a confirmation. Everything is cool, supposedly. Later that day, I get an "urgent" notice from Agoda... The hotel is booked, and that they would "refund" my credit card within 7 business days.

That is my problem with them... They can take the charge immediately, but I need to wait a week on a refund that was not due to any action on my part? To this day, nearly a week later, the charge is still present on the credit card. Now it is a pissing match between my bank (Normal with Philippine banks... Fraud is YOUR problem) who states that the merchant must settle, and Agoda who are insisting that they never charged me (despite my online statement still showing the charge). The whole situation is ridiculous.

Basically, these guys are stealing my money for a week, 10 days, or how ever long it takes them to getting around to decide to refund the charge, if ever.

Agoda's response at first was "not our fault" which later became a more aggressive "we need to review your credit card statement since we do not believe that the charge was made".

I'm thinking of filing estafa charges against them in the Philippines, since they are effectively advertising a service for which they had no intention of providing (Since the hotel was fully booked).

Is this a minor issue? Perhaps. But as someone who travels to 50 countries per year, and has a number of different credit card accouts to pay for it all, things like credit limits, etc. start to mean something.

As someone who stays in well over 50 hotels per year, I outright refuse to use them, or their sister companies Booking.com or Priceline in the future.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
posts: 6,940
reviews: 77
1. Re: Avoid Agoda... Playing credit card games

We always recommend to book with the hotel directly... and I usually add "especially for business travel".

Corporate governance issues *require* all companies to have a more rigorous process for refunding money than for taking it. You can't have every line person with the authority to hand out money as they see fit. That doesn't excuse them from disputing that you had paid... but then, many charges appear as "pending" for many days without actually having been charged.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
posts: 9,936
reviews: 182
2. Re: Avoid Agoda... Playing credit card games

I agree with Geo....my company will not let me book through anyone who is not approved. If you're interested in more posts on agoda, just pay a visit to the Air Travel or Bargain Travel forums and enter agoda into the search box.

Aoyama Dori and San...
Destination Expert
for Kawasaki, Yokohama, Tokyo
posts: 9,146
reviews: 25
3. Re: Avoid Agoda... Playing credit card games

I use them for leisure travel only that is booked well in advance. I love their prices, inventory, specials, service and value. I would never use them on short notice or for business travel, though. Too many things can change, get canceled, etc. and it's too complicated with prepaid services like this.

New Brunswick
Destination Expert
for Travel Gadgets and Gear, New Brunswick
posts: 5,527
reviews: 194
4. Re: Avoid Agoda... Playing credit card games

Even if they are connected to Agoda I have never had a problem with bookikn.com. However I must say that I pay the extra for cancellable bookings and rarely pay more than a deposit in advance even when booking directly with a smaller hotel. I often travel for 2/3 months and paying in advance is therefore not very practical anyway.

Chiang Rai, Thailand
posts: 2
5. Re: Avoid Agoda... Playing credit card games

I have a hotel in Chiangrai and I find Agoda to be fine with good communication skills

here in Thailand. I do not think that Booking.com is anything to do with Agoda as this company does not accept payment at the time of booking - this has to be paid by the customer at reception. Once again Booking.com is great and supplies lots of customers and their communication skills are excellent - can only speak for Thailand.

I personally have flown round the world several times with Agoda without

any real problems and even a small gliche was credited to my credit card

within two days. Yes sometimes the hotel can fill up real quick and

letting the agent know (such as Agoda) can be a problem - always the case in the holiday season. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet or

remember to book ahead when it comes to holiday times.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
posts: 6,940
reviews: 77
6. Re: Avoid Agoda... Playing credit card games

Peter b, I hope you stick around and contribute to other fora as one post with the appearance of being copied from someplace else (inappropriate line breaks), could be interpreted in a way you may not intend.

Welcome to the forum. Please participate on other topics too.

7. Re: Avoid Agoda... Playing credit card games

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 8:05 am, March 07, 2013
Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney
posts: 13,364
reviews: 31
8. Re: Avoid Agoda... Playing credit card games

Peter B,

I strongly agree with GeoMedic.

For a supposed hotelier, you've made some comments which indicate little to no knowledge of hotel operations nor your own contracted OTA's.

"I do not think that Booking.com is anything to do with Agoda as this company does not accept payment at the time of booking"

It's a well known industry fact that they are affiliated, with the same parent company. Whether the sites are prepaid or postpaid has no relevance.

"I personally have flown round the world several times with Agoda without

any real problems and even a small gliche was credited to my credit card

within two days"

Are you sure Agoda offers airline tickets?

And it's miraculous that you were provided refunds for the alleged glitches within two days, considering a electronic fund transfer from a credit card terminal to a private account can take 48-72 hours just on its own. That would mean your refund would have been approved by a higher authority in accounts and processed immediately at the time of your complaint.

"Yes sometimes the hotel can fill up real quick and

letting the agent know (such as Agoda) can be a problem"

You don't "let the agents know", you simply close out your inventory via your Channel Management System. It takes a matter of seconds, and even if you chose to manually close it off via the Agoda website, it takes at most several minutes. Hotels filling up quickly can indeed happen, but what you stated is a hotel issue of poor inventory management and has little to do with Agoda.

GeoMedic has given you a warm welcome, so we do hope you utilize it to help others sincerely on the forums.

Chiang Rai, Thailand
posts: 2
9. Re: Avoid Agoda... Playing credit card games

Peter B.

Reply to KVE 1005. You are a nit picker "flying round the world with

Agoda means booking with them wherever I went" I would have

thought that obvious.

Geo Medic - I apologise for my bad typing and spacing - I am no expert

there is no hidden agenda.

Yes I was surprised I got the refund credited from Agoda real fast. And sorry I didn't realise that everybody was so familiar with Agoda booking

terminology as you so obviously are KV 1005.

Our main problem is that bookings with Booking.com or Asia rooms we often find that guests simply do not show up, not so much Thai people but "falangs" white tourists can be a different story, no telephone call, no

apology, nothing at least with Agoda if they "no show" then you have the money.

You clever guys out there try not to put contributors down - nobody is

that clever out there especially when you have just started. It is all a

learning curve. We deal with the Bangkok office for Agoda and Booking.com and my wife who runs the guesthouse is treated very well.

Maybe this is the way things are in Thai a more friendly culture.

Peter B

New Brunswick
Destination Expert
for Travel Gadgets and Gear, New Brunswick
posts: 5,527
reviews: 194
10. Re: Avoid Agoda... Playing credit card games

O'k guys - play nice!!

Get answers to your questions