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Booking.com Complaints & Reviews - Misleading content

Booking.com Contacts & Informations

Booking.com

Posted: 2011-10-29 by    Sas70

Misleading content

Complaint Rating:  67 % with 3 votes
A few weeks ago I made a booking through booking.com for Star Hotel B&B in London. During the booking process the statement "there will be no fees charged on my credit card" was often shown. Beside that the hotel policies also stated that there would be no costs charged on my credit card. Although they did refer to the room description which could differ from the general hotel policies, but also the room description said that there would be no deposit fees charged on my credit card. I received a booking conformation by email. I will highlight only the important information about the cancelation and payment policy in the same order as in the booking confirmation:

Room description: No deposit fees will be charged
Cancelation policy: With a cancelation before 3 days of reservation date, no costs will be charged. Within 3 days 1 day will be charged. Cancelation until 27 October 0 costs
Hotel policy: Hotel policies can differ according to room type. For cancelation policy and deposit fees check the room description
Credit card/ guarantee/ paying information: All payments need to be done in the hotel, unless described different in the hotel policies or the room description
Important information: In the last sentence is written that 1 day will be charged in case of a booking more than 5 days, and this is non refundable.
Because I did not expect information that was in contradiction of the hotel and cancelation policies, I did not read this last sentence anymore.

A few days later I found out that there was 92, 04 Euro deducted from my credit card by Star Hotel B&B London. I wrote an email to booking.com to ask for an explanation. I received following answer of booking.com:

6/10/2011
Dear Berto V.
Thank you for contacting Booking.com.
Please be advised that following your recent email, the hotel does charge the first nights fee if a booking has 5 or more nights.
This information is highlighted under 'Important information' on the hotels page on our website. [see below]
=== For booking of 5 nights or more, the hotel charges a non-refundable deposit equivalent to one nights' stay. ===
Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions.
Thank you again for choosing Booking.com. We wish you a very pleasant stay at Star Hotel - B&B
Kind regards,
Ryan H.
Customer Service Team

After reading this email I wondered why booking.com would want to give such misleading information on their website. This last sentence of the whole booking was completely in contradiction of all the information given before. I wrote them a complaint about this, and received the following answer:

9/10/2011
Dear Berto V.
Thank you for contacting Booking.com.
We apologise for any confusion this issue may have caused.
Hotels can set restrictions for their property and they have it listed online separately from the cancellation and deposit policy because of how the system works. The computer system is unable to change the details in a policy based on a restriction. The hotel will list the restriction separately to make guests aware of the restriction and its effects on the policy. To protect the hotels, the restrictions do supersede the general policies and are set by the hotels.
Once again thank you for contacting Booking.com. Please contact us if you have any concerns or questions.
Kind regards,
Sarah M.
Customer Service Team

So booking.com will not take the responsibility for the content on their own site, because of how their system works? I wrote them an email again to ask why they blame the system and I received following answer from booking.com:

15/10/2011
Dear Berto V.
Thank you for contacting Booking.com.
We are sorry to hear of your continued dissatisfaction in Booking.com and the Star Hotel - B&B. I completely understand your frustration and sincerely apologise for the time it is taking to resolve your concerns.
I appreciate that it is very likely that you selected the Star Hotel - B&B in part because of its description and facilities as advertised on our website. However, as previously mentioned, the hotels themselves are responsible for all the information provided to you. Booking.com acts as an intermediary between the guest and the hotel and is therefore responsible for delivering the reservation correctly to the hotel. Once the hotel has confirmed the reservation it then becomes their responsibility to accommodate the guests.
I have called the hotel and have kindly requested that they make an exception and refund you the amount for the first night. Unfortunately the manager Luigi is not willing to make an exception and explained that on the website it states before and after making the booking that when booking 5 nights or more a non refundable deposit is mandatory. He explained that he has refused many people for this period you have booked and can not afford to loose all those days, hence this policy.
Should you wish to pursue this complaint further, we advise you to contact the hotel directly and speak with Luigi the manager on the details below.
Star Hotel - B&B
Phone: +442076032755
Fax : +442076030948
Email: info@star-hotel.net
We would like to confirm that we have documented your concerns and valuable feedback.
Again, I am extremely sorry for the disappointment that this has caused you. We hope that despite this unfortunate situation, you will consider using Booking.com in the future.
Kind regards,
Simon S.
Customer Service Team

So now they blame the Hotel for the misleading information on their site. I wrote them an email again to ask why they now blame the hotel, and I received following answer from booking.com: (this time in Dutch)

16/10/2011
Geachte Berto V.
Hartelijk dank dat u contact heeft opgenomen met Booking.com.
Ter verduidelijking stuur ik u nogmaals de tekst die vermeld staat op onze website, onder het kopje " Belangrijke informatie".
==Voor boekingen van 5 nachten of meer brengt het hotel een niet-restitueerbare aanbetaling in rekening, gelijk aan de kosten van 1 overnachting.==
We begrijpen dat u hier over heen hebt gelezen en dat u zich hiervan dus niet bewust was. Dit vinden we erg vervelend.
Echter, op het moment dat u boekt gaat u akkoord met de voorwaarden van het hotel. Het is dan ook uw verantwoording om deze voorwaarden en informatie door te lezen, alvorens u hiermee akkoord gaat.
Mocht u nog vragen hebben, aarzel dan niet om contact met ons op te nemen.
Nogmaals bedankt dat u contact heeft opgenomen met Booking.com. Wij hopen dat wij uw keuze blijven voor uw toekomstige online reserveringen.
Met vriendelijke groet,
Iris K.
Customer Service Team

For the ones who don't understand Dutch, now they blame me, the customer. I am responsible for reading all information, even it is in contradiction of the hotel policies, the cancelation policy, the room description, and the payment guarantee. Not once they took their own responsibility for the content on their site, which is very misleading. I am still on a holiday, but when I come back I will counsel I lawyer. I have given booking.com more then enough options to come up with a proper solution. They do not take me serious. Even though I always sign my emails with my own name as well, they only signed their answers to Berto V. my partner. In the subject of my last emails I asked an answer from a Manager, but they didn't felt the urge to apply to my request.
Comments United Kingdom Unauthorized Charges
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Comments

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 31st of Oct, 2011 by   Booking.com_CR 0 Votes
Dear Sas70,

Your feedback is very important to us, we will send you a direct message and are looking into this for you.

Kind regards,
Your Booking.com Team
 31st of Oct, 2011 by   successones 0 Votes
I don't trust you Booking CR...

And I really don't trust Booking.com come to think of it. I've read a number of quite alarming things about this establishment.

Why don't you make actual hotel-bookings "on the spot" like Cheap Tickets.com and other services such as Kayak, indeed do?

What is the reason for making such a delayed booking whether its on a flight, a hotel, or a service? I wonder who is in charge of operations. Sorry you had such a bad experience. I encourage visitors to buy their hotel reservation in advance from a professional ticketing agent, such as Kayak or Priceline. Do not count Booking.com is my advice.
 31st of Oct, 2011 by   successones 0 Votes
Sorry to hear about your situation. I'm concerned about the polices of Booking and the Booking CR based on my research.

Indeed I have to wonder...why does Booking dot com not arbitrarily book reservations for hotels/services the same day like Cheap Tickets or Kayak does?

There shouldn't be a reason for making delayed reservations. Some of these rules don't even make sense. My one piece of advice is go with a reserve service that reserves the flight and hotel the same day, such as Priceline.
 31st of Oct, 2011 by   successones 0 Votes
Sorry to hear about your situation. I'm concerned about the polices of Booking based on my research. Indeed I have to wonder...why does Booking not book reservations for hotels/services the same day like Cheap Tickets or Kayak does?
There shouldn't be a reason for making delayed reservations. Some of these rules don't even make sense. My one piece of advice is go with a reserve service that reserves the flight and hotel the same day, such as Travelocity
 21st of Apr, 2012 by   John Broadbent 0 Votes
as a hotel owner your booking made with booking.com is that a booking. they charge the hotel a commission for the booking
the booking cannot be cancelled by the hotel, only the booker can cancel. see the individual hotels cancellation policy.if you cancel within the policy rules you will not be charged . if you cancel within 24hours of your stay you will be charged the first night. if you do not turn up you will be charged the first night unless the hotel has a different policy. you must read all the terms and conditions not just the first page that only generally covers booking.com further reading will reveal the hotels terms and conditions

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