WINSTON SALEM, NC, NORTH CAROLINA -- We booked Quality Inn in Winston Salem for 2 nights. The first night, we got in late and the room was NASTY. The door to the outside wouldn't even close all the way and there were stains on the sheets! I called the front desk and was moved to a "better" room. The door to the outside STILL wouldn't close all the way but was better. The shower had not been cleaned. It was disgusting! The paint was chipping off the walls. The sheets were itchy and we thought they might have bugs. We got through the night because it was so late.
The next morning, I checked with the front desk and they said they would allow us to cancel our hotel for the 2nd night. We booked another hotel that was 10x better and cheaper, the Hawthorne Inn! When I called Priceline to request money back for the 2nd night (when we didn't even stay there), they said they would not issue a refund. I had to call Priceline 4 times and the hotel manager 2 times in order to finally get my money back for a night that I didn't even stay there!
Priceline was not concerned. They made me do all the work, and didn't care about their customer service. They were perfectly fine allowing the hotel to charge me for a product I didn't even get. Very disappointed. I eventually got a refund for the 2nd night, but man I had to fight for it. I have booked with Priceline approx 20 times in last 8 months. I have been a good and loyal customer. But, after the nonchalant attitude and the amount of work I had to do to get Priceline to back up a product that they sold, I'm done. I'll use Expedia or Hotels.com from now on.
I used the "name-your-own-price" service of Priceline.com and named a price for a 4-star hotel in Las Vegas of $69 per night for five nights. I received a confirmation for the Luxor Hotel at $69 per night and was informed that there were "Taxes and Service Fees" of $55.20 per night and I was charged $400.20 for the five-night stay. The confirmation informed me that any other incidental charges, such as room service, parking, telephone, mini bar, etc. would have to be paid by me to the hotel at the time of my stay.
When I arrived at the hotel, however, I was informed that there was a mandatory "Resort Fee" of $14.50 per night that I would have to pay (in addition to the $55.20 of taxes and service fees for the five-night stay). I was informed that it covered free local phone calls, admission to the health club and a free daily newspaper. I told the hotel that I did not want any of those additions to my hotel room and that I had named a price of $69 per night plus taxes and that was all that I wanted to pay. I was told that I did not have a choice and that I must pay the $14.50 per night. I said that I wanted to cancel my reservation because I was tricked into believing the room would be $69 per night and it was in fact going to cost me $83.50 per night. I was told that the room was not refundable.
When I returned home, I contacted priceline.com's customer service and customer relations (apparently the company's higher level of customer relations) departments. They were completely unhelpful and just kept saying the same thing over and over again - there was a statement in the small print that said that you could be charged by the hotel additional incidental fees. I said that I read that statement to mean optional fees that I choose to incur such as parking, telephone, Internet, movies, mini bar, etc. I argued that if it's a mandatory fee then it's part of the cost of the room and should be part of the price of the room and not HIDDEN from the purchaser.
I noted that I was never informed that I would be charged a mandatory $14.50 fee per night until I arrived at the hotel. I was not informed of this charge online, nor in my confirmation that I printed out, nor in the email that I received the next day from Priceline.com. The "customer service" personnel just said that there was nothing that they could do because I had been given all of the terms of the deal. I argued that if they did not inform me of a $14.50 per night mandatory charge in addition to the taxes and the $69 price I had "named", then I was not informed of every material item. Like robots, they kept saying that I had been given all of the material terms of the deal.
To me, Priceline.com is a scam in that it deliberately and knowingly uses hidden fees to misrepresent the cost of the price of a hotel room. It deceives you into believing that you are paying one price when in fact you will pay a much higher price. They think that it's OK to do this because they warn you in small print that there may be additional fees that you may be charged without stating what those fees are. This is fraudulent activity and Priceline.com should be ashamed of itself.
I just purchased a room from Priceline. I also purchased the insurance. As soon as they sent me the confirmation I checked online with the actual hotel. The hotel cost was cheaper than Priceline. I immediately contacted Priceline, within 5 minutes. They claimed it was less, even though I sent them to the actual site. They refused to cancel the reservation nor to honor the insurance. ONE BIG rip off. Now the hotel gets 1/2 the money for the room and I paid for useless insurance and more for the room than I could have if I had wanted to pay for a room of this caliber in the first place.
TEXAS -- Booked a hotel with them. Either, and it is possible, I messed up the date or it got changed and I missed it. Showed up for my hotel a week later than the date. Hotel marked me down as a no-show and didn't have any extra rooms either. Ended up double paying for the trip on hotel. I called Priceline immediately. They never offered any help at all. Just "sorry sir" and "That is all we can do. You agreed to the rate and time." I will never use them again. There was no offering for future perks or anything. So all they have to do is "accidentally" shift your date forward and you will be billed twice. This would be real easy to do on their part.
SIMSBURY, CONNECTICUT -- We booked a hotel and had a family emergency come up within only two hours of booking the room. Called Priceline.com and respectfully explained the situation. Although Priceline representative admitted that they have made many exceptions in the past, representative refused to be flexible in any way.
After suggesting that the company applied their policy in capricious and discriminatory manner, the service representative took on a rude, uncaring and totally arrogant attitude. This outfit has absolutely no respect or compassion for the customer. I will never, ever use Priceline.com again. Buyer beware! Go to someone who genuinely cares about - and values - their customers. Not Priceline.com.
COLORADO -- I made reservations on the Priceline website for a hotel in Montana in September. The reservation was for 4 nights ending on the 15th. Now, I readily admit that I'm not a computer genius, but I am able to navigate a calendar. There was a serious glitch in the website, and I ended up being booked for ONE night (the 14th). No problem, I thought. Easily resolved with a phone call.
So, I do know that ALL call centers are outsourced now, but it only adds to the frustration to try to explain times and destinations to someone for whom English is a second language. I was told by the representative that I needed to make a new reservation on the website, then call back with the trip number, at which point they would cancel the previous reservation. They would NOT fix the reservation on the phone. I did as I was asked, but when I did, the price had gone up by $10 a night, and a $36 fee had been added.
Had this been a result of my mistake, it wouldn't have been an issue, but it was their site that cost me nearly $100. I was told that "hotel rates change, ma'am, and nothing would be done." I said, "But it was your mistake, not mine" and the guy actually said "That's too bad, ma'am" and got me off the phone as fast as he could. Never, ever again will I use this service. EVER.
I booked and paid for 3 days at a hotel in Alabama. When my stay was over, the hotel slid an invoice under my door. The balance was 0 but the price paid was $50 less than what I paid Priceline. Priceline "Best Price Guarantee" is not applicable to customer service because "rack rates are not considered for this claim" and I should have called before check-in.
Obviously I could not call before check-in so the "Best Price Guarantee" is for marketing purposes and not meant to be used for legitimate claims. In my opinion the hotel made a mistake by showing me their price and Priceline gets as much as they can from the customer - guaranteed.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I booked a hotel room through Priceline at 7 pm. 10 min later I no longer needed the room so I called Priceline to cancel. Well, it seems their "policy" does not allow for reimbursements even though the booking was done 10 minutes before. Their solution was to call the hotel directly because they still get charged for booking the hotel. So I hung up and called the hotel and was told they can NOT reimburse me because it was after 4 pm and that they will have to charge me. I tried to reason with them and the best offer I got was to call and speak to the manager.
Well as it turns out the manager was ONLY willing to reimburse me for half of the booking because she claimed Priceline still will want to be paid for the booking. HMMM so someone here is NOT telling the truth as to who can reimburse me. Priceline claims they cannot reimburse me because the hotel will charge them regardless. The hotel claims they cannot reimburse me because Priceline will charge me.
Does anyone else see a problem with these third party companies? I would say be very wary of what your booking and read all the small font disclaimers. All in all I think this is very bad business if I the customer am left in the middle with absolutely no one to turn to to get this resolved.
I was booking a hotel for a weekend getaway and decided to try Priceline Name Your Own Price since it claims you save up to 60%. Unfortunately the price I paid is $26 higher than the published price on the hotel website. The rate was available to all sorts of groups to include any type of government employee (state, federal, military) - AAA, CAA, AARP.
I called Priceline Customer Service and even had it escalated to Customer Relations and after 27 minutes on hold and in conversation, all I was told twice was that their best price guarantee is based on a discount off the full price, not in comparison to any discounted rate, published price or even compared to other sites. There is NO guarantee it is the best price, and it is not refundable, no credit can be offered and there is nothing you can do about it. I could have saved myself money and time and just booked the hotel on the hotel site, and it would be changeable, cancellable and they'd refund the difference if the price dropped.
Bottom line: clearly there are better prices and much better customer service approaches out there. I will never use Priceline again, and suggest that anyone who is eligible for a student, military, government, AAA, AARP, CCA or loyalty program price should avoid using Priceline.com. They are not giving you a deal, so use another site to book or find a hotel you like and then book with the hotel directly.
I bid on a car and hotel for California. I could not go for good reasons last minute. I called Priceline and was told the reservations were non transferable non refundable. I knew this however, I had no control over not being able to go. Priceline keeps the money I paid. This is how they make money NOT on the commissions from rentals, etc. The hotel does not charge Priceline if the rooms are not occupied. They have the right to charge but they most likely don't.
I spoke to Priceline even the executive office and they refuse to do anything. Do Not Use Priceline unless you are prepared to lose lots of $$$$ if you cannot travel. This is unfair business practice. I would rather spend a few more $$ and book directly with car rental and hotels where I will get a full refund if not used. I will be using all social media to let the public know that they will be ripped off by Priceline if they have to cancel.