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Booking on Venere

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Mar 12th, 2013, 09:15 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 41
Booking on Venere

I booked Hotel Hotel La Scaletta in Florence. I am a bit confused on how this works. I received this email:

ROOMS BOOKED:
1 Economy Double Room - Free Wireless Internet
Daily total

Total price : 703.00 EUR
Price, Deposit and Payment
----------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL PRICE: 920.23 USD

This price is for your whole stay and includes VAT / Sales Tax.
You will pay the room price (including VAT / Sales Tax) directly at the hotel in local currency (EUR). Prices shown in the table above and calculated in the currency chosen at time of booking, are approximate and subject to change depending on exchange rate at time of payment.
1% discount offered by Venere.com : -7.03 EUR
Discounted room price: 695.97 EUR

Your card will be used only to guarantee this booking and will not be charged. Pay for this stay directly at the hotel.

MY QUESTIONS:
1.) Why does my statement only show $159.00 charged?
2.) Why can't I pay for the hotel in full today?
3.) What is the Deposit and do I get this back? Is this the $159.00?
4.) Can I cancel. It does say I can do so 3 days prior to check in, but is there a hidden charge?

Thanks!
BellaIzabella is offline  
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Mar 12th, 2013, 09:23 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 22,516
1. Where do you see a charge of $159?

2. Venere doesn't work that way - you pay the hotel. Why would you want to pay now if you're interested in the possibility of canceling? The price in euro is fixed.

3. Again, I don't see anything about $159. I don't think you're being charged a deposit.

4. There should be no hidden charge.
thursdaysd is online now  
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Mar 13th, 2013, 12:32 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 30,463
Obviously, something is missing. I agree why would you want to pay in full now? There is no hidden charge with Venere. If you want something to worry about/contemplate you could contact the hotel directly to confirm the booking.
Dukey1 is offline  
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Mar 13th, 2013, 09:23 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,238
I use Venere extensively, but only to get an idea about hotels or B&Bs.

I then will go to the hotel itself and book there. It's almost always cheaper, and I know not to trust third party bookers of lodging.

Expedia, Venere, etc... are for those people who are either too lazy to book directly, or don't know the benefits of eliminating a middle man.
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Mar 13th, 2013, 09:43 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 22,516
Rastaguytoday - SOMETIMES it's cheaper. I use booking.com frequently, and it is often cheaper than the hotel itself. Obviously, one should check. Equally obviously, one should avoid inaccurate generalizations. Ideally, one should be polite.
thursdaysd is online now  
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Mar 13th, 2013, 03:43 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,238
tsd - I guess my inaccurate generalizations come from the fact that I travel a lot and have seen a consistent pattern of bookings, where the actual site is cheaper than the third party.

A few times when I've seen cheaper bookings on a third party, I will contact the website and negotiate a better rate. Keeps them from having to pay a third party, and still gives me the best deal.

I guess I should have thrown that in my previous answer, but we're talking less than 5-10% of the time. I usually don't generalize for exceptions to the law of large numbers.
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Mar 13th, 2013, 04:57 PM
  #7
 
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Posts: 6,141
I agree with Thursdaysd - I have often found it is cheaper on the booking.com or venere.com site than on the hotel's own web site. It can also be easier to cancel through those sites than directly with the hotel itself. Maybe that should not be the case but sometimes it is. I have never been treated poorly by the hotel because I booked through a third party site.

What I think is happening with the OP's booking is that the hotel charged a deposit that showed up on his credit card - the $159. The total amount of the room is the 703€ - which on the day he booked it was equal to $920. At the time of his stay it could be a few dollars more or less depending on the exchange rate. He will need to pay the remainder - the total price minus the deposit - at the time of his stay. If he cancels within the time period the hotel states (looks like in this case it's up to 3 days before the first night) then they would refund the $159.

While it may be true that the added costs (to the hotels) of using these booking sites does get passed along to the consumer, it is generally not on an individual basis. Everything that hotels (or any business) uses gets passed along to the consumer eventually. They just incorporate it into their prices. And you are going to pay it whether you book with them directly or use a booking site. In SOME cases a hotel may say, book directly and I'll give you a discount (like rastaguy says, you can sometimes negotiate). But it's also true that sometimes a hotel will say, pay cash rather than credit card and I'll give you a cheaper rate. Same idea. You are paying for a convenience (booking site, use of a credit card) and occasionally the business will give you a discount if you don't use the convenience, but I've usually found that is not the case.
isabel is offline  
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Mar 13th, 2013, 05:24 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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It's possible that $159 is Venere's commission, which they keep, and you'll pay the balance (the so-called NET rate) to the hotel at check-out.
travelhorizons is offline  
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Mar 13th, 2013, 05:31 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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I have never known Venere charge a commission to the person booking. Nor do I remember ever being charged a deposit.

I just did a test booking for the hotel in Florence, and I would have been charged VAT/Sales Tax of around 10% but there was nothing about a deposit. I'm still waiting for the OP to explain the $159 which does not show on her transcript.
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Mar 13th, 2013, 06:14 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,141
I have booked many times on both Venere and booking.com and most of the time there is no deposit. But sometimes there is - it totally depends on the hotel. It is not something the booking site charges, it's the hotel. If you read the fine print it usually does state that a deposit will be charged (even if you can cancel the reservation) but sometimes it's not really obvious. Last month I booked nine hotels for my five week trip this coming summer. Most of them were on booking.com or venere. One hotel charged a one night deposit. I double checked and it is able to be canceled until up to three days before the check in date. The other eight did not charge a deposit.

Venere and booking.com do not charge the customer a commission, nor do they collect any money. Even the deposit, you pay it to the hotel. I just double checked my visa bill - it is the hotel, not the booking site that took the deposit.
isabel is offline  
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Mar 13th, 2013, 07:23 PM
  #11
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 41
The $159.00 is the charge I am seeing on my Credit card statement. I assume I pay the balance upon check in. I don't plan to cancel, but if may to find a cheaper hotel if I am nearing my budget for hotels. I called the hotel and looked on their site. The per night charge would be the same as on venere.
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