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Have you ever had your hotel rate changed after booking but prior to paying?

Have you ever had your hotel rate changed after booking but prior to paying?

Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 04:02 AM
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Have you ever had your hotel rate changed after booking but prior to paying?

About a month ago I booked a hotel in NYC for August 08 (8 nights). The rate was $220 per night + taxes. I received an email confirming the booking and the cost per night. We have not paid any deposit. The fine print of the booking states that prices are subject to change without notice. I had enquired of the hotel prior to booking if they had a new 2008 rate, but they came back with the $220 pn.

Just out of interest to see if the hotel was already booked out I checked the same dates. Rooms are available, but are now $255 per night + taxes. This will be an extra $280 overall + tax differential.

Has anyone else experienced this when booking well in advance? Is there any likelihood I will be charged the rate at the time of booking or will I just have to pay the going rate in August (which could possibly increase again by then)?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 04:07 AM
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If you have a booking and the rate is not guaranteed, either because you didn't put a deposit down or otherwise, I would think the hotel could charge you anything they feel like when you show up...and since those "rates are subject to change" I suspect, legally, there wouldn't be much you could do about it.

Now, let us sit here patiently and wait for ALL the would-be Supreme Court Justices and latent vigilantes to roar up in their VW's and lecture me about why this coulndn't possibly be true.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 04:34 AM
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It does seem an odd way of doing business. I would have thought that a hotel would know 10 months ahead what its rates would be.

I don't think the fine print was identified until after the reservation made. Yes, I can still cancel it, but it is a 1 bedroom suite near Times Square at a budget price with good reviews. I'll just have to keep an eye on the rate closer to August. I believe the $220 pn was the 2007 rate, so hopefully they only raise their prices once a year. You'd just think they'd have it sorted before they took bookings.

My friend and I have booked 6 hotels across the US for a 4 week stay. Two required deposits, one required payment in full and the other 3 just a credit card reservation.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 04:52 AM
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I may be confused, but you're finding the $255 rate just from browsing current availability? That's not surprising. Hotels often raise rates as their availability gets smaller. As long as you were quoted $220, I think you're fine. If I call today for the same hotel, I'd probably get the $255 rate. Next month, it may be $300 or $350. In almost all cases, hotels honor the rate quoted.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 04:53 AM
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Regardless of when you noticed the "fine print" the hotel's pricing policy was disclosed. Since you didn't put down any cash consideration (deposit) to lock in your price there is no contract and the hotel is free to raise (or lower) their prices.

Your choice is to stay at the hotel and pay the higher price or cancel the reservation (you'll incure no penalties) and stay elsewhere.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 06:17 AM
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I was thinking the same as Dan. DId you call and check your actual booking or where you browsing to see if rooms were available?
I'd call and confirm. But I woulnd't mention the higher rate to them. Just call to confirm dates and price.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 06:22 AM
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What hotel? THAT piece of information would help!
Could you call and ask them if you could guarantee the rate?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 06:59 AM
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Your hotel will guarantee the rate you booked at. They will not just jack up the rate for no reason.

The only time I've ever heard that done is when people get those mistake internet deals like the St. Regis for $18 per night instead of the $1800 it normally goes for.

Every year I book the South Park Hotel in NYC for the NYC Marathon which is one of the most expensive weekends of the year. I book it in November for the following November at about $200 per night.

By August, the regular rack rate it almost $400 per night. I usually book five rooms and I've never had them change my rate on me.
 
Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 07:47 AM
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If you have two emails confirming, twice, that you'll be charged $220 per might, I'd say that qualifies as more or less a contract, even though until you get there, you haven't received the service promised.

If any hotel could jack up what they charge you between booking and arrival, seems to me it would be chaos for everyone involved.

One more thing you could do is write them one more time and ask them to send you a paper-ink letter to confirm dates and charges. Not technically more legal than the email but might have more sway if there's an argument on arrival.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 07:56 AM
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No
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Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 08:02 AM
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When I read your title, I thought it was going the other way -- that perhaps the hotel is now cheaper than when you first booked it. That's happened to me a lot, and I just rebook and cancel the old reservation.
The funniest one was Kimpton in Seattle where they contacted us three times between the time we booked and the time we went. Each time the price got better. I thought it was amazing that they notified us and changed our rates to our favor.

I have had what you say happen, when I have booked before the next year's rates were set. Like you it clearly said that the rates were subject to change, and sure enough when the rates were set, the price did go up slightly. Those were all European Hotels as I recall, where there seems to be a lot less "random" pricing and discounting of rooms. I don't think I've ever had that happen in the US.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 08:15 AM
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If you have an e-mail confirmation of your stay at a stated rate, the hotel will honor that rate during your stay.

I have considerable experience booking NYC hotels and always book far ahead, but keep shopping. The rates fluctuate all the time, and tend to rise between the time booked and your dates. I think hotels raise their rates with the "fill". On the other hand, if there are lots of empty rooms in the city for your particular dates, there may be amazing bargains on Priceline, Hotwire, Travelzoo, Quikbook, Easyclicktravel.

Just be sure to check the rate on the printed form when you sign in. In over 20 years, only once have I been presented with a different rate than that confirmed at booking. But, when I produced my e-mail confirmation, the rate was cheerfully corrected.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 10:30 AM
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If you have an email from the hotel confirming the rate that is what they should charge you - unless it's some sort of prepay rate special and you didn't prepay or guaranatee with a credit card.

Is the e mail a definite confirmation - or just an offer?


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Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 11:30 AM
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I think speckles made it pretty clear in the orginal post. She has a reservation confirmed but spelled out that prices are "subject to change". Clearly the hotel has every right to change the price and has NOT guaranteed the old rate. Whether they do honor it or not remains to be seen. I'm not sure if it's smart to call and confirm now that they have set the 2008 prices whether or not they will confirm your old price.
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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 06:28 AM
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The hotel is Radio City Apartments. When I made the reservation online I copied and pasted the information which was listed as a "pre-reservation request". At the end was listed their "Hotel Cancellation Policy and Advisements". This included:

"... Payment is due in full upon check in. Room rate does not include City Occupancy Tax of 2.00 per room, per night. Prices are subject to change without prior notice. ..."

However, the email I received a few days later was a reservation confirmation. It stated the nightly rate as $220 (+ taxes) and has no mention of cancellation policies or price changes.

As Neo points out, I would be concerned about actually contacting the hotel as they may take that to mean I am open to the idea that the rate has increased.
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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 06:43 AM
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I don't see a problem here. The first e-mail was a "pre-reservation request" and rates WOULD be changeable if you didn't firm it up right away. If you waited a month and then followed up on the "pre-reservation" the rate might be different - or there might not be any rooms available at all. You had not booked anything, merely got a quote.

The 2nd e-mail is a confirmed reservation -- so that is how much you will pay. I assume there is a confirmation number and such . . . .
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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 06:55 AM
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Hi Janis. Yes, I have both a reservation number and a confirmation number in the email.

I'm travelling with a friend who was very anxious to get everything booked and organised. I would have preferred to spend a bit of time researching before we booked. As a result, this is the 3rd hotel we've booked in NYC, each time trying to upgrade in size, without denting the wallet too much. I really don't want to tell her the price may have changed as it was my suggestion to book this place.
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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 07:40 AM
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Oh, yes. Your latest post clears it all up fine. When you got a confirmed reservation with no further mention of price changes -- then all is well. Relax and forget about it since you now have a confirmation number with an actual price.

I didn't pick up anything like that from the original post!
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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 07:54 AM
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I think they will always put in "subject to change" to cover themselves if something very unusual happened. I also think you should not call them only because you wouldn't have any written record. Always communicate via letter or email so that you have printed evidence.
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