Questions about booking a hotel with booking.com

Old Mar 17th, 2018, 01:30 PM
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Questions about booking a hotel with booking.com

Has anyone booked a hotel through booking.com? I found a good rate in a good location for our dates in Kyoto, Japan later this year. In looking at reviews, as is typical, there many good ones but some scathing ones. The listing looks OK (cancellable, no need to pay in advance, etc), but some people who have had to deal with the website's customer service have had difficulty getting a refund when cancelling a hotel that was listed on the site cancellable. I'm hoping for input from experienced Fordorites. Thank you!
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Old Mar 17th, 2018, 01:38 PM
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I use Booking.com quite a lot & have had no trouble getting refunds. I think it may depend on the hotel, though. Beware of people complaining about difficulty in getting refunds - a fair % of them are trying to cancel non-cancellwble or ignoring the penalty retention noted n in the T & Cs.

I have no experience in Kyoto.
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Old Mar 17th, 2018, 01:42 PM
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We’ve also used Booking.com many times and haven’t had a problem at all. Just be sure you know what you’re booking, read the fine print so there are no surprises. Some of the cancellable rates will charge your credit card for holding the booking, even tho the room is fully cancellable if done by a certain date.
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Old Mar 17th, 2018, 01:48 PM
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One of the reasons I like booking.com so much is the ease of cancelling or altering a booking. If you book all your accommodation for a trip through them you get a handy list of all the places you are staying, and you can generally cancel at any time up to 48 hours before the booking is due to start. So keeping a track of your bookings is easy.

The only time I had a problem I phoned them [can't remember what the problem was now] and it was fixed immediately.
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Old Mar 17th, 2018, 01:50 PM
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I use Booking.com a lot. We are staying at a hotel next weekend which was cancellable until today, and no payment required.
I have cancelled a hotel once, with no problem as I did it before their deadline. Again it was no payment up front though.
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Old Mar 17th, 2018, 01:53 PM
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I use booking.com all the time and frequently cancel b/c I change my plans a lot. I've never had any problem. Just be sure you read the cancellation policy of the hotel carefully, b/c there are often offers at a special low price which cannot be changed or cancelled.
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Old Mar 17th, 2018, 01:58 PM
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Also, watch the cancellation deadline in the local time for the hotel, especially if the international dateline is involved.
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Old Mar 17th, 2018, 02:00 PM
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I love booking.com, and have never had trouble cancelling. Once I made a mistake and made a non refundable reservation and they got me a refund from the hotel so I could fix it.

my only issue is that some hotels give inferior rooms if the booking is made through booking .com. This is true primarily of chain hotels which will give rooms in poor locations.
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Old Mar 17th, 2018, 02:19 PM
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I like booking.com because when you have free cancellation, it is such an advantage.

Even a week out for your trip, if you see a better price for what you think is the room you have booked, cancel and rebook.

Have done this twice in Europe.
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Old Mar 17th, 2018, 02:24 PM
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I would contact hotel directly and see if they will match the rate AND terms and maybe throw something extra in! Can't hurt.
OTA/3rd party booking - when things go well, it's all fine. When they go south, they aren't.
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Old Mar 17th, 2018, 02:26 PM
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Wow! Thank you for your speedy and thoughtful replies. I'm a rabid small print reader. I feel confident about using the site since reading about your successes.
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Old Mar 17th, 2018, 07:23 PM
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Booked with them once or twice, no problem, but I always call or email the hotel before arrival to confirm they have my reservation in their system.
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Old Mar 18th, 2018, 09:48 AM
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I use them a lot in South America and less often in the US. Only had a few issues. Once in Bogota Colombia, the hotel did not put my booking.com reservation into their (paper) book and I wound up in the only available room, rather than the specfic room I booked. (That leftover room was vacant for a reason). But at least there was a room left and the next night they moved me to their best room. In Ecuador, I paid at the hotel in cash, and the clerk forgot to log me in as having stayed and paid. Booking had me as a "no-show" and charged my credit card. Fortunately I was still in the town and had a few minutes to go back and the clerk was still on duty. He did whatever was required, and booking reversed the charges. Overseas, often booking is the only or best way to reserve.

In the US and sometimes overseas, the hotel's own website can get you equal or better rates and a slightly better cancellation policy especially if you qualify for Autoclub, Senior, or the hotel member program. For overseas sometimes I email the lodging and ask what rate they offer. However, one owner told me there is an agreement that they won't undercut their booking.com rates. I also find that some third party sites charge you VAT even if you should have been exempt as an overseas visitor.

I've also used Trivago to check if another place beside booking has a better rate. No matter how you book I think it's a good idea to have at least one email exchange with the hotel. You can ask other questions and confirm the type of room you want (bed numbers, top floor, etc).

Last edited by mlgb; Mar 18th, 2018 at 09:52 AM.
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Old Mar 18th, 2018, 04:49 PM
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Even if the hotel agrees not to undercut the online booking agency, they can charge the same rate but add a nice perk, such as a room upgrade or a meal plan, or a welcome gift wine bottle. The online agency takes a hefty cut from the hotel. It doesn't hurt to ask.
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Old Mar 18th, 2018, 06:09 PM
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I've used booking.com without problem for many, many years and in many, many countries. I've found their search criteria particularly useful. And I believe in paying for the services I receive -- so even when I could contact a lodging directly, and perhaps get a benefit by doing so, I choose to go with the booking.com reservation. Just my choice; others are welcome to their choices. I also always contact the hotel directly to confirm my arrival time and the details of my reservation.
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Old Jun 9th, 2018, 04:59 AM
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I am a long time user of booking.com. I have found no other site comparable to the advantages booking.com offer. I spend on average 4 months each year staying in hotels. There are no booking fee, no cancellation fee and no credit card fees. Their website allows selection of what I am seeking. Also, you can directly call to the Booking customer service team for your queries.

Last edited by sophiajones; Jun 9th, 2018 at 05:07 AM.
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Old Jun 9th, 2018, 10:05 AM
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If the hotel is also on Hotels.com and/or Expedia, I've also found that sometimes you get better rates and/or cancel policies on one or the other... Hotels.com in particular has lots of flash sales..with coupon codes on top of your member discount. Also be sure to check the hotels own website if you have a discount with them..eg AA, senior, or member. Usually the cancel policies are better for the same rate. And often hotels give a better room if booked direct.

All else being equal I tend to favor booking.com, but I'm not really that loyal. I avoid Expedia if I can....cust service not as good.
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Old Jun 9th, 2018, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by sophiajones View Post
no cancellation fee and no credit card fees.

Both of those depend on the hotel not on booking.com. I use booking.com often but you do need to read what terms you are agreeing to. Don't make any assumptions
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Old Jun 9th, 2018, 01:27 PM
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Both of those depend on the hotel not on booking.com. I use booking.com often but you do need to read what terms you are agreeing to. Don't make any assumptions>>

Usually I find booking.com [my website of choice] offers some of the best free cancellation terms often better than the hotel itself and they are always obvious on the website. However when looking for a hotel in Montreal I found that the hotel I liked most had much better cancellation terms for the same dates and at the same price. So I agree it always pays to check on the best deal.
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Old Jun 11th, 2018, 12:11 AM
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I use booking.com a lot and have booked literally hundreds of nights through them. Their website, cancellation policies are a model of clarity and can imagine why anyone would find them confusing get or be surprised by a cancellation issue. The iOS based app is especially easy to use and being able to access genuine reviews directly on the websites is a definite plus.

I sometimes book a non cancellable rate where I know it is not going to change AND it offers a better rate. When I do I often get a pop up stating "your dates are a long way off, why not book a flexible rate?” A nice touch. In the main I do book places with free cancellation options up to 24 x48 hours before. I have cancelled quite a few of these and never had a problem. Any issues that do arrive with not being able to get a refund are clearly as a result of customers not reading the booking conditions so it is no surprise they had problems getting a refund. Most likely it just wasn’t due.

I have only contacted booking.com customer services twice and they were very helpful. Once when I couldn’t cancel the booking online which was sorted immediately and another when I had a dispute with a hotel owner which again was sorted out quickly.

After booking a number of hotels with booking.com I became eligible for there "Genius" discount which, as far as I can tell, seems to offer a discount of 5-10% on a fair number of their properties. I also sometime go via the "topcashback" site which adds a further discount depending what offer is on.

Sometimes I do look at other sites like Expedia but generally don’t seem to find many better deals except for the occasional weekend package. Agoda are a company I will never use again no matter what the deal. Appalling service!
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