SAY NO to booking.com

SAY NO to booking.com

8:07 AMMy Blogger Profile




True story. Our trip to Venice Italy was a very romantic and pleasant one. We didn't take the plane there. Instead we went there by a sleeping train from Budapest Keleti to Venezia Mestre. It was a 14 hours ride crossing the Croatian and Slovenian borders.

All in all, our trip was fantastic. It was just a problem before we started our journey about three weeks before our departure when we encounter an unpleasant booking experience with an internet hotel booking provider called 'booking.com' :((((

If you google any hotels in Europe, you can't missed them. This is the UNFORTUNATE fact :(

I wanted to write about the ethics of this service provider as their business tactics is not something I can tolerate. My story goes like this:-

For two weeks, I was surfing online to look for an accommodation for our Venezia stay. Our first night has been taken care as it has been arranged in Venezia Mestre. It is the second night as we would like to stay in Venice itself.

We placed a booking on 7th March, most of the rooms in Venice are with Twin Room setup, even if they offer Double room, they would just push two beds together, calling it a 'double'. That was one review I have specifically read before pushing the key to book the Double Room with 'Hotel Gabrielli Sandwirth'.

booking1

As you know I was being totally careful about the room details. Immediately in a one minute I received the 'Booking Confirmation' via email. That wrote the price I paid for was for a TWIN room :(

Within minutes, I wrote an email to dispute their confirmation details as follows:-

===
Dear Hotel Manager of Hotel Gabrielli Sandwirth,

I have specifically made a booking for ONE DOUBLE ROOM but this confirmation has indicated 'TWIN ROOM'.
Please make sure we are getting a double room NOT a TWIN room.

Kindly confirm and revert.

Best,
===

I was sure my tone in the email was polite. But to my shocking surprise, nobody from the booking service provider 'Booking.com' nor anyone from the hotel contacted us. It was until the 11th March, when I received a phone called from a man who speaks reasonably good English. He said he is the representative from the booking.com and he started telling me that if I want the double room, it will be prices from 150 Euros to 200 Euros depending if it faces the lagoon or not.
Then he started quoting the prices of those that faces the lagoon but mid way I told him to stop.

I said:''Why are we going through these prices? And may I know what is going on?''

he said: ''Well, the prices are variable and we do not have the room at the price of the twin and by today, this is the price of the Double room booking''

I said:''I have specifically wrote an email that was almost as immediately as I could since I noticed your system error prompting me that I have booked a twin NOT a double room. Now why are we discussing about the new room prices? And why aren't anybody coming forward within the last three days to prompt us about the room availability etc, until today? It's been three days and now you are telling me for double room booking it has to be 150 Euros??!!''

he said:''So what can I do for you, Mdm?''

I said: ''Tell me what is the cancellation charges (if any) for this case?''

He immediately said, ''There is no cancellation charge.'' Upon saying this, he took a breath (as if he knows exactly that I have unveiled their tactic to make potential customers paying extras to top up for a Double room should they insist).

I said:'' ok, then please email us a confirmation that we would like to cancel this order'.

He said: ''ok.'' and hanged up.

Well, this is not the end, the worst was when I see the cancellation confirmation, it was indicated that:-

Reason : She wanted a double room for the same price.

How unethical can this company be? Is this how they train their staffs in customer service? Putting words in this way is really beyond what I can tolerate!!! grrrrrrrrrrrrr!!


So remember, if you really need to book an accommodation online, check carefully and don't fall into the same trap. Following this, I read some feedback that this practice was experienced by other tourists to Venice as well and they were too embarrased being already at the hotel to say no to the extra charges for the double room. (If you want to see with your own eyes, you can go read on tripvisor.com)

This is my bad experience with this 'Booking.com' online hotel reservations
booking2

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2 comments

  1. This is why when I book hotels I go on their website to book. I know when I book a room at the Niagara Fallsview Hotel in Niagara Falls, Canada if you do not book through them you can get yourself in a lot of trouble. When in doubt, call or go on the hotels website to book your stay :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Richard, I supposed Canada (since it is an english speaking country) it is easier. But for italy/germany etc, it might be more tricky ways by how these online booking systems are taking advantage of the loop holes posed by the language barrier.

    Now I realized we were not the only one, there were in fact more cases:-
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187337-i301-k2304795-Can_we_trust_the_published_rates_of_Booking_com-Frankfurt_Hesse.html

    One couple even raised their grievances and shared that they swear it upon their death. Go figure how aggravating

    ReplyDelete

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