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Hotel comes back with lower price after booking with booking dot com

Hotel comes back with lower price after booking with booking dot com

Old Aug 29th, 2015, 03:31 AM
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Hotel comes back with lower price after booking with booking dot com

I live in Europe and have traveled quite a bit throughout the region. I recently booked a non-refundable room through booking dot com and then sent an email direct to the hotel with a special request. When the hotel people replied back, they offered a lower rate (euro 50 less) if I booked directly with them. This is a four-star hotel and has good reviews. I should get higher priority if I book directly with the hotel, right (I would have booked direct but the hotel showed no availability)? When you have booked a hotel room through Booking dot com, did the hotel ever come back and offer you a lower price? Shady or not? This is the second time a hotel has made this offer.
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 04:01 AM
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Yes, but it happened to me in America, not in Europe, although I have gotten many not-so-subtle requests from hotels in Italy to please book directly with them "the next time".

Hotels need to pay Booking.com a commission out of the advertised room rate when it is booked through Booking.com. I do think it is a bit "shady" if you found the hotel on booking.com and they try to get you to undo the booking and book directly, although I tend not to blame the hotels for offering repeat clients a discount for booking directly.

My own feeling is that booking.com is such a fabulous asset for a traveler like me that I really don't want them to go out of business. I am sorry that the hotels are in the position of needing to squeeze as many pennies as they can out of their bookings. But I feel that it is a point of honor that if I used the ease of Booking.com to get a hotel, that Booking.com deserves a "cut" for running such a user-friendly website and having such excellent customer service.
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 04:59 AM
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If you have already booked on non-refund terms, then all that is happening is that the hotel is messing with your head. If it was a booking that you were free to cancel, then what would be happening is the hotel trying to cut its agent out of the deal, and that amounts to sharp practice. Personally, I dislike sharp practice, and prefer not to deal with firms that engage in it, even if I am not the victim.

I agree with sandralist. It's fine by me that booking.com gets a reward for the service it provides.
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 05:41 AM
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As of July 1st booking.com does no longer forbid hotel owners to offer lower prices directly or through other booking channels. This is due to complaints of hotel federations about anti-competitive practices (*). Booking.com still forbids hotel owners to advertise lower prices on their website, though.
So,it's perfectly possible that a hotel owner offers a lower price on the phone.

(*) I was in Sardinia earlier this year and had booked my hotel thru booking.com (120 euro/night for 4 nights at the end of May). The price displayed in the room, however, was only 115 euro in HIGH SEASON!! So beware and check with the hotel before booking with booking.com or any other booking site.
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 05:58 AM
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I don't understand this attitude against booking.com by many. It's a service, no hotel whatsoever is forced to sign up with them. If they do, they want their service. It isn't some shady company that is stealing their business, they have to agree to be on the website.

And I agree that I don't comprehend hotels agreeing to a certain price on booking.com (that I gather is cheaper than their own website), then when you use them, you try to haggle with the hotel and they come down. I don't respect hotels that do that kind of business, either. And why are they doing that to being with, it doesn't make sense. If they want to offer lower prices, they can do it themself. SO I think it's the hotel that is being disreputable.

I don't understand the idea of higher priority for booking directly, not sure what that means. THe only thing that makes sense to me is that if you book a discounted "run of the house" room on booking, I can understand why those clients would be given less desirable rooms than someone paying more and booking directly, but that's exactly what that category means -- you get the leftovers or what the hotel feels like giving you, not a specific category.

Such a thing has never happened to me, the one time I tried to book directly with a hotel in Paris rather than through their own website, they wouldn't even owner the rate on their own website if I booked directly, not through the online tool Said they couldn't match it, if I wanted that price, I should use the website. So I did, I was just asking some questions about rooms, etc., so figured I'd book also. So some hotels have some weird kind of deals with the company that is running their own software, also.
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 06:24 AM
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I think there is a difference between a hotel generally offering a lower price for direct bookings than what they fix their price to be booking.com and advertising that price elsewhere vs. the hotel contacting a booked guest who has already booked through the booking.com service nd offering them a lower price if they undo the booking.com reservation.

I would also caution people that the posted room rate may be out of date, so don't imagine you are being egregiously ripped off if you pay more than it. That aside, I think if you want to browse through booking.com to select a hotel based on the pictures and reviews you see, plug in your dates to see the booking.com rate, and then contact the hotel directly to see if the hotel will offer you a lower rate, that's up to you, and booking.com makes its website free to all without registering or a fee. Still, I find it somewhat chintzy if people were to use booking.com as their major source of info and reviews about hotels and availability and then look to save marginal amounts of money by cutting booking.com out of the process. But I encounter this everywhere among travelers, and not just truly budget travelers, but people who are genuinely outraged at small mark-ups in exchange for convenience and service.
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 06:41 AM
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With booking.com changing its hotel rates almost every day (to be competitive with hotels.com, expedia.com, amoma.com and all the other booking sites), they 'ask' customers to undo bookings. Very easy when you book at the 'free cancellation' rate. People book various hotels at the time, then at the time of travel they cancel all but one. Or, better yet, they cancel all and rebook the 'but one' at the non-flexible rate!
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 06:43 AM
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When you first tried to book directly with the hotel, they had no availability. Suddenly, after you book with the agency, the hotel has availability at a cheaper rate. Seems they let the agency do the work, advertising, etc., now do not want to pay for the service.
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 07:19 AM
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No problem with hotels haggling on price, I've done it on walkup without a book and I also feel booking dot com deserves to be paid for its service.

The critical issues for me long term are that we don't want Booking dot com to be a monopoly/duopoly as all it does is move the power from the multiple competing hotels to the single/dual source service agent.

Hotels have a similar problem to those of the airlines (cheap or not), with hotels, once they pass the 70% utilisation of rooms they are able to offer marginal pricing as the daily and fixed costs are now covered. Hence they can manage their prices by similar algorithms, smaller hotels, with smaller numbers of rooms and in less attractive positions have more issues as the standard algorithms don't woark as well.

Should hotels try to get around Bookings dot com? Well what happens if you book for a night and decide to stay for another night? What is the right price? The price Bookings might charge you or the deal front desk offers?
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 07:31 AM
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booking.com works for me.

I usually do 'free cancellation' and then within a few weeks of our trip, see if there is a lower price.

Then cancel the original booking and rebook at the lower price.

Has worked a few times.
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 11:18 AM
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I'm like the vast majority here.
I book via booking.com or hotels.com because it is easy.
If a hotel asks me to cancel and rebook directy, I find it unfair.
However, a second time, I'd book directly.
If hotels are unhappy with third party sites, ok for me, but then they should fight on fair terms.

my opinion.

+ with hotels.com, I get 10% rebate that i can use on any other reservation, later, in another country...
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 11:20 AM
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Once I check out rates on booking.com or hotel.com I check the hotel's own web site to see if there are better rates. Often there are, especially with special deals. I got a very good price for our New York hotel by taking a 30-day cancellation special.
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 12:00 PM
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Listing with Booking I know you cannot email the hotel directly anymore you have to go through the website of Booking.
The story does not add up.
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 01:42 PM
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This is a site that looks at the prices of many different booking sites. trivago.com
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 02:08 PM
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Interesting that given the bias of this forum against using travel agents, this conversation is recommending the use of OTA's (online travel agents) instead of individual TA's ... who can do everything an OTA can do PLUS provide her own expertise on a destination, where in a city to stay, what to see and do, and any impressions of hotels she may be familiar with.

Any if anything goes wrong, as sometimes happens ... try to reach booking.com on the phone or by email to intercede with the hotel. TA's do it all the time.

Costs the same either way. Both the OTA and the flesh-and-blood TA are paid a commission. You just get personalized service with a TA...
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 02:12 PM
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I think it's whatever method one is comfortable with is fine.

In Leon Spain, we cancelled our second night very easily with booking.com and then booked Oviedo for the next night.

So easy.
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 02:18 PM
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Travel, you a TA yourself ?

'Any if anything goes wrong, as sometimes happens ... try to reach booking.com on the phone or by email to intercede with the hotel. TA's do it all the time.'

I've booked hundreds of nights with Booking.com and Hotels.com.
I've never had a problem to reach them - max waiting time was 2 min. They solved my issues whilst I stayed on line.


I've had 6 problems : 4 solved by booking.com or hotels.com
2 where booking.com looked for a solution and the hotel refused. I called ùmyself the hotels, who (both) told me the problem came from booking.com, whilst I had proof booking was cooperative and had provided a solution.

These sites have access to thousands and thousands of hotels and are great problemsolvers. Imho.
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 02:20 PM
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Thank you for this information. If this is the 2nd time a hotel has made this type of an offer the best thing to do is to take your lumps this time.

But the next time before you hit the button call the hotel and ask if they have a better rate.

There are many things I like about booking. Most of the hotels I book with them there is the option to cancel.
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 02:31 PM
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<Travel, you a TA yourself??> Certainly is!!
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Old Aug 29th, 2015, 03:23 PM
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"Any if anything goes wrong, as sometimes happens ... try to reach booking.com on the phone or by email to intercede with the hotel."

We've done it and booking.com was fine. We were stuck in a traffic jam on our way to the Best Western outside Ulm and were afraid the hotel restaurant would be closed by the time we got there. I had booking.com's number but couldn't find the hotel's direct number. I called an agent from booking.com and the agent called the hotel and made arrangements with them for the kitchen to stay open later.

Another time, with the Sofitel in New York, I had to cancel at the last minute. The booking.com contract was that the hotel could charge one night for a no-show (fair enough). Instead the Sofitel charged the entire amount. I called them and sent them copies of the contract; they didn't back down. The credit card company temporarily refunded the money but the hotel still insisted they had the right to charge the entire amount. Booking.com stepped in and finally got the Sofitel to admit they'd made a mistake and refund the overcharge.
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