Priceline.com Complaint - Priceline does not have a reliable star system
I used Priceline to make a reservation for the Charles De Gaulle Airport area. I used the highest star rating (4) to ensure I would have a comfortable hotel. I quickly got a response for the Millenium Hotel. When I checked in it was clearly not a 4 star hotel. The room was dirty with black grease marks on the wall and a carpet stained in many places. The mattress was old and the sheets and towels thin and rough. The room was large but the furniture was old; the luggage rack fell apart when I put my suitcase on it.
I have stayed in a wide range of hotels in the US and abroad - from the Peninsula to Relais & Chateaux to Motel 6. In 40 years of traveling I have never filed a complaint about accommodations. When I make the reservation directly I know what I am getting and pay accordingly. However, given Priceline's business plan, once you commit you can't get your money back. Therefore, you have to rely on Priceline to accurately rate the hotel.
After my disappointing experience with the Millenium, I received an email from Priceline to rate my experience. I said about what I have said here. I did not ask for anything but did hope that they would more accurately rate the hotel.
Then they emailed me to ask what was wrong - I had already told them this in my raview but I repeated with as much detail as I remembered. They asked whether I had complained and I said no because I srrived at midnight I thought I could not get my money back because Priceline won't refund. I also said that I wasn't asking for my money back or anything else except to notify them that their star rating of this hotel was not accurate. They then checked with the hotel which said they wouldn't give me any money back because I had not complained when I arrived. However, I had never asked for my money back, just to more accurately rate the hotel.
It appears that Priceline does not actually look at the rooms they are rating and are relying on the hotel. They say that they respond to consumer reviews but even after I asked them simply to look at the hotel in person, they indicated they did not do that.
I used Priceline once in the US and did not have a problem but it appears that it just depends on the honesty of the hotel. I will not use Priceline in the future because I don't want to be disappointed. I am happy to stay in a bad hotel if I pick it knowing what I am getting for a price that is fair. Priceline is just a gamble that I am not willing to take.
Hope this helps in your decision making. Different people value different things.