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.
Josh doesn’t have a lot of money. When he and his girlfriend went to check in to the Crowne Plaza hotel room they reserved on Priceline, he handed over his credit card to confirm the reservation, and his card was declined. They wouldn’t accept his girlfriend’s card to put on file for incidentals, and they were ultimately turned away, losing the reservation…and the money they paid Priceline for the room.
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.
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.
Priceline hates hates hates giving refunds. But if you need one, or some other aspect of their non-existent customer service fixed, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or OriginatesES@service.priceline.com. You will probably end up going to your bank to get the refund, but at least you know where to shove the cc. This information is also useful in case your 2-year old daughter is in the burn ward and you need to cancel a trip.
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.
Mohamed made a mistake, forgetting to use his Priceline bonus cash on a transaction. He contacted Priceline through their online help interface and was stunned at the quick and helpful response he received. His request was forwarded straight to the executive customer service team, and taken care of immediately.
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!
Dear Ben, Meghann, Chris, Carey, Alex and Theresa,
One of the problems with travel bidding sites such as Priceline and Hotwire is that you’re betting blind. The house has all the stats, has already determined what they’re going to pay and it’s up to you to guess what might work.