I just booked a flight through American's web site, was pushed to a page that said I would get a special deal on a hotel if I book within 15 minutes (!). I found the right hotel, hit the book button. I received the email confirming the booking just a few minutes later --but the dates were different than the ones I had originally asked for.
I called American, and was then told that the reservations CANNOT BE CHANGED. So, effectively, I paid for a hotel room that I cannot use in any way, cannot cancel (even with a cancellation fee), and cannot modify. After a long an drawn out discussion with their representative, the only response I received was, "sorry, that's just the way the system works. We expect you to verify the dates and closely read all the terms and conditions before booking the reservation." When I pointed out that the dates were different than what I thought I was booking, they simply said, "we understand your frustration, but our web site simply doesn't change dates like that."
The information about cancellation policy is buried in some deep dark recess, rather than being up front on the page. They don't tell you, anyplace, that you are paying for the hotel room up front. It is clearly called a hotel BOOKING and RESERVATION.
This is an absolute scam. Avoid at all costs.