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Outrageous experience with Hotels.com and Best Western
Old 06-08-2016, 08:27 AM   #1
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Outrageous experience with Hotels.com and Best Western

Nine months ago I reserved two rooms (one in my name, one for my in laws) on Hotels.com at a Best Western for4 nights. Earlier this week I received an email from Hotels,com. Reminding me of my upcoming stay and telling me that I was all set, literally that I did not have to to do anything else but present my ID and credit card at check in.

NOPE!

When I showed up I was informed they gave away my room. My in laws were set. Turns out about an hour before I got there somebody ran the credit card and it was rejected, and there is so much demand, they gave my room to someone else and there were no other rooms. My in laws room reserved with same credit card was still fine. My credit card works fine. What happened? And more importantly where am I supposed to stay for the next 4 nights!?

Hotels.com had me on the phone for over an hour and 45 minutes trying to figure this out. In the meantime, first they tried to send me to a similar hotel over 20 miles away from this hotel where at least my in laws had a room. Then they did send me to a hotel about 10 miles away where I showed up to find they did not really have a room. Then they said, oh there is a similar hotel within 100 yards from the Best Western but it is asking twice the rate. Would I be willing to split the difference? ARE YOU F&@$ING OUT OF YOUR MIND?! Upselling me? At midnight? I refused. They relented and got me the room. The hotel is no better than the first. Maybe a little worse, but supply, demand, you know. I have a room, but am not happy.

I figured out the credit card used 9 months ago was changed by the credit card company in the interim since the reservation was made -after some data breach or something, hence the refusal of the credit card they ran. I really hold both hotels.com and best western responsible still. If hotels.com had checked that CC# before sending me an email telling me my room was all set and confirmed, I could have given Best Western and them the updated CC#. Waiting until 1 hour before I got there to check the CC# AND never contacting me after telling me the room was confirmed as recently as earlier this week was horrible customer service. I understand best western's position- but they did NOTHING at all to help. Ultimately hotels.com needs to change their confirmation process or at least the wording of their emails. They didn't confirm the first night with a CC# at anytime...then after inconveniencing the heck out of me, they did not do everything they could to make it right, until first trying to do it cheap and more inconvenient for me, the wronged consumer.







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Old 06-08-2016, 08:37 AM   #2
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That is terrible and I hate to hear this. I have never been a huge fan of the "discount" sites like Hotels.com or Expedia.com I have had two issues with Expedia and customer service is non-existent. I am noticing that more and more hotels are offering the LOWEST rates if you book directly w/ the hotel...kind of what the airlines have been doing for a couple of years now.
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:42 AM   #3
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Yeah, me too. I tend to use Travelocity or Tripadvisor to check the reviews of the hotels, but then I book the room with the hotel directly. Especially since we often travel with the dogs, I want to make sure that everything is well understood. I call the hotel directly, not the reservation line. I've had the main reservation line tell me that pets were OK with no additional charge, but the specific hotel either didn't accept pets at all or charged for extra for each one. Some things (to me) are best handled one on one.

Completely OT, but something I've been curious about for awhile. OP, do you pronounce your username "Earn to be free" or "Yearn to be free"? Could go either way, depending on how you mangle the letters.
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:43 AM   #4
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I just book it directly with the hotel
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:44 AM   #5
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That's too bad. The hotel should have made some effort to keep the room - shame on them. I'm not sure the risk of this goes away by booking directly with the hotel, and it could happen to any of us. The cards I use for travel have all been changed by the CC companies at least once over the past year. Funny, even with new card numbers some businesses with the old card have still been able to charge - I guess it depends on how badly they want the business.
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
Completely OT, but something I've been curious about for awhile. OP, do you pronounce your username "Earn to be free" or "Yearn to be free"? Could go either way, depending on how you mangle the letters.
It was designed, like an Escher drawing, to be read either way.




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Old 06-08-2016, 08:54 AM   #7
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I can imagine this happening even if you booked the hotel directly and had a late arrival. The hotel runs your saved CC info, has a rejection, and because it's full and you are past the cancellation time, gives away your room since they can't guarantee it based on the credit card info they have.

They may have checked the credit card 9 months ago when you made the reservation. But if the old credit card info was no longer valid when it came time to use it, I'm not sure what any hotel would have done.

This is a good reminder to update reservations if credit card info changes?

Sorry for your bad experience. I wouldn't expect anyone to run a credit card check again a week in advance to make sure it was still valid. Too bad the hotels.com email implied that they might have.
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Outrageous experience with Hotels.com and Best Western
Old 06-08-2016, 09:01 AM   #8
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Outrageous experience with Hotels.com and Best Western

Sounds like a perfect result. A different hotel from the in laws. 😎
Could not have planned it any better.
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:28 AM   #9
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How aggravating!

I hope the rest of your four days is sufficiently better than that to make up for the hassle. Make it a positive experience overall, if you can; don't let this keep you from getting value for your money.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:24 AM   #10
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Sorry for your experience, very frustrating. Just for reference we have used these sites many times and have never had and issue.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:27 AM   #11
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First off, I have to say booking a hotel 9 months in advance is incredible, I'm lucky if I book one 2 weeks in advance and usually its a week at best.

I also had a problem with hotels.com, we booked it, and show up for our honeymoon only to find out the hotel had no record of the booking.
I showed them my printout, and after some efforts the hotel stepped up and gave us an upgraded room with whirlpool.

That was the last time I used hotels.com and it was years ago.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:33 AM   #12
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We just book directly with the hotel anymore. Cost is generally the same or less and we have a record.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:34 AM   #13
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We used hotels.com for rooms in Dubrovnik. We arrived on time and had no problem but our friends were delayed and we told the desk that they would arrive the next day and would they still get the room and rate. They confirmed yes.

When our friends arrived, the hotel said it was full but they could go 5 miles to another hotel. We were unhappy and hotels.com said we had to work it out with the hotel. We have not used them since. We found booking.com to be more friendly/flexible.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:39 AM   #14
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Another strange experience w/ hotels.com. DW booked hotel in HI. I asked her to send me the booking so I had a record for cc checking. Noticed an additional charge for "cleaning" which was almost as much as the room charge which DW didn't know anything about which made the deal a bad one. Could not cancel.

Finally found a sympathetic supervisor who understood how this "sneaky" way of slipping in charges could be ruining the brand's name. He allowed me to cancel and there were no charges.

In fairness to hotels.com , that charge was shown prior to final booking.
However the initial numbers did not show that and if you did not read carefully at the end (as DW did not), you could miss it. So the charge was actually shown, just not obviously..........by design, I assume. I assume that charge was not a usual thing for hotels in general, just specific to this particular one.

I assume that generally hotels.com is not a bad place to do business with.
Still, as with the stinky fish we bought at Safeway once, one bad experience leaves a bad residual trace for a long time..............a good lesson for any marketer.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:49 AM   #15
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Hotels will overbook just like airlines as they expect a certain percentage to not show up. Unfortunately it's not as transparent as with the airline where they announce the problem and start asking who wants to get bumped for a bonus.
If you do get bumped from your room ask for an upgrade at a nearby better hotel.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:59 AM   #16
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I ran into an issue with a hotel not having my Expedia reservation, and have read several complaints about hotels not honoring and claiming to have not received reservations made through booking.com. As well as issues with refunds or price changes if booking.com or another site was in the loop. As a consequence, I started booking directly all the time unless a hotel showed full, but Expedia, for example, would let me book a room. I which case, I contact the hotel directly shortly thereafter by and confirm that they have my reservation. And get the corresponding hotel confirmation number if I can.

Lately I've been running more into the situation where the booking type web sites show no availability, but when you go to the hotel you can still find rooms - even if only the upgrade type rooms are left.

I've never made a reservation more than three or four months in advance, although the way those European hotels work, they seem to fill up 3 to 4 months in advance, even in the shoulder season.
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:04 PM   #17
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I had a bad experience with Expedia.... was hopping between islands in Hawaii and went to the big island... Expedia had a special rate that was cheaper than other options... Get to the island and that special rate was on a different island!!! REALLY

Over an hour talking to them without any help... finally got them to transfer the money to the local car rental place and paid full price.... The other car rental did not want to return the money as they had a car waiting for me...

Funny thing is the desk clerk said it happened all the time... but Expedia would not fix it... and they were not going to help out since it was not their booking....
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:07 PM   #18
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To the people who talk about the hidden fees.... that is why I try to see the final amount before agreeing to it.... there are so many places with high taxes and other fees that are not from the hotel that what looks like a good deal is not... so the total price is the important one to me...

We also try to book directly... that also assures you of help from the hotel if there is a problem and you are sure to get your points...
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:09 PM   #19
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Anytime you plan to arrive at a hotel after 6pm or so, no matter how you book, it's a very good idea to call them directly the day of arrival - the hotel, not their reservation service - get someone at the front desk who is going to be doing the check ins - and say "I am coming, I am arriving around XPM, please don't cancel my room".

Or if you're not planning on arriving late, but your flight or whatever is later than planned, call your hotel as soon as you land. When hotels are overbooked, and presented with the choice of turning away the person in front of them vs the one who isn't there yet... who do you think gets bumped. At least by having some note in your file there's a better chance they'll keep going thru the list and pick the one after you on the list.

I too always book hotels directly, and look for credit card protections for this sort of thing. With many cards, the hotel is obligated to at least "walk" you which means find you an equivalent near hotel on their dime. I would doubt these protections apply as often, when reservations are not made with a hotel but with a service.
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:23 PM   #20
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I had a bad experience with Expedia.... was hopping between islands in Hawaii and went to the big island... Expedia had a special rate that was cheaper than other options... Get to the island and that special rate was on a different island!!! REALLY

Over an hour talking to them without any help... finally got them to transfer the money to the local car rental place and paid full price.... The other car rental did not want to return the money as they had a car waiting for me...

Funny thing is the desk clerk said it happened all the time... but Expedia would not fix it... and they were not going to help out since it was not their booking....
Haven't had a problem with Costco Car Rental booking service, but I always take the confirmation number they give me and verify the details at the rental company site directly.
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