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HotelTravel.com robbed me of $710!!!
Posted by Sanidy on 03/28/2007
They are not a real website!!! They robbed me of $710!!! When I tried to dispute it with their online help chat center they gave me a number to call in thailand and told me it was my fault, I booked it wrong and they would not give me my money back. Don't go through them, no matter how legit they look. If you call their USA numbers you will find that they are all fax numbers. I have been tricked, don't let yourself be as well.

Read Company Response
Company Response on 09/27/2010:
Dear 'sanidy',

My name is Olivier Dombey, and I am HotelTravel.com's Chief Information Officer.

I have just come across your post, which you made some 3 years ago. I appreciate that my input might come as a bit late, but the infrastructure for us to follow forum threads was not available up until recently.

I was not employed by HotelTravel.com at the time you posted this note. However, we keep full records of previous bookings and clients and I would be happy to personally look into your specific case and try to solve it. If you wish to write to me privately and directly at:

olivier AT hoteltravel DOT com

I would be delighted to investigate what happened and how this could be addressed. In that email, I would need to receive your full name, the email address you used to make your booking, booking confirmation number, and optionally if you can, your booking dates and the hotel name.

One thing is sure, HotelTravel.com is a real and genuine website and business with trade and business licenses to operate such a business.

HotelTravel.com has been operating successfully for over 10 years now, and has served thousands of customers worldwide. We employ over 300 staff and operate in 8 languages, 24/7. We use the most advanced encryption technology to provide a secure environment for our customers to purchase hotel products online. Two of those key technologies are (each link will take you to a security certificate validation page of our business identity):

- Trustware:
http://sealserver.trustwave.com/cert.php?customerId=w6ordzZ9ZVRIfsRNVXMpiytngYYqDb&size=105x54&style=invert
- VeriSign:
https://sealinfo.verisign.com/splash?form_file=fdf/splash.fdf&dn=www.hoteltravel.com&lang=EN

For instance:
- VeriSign verifies the authenticity of HotelTravel.com, which provides assurance that customers are making a transaction with a reputable company.
- To be allowed to use VeriSign's technology, VeriSign must verify the existence of the business, the ownership of the domain name, and employment status using 2-factor authentication.
- VeriSign's industry-leading authentication procedures undergo rigorous annual independent SAS 70 Type II audits by KPMG (the global accounting and consulting firm) and are WebTrust certified.
- Should you wish to read more information about us, please visit the following link:
http://www.hoteltravel.com/network/help.htm

In addition, HotelTravel.com is an active member of several highly reputable worldwide travel industry associations such as:
- International Air Transport Association (IATA) / membership number: #96-6 2679 5
- Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) / membership number: #2123
- Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) / membership number: #42776
- Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) / membership number: #9630-0
- American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) / membership number: #900148470
- Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) / membership number: #34/00278
- You can read more on our site at: http://www.hoteltravel.com/network/aboutus.asp

Furthermore, over the last 10 years, a few million clients have trusted us with their accommodation needs. Each of them are given the opportunity to write some feedback about their stays. This opportunity is only given to travellers who purchased a hotel product with us. This opportunity is not opened to non-clients. Consequently, we have gathered thousands and thousands of customer comments in all 8 languages. Please take the time to look at some of those comments. For instance: http://www.hoteltravel.com/thailand/bangkok/marriott_bangkok.htm#reviews

You might also want to take a look at out Facebook pages, which you will find have many comments and positive feedback from our clients: http://www.facebook.com/HotelTravel

I would be delighted to offer you additional reassurances about the legitimacy of HotelTravel.com business and how professional the entire team is. Feel free to write to me directly at: olivier AT hoteltravel DOT com

I sincerely look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks,

Cheers,

Olivier Dombey
Chief Information Officer
HotelTravel.com

Company Response on 09/23/2011:
Dear Madam,

My name is Rujinun Supawiriyakorn (Rosie), I work at HotelTravel.com as Customer Service Agent. Yesterday, I was asked by my superior to follow up your posting on this website and to urgently investigate what happened. Yesterday, I spent most of the day meeting with our Finance department, my supervisor and his manager, and other colleagues, located in different office buildings on the HotelTravel.com campus, to help me understand the history of what happened with your credit card. Thankfully, I am now able to get back to you with a detailed feedback. Your post shows your patience with us has passed its limit, but please bear with me while I am trying my best to better explain the issue.


A - FEEDBACK ON YOUR CREDIT CARD ISSUE

A.1 – 48 Days
I agree with you that 48 days to get the amount available again on your credit card is not acceptable. In fact, such a banking process usually can take up to 7 working days to complete. I know that if I were in your shoes, I would most likely feel the same frustrations, and seriously question the authenticity of the service provider. This is further acerbated by your numerous correspondence with us, and the obvious lack of a satisfactory resolve. Therefore, on behalf of HotelTravel.com and the whole team, I would like to apologise for the unacceptable situation you are finding yourself in.

A.2 – Event Timeline
Wed, 3rd August 2011:
- 4:16:08 AM (GMT+7), you submitted your booking request via our website;
o Your credit card was pre-authorized by our payment system at 4:15:23 AM (GMT+7) for 123.20 Euros;
o Your booking was On Request, which means that we needed to manually contact the hotel to confirm availability for the period you asked for;
o This means that one of our Customer Service Agent needed to confirm availability with the hotel first, before confirming with you, the client;
- 5:19AM (GMT+7), our customer service agent Jureeta sent you an email explaining that the hotel you chose is guaranteeing a response on availability with 24 hours. In case you did not want to wait up 24 hours to secure your accommodation, she also proposed a list of alternative hotels, which we knew at that time were available immediately;
- 6:34PM (GMT+7), approximately 12 hours later, our customer service agent Wassana sent you an email informing you that the room you requested was not available. We also took the opportunity to offer you again a choice of alternative and instantly available hotels; and waited for your response.

Sat, 6th August 2001:
- 3:35 AM (GMT +7), I received your first email about your credit card issue;
o I then immediately replied to you explaining that I was going to void the transaction straight away, and that it should take up to 7 working days for your issuing bank to make the funds available again on your card;
o I sent a ‘void request’ instruction to your bank via our gateway payment system and transaction bank;
- 13:41:39 (GMT +7), Pornthip our credit co-ordinator sent you an email, confirming that an instruction to nullify the transaction had been sent to your issuing bank via our own gateway and banking system provider;

Tue, 30th August 2011:
- 4:15 AM (GMT +7), my colleague Yusri (our complaints manager) received an email from you, in which you expressed your concerns about the issue not being resolved;
- 11:21 AM (GMT +7), Pornthip emailed you with apologies for the inconvenience in solving the issue, and that he was going to investigate the matter immediately;

Mon, 19th September 2011:
- 3:39 PM (GMT +7), our credit department received your last email and your complete dissatisfaction in still not having the funds made available to you on your card;

Wed, 21st September 2011:
- I was asked to investigate your response by my superior;

A.3 – Credit Card Pre-Authorisation
On Aug 3rd 2011, when you made your booking request with us, your credit card was processed for pre-authorisation only, but it was never charged. In fact, the 123.20 EUROS never left your account, and we never received 1 cent of it. As you are reading this, I suspect you are asking yourself “how could this be since I still cannot use the 123.20 EUROS to make another purchase?”

Again, if I had been in your position, I would also have asked the same question. But please allow me to explain why the 123.20 EUROS seem to have ‘left’ your account, where in fact they were never debited from your card.

It is because of the card pre-authorisation process and the way it handles such transactions. Credit card pre-authorisation is the practice within the banking industry of authorising electronic transactions done with a debit card or credit card and holding this balance as unavailable [to the card holder] either until the merchant clears the transaction, or the hold "falls off." You can read more on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorization_hold, or on this page http://www.3rdpartyprocessors.com/creditcardpreauthorization.shtml.

So, when you made your booking request on Aug 3rd 2011, our reservation system triggered the pre-authorisation of your card, based on the booking parameters, which I have explained below in point A.4. If you have read the two articles I referred you to above, you should now understand why the 123.20 EUROS was not available for spending on your card. The amount is simply blocked by your bank via the pre-authorisation process, which makes the amount temporarily unavailable/invisible to you, the card holder.

The process of making the funds available again is explained in point A.5 below.

A.4 – Pre-Authorisation Trigger
For all our bookings, our reservation system charges customers’ credit cards for the full amount, only once bookings are confirmed to clients. However, there is an exception to this system rule. When a booking request shows an arrival date falling close to the day when the booking is made, our system will automatically flags such a booking as urgent.

With such urgent bookings, our objective is always to expedite and confirm reservations as quickly as possible in order to secure the room, and satisfy our clients with what we believe are urgent needs. In doing so, our reservation system triggers an automated pre-authorisation of the client’s card to ensure that the funds are available, but in no way debits the client’s credit card.

This is what happened with your booking. Your arrival date was close to Aug 3rd 2011, when you made the booking. Our system flagged your request as urgent, and automatically initiated the pre-authorisation of your card.

A.5 – Making Funds Available Again
On Aug 6th 2011, when you contacted us about your card being charged while no booking had been made, our accounting department sent on the same day, a ‘void transaction request’ to your bank via our own banking gateway. Such a ‘void transaction request’ is a standard banking message designed to nullify a pre-authorisation request; thus, an instruction to the card holder’s bank to release the fund back, and make it available again. This process should normally be immediate. However in our experience can take up to 7 working day depending on the policies of the client’s issuing bank.

As we immediately sent the void request and the credit has not been made available to you yet, it appears that there has been a rare banking error, which in our experience is normally an issuing bank error. We hope you can investigate this if so wish further with them.

The problem with such void transaction requests is that, as a merchant, we have absolutely no visibility as to whether the client’s issuing bank has received and acted upon such instructions. We only become aware of issues, when clients contact us again, just like you did. Then we investigate and chase again.

In your case, we do not understand why the ‘void transaction request’ did not materialise. Despite the many follow-ups we had with our bank, we still do not know what went wrong, which is exceptional.

Of course, rest assure that all of the above is documented, and I would be happy to share with you all the correspondence we had with our bank in trying to get this matter resolved since Aug 6th 2011.

In its repeated effort to thoroughly investigate this matter, our accounting department took further action by requesting our bank to send a fax to your issuing bank, requesting confirmation that the void request had been done. I can also make this fax available to you, if you wish to also make enquiries with your issuing bank directly from your end. Please do let me know directly if this is the case, I certainly would appreciate it.


At this juncture and in response to your statements questioning the legitimacy of HotelTravel.com, our company’s head of public relations, asked me to insert the following section (B) in my reply to you:

B - HOTELTRAVEL.COM LEGITIMACY

B.1 – HotelTravel.com Is a Genuine Business
Since 1999, HotelTravel.com has been operating as a legal business, as authorised by the several governments-issued trade and business licenses it owns. We are incorporated in 14 countries; we employ hundreds of staff from 32 nationalities who speak 20 different languages. We have successfully served millions of customers in 8 languages, 24/7, worldwide. Finally, we have thousands of contracts with hotels and suppliers, which allow us to offer our customers extremely competitive hotel rates, at some 120,000 hotels around the world, year round, nonstop. Would it be correct to assume that on Aug 3rd 2011, you made your reservation request with us because you found a very attractive rate on our site?

Therefore, we trust you will agree with us, that both the longevity and the success of HotelTravel.com is evidence that our company is a genuine and legal business. If it had been the type of business you described, do you sincerely believe that HotelTravel.com would have survived the last 11 years? We all know it would not have.

B.2 – HotelTravel.com and Its Customer Care
If you take the time to search for other complaints about HotelTravel.com, we know that you will not find many. In fact, compared to the huge amount of complaints some of our competitors get, we believe it means that for the last 11 years, our company has actually been doing a great job. The reason why this is made possible is because HotelTravel.com is a medium size private company. We are not a faceless publically listed fully automated online travel agency. Our independence and size allows us to put a real focus on our customer care instead of being solely driven by stock exchange quarterly results.

Customer care is core to our corporate culture. It is embedded in our brand statement – Real People | Real Service | Real Choice – unequivocally promoting our customers to be centre stage of all our operations. It is the keystone around how all my colleagues and I, anticipate customer needs, deliver quality service and offer a freedom of choice to its clients. It is rooted in our daily work.

This is why you will not see that many complaints about us compared to others. This is also why, we took the time to investigate your case, get all the facts straight, draft this comprehensive note, and personally reply to you. The whole team felt very disappointed by your posting, because it is not at all reflective of who we are, how we do business and how we care about our customers. I hope you will be receptive to this.

B.3 – HotelTravel.com is an active member of several highly reputable worldwide travel industry associations. We pay membership fees, we have membership IDs, we are invited to speak at their conferences and seminars, and the management of our company includes some of the most respected executives in our industry. When you have a minute, please have a search about our company and you will see hundreds of charity event sponsorships, and speaking event presentations by our executives and there teams.

Some of the travel industry associations we belong to are (you can read many more on our site at: http://www.hoteltravel.com/network/aboutus.asp):
- IATA: International Air Transport Association (membership ID: #96-6 2679 5)
- PATA: Pacific Asia Travel Association (membership ID: #2123)
- JATA: Japan Association of Travel Agents (membership ID: #42776)
- HEDNA: Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (membership ID: #9630-0)
- ASTA: American Society of Travel Agents (membership ID: #900148470)
- TAT: Tourism Authority of Thailand (membership ID: #34/00278)

Again, we trust that you will be able to acknowledge that, if indeed HotelTravel.com was a rogue business, it would be literally impossible for it to maintain such a reputable international exposure.

B.4 – Finally, HotelTravel.com is a “VeriSign Secured” and “Trustwave” certified approved business, which allows us to use the most advanced online encryption technology available today. This means that HotelTravel.com offers and guarantees all its customers, the safest and most secure transactional environment current technology permits today, while ensuring the highest level of customers’ data protection when purchasing hotel products online with us. If you go on our home page (http://www.hoteltravel.com/) and scroll right down to the bottom of that page, you will see their respective logos, which you must have already seen on other merchants’ websites. If you then click on either of those two logos, a browser window should open and display our official certificates.

The fact that we own such certificates is significant. It is key to know that they can only be awarded to businesses that can prove their authenticity and legality. There is no other way. Therefore, the very fact that we are allowed to publically display them, is a guarantee that HotelTravel.com is a legitimate business.


C – FINAL WORDS
What happened with your card is a rare occurrence. I trust you can see that it was not our doing, and it certainly had nothing to do with HotelTravel.com not being a honest business. It can only be explained as a banking transaction glitch. And despite our tenuous and constant efforts to resolve the matter as quickly as possible, we also had no control over its progress and outcome. We will take this incident, learn from this experience, and continue to grow as a customer oriented business that puts you first.

Again, all of this is documented and I will be glad to share it with you. You are welcome to write to me directly at the following email address:

rujinun.s AT hoteltravel DOT com
(Please replace the ‘AT’ and the ‘DOT’ by their respective obvious characters. This is avoid my email address being picked-up and spammed by crawlers)
Finally, I do understand your anger and frustration. Yet, I also trust I managed to satisfactorily explain the reasons why this situation occurred. I also fully realise that despite not being a mistake made by HotelTravel.com, the experience you had with us was far from being a positive one. Therefore, in an attempt to mend the bridges, my superior agreed to my proposal to offer you a ‘little something’, and try to make up for all the aggravation you went through. Since my offer is private and confidential, please do write to me at the email address I gave you above, and I will be able to confirm it all in writing.

Apologies for such a lengthy reply, but I felt you deserved a full and comprehensive explanation on what happened.

I sincerely look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Rujinun Supawiriyakorn (Rosie)
Customer Service Agent
HotelTravel.com

     
Read 3 RepliesAdd reply

User Replies:Close comments

Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2007-03-29:
Dispute the charges with your own credit card issuer.
Posted by rhondam718732 on 2007-03-29:
You don't tell us what happened...what mistake was made?
Posted by airspeed on 2008-04-12:
Hoteltravel.com is a scam do not use this service. They continue to charge my credit card for services not rendered. Total scam. I agree with the other posts as this company does not have any customer service and is using bad practices. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY - YOU WILL BE SORRY!!!!
Close commentsAdd reply

Scam and the illegal practices of HotelTravel.
Posted by Tilenawest61 on 09/20/2011
Do not book anything thru this so called hoteltravel.com. It is a big time scam. it was unable to book the hotel room for me, yet it charged my bank card on Aug 3, 2011, for the amount of $173.79. When I requested to refund the money back to my account, the response was that they will soon. I e-mailed them several times demanding my money back. It has been 48 days and my money is still not refunded. all I get from their credit site is e-mails with lies. THIS HotelScamTravel.com WEDSITE SHOULD BE SHUTDOWN FOR GOOD so it will not be able to cheat/defraud people anymore. And I am working on filling legal action against it.
Read Company Response
Company Response on 09/26/2011:
Dear Madam,

My name is Rujinun Supawiriyakorn (Rosie), I work at HotelTravel.com as Customer Service Agent. Yesterday, I was asked by my superior to follow up your posting on this website and to urgently investigate what happened. Yesterday, I spent most of the day meeting with our Finance department, my supervisor and his manager, and other colleagues, located in different office buildings on the HotelTravel.com campus, to help me understand the history of what happened with your credit card. Thankfully, I am now able to get back to you with a detailed feedback. Your post shows your patience with us has passed its limit, but please bear with me while I am trying my best to better explain the issue.


A - FEEDBACK ON YOUR CREDIT CARD ISSUE

A.1 – 48 Days
I agree with you that 48 days to get the amount available again on your credit card is not acceptable. In fact, such a banking process usually can take up to 7 working days to complete. I know that if I were in your shoes, I would most likely feel the same frustrations, and seriously question the authenticity of the service provider. This is further acerbated by your numerous correspondence with us, and the obvious lack of a satisfactory resolve. Therefore, on behalf of HotelTravel.com and the whole team, I would like to apologise for the unacceptable situation you are finding yourself in.

A.2 – Event Timeline
Wed, 3rd August 2011:
- 4:16:08 AM (GMT+7), you submitted your booking request via our website;
o Your credit card was pre-authorized by our payment system at 4:15:23 AM (GMT+7) for 123.20 Euros;
o Your booking was On Request, which means that we needed to manually contact the hotel to confirm availability for the period you asked for;
o This means that one of our Customer Service Agent needed to confirm availability with the hotel first, before confirming with you, the client;
- 5:19AM (GMT+7), our customer service agent Jureeta sent you an email explaining that the hotel you chose is guaranteeing a response on availability with 24 hours. In case you did not want to wait up 24 hours to secure your accommodation, she also proposed a list of alternative hotels, which we knew at that time were available immediately;
- 6:34PM (GMT+7), approximately 12 hours later, our customer service agent Wassana sent you an email informing you that the room you requested was not available. We also took the opportunity to offer you again a choice of alternative and instantly available hotels; and waited for your response.

Sat, 6th August 2001:
- 3:35 AM (GMT +7), I received your first email about your credit card issue;
o I then immediately replied to you explaining that I was going to void the transaction straight away, and that it should take up to 7 working days for your issuing bank to make the funds available again on your card;
o I sent a ‘void request’ instruction to your bank via our gateway payment system and transaction bank;
- 13:41:39 (GMT +7), Pornthip our credit co-ordinator sent you an email, confirming that an instruction to nullify the transaction had been sent to your issuing bank via our own gateway and banking system provider;

Tue, 30th August 2011:
- 4:15 AM (GMT +7), my colleague Yusri (our complaints manager) received an email from you, in which you expressed your concerns about the issue not being resolved;
- 11:21 AM (GMT +7), Pornthip emailed you with apologies for the inconvenience in solving the issue, and that he was going to investigate the matter immediately;

Mon, 19th September 2011:
- 3:39 PM (GMT +7), our credit department received your last email and your complete dissatisfaction in still not having the funds made available to you on your card;

Wed, 21st September 2011:
- I was asked to investigate your response by my superior;

A.3 – Credit Card Pre-Authorisation
On Aug 3rd 2011, when you made your booking request with us, your credit card was processed for pre-authorisation only, but it was never charged. In fact, the 123.20 EUROS never left your account, and we never received 1 cent of it. As you are reading this, I suspect you are asking yourself “how could this be since I still cannot use the 123.20 EUROS to make another purchase?”

Again, if I had been in your position, I would also have asked the same question. But please allow me to explain why the 123.20 EUROS seem to have ‘left’ your account, where in fact they were never debited from your card.

It is because of the card pre-authorisation process and the way it handles such transactions. Credit card pre-authorisation is the practice within the banking industry of authorising electronic transactions done with a debit card or credit card and holding this balance as unavailable [to the card holder] either until the merchant clears the transaction, or the hold "falls off." You can read more on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorization_hold, or on this page http://www.3rdpartyprocessors.com/creditcardpreauthorization.shtml.

So, when you made your booking request on Aug 3rd 2011, our reservation system triggered the pre-authorisation of your card, based on the booking parameters, which I have explained below in point A.4. If you have read the two articles I referred you to above, you should now understand why the 123.20 EUROS was not available for spending on your card. The amount is simply blocked by your bank via the pre-authorisation process, which makes the amount temporarily unavailable/invisible to you, the card holder.

The process of making the funds available again is explained in point A.5 below.

A.4 – Pre-Authorisation Trigger
For all our bookings, our reservation system charges customers’ credit cards for the full amount, only once bookings are confirmed to clients. However, there is an exception to this system rule. When a booking request shows an arrival date falling close to the day when the booking is made, our system will automatically flags such a booking as urgent.

With such urgent bookings, our objective is always to expedite and confirm reservations as quickly as possible in order to secure the room, and satisfy our clients with what we believe are urgent needs. In doing so, our reservation system triggers an automated pre-authorisation of the client’s card to ensure that the funds are available, but in no way debits the client’s credit card.

This is what happened with your booking. Your arrival date was close to Aug 3rd 2011, when you made the booking. Our system flagged your request as urgent, and automatically initiated the pre-authorisation of your card.

A.5 – Making Funds Available Again
On Aug 6th 2011, when you contacted us about your card being charged while no booking had been made, our accounting department sent on the same day, a ‘void transaction request’ to your bank via our own banking gateway. Such a ‘void transaction request’ is a standard banking message designed to nullify a pre-authorisation request; thus, an instruction to the card holder’s bank to release the fund back, and make it available again. This process should normally be immediate. However in our experience can take up to 7 working day depending on the policies of the client’s issuing bank.

As we immediately sent the void request and the credit has not been made available to you yet, it appears that there has been a rare banking error, which in our experience is normally an issuing bank error. We hope you can investigate this if so wish further with them.

The problem with such void transaction requests is that, as a merchant, we have absolutely no visibility as to whether the client’s issuing bank has received and acted upon such instructions. We only become aware of issues, when clients contact us again, just like you did. Then we investigate and chase again.

In your case, we do not understand why the ‘void transaction request’ did not materialise. Despite the many follow-ups we had with our bank, we still do not know what went wrong, which is exceptional.

Of course, rest assure that all of the above is documented, and I would be happy to share with you all the correspondence we had with our bank in trying to get this matter resolved since Aug 6th 2011.

In its repeated effort to thoroughly investigate this matter, our accounting department took further action by requesting our bank to send a fax to your issuing bank, requesting confirmation that the void request had been done. I can also make this fax available to you, if you wish to also make enquiries with your issuing bank directly from your end. Please do let me know directly if this is the case, I certainly would appreciate it.


At this juncture and in response to your statements questioning the legitimacy of HotelTravel.com, our company’s head of public relations, asked me to insert the following section (B) in my reply to you:

B - HOTELTRAVEL.COM LEGITIMACY

B.1 – HotelTravel.com Is a Genuine Business
Since 1999, HotelTravel.com has been operating as a legal business, as authorised by the several governments-issued trade and business licenses it owns. We are incorporated in 14 countries; we employ hundreds of staff from 32 nationalities who speak 20 different languages. We have successfully served millions of customers in 8 languages, 24/7, worldwide. Finally, we have thousands of contracts with hotels and suppliers, which allow us to offer our customers extremely competitive hotel rates, at some 120,000 hotels around the world, year round, nonstop. Would it be correct to assume that on Aug 3rd 2011, you made your reservation request with us because you found a very attractive rate on our site?

Therefore, we trust you will agree with us, that both the longevity and the success of HotelTravel.com is evidence that our company is a genuine and legal business. If it had been the type of business you described, do you sincerely believe that HotelTravel.com would have survived the last 11 years? We all know it would not have.

B.2 – HotelTravel.com and Its Customer Care
If you take the time to search for other complaints about HotelTravel.com, we know that you will not find many. In fact, compared to the huge amount of complaints some of our competitors get, we believe it means that for the last 11 years, our company has actually been doing a great job. The reason why this is made possible is because HotelTravel.com is a medium size private company. We are not a faceless publically listed fully automated online travel agency. Our independence and size allows us to put a real focus on our customer care instead of being solely driven by stock exchange quarterly results.

Customer care is core to our corporate culture. It is embedded in our brand statement – Real People | Real Service | Real Choice – unequivocally promoting our customers to be centre stage of all our operations. It is the keystone around how all my colleagues and I, anticipate customer needs, deliver quality service and offer a freedom of choice to its clients. It is rooted in our daily work.

This is why you will not see that many complaints about us compared to others. This is also why, we took the time to investigate your case, get all the facts straight, draft this comprehensive note, and personally reply to you. The whole team felt very disappointed by your posting, because it is not at all reflective of who we are, how we do business and how we care about our customers. I hope you will be receptive to this.

B.3 – HotelTravel.com is an active member of several highly reputable worldwide travel industry associations. We pay membership fees, we have membership IDs, we are invited to speak at their conferences and seminars, and the management of our company includes some of the most respected executives in our industry. When you have a minute, please have a search about our company and you will see hundreds of charity event sponsorships, and speaking event presentations by our executives and there teams.

Some of the travel industry associations we belong to are (you can read many more on our site at: http://www.hoteltravel.com/network/aboutus.asp):
- IATA: International Air Transport Association (membership ID: #96-6 2679 5)
- PATA: Pacific Asia Travel Association (membership ID: #2123)
- JATA: Japan Association of Travel Agents (membership ID: #42776)
- HEDNA: Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (membership ID: #9630-0)
- ASTA: American Society of Travel Agents (membership ID: #900148470)
- TAT: Tourism Authority of Thailand (membership ID: #34/00278)

Again, we trust that you will be able to acknowledge that, if indeed HotelTravel.com was a rogue business, it would be literally impossible for it to maintain such a reputable international exposure.

B.4 – Finally, HotelTravel.com is a “VeriSign Secured” and “Trustwave” certified approved business, which allows us to use the most advanced online encryption technology available today. This means that HotelTravel.com offers and guarantees all its customers, the safest and most secure transactional environment current technology permits today, while ensuring the highest level of customers’ data protection when purchasing hotel products online with us. If you go on our home page (http://www.hoteltravel.com/) and scroll right down to the bottom of that page, you will see their respective logos, which you must have already seen on other merchants’ websites. If you then click on either of those two logos, a browser window should open and display our official certificates.

The fact that we own such certificates is significant. It is key to know that they can only be awarded to businesses that can prove their authenticity and legality. There is no other way. Therefore, the very fact that we are allowed to publically display them, is a guarantee that HotelTravel.com is a legitimate business.


C – FINAL WORDS
What happened with your card is a rare occurrence. I trust you can see that it was not our doing, and it certainly had nothing to do with HotelTravel.com not being a honest business. It can only be explained as a banking transaction glitch. And despite our tenuous and constant efforts to resolve the matter as quickly as possible, we also had no control over its progress and outcome. We will take this incident, learn from this experience, and continue to grow as a customer oriented business that puts you first.

Again, all of this is documented and I will be glad to share it with you. You are welcome to write to me directly at the following email address:

rujinun.s AT hoteltravel DOT com
(Please replace the ‘AT’ and the ‘DOT’ by their respective obvious characters. This is avoid my email address being picked-up and spammed by crawlers)
Finally, I do understand your anger and frustration. Yet, I also trust I managed to satisfactorily explain the reasons why this situation occurred. I also fully realise that despite not being a mistake made by HotelTravel.com, the experience you had with us was far from being a positive one. Therefore, in an attempt to mend the bridges, my superior agreed to my proposal to offer you a ‘little something’, and try to make up for all the aggravation you went through. Since my offer is private and confidential, please do write to me at the email address I gave you above, and I will be able to confirm it all in writing.

Apologies for such a lengthy reply, but I felt you deserved a full and comprehensive explanation on what happened.

I sincerely look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Rujinun Supawiriyakorn (Rosie)
Customer Service Agent
HotelTravel.com

     
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Posted by 4evie64 on 2011-10-18:
Hi, just a quick reply saying I have had fantastic service from hoteltravel.com. and will definitely use this company again. My story is my sister and I traveled to Bali in Feb 2010, I had to ask hoteltavel.com to check on the hotel where we usually stay as it was not available to book directly thru the website. The reply with booking information was quick and well priced. I paid by credit card no problem. We got to the hotel late at night and found there was major renovations being undertaken. We decided to stay the night - it was nearly midnight and contact hoteltravel.com the next day, a Sunday. Initial contact was polite and understanding, stating they had to check with the hotel if this was so which was understandable, the agent also took information on other hotels we would be interested in staying at instead. The situation was checked with the hotel and we had a reply phone call within 30 minutes with suggestions as to other hotels as our other choices were unavailable. We were given a fax with information and also time to check out the other hotels we were not familiar with and to make our decision. Once our decision was made the hotel we were staying at was contacted and the other hotel was booked. A copy of the booking was faxed to the hotel for us as I did not have access to a printer. We proceeded to the new hotel and were greeted warmly and enjoyed our stay very much. When I was on the call with the agent I was informed that the new hotel was cheaper and that a refund would be processed but it could take up to a month but to please keep an eye open for it on my statement. The refund was processed and was on my credit card within 7 days before I even got home. All the contact with or first hotel was done by the agent so I am crediting the agent with the ability to liaise well with others and to work out solutions and we are most likely benefited by the hotel being our 'regular' and the staff there being very accommodating also. As I was visiting Asia the contact office was an asian phone number and I only speak English. My first words on phone being answered were 'English please' and I was transferred to someone who obviously had english as a second language but was easy to understand and had no trouble understanding my problem. Also all follow up calls were initiated by the company at agreed times to save me accumulating a large bill at the hotel, thank you so much for that! This company truly knows the meaning of customer service and is one I would recommend to any of my friends and family. I think the op had a misunderstanding about using a debit card and how refunds are processed and unfortunately fell thru the cracks, sometimes emails do get missed and often a phone call is all it takes to start to get things sorted out as I proved. All travel booked over the internet with a genuine company will result in you being sent an email with your booking voucher to print and hand to the hotel so if you do not get this within 24-48 hours you should start to question way before your travel is to commence. Please this company is NOT a scam and provide a better service than your local travel agent (st least in Australia) who will generally only deal with things on your return to your home country.
Posted by Helena on 2012-10-07:
I had the exact nightmare experience with this company. I was promised a refund when they couldn't book the room, they cancelled my booking and no refund came. I booked using paypal and am still in dispute trying to get my money back. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone. I spoke with online agents who promised to contact the credit department to refund me, the first the credit department knew of an issue was when paypal contacted them, and then their credit department asked me why I cancelled my booking. It was cancelled when the company couldn't provide the hotel or a hotel in the area without charging me nearly four times what I paid for the booking I made. The nearest hotel was an expensive taxi ride away.
I am still awaiting a refund. A total scam of a oompany in my opinion. Never ever again.
Posted by Shaun on 2014-01-19:
Every time I try to contact them all I get:

500 - Internal server error.
There is a problem with the resource you are looking for, and it cannot be displayed.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Hoteltravel.com - Scam & Illegal
Posted by Bhavwadhwa on 12/29/2012
THAILAND (TOURICO HOLIDAY) -- I booked a hotel room via hoteltravel.com at IBIS - World trade center (Dubai) - The hotel confirmed to me that there was no such booking made under my name.

Hoteltravel.com being the scam it is, sent me a confirmation of my booking with the name of Tourico Holiday - (supposed to be a well known travel agent). Using Tourico's name, Hoteltravel (the scam website) confirmed to me that my room was booked for x date at IBIS hotel charging me more than what I paid for.

PLEASE DO NOT BOOK ANYTHING VIA THIS WEBSITE. IT IS A SCAM - OFCOURSE ONE REASON IS IT IS BASED IN THAILAND!!!! IT IS ABSOLUTELY ILLEGAL!!!! I HOPE THIS REVIEW REACHES OUT TO EVERYONE LOOKING AT THE BEST PRICES on HOTELTRAVEL.COM - NEVER TRUST THEM!!!
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Company Response on 01/09/2013:
My name is Robin O’List and I am the Social Media Executive at HotelTravel.com.

I saw your post of 29 December and immediately initiated an investigation to personally find out what happened regarding your booking submitted and confirmed on 27th December 2012 at 3:42 PM (GMT+07:00) for 1 standard room at the Hotel Ibis World Trade Centre Dubai.

I was very concerned to find you were unsatisfied with the service you received while making this booking. Regarding your statements about HotelTravel.com, please be advised that we are a part of the MakeMyTrip (NASDAQ:MMYT) Group and have over 14 years experience as an online travel agent.

HotelTravel.com is also proud to be a member of the following highly reputable worldwide travel industry associations: Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and other leading travel associations including: Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA), Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA), Information Technologies in Travel and Tourism (IFITT), American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) and the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA).

This means we do take our job very seriously and work to resolve any customer service issues in a timely and professional fashion.
On further investigation of your individual case we learned that both Tourico and the front desk staff at the Hotel Ibis World Trade Centre Dubai had a record of your booking in their reservation system under your name. Also this reservation corresponds with the Tourico Reference Number that appears on the confirmation voucher and that the hotel had been awaiting your arrival and check-in.

However this differs substantially from the information you brought to our attention and we would appreciate it if you could provide us with some additional feedback. If available this includes your check in time and name of staff that assisted you at reception. This would greatly assist us to further the investigation and obtain a complete report from the hotel.

That said, we do very much value and appreciate your feedback and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused. However with the help of your continued assistance, we do intend to get to the bottom of this matter and resolve the issue to meet your expectations as a valued customer of HotelTravel.com.

Thank you very much for your kind cooperation.
Sincerely,
Robin O’List
Social Media Executive
robin.o @ HotelTravel.com
Real People | Real Service | Real Choice
     
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Posted by At Your Service on 2012-12-30:
You state they've 'charged you'. How so? If through a credit card, it should be easily disputed as long as it's fraudulent. Before you jump to this conclusion, though, you might be better off to contact Hoteltravel.
Posted by Anna on 2014-04-16:
I came across this site in early Feb 2014 and decided to give it a try. I was in the city and needed a room for Feb 8-9. While online, their site continued to default to Feb 23-24 date...it was so strange, so I exited the site and went back in, attempting to book again. So this time, while it looked like I had the dates I wanted, I proceeded to pay with my credit card when of course, it defaulted again to Feb 23/24 date... by now, I had already submitted my credit card info. I then went to another site and rebooked again for Feb 8-9. I was pissed off. When I got home, I contacted hoteltravel.com and of course, was put to someone over in Thailand who could hardly speak English..how convenient! After calling back numerous times and talking to yet another operator, they told me to email my complaint, and that they would respond. Well...very iteresting, the response I received was that it must have been 'human error' that there is no way that this could have happened on their end! Total BS...why would I pay twice for a room?? Furthermore, I had contacted them immediately when I returned home, giving them over 2 weeks to reimburse me and rent the room out again (as I now had paid for Feb 23/24 date, but no luck! I also contacted the hotel and let them know what happened but they couldn't help me and suggested I contact the site.. funny how I got the total run around on even finding a contact on their site. I agree with others who have had similar negative experiences... I will never book on this site again, and have also alerted all of my friends to never use this site. Poor customer service, and I definitely agree, a SCAM!! Very disappointed.
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Avoid! Avoid! You Will Get Screwed
Posted by Verypissconsumer on 12/01/2010
This site is based in Thailand and very questionable??? Better booked with reliable site like Expedia, Travelocity, vayama and not this one. I booked a hotel and there was no booking and I end up paying more than three times. They insisted that there was an email of rejected booking of which I honestly cannot find. I have booked with all major website and have never expErienced this very embarrasssing and very stressful situtation. To top it all, I have to replace my card to be sure that it would not get stolen. My piece of advice, you take a very big risk thinking you saved money but end up paying more with all the troubles.

Read Company Response
Company Response on 12/03/2010:

Dear Consumer,
I have come across the post you made on December 1st, 2010. I regret that you were not completely satisfied with our service. You have stated some concerns that I would like to look into. If you wish to write to me directly at: aaron.d AT Hoteltravel.com, I would be delighted to look into how we could address your case.

In your email, I would need to receive your full name, the email address you used to make your booking, booking confirmation number, optionally if you can provide me with your booking dates and the hotel name as well. With this information I would be able to address each of your points in your complaint and find a solution for you.

You mention that we had told you we sent you an email stating that the booking request was rejected by the hotel, but you were unable to find it. If you would please check your junk mail as the spam filters mail have dumped it into your junk folder.

According to your post, I can tell you made an On Request Booking. I would like to clarify a few points for you with regards to On Request Bookings.

1) The booking you made was On Request, meaning that we needed 24 hours to confirm with the hotel that the room was indeed available, at the requested rate on the requested dates.

2) If the hotel does not have the rooms available at the requested rate or denies the requested special rate we then will ask the hotel for an alternative rate for you.

Our customer service experts also continue to search and offer similar hotels in the same area with the same type of room at the closest possible rate to your requested rate.

This is provided as a free service to you our customer.

3) We do not charge your credit card until a room has been confirmed and accepted by the client (you).

You mention there was no booking, as you may know we provide Live Chat Support 24 hours a day via http://www.hoteltravel.com/ . The Customer Service Experts are there to resolve any issues that may arise.

After a customer receives a confirmation letter via email, we will then send a 2nd email with a voucher attached to it. On the Voucher is an emergency number the customer (you) can call if there is a problem with the booking.

In addition, HotelTravel.com is a genuine website and business with trade and business licenses to operate such a business.

HotelTravel.com has been operating successfully for over 10 years now, and has served millions of customers worldwide. We employ over 300 staff and operate in 8 languages, 24/7. We use the most advanced encryption technology to provide a secure environment for our customers to purchase hotel products online. There is no need to worry about your credit card because we use advanced secure technologies to protect our customer’s data.

Two of those key technologies are (each link will take you to a security certificate validation page of our business identity):

- Trustware:
http://sealserver.trustwave.com/cert.php?customerId=w6ordzZ9ZVRIfsRNVXMpiytngYYqDb&size=105x54&style=invert
- VeriSign:
https://sealinfo.verisign.com/splash?form_file=fdf/splash.fdf&dn=www.hoteltravel.com〈=EN

For instance:
- VeriSign verifies the authenticity of HotelTravel.com, which provides assurance that customers are making a transaction with a reputable company.
- To be allowed to use VeriSign's technology, VeriSign must verify the existence of the business, the ownership of the domain name, and employment status using 2-factor authentication.
- VeriSign's industry-leading authentication procedures undergo rigorous annual independent SAS 70 Type II audits by KPMG (the global accounting and consulting firm) and are WebTrust certified.
- Should you wish to read more information about us, please visit the following link:
http://www.hoteltravel.com/network/help.htm

In addition, HotelTravel.com is an active member of several highly reputable worldwide travel industry associations such as:
- International Air Transport Association (IATA) / membership number: #96-6 2679 5
- Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) / membership number: #2123
- Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) / membership number: #42776
- Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) / membership number: #9630-0
- American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) / membership number: #900148470
- Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) / membership number: #34/00278
- You can read more on our site at: http://www.hoteltravel.com/network/aboutus.asp
As for your statement of having to replace your credit card. You had nothing to worry about it. We have a secure system that does not allow anyone to see your credit details. Additionally in order to have the recognition and maintain a good standing with the multiple tradenames that certify us we would not be able to do anything malicious with your information.

Furthermore, over the last 10 years, a few million clients have trusted us with their accommodation needs. Each of them are given the opportunity to write some feedback about their stays. This opportunity is only given to travellers who purchased a hotel product with us. This opportunity is not opened to non-clients. Consequently, we have gathered thousands and thousands of customer comments in all 8 languages. Please take the time to look at some of those comments. For instance: http://www.hoteltravel.com/thailand/bangkok/marriott_bangkok.htm#reviews

You might also want to take a look at out Facebook pages, which you will find have many comments and positive feedback from our clients: http://www.facebook.com/HotelTravel

Cheers,

Aaron Doolittle

Social Media Manager
http://www.hoteltravel.com
Real People | Real Service | Real Choice

     
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Posted by leet60 on 2010-12-01:
"I booked a hotel and there was no booking and I end up paying more than three times"

In all honesty you are better off booking directly with the hotel. If you search this website or the internet you will find countless complaints about Expedia and Travelocity for the same issues.
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