Priceline.combait and switch

This review was posted by
a verified customer
Verified customer

Priceline Trip number: [protected]***
Hotel Confirmation: [protected]***

To Whom This May Concern,

On July 2 I booked a hotel through your site. I booked the Surfside Hotel and Suites in Provincetown, MA for one night, August 7th 2010. The room that was booked was for 2 double beds courtside. I received a confirmation email stating my reservation was complete.

My party and I drove 6 hours to get to this hotel. Upon check in, the hotel manager said that they have me reserved for a king bed. I replied saying I had confirmed 2 double beds and showed her my email which stated 2 double beds. She then showed me the Priceline confirmation which they received from your company which stated 1 king. This would not have ordinarily been a problem however this hotel was booked completely. There were no other rooms they could give us. We then asked for 2 cots seeing that there would not be enough room for 4 ladies to sleep. They replied that all cots had been reserved. At this point we were given a pile of sheets and blankets and told, "Looks like some of you will be on the floor".

We then asked if they would help us locate an alternate hotel as this was not right for us to pay $256 for 2 of us to sleep on the floor. We were told that this was peak season for the area and all hotels were sold out. The manager then told us that we should contact Priceline as they were the party at fault for submitting the wrong information.

We took the keys to the room and headed up 3 flights to our king room. Once there and settled, I called the Priceline customer service line. After speaking with the first agent, she transferred me to a customer advocate.

I explained the situation to the customer advocate and he insisted that Priceline submitted the correct information to the hotel. I advised him that the manager showed me the Priceline information and it did state from your company that I had reserved 1 king room. I told him we were at a loss because first, we drove 6 hours with traffic to this hotel I had reserved a month previous. There were no other hotels within a 50 mile radius that had any type of vacancy being that this was peak season. I also explained that there were no cots we could rent from the hotel.

The customer advocate told me that all he could do was cancel my reservation minus the deposit. I was told by your company that I would lose out on $128 and have no hotel room after driving 6 hours and I was out of luck. I was told that it was not their problem and it was the hotel's fault. I told the customer advocate that this was completely unacceptable and I wished to speak with his manager. He refused to transfer my call stating that there was no one else I could speak with. He said if I had a problem with that then I could send you an email, which is what I am doing now.

I said I was extremely upset about the situation. This overnight vacation was for my best friend whom is about to be married and we wanted a girl's night out. We had made dinner reservations and bought tickets for a show that if we had left, we would also lose out another $100 for the show tickets. I asked if there was some type of compensation whether it is partial or not seeing that your company has a guarantee that we get what we pay for. We did not get what we paid for, we got taken advantage of. His response was simply, “I am sorry if you are not satisfied with the answer I have given you. Thank you for calling Priceline. Goodbye."

My party and I spent the night in this hotel because again there were no other vacancies within a 50 mile radius. The bride slept on the floor along with the maid of honor because they felt terrible that we went through all this trouble and had been taken advantage of. We had booked this specifically so we were close to our show and dinner reservations. We booked it through your company because we felt that it was a good company to use. We have used your company before and always have been satisfied.

I am now left completely unsatisfied with this experience. I am left embarrassed because my bride had to sleep on the floor. I paid $256 to have 2 of the 4 ladies sleep on the floor. I paid $256 to at least have a roof over our heads and to avoid losing out on a 50% deposit and show ticket costs. I am left feeling cheated by your company. I am left feeling that I did everything right and I got taken advantage of.

So, I am writing you this letter to see what your company can do for me. This was not in any way my fault. This was Priceline's fault for submitting the wrong information and having absolutely no solution the remedy this mistake. I feel that I should be entitled to some type of monetary reimbursement seeing that this was Priceline's fault. I do not want a voucher for future vacations as I am no longer interested in using your company for any type of travel.

I would like a call back from you once you have received this letter. I also plan on post- mailing this as well. I feel that I deserve the respect of a follow up with this information at the earliest convenience. Thank you so much for your time in reading this letter. And please let me know if you need to verify any information. The hotel has also offered their assistance with this as well. You can contact the hotel manager, Elizabeth and she will be more than happy to fax you any necessary paperwork you would need.


Elizabeth J****


  • Yo
    You Pay For What You Get Jul 23, 2009

    I reserved a room through Priceline for Saturday [protected] in Elk City, Oklahoma. For what I thought was the agreed lowest price of $59.99. When we arrived that evening the Hotel boasted a sign advertising a special rate for $39.00 for a double. A kitchenette was additional...the hotel sign suggested it offered a hot breakfast but after first contact we were swabbing with anti-bacterial wet-ones (I have photos of the sign). The hotel manager said the price we was quoted was not any good and charged us $69.99 for the room. We had just left my mother’s estate sale and had emotionally been drained and weren’t up to re-negotiating a price over the counter plus we were already locked in with Priceline’s secured credit card hold. Which the manager boasting in cheek and tongue held up and kept reminding us American Express would honor. What’s worse we got to the room and "seedy" would have been an upgrade! A former Holiday Inn across the street had just lost its branding due to crime in the vicinity (we would find out later from a family also victimized) and our door peephole was stuffed closed with paper. To add to that there were no deadbolts nor did it have privacy tags and the cleaning crew opened the door at 8:00 A.M. wanting us out. Checkout was due at 11:00 A.M. This is the first time I used Priceline and the last time that I will use Priceline because I'd rather spend $150./per night for peace of mind and a bit of restful sleep than slum on the lamb with a group of hotels that can't get business unless it’s through a cheap marketing expose! What’s worse is how much is William Shatner selling his soul for to appear in these cheap, bait and switch commercials has he got his movies mixed up and gone Spaceballs?

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  • Dl
    dlakers Jul 25, 2009

    lol...another idiot thinking something is the good ole "Bait and Switch"

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  • Zi
    zingo Aug 04, 2009

    We have been looking for a vacation to Puerto Rico and seemed to have some very good rates. The problem is EVERY time you see the package on there site for the unbelievable rate, and go through the whole process to purchase it will not process the order and take you back to a MUCH higher price!!!

    What happens is once you try to pay for it, it acts like it is processing then redirects you back to the same package at a much higher rate. I tried it about 5 times waiting for the low price to come back. My wife tried it several times at work, I tried from different computers and always the same result.

    Called priceline to complain and they just acted like they have never heard this before or the package must have got bought. I am looking at it today and there it is the same low price again. Also looking on the web this is a common Bait and Switch uses. William Shatner now is on my crap list.

    I took a screen print to see if Priceline would honor there price, and they would not do it.

    Basically they show you the good price to bait you, then switch to the real price. What a scam. I finally bought through Orbitz and paid the normal price and has no issues.

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  • Eileen (er, "Principissa" or "norman bates" or whatever you are calling yourself when you read this) - try letting people get answers to their concerns instead of trolling 10 threads (at last count) trying to annoy people that actually HELP legitimate complaints. If you REALLY have a need to attack people to make yourself feel better, join a ###-fighting club or something. Leave the grown-up stuff to the grown-ups... ok?

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  • An
    Angryasheck Aug 05, 2009, which I've used quite a bit, does the same thing (show one price and you book and it's mysteriously "gone" then you check again in an hour and it's still there only to disappear when you try in vain to book it again)
    So I think these bait and switch tactics are a result of the current economy because they didn't used to do that before. In other words, I think now there is some self-serving fine print in the pages and pages of tiny print lawyers claim we should be reading, but knowing damn well almost no one is, that says that your price may change (and by "may" we know they mean "will")

    I stopped using this year because of these stupid tiny legal print games. Try going directly to the airlines as early as you can in your planning and use or some direct owner/hotel booking method for peace of mind and fair and above board dealings. Then as they lose angry customers, maybe priceline and expedia can save some money themselves by letting go of some of their lawyers and ad campaign designers.

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  • Lm
    lmfj3737 Aug 11, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I spoke with Oliver at the Corporate Headquarters in Norwalk CT. He advised me that just because I requested 2 doubles, and I received an email confirmation stating I paid for 2 doubles, that Priceline reserves the right to switch the rooms however they see fit. Though I requested the 2 doubles for 4 people, they booked my room based on double occupancy therefore only really requiring 1 bed.
    I then confirmed his address:
    800 Connecticut Ave
    Norwalk, CT 06856

    I also confirmed Lisa Gillingham's extension which is: 8375.

    I was also told not to expect a phone call from her because this is at her discretion. I replied that I was appalled that a multi- million dollar company would treat it's customers this way. I then replied that I was shocked that there isn't a class action lawsuit yet.

    Good to know that the FedEx letters go unanswered as someone else had stated in their complaint. I work for FedEx so good to know not to waste my money sending it even with all the fancy upgrades.

    Looks like I will contact a lawyer and send my complaint to the media. Fox News and CNN would love to run a story like this. I will let anyone know if this could turn out to be a class action suit.

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  • Re
    Really? Aug 12, 2010

    Here is a copy from Priceline's website:

    All rooms are booked for double occupancy (i.e. 2 adults) and accommodations for more than two adults are not guaranteed.

    This is on the booking page. When you book you agree to this.

    Good luck with your class action lawsuit!

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