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Colonial Inn Complaint - Don't use Priceline when booking in Saint John New Brunswick

Review by fandango on 2010-10-02
SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA -- Hotel room was not all that clean, the breakfast buffet which cost extra consisted of cold foods which were meant to be eaten hot and watered down orange juice, the staff in the breakfast room were indifferent (it took some time to get the staff to quit chatting with each other or friends, long enough to accept our payment) and one was wearing a dirty white jacket. To top it off the price would have been cheaper if we had booked directly with the hotel than what we paid through Priceline. And even though we had already paid through Priceline, the reception staff insisted on putting another $150. on our Visa, which they assured us would not actually be charged to our account(and to date it has not been charged)....what is the purpose of this? The other thing to keep in mind, is, that when booking something in Canada, Priceline still bills in USD, so you could end up paying more that if you booked directly. Will not book anything in Saint John through Priceline, just in case we would get this hotel again.
Comments:5 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-10-02
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-10-02:
Don't use priceline at all book direct.
Posted by getoverit on 2010-10-02:
I'm used to providing a credit card at check-in, even when I've paid in advance thru Expedia or Hotels.com. (I've never used Priceline - it just looks like a game.) But I don't understand the $150. If they have your credit card and you tap out the minibar or just trash up the room, they can pretty much charge whatever they want.

Maybe they just want to make sure there's that much money left in your credit limit.

But you can't blame Priceline for that, or for the fact the the hotel was pretty shoddy. I do appreciate your disappointment in playing the little Priceline game and losing.

Maybe next time.
Posted by trmn8r on 2010-10-02:
I always book directly. Companies like Priceline play on the consumer's desire to pay the lowest price, but for my money shopping around myself is worth it. I have piece of mind knowing I won't have to deal with another company if an issue arises. As far as preauthorizing a credit card to cover possible charges, I'm used to that. If they don't actually charge it, it doesn't cause me a problem.
Posted by unhappy999 on 2010-10-02:
Don't use Priceline or any of the third party booking sites for anything.
Posted by getoverit on 2010-10-02:
trmn8br is right. Shopping around is worth it. But sometimes, you will find your best deal on a travel site.

For example, I booked round-trip flights and three hotels for a trip next week. I booked a room at one hotel thru Expedia that I couldn't get on the hotel's own website. (To be safe, I confirmed it by phone with the hotel.) For the second hotel the best deal was thru the hotel chain's site, and the third hotel had a better deal on Hotels.com (which is really Expedia) than the hotel chain site.

And I have written confirmations of everything. If there are issues, which I don't anticipate, I will make a reasonable effort to address them with whomever I need to. If I don't get satisfaction, I will NOT get frustrated and antagonized, I WILL file disputes with my credit card company.

I will NOT allow my time to be wasted by useless travel agency CSRs.

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