07 July, 2007

Online Hotel Booking

Anyone booking hotel properties in the UAE or abroad, avoid this one: hotelrentalgroup.com

Basically, you go through the normal online booking process and finally come to the payment form. They indicate a total charge and even explain further in a footnote:

Once the reservation confirmed, we will charge the amount of ______ (USD).

The indicated amount is identical to the earlier mentioned total charge.

All fine and good until you receive email confirmation a day or so later. Whatever that total charge was, you are now provided a total charge which includes a $15 per person surcharge. So, if your reservation was for two persons that's an additional $30, for three persons an additional $45 and so on. Complain, and they point you to the hotel info page that, if you had scrolled down on, you would have found their $15 per person surcharge mentioned. Still, they conveniently forget to list this on the payment form where the total charge is highlighted in red minus the surcharge.

Avoid them! Try www.asiatravels.com or www.asiarooms.com.


i*maginate said...

Thanks for sharing.

Personally, I prefer not to pay online unless I have previous experience with that site, or somebody has recommended it OR it's pretty well-known. I haven't heard of this website, though.

Anyway that's totally out of order, what you've described. But then again, one must read the small print...

secretdubai said...

God that is a lot.

I think these charges should really be more or less invisible to the buyer - the website should be making its money through commission from the hotel.

But adding charges in a deceptive way like this is really wrong.

I often use Wotif.com when bookig hotels overseas, I have had some really great discounts there. It does add a surcharge, but it is not exorbitant, and I am fairly certain is it per booking not per person (which seems really obscene to me).

B.D. said...

Well, I informed the hotel about the matter--Al Hamra Fort Resort in RA--and they responded very positively saying it was a severe matter for which they would take severe action against the online agent. So that was quite an encouraging response, and they also offered a free upgrade on the booking.

fellow atheist said...

I have used a variety of websites to book hotels in the past. I've never run across such extortion and deception.

However, I think it would be worth noting how banks act when they see charges from some of those websites. I have repeatedly had my Citibank credit card suspended. They keep telling me that they have detected potentially fraudulent activities. I try to explain, but no one listens. I've had 4 different credit card numbers issued to me in a period of 3 months from them. It's rather inconvenient.

Malaysia hotels said...

I am agree with this point of view. It's happening. Now not only hotel site every type of site also doing this type of activity for marketing.

Quick Hotel Booking said...

It is safe to book online if the company is reputable (check with the Better Business Bureau). I book most of my travel online (air lines, hotels and car rentals). But do read their Fine Print, in case things do not work as it is supposed to be, to protect yourself as a customer. When you book, check if the booking is refundable or not, if it's possible to change the schedule once you purchased the bookings or not. Good luck.

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