The problem with Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price” feature is that you don’t get to name your own hotel. That’s the point, of course. When Chris used it to book a 3.5 star hotel for his vacation, though, he looked up reviews for the place and saw that other customers’ experiences ranged from “no heat” to “dog poop in the closet” to “bedbugs.” That was not promising. So he tried to cancel, only to learn that Priceline has a strict policy against that. No matter how terrible the hotel you end up with might be. [More]
For a recent trip, Michael rented a car from Hertz. It was a hatchback. He had a tiny problem: the key he had opened the doors and started the engine and everything, but didn’t open the hatch. He tried a few different ways to contact customer service, but couldn’t find anyone to help him or didn’t receive an answer. He never needed trunk access during his trip…but what if he had? [More]
A class-action lawsuit filed yesterday in a U.S. District Court in California alleges that the biggest names in online travel — Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotels.com — and some of the world’s largest hotel chains — Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, Intercontinental, among others — conspired together so that the “best price guarantee” you often see when booking a room online is in actuality just a number set by the hotel operators.
Alli says she’s stumbled upon something she thinks is new on Priceline — when she named her own price for a , $25 worth of trip insurance was included with no opting out screen. Of course, Priceline doesn’t announce clearly that this is going to happen, instead just hiding it in the Terms of Service agreement.
Bus Group Doesn't Mind If Priceline Kills Off William Shatner As Long As It's Not With One Of Their Vehicles
Priceline is reportedly offing their spokesman William Shatner in an ad, which is just fine with the American Bus Association — but they’d prefer it if his means of death is something other than a fiery bus explosion as seen in a new commercial. They’re asking the travel booking site to pull the ad, which they feel is in poor taste.
Is Priceline’s low-fare guarantee hard to claim, or is Ace just bad at navigating websites? When the airfare for his Christmas travel flight fell, he hadn’t anticipated it. Well, okay, they have that guarantee thingy – he could just claim that and get the $41 difference between the lower fare and what he had paid. Right? Right, but only if he could figure out exactly how to do that within 24 hours. The clock was ticking, and he missed the deadline.
Ordinarily, it would be a good thing if Priceline upgraded your bid for a 3.5-star hotel to a 4-star bid. This sometimes happens when a classier hotel accepts your bid. It wasn’t much of a bonus for Lissa, though. She wanted to avoid a certain 4-star hotel because user reviews in various places complained of bedbug infestations, so she bid only on 3.5-star establishments. Of course, this bid landed her at the allegedly infested hotel. It took her several hours of customer service hell to get out of the situation, which is still better than being chomped on by bedbugs.
Regular readers of Consumerist probably know that we do occasionally write about “bad consumers,” those few who bad apples whose behavior makes things harder for the rest of us. But we don’t often see examples of good, sensible consumers actually benefiting from others’ idiotic antics. This is one such story.
Wynn could use the services of a Priceline negotiator. He booked a stay at a Marriott through Priceline, but due to some confusion, the hotel put the price of the entire stay on his credit card. The hotel promised Wynn a refund of the incorrect charge, and didn’t end up charging Priceline for the hotel stay, either. That was incredibly nice of them, but leaves Wynn with a problem: Priceline still charged him, and simply kept all of the money.
Priceline has a very different understanding of what a “hotel reservation” is than Shane does. He and his wife and children planned to take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Washington, D.C. to attend this past weekend’s Rally To Restore Sanity And/or Fear put on by comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. They reserved a hotel room in a close suburb, near a Metro station, correctly assuming that traffic would make driving into the city a bad idea.
Kevin is annoyed that Priceline’s “Name Your Price” feature fails to take resort fees into account. In his case, such extra charges tacked on $19 a night to the $45 he agreed to pay for his room.
Andrew tells Consumerist that he received a refund of $244.16 from Priceline.com after canceling a hotel reservation. That part isn’t the problem. The problem, from Andrew’s point of view, is that Priceline never charged him for the now-canceled hotel rooms in the first place. He doesn’t hate free money, but wonders whether Priceline will finally notice their mistake and sic a collection agency on him sometime in 2012.
When Lauren reserved a car rental through Priceline last week, she checked out the fine print to see if she’d have to pay any age-related extra fees, and according to Priceline what she bid would be the total price. Now Avis is telling her Priceline is wrong and she’ll have to come up with more money at the rental counter.
Discount travel websites can provide amazing discounts, but can also make you a second-class consumer of sorts–particularly in hotels. Jesse learned this the hard way when he booked a stay at a Holiday Inn in a major American city. He tells Consumerist that he reserved his room through Priceline, and called the hotel to make sure that his reservation would include two double beds for the four people traveling. He checked in to find a single queen bed in the room. His mistake? According to the hotel manager, being a “bad customer” who booked through a third-party site.
In a move to compete with Hotwire and Priceline, Travelocity has gotten into the deep-discount, semi-blind hotel booking business with the introduction of their new Top Secret Hotels service that promises savings of up to 45% on three and four-star hotels.
Travel consumer advocate Christopher Elliott has a new post about an undisclosed $15/day “resort fee” that Trump International Hotel Las Vegas plans to tack onto a customer’s bill. The surprise is that the customer reserved the room through Priceline, and thought when he made the reservation that Priceline was telling him the final room rate.
Priceline won’t let deal-hating weathermen keep you from the amazing savings churned up by Tropical Storm Hanna. Rooms in Hilton Head are now going for the low, low price of $64 per night, but act fast because the deal is only valid while Hanna pummels the dream destination’s shores with 70 mph winds!