Yes, I did the unthinkable. I made a booking through a third-party site - Hotels.com. Since we hear so many bad things about these businesses, I thought I would pass on some kudos for a change. A couple of months ago, two friends and I were looking for a place to stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We decided to take a chance with Hotels.com because we found some fantastic savings. As it turns out, it wasn't too good to be true!
We chose the RatiLanna Resort and Spa, a five-star hotel, for $105/night, for 4 nights. Hotels.com confirmed our choice and sent a confirmation for the room(s) - three of them - immediately. I would like to add that we all made our reservations separately with Hotel.com. Yes, we took a chance on not getting a refund if we had to cancel, but we decided to go for it. We made sure to read the fine print, which I think is key to these type of bookings.
The hotel turned out to be beautiful and the hotel gave us rooms next to each other on the top floor (4th). Everything Hotel.com said on its website about this hotel was true. The price included breakfast for 2 which was a nice breakfast buffet, which also included an omelet station. The rooms were absolutely gorgeous and the bath had a huge soaking tub with a waterfall feature in an area next to the tub and also a separate shower. We had a nice view from the balcony too.
I would also like to add that after we made the reservation with Hotels.com, I called the hotel directly to add some requests to our reservation such as the airport shuttle and king beds. It was an all no-smoking hotel too, as I found when I called. I guess the moral of this story is that if you have a vacation coming up and are certain you are going, you may find some fantastic deals. I noticed that you could get most of your money back if you cancelled before 7 days before your trip, but some hotels did not allow this. (Ours didn't.)
In our case, taking a chance paid off. Just be sure to always read the fine print so you know of any risks you may be taking. They also said if you found a cheaper deal, they would refund the difference. I never did. :)
We searched the internet for hotels for a recent trip, called the number on their website thinking we were talking to someone at the property. We were actually booking the room through Hotels.com. We booked one night for 12/28 and our credit card was charged immediately. We were told we had to cancel by midnight 12/26 to avoid any penalties. After further checking, we learned the hotel we had booked had terrible reviews including bedbugs. We called to cancel on 12/26 and were told we were beyond the cancellation period. They said they would cancel the room, but we would be charged the full amount.
They claimed there was a 48 hour cancellation period and it needed to be cancelled by the 25th! I called every day trying to resolve the issue and get the charges reversed. The best they would offer was a voucher for a future stay, but they wouldn't reverse the charges. On 12/27 I spoke to someone who finally said I needed to talk to the hotel manager and he gave me a different number to call. This was the first time I realized we weren't even talking to the hotel! The person at the hotel desk gave me the manager's name and said I would have to call back the next day.
I was not able to connect with the manager, but on Tuesday evening I received a call from the hotel wondering why we had not checked in! Hotels.com had never cancelled the reservation! I explained to the hotel that we had cancelled the room on Sunday the 26th and she said if they had been contacted, we would not have been charged. She said I would have to take it up with Hotels.com. I called them again on the 28th and was told they would have to talk to the hotel. Obviously, when they did they were told we were a no-show. I was told to call back after 2, so that they could speak with the hotel manager. I called back after 2 and spoke to ** at Hotels.com.
I had to retell my story AGAIN. This time he tells me that there is no record of our call on Sunday cancelling the room. He was lying! I told him the previous agent had confirmed that she could see that phone call and the explanation of the charges. He then put me on hold to call the hotel. As I sat on hold for 20 minutes, I called the hotel myself. The hotel offered to waive the charges and told me to have ** call her directly. Both agents had told me they were talking to the hotel and they weren't. ** had me on hold all that time and he wasn't attempting to call the hotel!! Unbelievable.
This has been a nightmare and a vicious circle that no one at Hotels.com could seem to understand. We shouldn't be charged for a room that was cancelled within the time frame we were given and the hotel shouldn't suffer because Hotels.com didn't cancel the room. 100% of this responsibility is on Hotels.com. In the future, I will make sure I'm talking directly to the hotel and never book through Hotels.com!
Well my family decided to take a spur of the moment trip to Myrtle Beach & after Hotels.com was recommended to us we decided to give it a try. The site left us a little confused so since it was our first time using this group we decide to call the toll free # & talk to a real person to answer our questions. We asked about the deal we were interested in & how much it would be total & were informed that the price was only good for 3 people or less even though it was a 4 person room. My husband immediately told the girl that we were not interested then & tried to end the call but she just kept pushing the sale putting him on hold while she called the hotel to see what she could do.
My husband thought about just hanging up but it was a good thing he didn't as you will soon see. She came back saying that the hotel was standing firm & once again my husband told her we did not want the room to which she just kept replying "but it's only $39 for 3 people" over & over again. Finally my husband had to raise his voice just to get her to stop & then she called out a confirmation #. "What do we need a confirmation # for?" my husband said "because I just told you that we were not going to book this room."
He then asked if anything had been charged to the card & she said she didn't know & put him on hold which sent him back to the main menu so we had to start all over again. By this time I got on the phone because my husband's blood pressure was shooting up. I got a different person who had no clue what was going on so I told him the story & was put on hold & yep you guessed it I had to start all over. When I finally got another person on the line I immediately asked for a manager but was told that he was busy & it would take 15 to 20 minutes before he would be available.
So yet again I recite the story & this time when I was put on hold I was assured that I would not have to start all over again. After about 10 minutes the guy came back informed me that the reservation had indeed been made & that if we canceled it it would take at least 24 hours for the money to be put back in our account. That would have ruin our plans completely so I asked again to speak to the manager & was informed that he would only tell me the same thing because it was company policy. I was then informed that there was only 1 manager there & it would be at least another 15 to 20 minutes before he would be available to talk to me.
We took the room because we had no choice & were basically forced to do so. I never got to talk to the manager but I got coupons for a future booking that will NEVER happen.
This company is an absolute fraud!!!! I hope everyone who is mad and upset with the horrendous service will do their part and file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and shut this business down. HORRIBLE! I originally booked a four day reservation, which 3 weeks prior to leaving changed to 5 days. They TOLD ME IT WAS ALL BOOKED. I call the actual hotel 2 days prior to leaving and am advised by the hotel that only a 4 day reservation was listed. Then called back hotels.com, who said, it would be updated in 15 mins. LIES, LIES AND MORE LIES.
This calling the hotel/calling hotels.com continued. I arrived at the hotel and it still wasn't updated! FOR THE NEXT FOUR DAYS, I WAS ON THE PHONE FOR 1.5 HOURS EACH DAY, being put on ridiculous HOLD TIMES, BEING WRONGLY/PURPOSELY TRANSFERRED, DISCONNECTED. AND WORST OF ALL - stupid reps kept HANGING UP ON ME. I have never witnessed such horrendous, poor, cowardly business practices. THIS CONTINUED TILL THE LAST 4TH DAY when I WAS FORCED TO CHECK OUT.
Was told by mgmt that extra day reservation had never been received and that hotels.com was advised 4 days prior to make a new reservation. However, because hotels.com HAD SCREWED UP IN THE FIRST PLACE, the rate they have to pay it higher than what I had paid. SO HOTELS.COM WAS UNWILLING TO PAY THIS DIFFERENCE. Not the customer's fault right? THINK AGAIN! NOT WITH HOTELS. COM. They refused to lose money on their own error, so left me hanging till the very last day, 3 hours before I was to check out. I then realized that they were complete frauds.
They tried to get me to give them VISA INFO TO RECHARGE ME TO PICK UP THE DIFFERENCE. I'm a full time student, and I don't have much money to spend esp on the errors of someone else. So I was forced to check out. they would not answer my questions, supervisors were leading me on with complete BS, supervisors kept hanging up on me, and would not book the extra reservation. Completely fed up, I checked out and spent my last night with no place to sleep or stay. BY FAR, THE WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE. THIS COMPANY NEEDS TO BE SHUT DOWN. I HAVE FILED A COMPLAINT.
What is upsetting is that this could have been resolved prior to my arrival when I called in. However, they did not want to pay more for an error on their part, even though I ALREADY PAID for 4 nights - FRAUDSTERS. Also, when I booked the 5th night, was told I'd get a refund of 60 dollars. Never got it. Had to call back, on the phone for over an hour and told there was no notice of it. Until 1.5 hrs into the conversation, supervisor MIRACULOUSLY found the refund note. Convenient?
A FEW THINGS I'VE LEARNED: Refunds by customer service are processed instantaneously. They will tell you that you will receive a refund email in 15 mins, etc - DO NOT BELIEVE THEM. Insist that you will stay on the phone with them till you receive it. Insist that you will not hang up, and that you have been advised by customers who have dealt with them that you are to stay on the line. Trust me, if you don't - you will not GET A REFUND FROM THESE SCAM ARTISTS.
Ask the agent you are speaking to refrain from hanging up on you. Getting them NOT to hang up on you, or disconnect you is HARD ENOUGH AND IS totally pathetic that you even have to do this. But TRUST ME. YOU NEED TO. When you spent the last 4 days trying to get a hold of them and are yelling and angry - TELL THE IDIOT REP YOU'RE SPEAKING TO that YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE PLACED ON HOLD. Tell them that each time you've been placed on hold you've been placed on hold for 20-30mins only to be disconnected. I had one supervisor name ** transfer me to an Expedia agent, and another named ** hang up on me while talking.
DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO PLACE YOU ON HOLD. I made this request, and was freaking insistent. instead, I'm pretty sure the girl put me on mute, but nevertheless - no stupid music and she came back because she realized I was furious. If you've made a booking, check for price matches all the TIME. TRUST ME, you don't want to give your money to this company. If you've already have, ensure you got the best deal. I found much better rates on a website called booking.com - don't know how reliable they are, but all that matters is the price anyway.
So always check!!!! when you call in to make a price match - MAKE SURE YOU STAY ON THE LINE TILL YOU GET THE EMAIL.
On December 12, 2009, I made a reservation using Hotels.com for a stay starting 12/31/2009. Today, December 19, 2009, I received an email from Hotels.com advertising the same hotel for $50.00 less a night. I called and told them about the PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE and was told by ** that I needed to book at the new lower rate and that he would cancel the previous reservation with NO problem but that that he had to transfer me to "Customer Care."
I told him I was hesitant to "double book" but he assured me that this WOULD not be a problem because the original reservation would be automatically cancelled and the charge on my credit card would be credited back. Funny that when he tried to transfer my call it DROPPED. FINALLY, I was able to speak to ** from an out of state customer call center who told me that there was NO way I could cancel the previous reservation in spite of what ** told me. Mind you, there are charges over $1,200 on my credit card for a stay that is supposed to cost $561.00.
I told ** that this was unacceptable and that even the cancellation policy stated that, and I quote: "cancellations or changes made before 3:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time (US & Canada)) on Dec 31, 2009 are subject to a 1 Night Room & Tax penalty." I am NOT canceling this reservation the day of the stay! I am canceling 12 DAYS in ADVANCE and that this was not my initial intention to begin with. All I wanted was the reduced rate and participate in HOTELS.COM advertised PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE. She told me that I did not understand the policy and that I needed to pay $325.00 for canceling the reservation.
I insisted that I was not the one who had double booked on purpose and that ** was just too eager to have me double book under the false pretense that EVERYTHING would be taken care of. The call DROPPED. I called 3 more times only to struggle to find someone who spoke English because my husband DOES NOT speak Spanish and I was so upset that I was crying and he insisted on taking over the telephone call. FINALLY, my husband was able to find ** who spoke English, she agreed that the first reservation could be cancelled without a penalty but that it would take UP TO 30 DAYS to receive CREDIT of $651.88 on my credit card.
GREAT! LESS money to SPEND on my "SUPPOSEDLY" wonderful New Year's trip with my husband... MY TRIP is RUINED. I am upset about the customer service and their deceitful practices... I was forced to double book. If you can't cancel a reservation 12 days in advance without being penalized when can you cancel????? 30 days? 45 days? Can you even ever cancel when you book through Hotels.com without being penalized? I am really sorry to have used HOTELS.COM to book my hotel stay. I wish I would have spent the extra $10.00 booking directly with the hotel. I would have saved the trouble and anguish I have caused myself and my husband.
BE CAREFUL!!! with the "PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE." DO NOT TRUST CUSTOMER SERVICE. Call reps are from outside the US and they don't understand policies well enough. Please learn from my lesson, unless you are SURE the call center is in the US DO NOT Trust what they TELL YOU. Sincerely, VERY, VERY, VERY UPSET in Miami!
I usually use Orbitz, so perhaps I am spoiled. I booked this time through Hotels.com, who only allows you to use one credit card to pay for the reservation. I guess I should have been smart enough to make separate reservations for my one four day stay at the same hotel, but I hadn't had a problem with this issue before. My employer is very specific about what can go on their credit card (I am a government employee) so since I was staying extra days on my own I put it all on my credit card. In the past I have had no problem once I check in getting the days split out. But at hotels.com they won't let you split the bill afterward.
I was on the phone with at least two of their employees, one who was nice but either I lost signal or he disconnected me, and another who could barely speak English, who was just repeating the canned scripts for customers with requests that require any thought process. She would not give me the name of her supervisor, but did agree to transfer me to him. ** picked up after waiting long enough to see if I would pick up, and he sounded like he send people to sleep with the fishes in his spare time. He told me that they could not do that with no better excuse than that is company policy.
I asked if there was a financial company who handled the paperwork I could speak with, but he just said no, it was in a hotels.com account and they don't do it. They told me that if I wanted to, they could cancel the reservation for the last two nights, but they couldn't rebook them and only if the company would let them. That would mean I'd have to find somewhere else to stay those two nights. I really like the hotel, but they couldn't give me the same rate if I did that, so I told them I had no choice but to suck it up and pay it all on my own, since I won't be able to get reimbursed at work.
Hotels.com told me if I canceled the last two nights they would refund me the money, but I suspect that was a lie, and what the front desk told me I doubt they would have paid me back anyway (at least without a fight). What kills me is if they were telling the truth that they would refund the money, why won't they just refund it and transfer the rest to a different credit card. I am somewhat familiar with the financial industry, and that just doesn't make sense to me. I think it is just laziness or they don't trust their employees to do it right. I don't travel for business much, thankfully, but I travel a lot for fun, and I will NEVER use them again. I am sticking with Orbitz from now on.
They were very unapologetic (they would say they were sorry, but it was clear they couldn't care less). I was really horrified that a company in a service industry would respond this way. I will probably report them to BBB or consumer protection.
Here is my complaint: I booked with Hotels.com for my honeymoon vacation to go to Hawaii. Package included hotels, car rental and round trip air for two people for July 6th 2008 through July 11th 2008. I received an email that I needed to contact Hotels.com because my flight had been canceled.
So I called to find out the problem. The first agent I spoke with was very rude and hard to understand. She told me that my outgoing flight on July 6th was needed to be changed to an earlier flight than the already early flight of 6:15am. And the flight on the Friday July 11th was needing to be changed and that I would have to leave 3 hrs later in one of my flights and that my connecting flight would be in Vegas instead of Phoenix and my layover would be longer and I wouldn't be getting home to around 2am.
I explained to the lady that those flight changes were not something I could accept and so I would need to cancel and take my services elsewhere. She said that the flight was non-refundable and that she couldn't refund the flight. I explained to the lady that it was not my fault that it was an airline fault and that they needed to refund the money. After fighting and fighting with the company she finally said they would refund the package. She put me on hold to get a reference number. I then got disconnected. So I called back in and with lady number 2, told me there were no notes in my account showing the agent as refunding the money.
This new agent tried again to pull the same thing, that the flight was non-refundable and that it was not Hotels.com's fault either. I told her it was between Hotels.com and the airlines. It was not my fault, I booked and paid through Hotels.com. I authorized and paid Hotels.com for the package. NO one else and that I was demanding a full refund. She put me on hold for another 30 min. She came back to the line saying that if an overnight flight was OK on the 11th or if I could leave on the 10th. I told her no it wasn't OK. We didn't want an overnight and we didn't want to loose a day on our honeymoon.
Finally after a total of almost 3 hrs on the phone with Hotels.com they said they would give me a refund. But I had to mail in my paper tickets first and then they would process refund. Which they said could take 7-10 business days. I'm not happy with how long it took, the rudeness, and the fact I have to mail in my paper tickets and wait still that long for my money back on something they did wrong.
4/21/08. I'm not sure how to add anything further. But I called Hotels.com today because we still have not received our refund even though they told us as soon as we returned our paper tickets per reference number #** that our package remainder of $1377.44 would be refunded and was told by a VERY RUDE supervisor today that our money would not be returned because the airline was filing for bankruptcy. Even though we bought and paid for the package through Hotels.com, we NEVER authorized them to give our credit card information to the airlines to charge.
We authorized Hotels.com to use our credit card to pay Hotels.com for the package, not Hotels.com and the airlines. He was very rude and told me that we were not getting our money back and hung up on me. WE will be calling our credit card company tomorrow. We need to know what to do. This is a lot of money and who knows how many innocent people are giving their credit card information to Hotels.com and they are letting people charge on their cards. This needs to be stopped! Please let me know status of my case.
ASPEN, COLORADO -- I spent 1 hour and 30 minutes of my time trying to simply book a reservation on your website. The hotel that I wanted was available for the dates that I wanted and I followed the steps to book the room as I have dozens of times in the past on your website. However, when I went to "book and confirm the reservation" I was unable to. So, I tried again, and again, and again -- each time receiving an error message stating that I was unable to proceed to confirmation because there was already a reservation booking in progress.
I then went to "view reservations" and printed off a receipt with the above-listed booking number that led me to believe that my reservation was actually received. Thankfully, I did not trust this to be the case and called 800-3HOTELS to confirm that everything was okay. It was not.
I first spoke a "customer service" rep who told me that I would need to call the hotel (Chateau Blanc Condominiums in Aspen, Co) directly to confirm the reservation. This I did, but their reservations department is only open Monday through Friday. So, I called Hotels.com back using a special "customer service number" and spoke with Patty who echoed that my reservation was not confirmed and who once again tried to give me the number of the hotel itself.
Frustrated by the run-around, I asked to speak with Patty's manager and after serious coercion to try to actually convince her to put that person on the phone, I spoke with Brett (the alleged supervisor). Brett explained that the Chateau Blanc Condominiums are not a preferred hotel and gave me technological details as to why this transaction did not go through.
I explained to Brett that I was misled by Hotels.com and given the impression that I would have not trouble booking this reservation; and that furthermore, I was able to find a printable receipt that further misled me to believe that the reservation was confirmed (I am glad that I did not show up at the Chateau Blanc in Aspen with this "receipt" expecting to have a condo waiting for me).
Brett was far from helpful and told me that there was nothing that could be done. Eventually, he reluctantly offered me a $20 rebate on a future booking -- an offer that I feel is a slap in the face for a 5-year+ customer who had just spent 1.5 hours trying to simply book a reservation as I have done dozens of times in the past. Brett, Patty and the original customer service rep were condescending, inflexible and far from pleasurable to work with. They made no attempt to solve or address my problem, but rather attempted to just pass me off.
Not only is this level of "customer service" unacceptable, but the misleading nature of the Hotels.com website (offering rooms as "available" that actually are not, allowing for a receipt to be printed for a room that was actually not booked) is also unacceptable. I am shocked that a company that for the past 5 years I have come to depend on has in 1 hour and 30 minutes become one in which I have completely lost faith.
On my first use of the service Hotels.com I noticed that the page for credit card transactions is not secured. So when I called to make my reservation, I guess I was supposed to read all the disclaimers on the website first, which like an idiot I did not so I was extremely surprised when making the reservation that money had to be paid that very moment. I couldn't even make plans to pay in cash. It had to be credit card, money order, or nothing.
When the Rep had answered the line my dog barked so I didn't catch her name nor did I think to ask at this point. The first thing they want is the credit card information, even before you actually find out if a room is still available or if it's the one you paid for.
Since I was paying extra for a "pool" view room why hadn't she read this back to me when verifying the room? "It will be noted on my account, right?" I am told "No" they don't guarantee the room, as she went on I was quickly seeing they didn't guarantee anything! I asked her to note it on my account. I am paying extra and I don't want to end up over the parking lot! She says she's just supposed to read what's on the paper and that's all she can do (boy she got that right).
She had this attitude like I had interrupted her day and continued to sigh the rest of the conversation until I was getting upset that she could by no means guarantee my Pool View Room. I said "I just can't understand how you can be in business and offer No guarantees." She starts laughing at me like I'm a twit. I explain that I really didn't appreciate her laughing, this is my... CLICK!
She hung up on me! I had no confirmation number, no name of the Rep, nothing to verify this reservation, BUT she had my credit card number! I tried for over an hour to get in contact with Hotels.com again. I received "Your call can not be connected at this time" or something very much like that over and over again. A bit scared as she had my credit card number and I had nothing, nil, nada, zilch - I called my bank.
She had already charged my account the charge for the two nights, over $150! While on the phone with the bank we tried yet again to get through to customer service at Hotels.com only to find that to verify whether she made the reservation and I didn't have a booking, reference number, they asked for my credit card number again!
So now it's twice and to two people I've given my number (Nothing is secure on their website for credit card transactions so I'm not certain that it's safe on the phone either). The lady at the bank asked the Rep, "is this the only way when someone doesn't have their reservation number." "Yep!" he says. Since my bank was with me on this I gave it, found that I did indeed have a reservation for the extra money yet still no guarantee on the Pool room.
I insisted because of the treatment that it be noted on my booking. I HAVEN'T EVEN TRIED TO USE THE BOOKING YET! I cry to a supervisor finally, hours, stress, and emotional exhaustion later and I am told they will give me a $30 break - well ain't that nice, I'm a sobbing rag after all this and I still don't know what I will find on the other end.
Five days later no credit of the $30 has hit my bank. When I call I get a foreign voice I cannot for the life of me understand and when I ask to speak with someone else she continues to try to say things in English (I guess anyway). Come to find out, I will get my $30 back within 30 days!!! They demand their money the day of, yet I will wait 30 days before I will know if they will actually refund 30 measly bucks.
My trip is still a month away. This is/was the last time I will ever use this service and I will dissuade others! Wonder what I will have to go through and what the hotel ACTUALLY has - what a way to ruin your business. Surely the rich people who use this service over and again couldn't care less about a few bucks and their room is most likely a suite. Hotels.com, I know you won't miss me, but you might miss some of the people I tell about my experience.
My daughter made reservation for a hotel in the Denver area for a Pink concert. Pink postponed the concert for health. Hotels.com did let us move the reservation for the rescheduled concert, at an additional cost of $40.00. A few weeks later, the concert was yet postponed until January. We tried getting a refund, they said "absolutely not, you are out of luck, and have a good day." What? They suck!!