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.