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My experience w. Venere.com- Europe: BAIT & SWITCH

My experience w. Venere.com- Europe: BAIT & SWITCH

Feb 4th, 2007, 06:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,605
I haven't seen that Venere's prices are any lower than the hotel's posted rates. I do like to use them for customer reviews... I prefer to contact hotels directly.
Travelnut is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 06:44 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,560
I have found Venere to be very reliable. You mention that you printed the screen before confirming the reservation. That could be the issue. I have tried many times to make flight reservations on Orbitz only to find that when I actually try to purchase the quoted fare, its no longer available. That may be why they now show how many seats are available at the price. When I've talked with them, they also have told me that their inventory is not dynamically tied to the airlines..... there is a lag when the airline and in your case, the hotel, may be selling seats and/or rooms thru other channels. When you think about it, you're competing for rooms with other travellers on orbitz, travelocity, united.com, expedia, etc etc. Not confirming before printing was probably your error. I've also found that europeans often use the phrase, 'at this moment' to mean roughly the same time or due to a conflict. It doens't have quite the same interpretation as "instantaneous".
cmeyer54 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 07:12 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8,379
Thank you cmeyer for a calm reading of the situation; it's hardly an "underhanded maneuver" or "unethical" that booking agents cannot always deliver because the stock of rooms shifts constantly. Also, they stated "average double room rate," clearly indicating the quote was not firm. So don't use Venere, or many many other third-party sites if this uncertainty is so painful; I use them as often as I don't, depending on the deal.
Fidel is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,725
Fidel: "it's hardly an "underhanded maneuver" or "unethical" that booking agents cannot always deliver because the stock of rooms shifts constantly."

Venere: “We regret to inform you that we have checked in our system, and the hotel changed its prices in our system IN THE SAME MOMENT in which you were making your reservations”.

Viajero2:Venere is one of two sites that have pulled a fast one on me in those many years of doing travel

Travelnut:This is the second report I've seen in past couple of weeks regarding a rate change after a confirmation.

Me: hmmm....I think that there may be something fishy here.
Thanks Suzanna.
robjame is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,866
It likely wasn't bait-and-switch, i.e. deliberate misleading of the consumer, but it definitely shows a problem with the programming of the site. With my airline site, for example, once you accept a quote, you are given a certain minimum amount of time to finish the transaction before the seats (or in this case rooms) are released back to inventory, there to be possibly re-priced.

For an on-line vendor programmer to arrange things otherwise is in effect to have the consumer hand over a blank cheque to complete the transaction! Or, given that by submitting one's CC, one in effect 'signs' the agreement (in most jurisdictions, to submit payment confirms the buyer has accepted the contract), one is in effect signing a contract for which terms are subsequently added unilaterally by the vendor, and that just won't do.

I suspect, Suzanna, that the programmers of the Venere site simply didn't foresee this sort of thing happening. Many of the hotels that use Venere are relatively small and their pricing structure isn't all that dynamic, not as compared to, say, airline pricing. Most times the pricing is pretty static. So, your situation simply might not come up all that often. Or perhaps, given that Venere rarely sells nonrefundable hotel rooms, the programmers felt that the consumer's ability to cancel constituted sufficient protection.

As for your booking, try contacting the hotel directly when you cancel and see what they will give you as a price on rebooking. You might find them to be quite sympatico, if you approach it diplomatically.
Sue_xx_yy is online now  
Feb 4th, 2007, 08:29 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,456
I have used venere many times and have been happy. I also think Suzanna's case is just an unlucky one that I have fornunately not encountered so far but the good thing is you have no problem cancelling with venere without charge. So I don't think there is a real issue here. If it had costed her, that would have been another matter. There are other sites that even require prepayment. Venere's conditions say, they take your c.c. info only as guarantee and you pay directly to the hotel. So far venere's cancellation condition when I used them has been No charge till 3 / 1 day, that's pretty reasonable. Taking advatage of this, I did the following once recenlty.

I reserved last December a 3*hotel in Prague for last weekend, 49€. Two weeks later when I checked venere, the price had gone down to 39€. So I booked another room and then cancelled the 49€ one. Then again two weeks later, I noticed the price was then €32!. I hesitated but then did the same again. Things went well, no issue with repetitive booking and cancellation. I ended up paying 30% less than the rate at which I originally booked. Pretty good, isn't it? Besides, the hotel was great and staff very kind (Residence Mala Strana in my favorite Mala Strana district). Excellent price/quality.

I also try to book directly with the hotels but often times, I got very good rates through venere. Another thing I like about venere is you can pick hotels according to the area of your choice of the city, that very useful. Many other sites (hrs, expedia, ect, etc) don't have this fonction.

Having said all above, it's nice to be informed about what happened to you with venere, Suzanna. Glad you didn't lose money because of this incident.
kappa is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 08:41 AM
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the heads up. Whatever you call it, the price shouldn't be switched after it's confirmed, without giving the purchaser a chance to cancel it.

I used venere.com for a few hotels last May, and they were ok, but not great. I did find out later that, had I reserved directly with the hotel, I would have received a lower price plus a discount for paying in cash.

Also, reserving through venere.com made communication with the hotel difficult. I had to communicate through venere.com, and they didn't reply quickly. For one hotel, I had to move the dates forward by two days, and it was a big hassle. I didn't hear back from venere.com, the hotel couldn't help me, and I was concerned I'd lose my hotel for the new dates. Would have been much easier (and cheaper) to deal directly with the hotel. Lesson learned.
Feb 4th, 2007, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,456
> had I reserved directly with the hotel, I would have received a lower price plus a discount for paying in cash.

At above mentioned Prague hotel, i had a choice of paying either cash or by cc. I chose cash and the hotel gave me 5% discount (besides I was already paying 30% less than original booking.).

> Also, reserving through venere.com made communication with the hotel difficult... to deal directly with the hotel. Lesson learned.

I think that's the case with any booking site, not partcular to venere.com. In your particular case, MaureenB (changing dates) you should have cancelled the original booking and reserve newly with the new date on line. No contacting venere was needed.
kappa is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 09:00 AM
Posts: n/a
kappa, thanks for the tips. In my case, the hotels would have given the discounts if I'd reserved directly, but not through venere.com.

Also, I tried to change the reservation through venere.com to start with, but the confirmation wouldn't come back for several days, and I was concerned that I'd cancelled and didn't have any reservation at all anymore. They simply weren't responsive.
Feb 4th, 2007, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,129
This happened to me, but on another website (Romeby), when I tried to book my first room in Rome, back in 2003. I had not yet discovered this site, and thought I was alone.

However, I have to say, it wasn't Romeby who was at fault, it was the hotel I had booked who did a bait-and-switch on us. At that point in time, this place had it's own website which showed entry into a grand courtyard, and beautiful large rooms complete with bath tubs. Told us there were elevators and daily breakfast, so of course, first time in Rome, and wanting to be close to my friends' place, thought this was wonderful.

We got to the hotel, and after much confusion, we were walked over to another building, with a 5 flight walkup (no elevator, and they weren't willing to refund my prepayment from months earlier. my mother needed a cane then too, and I had an email confirmation that they had elevators), and then they tried to give us a single room, meaning a room with one twin bed. We were 2 adults. To add insult to injury, they wanted to charge me an extra €150 above what was already confirmed and charged. Thank goodness I had printouts, they wanted cash on the spot!

We complained to Romeby, and apparently, something came of it. They now represent themselves a bit more correctly (showers only, no tubs). The place, BTW, is Nazional Rooms. http://tinyurl.com/ys3646

Due to it's location on Via Nazional, we haven't been able to help but pass it each time we go/come from the Termini.

Good thing you were able to cancel and rebook to another hotel. Consider yourself fortunate.
mcnyc is offline  
Feb 4th, 2007, 01:38 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 376
this isnt a bait and switch its just that they were only able to confirm at a higher price than you expected. You never paid anything, were able to cancel with no penalty - the only annoyance was one of expectation and that you had to go through their rather simple booking procedure with no result (its possible there might not have been availability for your date in which you woould have been in the same place). I agree that its annoying but they are basically a middleman which spares you having to deal with all other websites, language issues, emails to hotels, software quirks of their webistes, etc. I see this as an issue with the hotel, frankly not Venere at all.

Weve had good luck booking through them so far.
jjkbrook is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 393

That's a bummer about your booking experience with Venere. I used them about this time last year to book a hotel in Paris. The location was pretty good and close to where I'd stayed a couple of years before. A few weeks before I was to leave, I received an email from Venere saying that the hotel had cancelled my reservation! This really shocked me because to take such an action would have required me to enter in my password and user name to make this change. I emailed them back directing them to have my reservation reinstated because I had not made any cancellation request. This actually turned out to be a good thing because a found a hotel closer to where I wanted to be and at a lower price. Would I use Venere again? I don't know. But I have found many other hotel booking sites (asiarooms.com, kayak.com, etc) in which to pick and choose from. The one thing I like about Kayak is that it will display rates quoted by other sites (Orbitz, hotels.com, etc) for comparison. Don't forget to see if there is a site for the hotel that you can book directly through as well (even though you've already booked via another site).
trafaelwyr is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 02:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,154
OK, y'all, here's a real "bait and switch".

We made our annual pilgrimage to visit my Lady Wife's aunt in Florida.

As we always do, we stopped at the first gas station to get the books of hotel coupons.

We stopped in Ocala, where a motel was offering $39.99/nite.

"Sorry, those rooms are not available. We have rooms for $79.99".

Did this 3 times. Same story.

One motel had a neon sign advertising $39.99. Same story.

Finally found a room for $55.

The whole town was B&S.

ira is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 07:08 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,145
I think the mistake here happened at "I made the reservation assuming some kind of system error."

Not to blame the victim (and thanks for pointing out the problem you encountered so we can all be on the lookout), but Venere did tell you what the price was and you decided to go ahead.

Granted, it was not a great situation, but...
Worktowander is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 03:46 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 541
Verere are 100% responsible for the way their site behaves.The can easily ask their programmer what happens to customers using the site when a rate change occurs. Not to do so would be irresponsible.In fact the post suggests that they are aware of it.
To quote one price then try to charge another is always, always sharp practice.
zippo is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 04:12 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,175
Venere DO NOT charge your credit card - they only take details to confirm your booking and payment is made by you to the hotel at checkout. The original poster did not have to pay out and reclaim any money and was perfectly able to cancel. Maybe Venere's booking system needs to handle updated prices a little better but there was not a deliberate attempt at fraud, as implied in the subject.

I like Venere because I do not get charged up front and can normally cancel, without loss, right up until a couple of days before travel.
Maria_H is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 04:45 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 305
I've used Venere many times and have never had a problem with making reservations or cancelling reservations. I think Suzanna's experience was just a fluke.
amy_zena is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 04:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11
How to use www.Venere.com discount code?



which is valid until 31.12.2012, please share with your friends and enjoy

The Venere discount code allows you to offer a discount to your friends who want to book via Venere. The discount code you can offer is: C92TJ46. The discount is 4%. There is a box to enter a discount code when you are inputting your personal information. I used a code from a friend and my discount was instantly applied.
willie2 is offline  

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