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2013-06-02 10:55 PM

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Subject: Hotels.com is a scam
Just a heads up. We called them for a room with two doubles and a roll away for us and our two teenage children. They said they had a room with a queen and we said no. Then the person said she found us a room, we booked it. On two occasions we received email about our room with one queen. Each time I called I was assured that we had the room with the two beds. So, can you see where this is going? A week before we are going to D.C., my daughter is competing at National History Day, we called the hotel to find out we had that room with a single.
Called hotels.com - part of the craziness was they said we didn't mention our kids, then they said they had the room we wanted but they lost it. We were fighting with a call center in India who could do nothing for us.
Looking into it and it seems that lots of people are reporting the as a scam business. We are scrambling to find a room and it will cost us more than it would have a month ago with we had more options.

I've read a complaint where someone was turned away at the hotel, no reservation, and was told they were the eight people before them that the hotel had to send away, just that night.
Save yourself the aggravation, go directly to the hotel.


2013-06-03 7:04 AM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam
Yikes, I just booked a room through Kayak. Now I'm going to be all worried!
2013-06-03 7:26 AM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam
Scam seems a biot strong of a criticism. They are a legitmate business and you simply had a very bad first experience. Usually, this is due to your exact situation; specific requests and needs which aren't easily conveyed on a web form. I use their sister site Hotwire.com al;most weekly and have nothing but great experiences with them. I use Hotels.com when I want to book a specific property and have great service there as well.

Sorry that you were stung, but I wouldn't damn the provider as a scam. You were simply disappointed with the service you got.
2013-06-03 7:43 AM
in reply to: pitt83

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam

I am also a user (7-10 X per year) and fan of hotels.com and priceline (even used kayak for a few flights).  I have had some awesome experiences and saved a lot of money on bidding on my own price. 

I will agree with Pitt on this one, I think your first experiece was unfair but strong to verbage to say the site is a scam.

 

 

2013-06-03 9:36 AM
in reply to: NRG42

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Queen BTich
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Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam
Originally posted by NRG42

I will agree with Pitt on this one, I think your first experiece was unfair but strong to verbage to say the site is a scam.

 

 

I'm going to agree with the others here. When I'm going to a place with no real preference or needs (such as *having* to have a certain bed type or location), I book with Travelocity or hotels.com. I've gotten GREAT deals on 'name your own' Travelocity price. But, as you've learned, you are not guaranteed a room type.

As with flights, you might save with these services, but if you have a specific need, book directly with the hotel or airline where you will be more protected AND they can do more to honor your requests.

Side note: I've had great service and room requests honored when booking through Travelocity. However, it was when I arrived at the hotel and asked the front desk staff nicely upon check-in. But, it's never something I expect when booking through a discount site.

I'd just take it as a lesson learned...

2013-06-03 9:42 AM
in reply to: NRG42

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam
Originally posted by NRG42

I am also a user (7-10 X per year) and fan of hotels.com and priceline (even used kayak for a few flights).  I have had some awesome experiences and saved a lot of money on bidding on my own price. 

I will agree with Pitt on this one, I think your first experiece was unfair but strong to verbage to say the site is a scam.

^^  I have to agree with the above - we've had nothing but good experiences (and saved money) with Hotwire, Priceline, Hotels.com, and we've used Kayak to book flights as well. 

I'm sorry it didn't go well for you in using their services, but to call the entire company a scam from your personal experience isn't warranted. 



2013-06-03 9:59 AM
in reply to: 0

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Queen BTich
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Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam

I had a problem with a flight once, booked through a discount site. The airline told me I was SOL, since I didn't book directly. I take that into consideration now, no matter the trip. If I *have* to be somewhere or in a certain hotel, I book direct. If not, I do discount sites.

Now, this is on the Hotels.com policy page:
http://service.hotels.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1112

"Hotels.com cannot guarantee the fulfillment of your request, as this is controlled by the property. We suggest calling the hotel prior to arrival to confirm any special requests, such as specific bedding types, an early check-in time, etc."

"For additional special room preferences, our hotel experts can also ensure the hotel is notified of your special requests, but please remember that special requests cannot be guaranteed by Hotels.com."

So, your only recourse is with the hotel, but they are probably not bound to honor your request, especially since you didn't book directly. I've also booked directly with hotels for a certain bed type, only to get a different one (say, King instead of 2 queens). That just happens sometimes.



Edited by Comet 2013-06-03 10:00 AM
2013-06-03 10:17 AM
in reply to: Comet

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam
Originally posted by Comet

I had a problem with a flight once, booked through a discount site. The airline told me I was SOL, since I didn't book directly. I take that into consideration now, no matter the trip. If I *have* to be somewhere or in a certain hotel, I book direct. If not, I do discount sites.

Now, this is on the Hotels.com policy page:
http://service.hotels.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1112

"Hotels.com cannot guarantee the fulfillment of your request, as this is controlled by the property. We suggest calling the hotel prior to arrival to confirm any special requests, such as specific bedding types, an early check-in time, etc."

"For additional special room preferences, our hotel experts can also ensure the hotel is notified of your special requests, but please remember that special requests cannot be guaranteed by Hotels.com."

So, your only recourse is with the hotel, but they are probably not bound to honor your request, especially since you didn't book directly. I've also booked directly with hotels for a certain bed type, only to get a different one (say, King instead of 2 queens). That just happens sometimes.




And for me, the price I pay FAR outweighs the need for individual requests such as bed type, room type, etc. I've actually gotten great service from the front desk and been upgraded to premier rooms while still paying a hotwire rate.

I had an Oceanfront room in LaJolla, CA which I paid $95 a night for. I checked the hotel's own website and that villa they gave me went for $950 on the open market!
2013-06-03 10:53 AM
in reply to: pitt83

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Queen BTich
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Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam

Originally posted by 

And for me, the price I pay FAR outweighs the need for individual requests such as bed type, room type, etc. I've actually gotten great service from the front desk and been upgraded to premier rooms while still paying a hotwire rate. I had an Oceanfront room in LaJolla, CA which I paid $95 a night for. I checked the hotel's own website and that villa they gave me went for $950 on the open market!

I agree completely. It's very rare I don't use Travelocity name-your-own now. I think I've only not used it once in a year.


That's a great steal! My best was in Seattle. I flew into the city, without a place to stay. On purpose. Met a friend at Pike's and got some oysters. Pulled out my iPad, and named my own price for the neighborhood. I got a top-floor room, for 3 nights, overlooking the market and harbor, for $65 a night! The staff obviously put me up on the top, and the only thing I asked when I checked in was for a water-view room. Sure, some stays aren't that fabulous, but I'm rarely spending time in the room anyway.
That same trip, my friend has his work book him a hotel though their travel office, and he paid $200/night for farther away in a hotel that wasn't as nice.

2013-06-03 11:07 AM
in reply to: 0

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Kansas
Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam

I had a bad experience with them.

Booked a room for a race based on the proximity to the finish line (1/2 mile away) - about 3 months in advance. Got an email the day before departure that we were being bumped to a hotel 5 miles away. Not cool for after a marathon. We were on the phone with their reps from India for HOURS trying to negotiate something, but since it was 2 days before a HUGE marathon it was a mess. We were hung up on multiple times.

The hotel could do nothing since if you don't book with them they aren't responsible, all though they were sympathetic as it turns out Hotels.com had overbooked by something like 20 rooms at this particular hotel so lots of unhappy people. In the end we got a room about 2 miles away and $200/night more expensive but they covered the cost gap (after we had to ask/demand of course).

I'm not sure I'd call it a scam, but it's frustrating for sure. They blatantly overbook, like lots of industrys do, but they way the handled it left a bad taste in my mouth.

That was the last time I booked through them. For me it's a much better experience and I get better rewards sticking with one chain and booking directly through them.



Edited by lisac957 2013-06-03 11:26 AM
2013-06-03 11:07 AM
in reply to: Comet

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New user
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Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam
I need to start travelling. I haven't stayed in a hotel in 3 years.


2013-06-03 11:50 AM
in reply to: lisac957

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Brooklyn, NY
Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam
Originally posted by lisac957

For me it's a much better experience and I get better rewards sticking with one chain and booking directly through them.




X2. I don't travel a ton, but I always use the same hotel chain (Hilton). Depending on where I'm going or how long I'm staying there are almost always a few options at different price levels. I get reward points that I can save up for future stays, and I get better service. I'm not sure how much more I pay going directly through the hotel, but whatever the difference is, it's almost certainly worth it to not have to worry about stuff like the OP's situation.
2013-06-03 12:17 PM
in reply to: jmk-brooklyn

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Sensei
Sin City
Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam

I think there was a mistake or misunderstanding - definately a bad first experience. 

Bit, I don't think hotels.com is trying to defraud or swidle people or running a fake business scheme.  If they were, word would get out FAST being an online operation and all...

2013-06-03 2:06 PM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Master
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Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam
There is a new book out called "Heads in Beds" and it talks alot about the subject of online travel companies. The gist is that the hotels make the least amount of money on these bookings and you are less likely to get what you ask for by using them. That said, you do generally get the best price. The book emphasizes that if you have a preference that is a big deal to you, call the hotel directly and confirm and your chances of getting what you want increase. Having some background in hospitality it was a fun book to read and if your a frequent travelor I would recommend it to you.
2013-06-03 5:13 PM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Israel / NJ
Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam
I understand you frustrations.
I traveled Around the world using hotels.com and i had nothing but amazing from them. Many times they have upgraded me to suites and top floors. I would deff give it another shot.


sammy
2013-06-05 2:07 PM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Extreme Veteran
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Connecticut
Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam
Ive used them often and havent had any issues but I check my reservations repeatedly before I arrive. The only one snafu I encountered recently was I booked a hotel room in Boston for a convention. When I arrived the hotel told me that it was $30 a night extra for every adult beyond 2. I showed them my reservation that I printed out from hotels.com that said I entered 4 guests. The hotel not only honored the reservation they also gave me an upgrade to a suite!! Score one for having the print out of the reservation on hand!!


2013-06-05 2:23 PM
in reply to: trirific10

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Queen BTich
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Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam

I just booked a room that was $144 on the hotel website (with my AAA discount) for $70 on Priceline (name my own price) at a historic downtown hotel.

Haven't gone on the trip yet, but I'm already excited about that rate.

2013-06-05 6:09 PM
in reply to: Comet

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Expert
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Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam
This is why I book directly through the hotel's website..
2013-06-07 6:25 PM
in reply to: MuscleMomma

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Master
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Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam
I travel a lot and have had very good experiences with Agoda. I don't know about their US service, though, but rarely had any issues with probably close to a hundred bookings in Asia and Europe. The only issues I had were both at the same hotel, so guessing it's something about the hotel rather than the service. In the US, Expedia has worked well for our family. I've used other services but those two seem to be consistently reliable with reasonable deals.
2013-06-07 7:54 PM
in reply to: RushTogether

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Master
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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam
Disagree about needing specific requirements for Hotels.com being a scam. ......I booked a room with them last year in Malaysia then kept searching and found it much CHEAPER elsewhere, so canceled it through them. Had nothing to do with beds, etc. purely price..............
2013-06-08 9:48 AM
in reply to: travljini

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Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam
Not sure I would call it a scam but I have had some bad experiences with the discount sites. It it were just me traveling, I would use them again as I don't require much in the way of accommodations. When with my family we just go direct through the hotel. Usually Marriott. I am certain we pay more but I know heat I will get and I don't have to stress about it.


2013-06-09 11:07 AM
in reply to: Buckshot

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Subject: RE: Hotels.com is a scam
I have had a few minor issues using the third party sites but nothing major. What I normally do is see what hotels.com or other sites advertises the hotel for and then...get this...CALL the hotel asking if they will honor it. I have gotten the run around a bit but most of the times they will honor it. It's more money for them. Plus, I'd rather the hotel make the money than some third party like active.
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