Second time I booked through Priceline. First experience was great. This time I booked a Niagara Falls Hotel for 2 nights through Priceline. We arrived at 9:30 pm and noticed the hotel was very dated and smelled quite musty. Went to front desk, gave my name and was told the reservation they had was for the 20th leaving the 22nd. I told them, no, I booked for the 18th leaving the 20th. She told me the hotel was fully booked, but that one guest had not shown up and she could give us the very last room - in the sub-basement. We said OK and went to the room that had not been updated since 1972!
It smelled bad (was clean though), shower had nails poking out of the stick on yellow tiles; turned on TV (circa 1979) which had 2 volumes - full blast or mute. Turned off TV. People came in next door. There was an adjoining door that kept on banging very loudly, sounded like someone was trying to get in. Walls so thin I could hear my neighbour brush their teeth and all 'other' bathroom things as though they were in the same room. Could clearly hear full conversation.
I went to front desk and asked if I could PLEASE cancel for the next night. They said no, that since I booked through Priceline, I could not. I called Priceline and explained the situation. They said that they would call the hotel, and if what I said was accurate, they would provide me with options. About 45 minutes later (not Priceline's fault, the front desk person was AWOL), I was taken off hold. The customer care person told me he would move us to a hotel of our choice (gave us a couple of options) that night. He also called the hotel to ensure we were expected and well taken care of.
The new hotel was the Holiday Inn and Conference Centre in St. Catharines. It was BEAUTIFUL. We got a significant upgrade to a one-bedroom very modern suite, 2 free breakfasts and a one-night credited back to our card for our trouble. Saved the vacation! Priceline has earned my loyalty forever!!!!
At the end of April, 2013 I started looking at hotel's via Priceline.com to stay in a hotel for the end of July, 2013. After a period of time of looking at the various hotels listed, I decided to use the Name Your Own Price option. Prior to selecting the Name Your Own Price bid, within my search options I had set the number of party to four adults. Also, prior to selecting the bid option I also purchased trip insurance in case I was not satisfied with the room choice.
When I received the confirmation from Priceline; the room I received had only one king size bed for two adults???? Within minutes I contacted Priceline and told them of the error. They said they would try and change the accommodations from a king size bed to 2 double beds. The next day I contacted the hotel and they informed me Priceline had not contacted them, and they would not make any changes, only Priceline could request a change. When I contacted Priceline again, they informed me they were not willing to make any changes to the reservation, in their words the reservation was what it was, the end.
Furthermore, the trip insurance I purchased was for in case of a death only nothing else. And when you Name Your Own Price; their website will only allow bidding for up to 2 people, and you cannot alter this within the bidding parameters. So basically the website altered the number of guests in my parameters, the room could not be changed or altered, it is what it is. Of course I could not use this room, so I was forced to give it back to them, which they gladly agreed to. Now they have my money, and the room, and will bid it out to another unsuspecting party.
Beware of this company; they operate unethically, and without regard to their customers' needs. I suggest anyone who wants to get a deal, should not use this option unless you are willing to take the risk. As for me, I will not be able to go to on vacation this year. I am on unemployment and had to save, the money they took, over a long period of time.
So again I say; BEWARE, I have reported Priceline to the Better Business Bureau, and tried to dispute the charges on my credit card, but because they are so unethical, they are able to get around any legal loops with their so call “Purchase Contract”. Regardless of the MANY complaints other individuals have endured. I am disgusted with this company, any and all individuals/government who allow this type of business to continue to operate in such a manner.
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.
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY -- I booked a hotel through one of their affiliates, Kentucky-hotels.org, which is just Priceline. First, no better deal that just calling the hotel. Second, when I came down with a raging flu and couldn't keep the reservation, even though all hotels provide a 24-hour cancellation/grace period (and some 8 hours), Priceline charged me $25 to cancel.
Further, an odd thing happened. The representative I was talking to first told me that if she could talk to my doctor, she could waive the $25 fee. I gave her my doctor's number, she put me on hold, came back, said she had called my doctor and verified my information. But then said she was going to charge me $25 anyway. Why do that to someone? Was this an identity theft attempt? I don't know, but I'll never use Priceline again.
SETAUKET, NEW YORK -- Priceline CANNOT be trusted to rate hotels. After bidding on a 4 star hotel in Chicago, we were booked at a lovely little Boutique Hotel that is NOT 4 star by any stretch of the imagination. The room is 8 foot by 8 foot for god's sake, in which they squeezed a queen sized bed. (Don't forget, your bid ONLY gets you the smallest accommodation). THAT alone is no one's idea of a luxury hotel. It was claustrophobic. I don't care how clean and nice the staff, if it isn't commodious or luxurious, it is NOT a 4 star hotel.
The Hotel Felix is on the fringe of the North River area and despite the fact that a woman was murdered there on the 12th floor a few months ago, it is a great 3 star hotel. We bid $125 on the room, which was reasonable for a 3 star hotel. But honestly, a Holiday Inn Express gives you that PLUS two double beds, a room twice the size AND free breakfast. The staff is very nice and the rooms are clean.
The downside is that there is a very small lobby, narrow hallways, TWENTY DOLLAR movie rental in the room - a REAL rip off, free coffee WHEN they fill the carafes, sometimes you get soap and shampoo, sometimes not. They say there is a spa and exercise room, but we were not in the mood to stick around any more than we had to. All the REAL 4 star hotels and attractions are a cab ride away in the loop area.
After bidding and getting the Hotel Felix, a hotel we had never heard of, we read the reviews and were very unhappy. For our vacation to Chicago, we wanted a 4 star experience. We contacted Priceline at least a DOZEN times asking them for an upgrade to a REAL 4 star hotel, but they held firm, insisting that Hotel Felix is a 4 star hotel.
Anyone with an ounce of travel sense knows that this hotel does NOT COMPARE to the Hilton or Sheraton or Marriott. Either the Priceline people are very UNINFORMED or they are very FRAUDULENT. We contacted the hotel directly, and they said that no accommodations could be upgraded until we checked in...but it did not look good as far as availability for a slightly larger room. SO we were STUCK. The lesson - KNOW that Priceline bidding is a CRAP SHOOT. But better yet, call the hotels directly and do the bidding yourself!
Priceline advertises best price guarantee. You can save up to 60% when you Name Your Own Price on a hotel. When I saw the advertisement, I thought my dream would come true to save money on a trip. Then I submitted an initial bid $250 to bid a resort at Wailea area in Maui for 6 nights in August 2011. The median price at Wailea area is $569 per Priceline.com. I had searched before I bid. I found out that only 3 resorts available at Wailea area at Priceline.com. These resorts are:
(1) Wailea Beach Marriott $249 per night
(2) Grand Wailea, A waldof Astoria Resort $569 per night.
(3) Ho'olei At Grand Wailea $1495 per night.
I thought my chance to get Grand Wailea was high if I submitted the bid higher than $249. If Grand Wailea could not accept my bid, Priceline should give me a resort with retail price higher than $250. My initial bid $250 was accepted without any counter-offer. Unbelievable that Priceline gave me a resort, Wailea Beach Marriott, with retail price at $249. As a result, I am losing money to bid a resort. I paid more than retail price. I had no choice to get what resort I wanted even though I paid more. If I book a resort at retail price, I have choice to choose which resort I want.
I called Priceline several times but they refused to cancel the bid. They could only able to refund $1 per night back to me. Also, they refused to refund the tax and fees for $1 x 6 nights to me. However, I paid the tax and fees for the amount of $250 x 6 nights. Priceline told me that the vendor is the one to accept the bid. For example, vendor A (its retail price $100), vendor B (its retail price $400), vendor C (its retail price $500) all present at the bid. If the bid is $200, vendor A has the right to accept the bid even though its hotel retail price is $100 because vendor B and vendor C both are not interested at the bid $200.
Priceline is a public company with huge revenues. My $1750 means nothing to them. But it means a lot of things to me. I was raised up in a poor family. I ate the first lobster when I was 25 years old. I have to work everyday in order to save money to my trip. I don't earn much because English is not my primary language. This is my first time to Maui. Now Priceline ruined my vocation. I promised my 8 years old daughter that mommy will bring her to a big resort with several pools and slides.
She was very excited and very happy at the beginning but now my dream cannot come true. She asked me why I did not book Grand Wailea. If I had money, I would book Grand Wailea at retail price $569. Since I have little money, I wish to use little money to bid my hope.
I received a follow-up email about my stay and filled out Priceline's review of my hotel stay... My review was NOT posted (as I am sure many others were not, as if were I NEVER would have booked hotel). MY EMAIL TO PRICELINE: I booked a hotel in Florence SC (travel Inn) though Priceline, and was VERY dissatisfied with it. I received your email asking me to review hotel, which I took time to do. Review is not showing up. WHY? Why would my review not show? because it was bad?
I wish I had been warned that this hotel was NOTHING like pictured. And now it is appearing like Priceline only puts favorable or semi-favorable reviews? I will think twice before ever using your service and forward my complaints to my brother-in-law, who uses Priceline all the time and told me to use. I would appreciate a response as to why my comments were not posted on my horrible stay. I was trying to WARN others the hotel and area could potentially put their families in a dangerous situation as we were put into unknowingly.
Thank you for taking the time to send us an e-mail. We understand that you are dissatisfied with your reservation at the Travel Inn Florence and that your review were not posted. We apologize if you are dissatisfied with our service. Customers are our number one priority, and we work hard to make your experience with us a positive one. Your feedback is appreciated.
When you filled out your survey, we disclosed that your review of your recent hotel stay may be posted on our website; however, we did not guarantee that it will be posted. All reviews are first read by the appropriate department, and then they will decide which reviews to post.
Please note that we do update reviews frequently, and encourage you to check back often to inquire if your review has been posted or not. Once again, we apologize for the inconvenience and hope you find this
Customer Service Specialist
OUR FAMILY WAS APPROACHED TWICE AT THIS HOTEL BY "GROUPS" OF PEOPLE DEALING DRUGS AND/OR SETTING US UP TO ROB US I WANTED THIS POSTED TO WARN OTHERS BUT PRICELINE DID NOT... THEY MUST BE GETTING "GIANT" KICKBACK FROM TRAVEL INN IN FLORENCE SC FOR NOT POSTING NEGATIVE REVIEWS.
We wanted a certain star hotel because that it was walking distance to the attractions we were visiting. They were lower starred hotels. It does say that when you name your own price they can chose your star or a higher star, however when we originally bid on the higher stars it did not accept our bid. We talked it over and decided there were only 2 hotels at the lower star and both were walking distance so we would try that.
We did and that is when the acceptance came back with our 'upgrade', like they were trying to play hero. I think their website is rigged because it made absolutely no sense. We then saw the new hotel it reserved us for and we did not like it as much and figured we would call and see if they could give us the lower stars.
Their customer service was probably the MOST rude I have EVER dealt within my life. In total I talked to 5 people, none of which actually helped me, but all of which were extremely rude. In fact the last person I spoke with originally gave me the name of ** or **. I document everything so at the end of the call I asked for his name so I could verify which of the two names it was. He then, in a most rude way, said "**".
I pointed out that is not what he said at the beginning and asked for a reference number for the phone call. He told me there is no reference number and that "**" is his name. For someone who spoke broken English and said something different at the beginning I knew he was telling a lie but I didn't reply to it. He then said "well you have no more concerns so goodbye" and hung up on me!
The girl before him hung up on me as well, but that was after I said that the company was a scam and I would be reporting them. This was after they explained to me that there was a way I could switch, but it sounded like a gamble. I would be charged $25 for switched hotels but I would need to use the website and bid again within 24 hours.
I explained that the website only let us bid once in 24 hours so if I don't get it accepted then that is my 1 shot. I never got a straight answer on how to go about doing that and how that worked exactly because once I started asking questions she quickly cut me off. I then asked if we could just switch over the phone and they said that is not possible, only over the internet.
After posting how upset I was on a social networking site I received tons of feedback from people who have had horrible experiences with Priceline.com themselves, with all different issues ranging from hidden fees to booking with the wrong number of beds and rooms.
This company obviously does not care about their customers. When people travel it is supposed to be a good experience and Priceline.com has put a dark cloud on our trip that we have not even taken yet, and have totally ruined other peoples entire trips. We consider ourselves lucky to have only a minor problem with them. We will never use this service again, and I recommend to everyone to look elsewhere when traveling so nobody has to experience what myself and many others have.
KNIGHTS INN 500 NORTH ALBANY AVENUE ATLANTIC CITY -- This was the worst vacation experience I have ever had. I trusted in Priceline for my hotel reservation but will never trust in Priceline again. I booked my hotel reservation with Priceline and received a confirmation email saying that the Knights Inn Hotel located in 500 North Albany Avenue Atlantic City (New Jersey) was booked successfully.
Once I arrived at Knights Inn at 7PM, Andy from the front desk told me that Priceline.com never faxed the hotel reservation and that there were no rooms available for that night. He said that there was nothing that he could do for me and that I had to contact Priceline.com to see what the problem was.
I was very upset with his response, this was the worst customer service skills I had ever seen. I told him to give me a business card where I could try to reach him and he handed me a Quality Inn business card with no name. He quickly wrote his first name and number on the back of the card. I then told him if he could provide me with a Knights Inn business card and he said that he did not have any available.
I went back to my car and informed my family and friends the bad news. They were all very unhappy. We had traveled all the way from Michigan and just wanted a place where we could unpack and freshen up. We decided to stay in the car and call Priceline because we did not have any other options. I called Priceline and they informed me that Priceline.com was not in charge of the hotel booking but a company called booking.com. I was transferred over to Booking.com who said that this was in fact an issue with their company and the hotel. The only option she gave me was to find a room for me that night and to wait for her call.
I received a call from booking.com around 10:30pm. She told us that she had found another hotel where we could stay. This hotel was further than the hotel where we originally booked. I mentioned that there were hotels in the area with vacancy. She mentioned that booking.com could only look for hotels that had an agreement with their with company. We went back and forth on trying to find other options and I even told her if I could speak with her manager, but she responded that she was the manager. I finally accepted the offer because there were no other options and we needed a place to stay for the night.
We arrived at the new hotel around 11PM and headed out to Atlantic City;s boardwalk at 11:30. We finally arrived at a restaurant at 12AM where we got something to eat. The day was over and I would never be able to recover the time lost and the bad memories of this experience. I can definitely tell you that this was the worst vacation experience I have had. I will NEVER use Priceline again in my life and will NEVER recommend this company to anyone ever again.
Needed to go to Bologna, Italy for a one day business trip. Searched for a hotel in Bologna, Italy and was given several options. Picked one and booked. Turns out the hotel is not only NOT in Bologna, but is in a region almost 3 HOURS away! Only realized this when I started detailing my trip a couple of hours after making the reservation. Immediately called customer service only to be told repeatedly that I contracted for a no cancellation reservation.
I explained this was not entirely my fault as I never dreamed the website would include hotels so far away - it's like asking to be placed in Los Angeles and ending up near the border in San Diego. All I got in response by 3 different women was "we're sorry ma'am but you contracted for this hotel." I spent hours butting my head against the wall dealing with personnel from the Philippines whose rote responses almost caused me to lose my mind.
So I called the hotel. They had no record of my reservation. They did not even recognize Priceline.com (As a side note it turns out their direct rates were cheaper by $50 per night - so in addition to the aggravation of the distance I was being gouged rate-wise). Contrary to Priceline's assertion that the cancellation policy was that of the hotel's, I was told that it would be no problem to cancel and refund my credit card - except they could not help me as they had no record of my reservation.
To sum up, the website search function sucked, the cancellation policy was ridiculous and not even consistent with the hotel's true policy, the rates were way higher than what the hotel would have charged, and the customer service personnel located all the way in the Philippines (accents were horrendous and difficult to understand) was the worst. What else could Priceline have done wrong? I do not know, but never again intend to find out.