Precision Reservations

Oct 2nd, 2006, 06:58 PM
  #1  
bittersweet
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Precision Reservations

Argh! What a frustrating experience. I'm still peeved right now, so maybe posting this is a bit petty. On the other hand, I think other travelers should be warned. I'm traveling to Hong Kong later this month, and I needed to book hotel reservations. October seems to be high season for the city, so I was concerned about finding a place ASAP. But I was also trying to keep costs down, so I looked around and found the best rates for the Cosmopolitan (a hotel that a friend recommended) through Precision Reservations. It seemed like a legit service, so I went ahead and place a booking request on Friday, September 22. Then e-mail tag began:


Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 12:12:04 -0400 (EDT)
From: [my e-mail]
Subject: Confirmation of hotel reservation?
To: "Precision Reservations" <[email protected]>


Hello there,

I made a booking request via your web site on Friday
(see e-mail below), but I have not received a
confirmation yet. Please let me know when I can expect
to receive it.

Thanks so much,

[my name]

***

From: "Customer Service" <[email protected]>
To: [my e-mail]
Subject: RE: Confirmation of hotel reservation?
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 20:18:41 -0400

Dear [my name]

Thank you for your email. Your booking is still on process
for the time being. Please allow some 24 hours more, not including
weekends, for us to come up with the confirmation. We will then notify you
the result via e-mail.

Should you need further assistance, please feel free to contact us at
[email protected]

***

Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 13:19:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: [my e-mail]
Subject: RE: Confirmation of hotel reservation?
To: "Customer Service" <[email protected]>

Hello there,

I am writing again to follow up on my last message.

I still have not yet received confirmation of my hotel
reservation (requested last Friday). Is there a
problem that I should be aware of?

Please let me know as soon as possible.

Thanks,

[my name]

***

From: "Customer Service" <[email protected]>
To: [my e-mail]
Subject: RE: Confirmation of hotel reservation?
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2006 02:22:50 -0400

Dear [my name]

Thank you for your email. We do apologise for the delay. I asked our
Reservation department to speed up with the confirmation of this booking.
Please expect to hear from us shrotly.


Should you need further assistance, please feel free to contact us at
[email protected]

***

Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2006 12:00:54 -0400 (EDT)
From: [my e-mail]
Subject: RE: Confirmation of hotel reservation?
To: "Customer Service" <[email protected]>

Hello [name of the customer service rep],

Do you have an estimated time for the confirmation?

Your web site indicates that confirmations typically
take one to two business days, but my request has
already taken over five business days.

Is there a problem that I should be aware of?

***

From: "Customer Service" <[email protected]>
To: [my e-mail]
Subject: RE: Confirmation of hotel reservation?
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2006 20:11:22 -0400

Dear [my name],

Thank you for your email.

Regrettably that we are unable to confirm your booking as the requested
hotel is booked out and we seem to experience technical difficulties
emailing you the result as our fully booked email bounced back as detail
below.

Bounced back : Fully Booked E-mail without Alternative Hotels to
customer : AutoMail 30/09/2006 - 23:01

Kindly reconsider other alternative hotels.

Should you need further assistance, please feel free to contact us at
[email protected]

***

Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2006 21:24:32 -0400 (EDT)
From: [my e-mail]
Subject: RE: Confirmation of hotel reservation?
To: "Customer Service" <[email protected]>

Dear [name of the customer service rep],

I have to say that I am extremely disappointed in my
experience with Precision Reservations.

I had never used your service before, but it seemed to
have a good reputation, so I thought it was
trustworthy. It appears that I was wrong.

Not only did your company fail to confirm my
reservation within one or two days (as your web site
indicates), but you failed to provide an adequate
answer despite multiple (polite) e-mails from me. It
has taken over FIVE business days to finally get this
message. Making travel arrangements is obviously a
time-sensitive task, so I'm very surprised that your
company took so long.

You say that you are not able to confirm my
reservations because "the requested hotel is booked
out." However, I know this is NOT true, as I have just
now successfully booked my room -- for almost exactly
the same rate -- through a different service.

Also, I ran another search through your web site, and
it still indicates that the Cosmopolitan has
availabilities for my dates. Is this false
advertising, or is your message below inaccurate?

This is terrible customer service, and I fully intend
to tell others of my experience with your web site.





***

Anyway... I guess the happy ending is that I did secure the reservation through another site (Priceline, if you're curious -- bid a few times and ended up with the same room for only a few dollars more than the Precision Reservations rate).


 
Oct 2nd, 2006, 07:20 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
One of the reason I seldom book anything online that doesn't offer instant confirmation. Total waste of energy dealing with a lot of these sites.
rkkwan is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 07:21 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,005
i would just say a couple of things about your issue...these discount services operate in what we westerners find a bit odd circumstances and their sense of time is different from ours often times...

the way it works is that you make a request...they then contact the hotel in some way to ask for a room at the reduced rate....the hotel will act on it or sit on it depending on availability, number of rooms already given through that discount service, ralationship with that service and a thousand other issues...

i don't think your complaint is invalid but i thought if you did not know how they operate then i would state my understanding....

remember they never want to loose face either...they would not see any of this as a lie, just saving face...
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 07:39 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,021
And, a number of times I have found that my email was rejecting foreign emails. I have had correspondents email me repeatedly to get an email to come through. So I don't know that they were lying about that. I understand your frustration.
Kathie is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 10:17 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,844
I've used, and still use, Precision Reservations as my primary means of booking hotels for years. I've only occassionally had any problems similar to the one you describe. Delays in confirmation are almost always the fault of the hotel. As a poster above mentioned, if the hotel isn't marked with an 'instant confirmation' on the Precision Reservations site, then they have to contact the hotel and wait for their response.

One of the things I like about Precision Reservations is that, when there is a problem, I can go to their site, click on the 'Live Agent' button and 'talk' (via text) with one of their agents. They have always been able to tell me why there's a delay, and if I want, they can tell me what hotels are available for instant confirmation in the same price range as the one I'm trying to get. I can make a choice right there to change hotels or wait and see.

I actually had just such a delayed confirmation come up last week with a trip to Makassar. I went to Live Agent, told them the problem and I had my confirmation about 24 hours later.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 11:43 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 717
I've had excellent results using Precision. I too like the "live agent" feature and had similar situation to MichaelBKK's. We discussed my issues in "real time" and I also had my confirmation the next day. I guess the OP was unaware of this feature. AFAIK, Precision is one only agency that has this feature. I'll continue to use them because of this.
Bisbee is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 03:21 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 542
Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I have used Precision Reservations many times and the confirmations have been instantaneous. My experience with internet reservations is that if no confirmation is received (unless it's an on-line query as opposed to a reservation) within a short period than there is a problem with the process.
Cilla_Tey is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 03:44 PM
  #8  
bittersweet
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rhkkmk -- those are good points, and I guess I didn't fully understand the way that this site worked. I'd never used it before, though in the past I've booked through www.sawadee.com with no problems.

As for the "live agent" feature, I was aware of it, but I didn't realize that it would be more efficient than sending an e-mail to customer service.

In all fairness, they did reply to my messages (and admittedly they were polite as well). But I still think the delay, and the lack of explanation for the delay, is frustrating. I'm leaving in a few weeks and was beginning to wonder if I'd have a place to sleep!

It seems my experience isn't necessarily reflective of the service as a whole, but it didn't leave a good first impression.
 
Dec 3rd, 2006, 05:41 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 530
Bittersweet.....if misery loves company then you should know I just had almost exactly the same experience as you did with Precision, in requesting a booking for the Maison Souvannaphoum in LP for 3 nights in March.

I say almost exactly, because after 6 days of emailing them and talking to completely unhelpful and clueless live agents, I NEVER DID get a response about my request one way or the other. Plenty of polite evasions, but no real information. When I asked two different Live Agents what else was available over my dates in LP, both replied they can only process one request at a time and refused to check.

I finally gave up and booked through the website of Small Luxury Hotels, (www.slh.com) where I paid a slightly higher rate, but received an INSTANT confirmation. Before booking, I joined their club, so there would be some small possibility of an upgrade, if it's available when I arrive.

I went to the Live Help Chat place on Precision and asked the agent to cancel my request and send me an email confirmation of the cancellation. She said I would receive the email within the hour. That was 8 hours ago.

I have used a variety of different booking engines and websites during 6 years of frequent travel in Asia and never encountered such a messed up operation as Precision/Agoda, or whatever they call themselves.

As the saying goes....fool me once......thankfully I was able to get the booking I wanted by other means.

Precision...Agoda...whatever they call it....NEVER AGAIN.
Lindsey is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2006, 07:53 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,751
Nongasia are quite good for Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam area, I think they go thru Asiaoz and Hotelclub but often offer choices and quite a few they offer 'Instant Confirmation', don't know how rates compare but having the instant confirmation makes life a great deal easier.
http://www.nongasia.com/luang_prabang.html

They also have a very clear and simple page for all Asia with no pop ups or ads on it, nice to have one clear and simple page for the whole lot.
http://www.nongasia.com/hotels.html

For Thailand they go thru sawadee but also offer some alternatives so you can compare rates, others Asiaoz/Hotelclub usualy.
JamesA is offline  
Dec 19th, 2006, 02:00 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,844
Nope, I don't work for Agoda or Precision Reservations. I do link to them from my on-line guides, but that's because I'm so happy with them for my own travels.

Nobody is perfect, but I have had fewer problems with them than with anyone else, and nothing serious. I have used other services and always come back to PR because of the experience.

While not getting a confirmation can be frustrating, try showing up at a hotel with a confirmation email, only to have the hotel tell you they never received the reservation! That's happened to me, but not with PR.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Dec 19th, 2006, 02:18 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,034
This being Samantha's only post, I'd be willing to bet she is affiliated somehow with the reservation service she linked to. I looked at the site...very few hotels even listed, and the ones that are listed have high prices compared to other sites or direct booking. When you select a hotel and try to get it to price, the site searches and searches, but no results ever come. And woefully out of date...it still lists the Asia Airport Hotel as close to the airport.

Definetly give asiativ.com a miss.
KimJapan is offline  
Dec 26th, 2006, 03:42 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 27
Had the same with Agoda! Ended up booking directly with hotels and did better!
ralex is offline  
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