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Booking.com Complaints & Reviews - Scam

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Booking.com

Posted:    Angela

Scam

Complaint Rating:  93 % with 108 votes
Contact information:
Booking.com
United States
On June 2, 2010 I have made a hotel reservation from booking.com on behalf of a friend of mine who was planning to visit Prague and stay in My Hotel Apollon from June 25 to July 6, 2010.

This reservation was necessary for her visa application before coming to Prague, and the reason that I chose Booking.com was its flexibility in the cancellation process in advance in case the visa in question can not be obtained on time, which can happen quite often in the Czech Embassy in Istanbul.

As you can see from the link: http://www.booking.com/hotel/cz/apollon-prague.html?aid=304142 and the screenshots that I attached, the Hotel Conditions section for My Hotel Apollon clearly states that no fee will be charged on the credit card until the 24 hours prior to the booking start date. Based on this information, I logically assumed that Booking.com would prove a trustworthy site which could be relied upon not to abuse the sensitive credit card information provided. Unfortunately, this proved to be far from the case.

On review, the "small print" of the booking on the second page was understandably missed given the clear assurances to the contrary on the first page of booking. Without noting the small text in the

Conditions column below, I therefore continued with giving my friend's personal data and credit card information, assuming that the transaction would be kept on hold until one day prior to the booking date.

Unlike stated on the website, I was informed by my friend that the equivalent of 423 Euros in Turkish Lira currency was in fact credited from her account by this hotel. On review of the reservation details on Booking.com, I noticed in a separate page that, in blatant contradiction to the flexibility so generously offered on the first page, that cancellation was in this case not a possible option after all and the reservation would be charged anyway.

I am very frustrated by the inconsistency between the information given on this site and the hotel's policy. Now my friend is having problems with getting the visa, and probably she will not be able to come to Prague on the stated dates. This is not only the abusive use of my friend's personal details, but also a big amount of lost money which has been illegitimately drawn from her credit card just because that booking.com didn't show My Hotel Apollon's cancellation policy in a clear and consistent way on their site. I am attaching some proof images, just have a look to avoid falling into this scam. I have contacted both the company and the hotel, asking for a refund to compensate their negligence, but booking.com refused to pay my friend back what they have already taken claiming that this is the policy of the hotel and not that of Booking.com. I am going to share this unfortunate experience with everyone I know until they correct their mistake on their site and refund what they have taken from my friend's credit card.
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 5th of Jun, 2011 by   steveyboy 0 Votes
Same things happened to me, deliberately misleading regarding fees. They also try to pretend to be part of the same group as other sites (that don't charge). I was caught out because I mistook booking.co.uk with bookings.co.uk - the later takes you to the scamming booking.com
 18th of Jun, 2011 by   Nicole Wiersema 0 Votes
I TOTALLY DISAGREE with these comments. I have booked with Booking.com 3 or 4 times a year for the last 2 years and NEVER HAD A PROBLEM.

The Customer Service is friendly and helpful. It clearly states on the website the cancellation deadlines - of course it is necessary for the hotels to require such deadlines - otherwise they would have people booking rooms, just not showing up and then they would be left with empty unpaid for rooms.
 24th of Jun, 2011 by   Booking.com Team 0 Votes
We're sorry you've experienced these issues, Angela & Steve. Please let us know if there's anything we can help with. You can reach our customer care team here: http://bit.ly/hiFJ2g. Please provide us with your booking numbers, so we can look into it for you. Thanks.
 30th of Jun, 2011 by   world4two 0 Votes
I have booked/cancelled a couple of times with hotel in Istanbul this pass April 2011, I was only charged on the hotel I finally stay in, it seems to me booking.com is a reliable company through my experiance but would like to see how they sattle this complaint!
 3rd of Jul, 2011 by   sophieG 0 Votes
wow. I'm planning a 14 day europe trip right now and was told to use booking.com, not so sure anymore. Might book directly woith hotels or use expedia. thanks for sharing.
 5th of Jul, 2011 by   V s 0 Votes
Same happened to me too. My credit card was also charged even when booking conditions clearly stated that no prepayment was needed.
Their customer relation department is pathetic.
 19th of Jul, 2011 by   WSW in Texas 0 Votes
I used Booking.com last year for a three night stay in Amsterdam. Absolutely no problem. The hotel exceeded our expectations and was in a great location. When we arrived, the hotel staff was very friendly and found our reservation immediately. No surprise charges. Everything was as advertised. Plan to use them for a trip to San Francisco this fall.
 6th of Aug, 2011 by   steve blackpool 0 Votes
i also booked a hotel with booking .com .i booked for 7 nights in malta hotel maritim antonine hotel mellieha malta.booking .com sent me 2 conformation notes for 4 rooms when i asked and paid for 2 rooms .on arriving to the hotel they explained booking .com booked 4 rooms when i only booked for 2 rooms the hotel said they will cancel the over booked 2 rooms .they were glad at this because as they said we will get a better price for them .when i arrived home from malta they had charged me for 4 rooms on my debit card .when i phoned booking .com they passed the blame on the hotel and the hotel blamed booking .com.that was 8 months ago and i still have not been reenburst of my moneys
 23rd of Aug, 2011 by   AlexRuiz 0 Votes
I have to tell you, I never had a bad experience with booking.com/ I actually canceled rooms many times, no problem. Even when I was not supposed to, still no problem. Just 2 days ago I booked the Melia Bali hotel. I then found the same price on Agida but including breakfast. I complained and claimed that under theirprice guarantee they had to give me the breakfast included. In about 24 hours they had talked to the hotel and changed my booking. I call that service. I give the details because I am not associated with them.They are responsive, which is something you do not find out there. I wish they included more hotels, because their stock is not too satisfactory, but their integrity is there. I had issues with a hotel about exchange rates and they contacted the hotel. Nevertheless bear in mind one thing. All these purchases are made with credit cards. If you believe you have been wronged, most credit cards will deny the payment, provided you furnish them with the information supporting your claim, so I have a hard time believing all these complaints...
 30th of Aug, 2011 by   rachael2011 0 Votes
PEOPLE SHOULD ABSOLUTELY NEVER BOOK HOLTEL OR GUEST HOUSE ROOMS UNLESS THEY INTEND TO HONOUR THEIR COMITMENT. SMALL GUEST HOUSES RELY ON THE INCOME FROM BOOKINGS. WHILST THE ROOM IS RESERVED FOR YOU IT PREVENTS SOMEONE ELSE BOOKING THAT ROOM THUS COSTING THE HOTEL/GUEST HOUSES MONEY. SORRY ABOUT CAPS BUT I FEEL VERY STRONGLY ABOUT THIS I HAVE 4 CHILDREN AND IT IS OUR ONLY SOURCE OF INCOME. WHEN WE GET NO SHOWS WE NOW CHARGE THE CARD ITS EITHER THAT OF THE KIDS HAVE NO SUPPER. COME ON GUYS PUT THE SHOE ON THE OTHER FOOT.
 6th of Sep, 2011 by   Nicci, Austria 0 Votes
Oh stop bleating - you tried to abuse they system by making a booking you had absolutely no intention of using. This makes it difficult for those who actually are looking to book that hotel as the room type they want may be unavailable or the hotel may be full. My husband and I travel about 4 months every year and I only use Booking.com. The ease of booking, the precise room information and especially the immediate confirmation is a total blessing. Gone are they days of waiting for several days to hear if a room is available. I book sometimes only 1 day ahead while on the road and am delighted with this website. That is not to say that it is perfect. I have had money taken off a week in advance, or the full amount taken when it should have been a deposit, but we have always managed to sort out the problem. I once stayed at a hotel in Santorini, Greece (Iliovasilema suites) which totally misrepresented themselves and I wrote to Booking.com about it. They came back to me and so did the hotel. There have been changes to their site but they are still in the business of selling 5 star and offering 1 star. It is not a perfect science, but I have never had a problem with my credit card using this site and it is by far the most user friendly and convenient. I can happily recommend this site to any first time users. I have absolutely no commection to this company, just a very contented customer. Nicci, Austria
 9th of Sep, 2011 by   steve blackpool 0 Votes
My point is simply the fact that two rooms were booked, this was confirmed on my confirmation from Booking.com. I am struggling to understand how the consumer is held responsible and given the label as a "no show". If two rooms are booked, and you arrive at the hotel and are told 4 rooms were booked which was possibly an error of Booking.com or the hotel as my confirmation clearly stated 2 rooms which the gentleman at the time confirmed. Neither party would advise or at least try to establish what had gone on. Therefore myself the paying customer is held responsible for either companies ineffective way of practice. It is ludicrous to think two companies, one being an agent and one being the service provider are hell-bent on maintaining there words of a "no-show" the simple fact is, I did show for the two rooms which I had booked.
 10th of Sep, 2011 by   steve blackpool 0 Votes
PS a little note for elusive nicci from Austria, put your brain in gear before you engage your mouth,
 14th of Sep, 2011 by   Booking.com_CR 0 Votes
Dear Steve,

We have been in touch with you regarding this matter. Please let us know if there is anything else we can assist you with.

Kind regards,
Your Booking.com Team
 17th of Sep, 2011 by   Nicci, Austria 0 Votes
To the charming Steve from Blackpool. I was replying to Angela's complaint from the United States - she started the initial complaint and people are replying to her issue!!!
You call me elusive - I was in Iceland for 2 weeks where I used Booking.com every day to book ahead for the following night - guess what - NO DOUBLE BOOKINGS.
 18th of Sep, 2011 by   steve blackpool 0 Votes
To the sweet Nicci from Austria, I'm glad to hear your trip to Iceland went without any hiccups that's how it should be. :)
 24th of Sep, 2011 by   Nicci, Austria 0 Votes
:)
 26th of Dec, 2011 by   G.Lee 0 Votes
Sorry, regardless of if you have to cancel or not the booking.com cancellation policy states that you cannot cancel within 7 days of the arrival. Well, we are cancelling 7 months in advance and are still being charged. However, when you book, the cancellation policy changes when you receive the confirmation email which changes to you will be charged regardless of what they said on their website prior to booking. That is nothing more than FALSE and MISLEADING!! My complaint is very similar to the original poster's comments on the misleading cancellation policy. I am now being told to contact the hotel when it is NOT the hotels policy, but Booking.com's BS policies at work. I will never go through booking.com nor will I ever recommend anyone else do the same.
 2nd of Jan, 2012 by   Booking.com_CR 0 Votes
Hi G.Lee. Please help us get to the bottom of this by posting your Booking.com reservation number. We will get in touch with you as soon as possible. Thanks. Your Booking.com Team.
 19th of Mar, 2012 by   bres1 0 Votes
I booked a room advertised as 39 euros per night for three nights. And the results was that they charged me 69 for the second and 89 for the third night without any warning! BOOKING.COM is a shameless scam site.

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