Don't Use Priceline

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Oct 13th, 2013, 09:22 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Oct 2013
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Don't Use Priceline

I had never used Priceline before, but I had to have cancer surgery in Houston and funds were short. I was searching for an inexpensive hotel and hotel.com recommended using Priceline through their name your own price. Funny, the bids were not negotiable, but still got at least a 3 star for $79 a night almost next door to the hospital. For this program you have to pay upfront for the nights we reserved.

My wife is disabled and the trip to Houston had her in bad pain and we just wanted to check in and rest. Instead the hotel had NO reservation. Check in time was 4 and it was a little after 4 when we arrived. Phone calls, pleading with the front desk (who originally thought that WE were trying to pull something on them and told us they were fully booked). Other family members who were there for the surgery got their rooms, but we remained in the lobby. At about 7 or 7:30 the desk clerk asked for my credit card number and wrote it down to secure a room. By then they had talked to Priceline several times and realized we weren't nuts and did prepay our stay, but it wasn't in the system and couldn't be inputted by her at her level. Although we had prepaid for 2 nights we were only guaranteed the one, but management would try to resolve it the next day while I was in surgery. My wife, who obviously had nothing at all to do, had to deal with the issue during my surgery. Eventually it did get resolved, but it was a literal NIGHTMARE.

I have file complaints with Priceline to which they say they will respond in 3-5 business days. It has now been weeks, 4 to be exact, and the only responses I have had are call the 800 number, which we did about 20 times that night and had to be transferred to even talk to anyone who knew even remotely anything. So, I knew calls were a waste of time. Then I get an email that says you got your room, so we fulfilled our obligation.

So, save yourself some frustration and time and do NOT use Priceline. Despite their ads that say they guarantee your hotel reservations will be there for you, they do NOT and it isn't worth it. By the end of the trip I would have paid any amount for a room rather than deal with what we did. The frustration, pain, irritation and downright poor customer service is not worth any possible savings.
JimandShelley is offline  
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Oct 13th, 2013, 09:27 PM
  #2
 
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First and only post.

Caveat emptor.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
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Oct 14th, 2013, 06:36 AM
  #3
 
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Give them a chance Rastaguytoday.
Every poster has to start somewhere.
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Oct 14th, 2013, 09:14 AM
  #4
 
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When you book directly with a hotel, you have one chance for miscommunication, and thus a lost reservation, among other potential problems. When you book through a third-party, you double the odds of something going wrong.
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Oct 14th, 2013, 10:24 AM
  #5
 
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I am sorry for your troubles, when you are going through so much.

I always book directly with the airlines, and directly with the hotel. Always.
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Oct 14th, 2013, 10:24 AM
  #6
 
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You're having surgery and your wife is disabled and "Other family members who were there for the surgery got their rooms, but we remained in the lobby."

Gosh, what kind of family members would not have given you their room?
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Oct 14th, 2013, 04:28 PM
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very sorry for reading your post and about your troubles what you faced. Well I don't use it and will also be careful in future.
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Oct 14th, 2013, 04:32 PM
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very sorry for reading your post and about your troubles what you faced. Well I don't use it and will also be careful in future.
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Oct 17th, 2013, 07:23 AM
  #9
 
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I hope your surgery went well and you have a full recovery. I have used Priceline's NYOP many times and have never had a problem. By having an affinity card with the hotel chains in question I've even had my room upgraded several times even at the low low PL price I'm paying. So it does work and I would not recommend others avoid it.

I'm sorry you happened to hit a snag, and at a terrible time for you as well, but nothing in this world is perfect.

I can't help but wonder why one of your other family members didn't give you their room and deal with the problem on yours since you obviously had other, more important things on your mind at the time.
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Oct 17th, 2013, 11:09 AM
  #10
 
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I think he obviously meant "other families THERE for surgery" got their rooms.. not HIS family.

So sorry this happened.
I love Priceline because it has allowed us to take extended vacations and keep well within budget.

I would also have been furious and I will be surprised and disappointed if they don't compensate you in some way.
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Oct 17th, 2013, 03:28 PM
  #11
 
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We've used Priceline a lot too and it has always been fine. A couple times there was a miscommunication between Priceline and the hotel, but once I showed my Priceline confirmation, the hotels were able to get us into a room.

It is really unfortunate that Priceline and the hotel couldn't have worked this out quickly. It actually sounds like the problem was with the hotel and not Priceline - the hotel employees thought you were trying to scam them, then they had to talk to Priceline several times before they could resolve this, the desk person couldn't register you in a room...sounds strange.
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Oct 18th, 2013, 05:08 PM
  #12
 
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Sorry you had such an ordeal. However, I have traveled for medical care to three different medical centers in the US and all of them had arrangements with local hotels at discounted rates for patients and families. Talk to the hospital social work dept for help with this next time.
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Oct 18th, 2013, 05:30 PM
  #13
 
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You have every right to be upset, I'm sorry this happened to you.

I've used Priceline many times and always call/email ahead to make sure it's all set. Under the circumstances I can appreciate why you didn't take time for this precaution.

Wishing you and your wife the best.
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Oct 23rd, 2013, 10:31 PM
  #14
 
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I stayed at a local hotel during a big sporting event. I booked online via wotif. That was a discount website like priceline. They didn't have my booking either and said sometimes the computer goes haywire. They said they keep a room or two for instances like this and then directed us to the bridal suite!!! I don't think I have seen a bigger bathroom!!!
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