Expedia cancellations policy and extra charges

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Apr 25, 2018
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Beware of Expedia's policies with some of their new hotels, they are not always clearly defined up front. I made a reservation to stay at a serviced apartment in London for July 2018. This is a new concept to me as we don't have these types of accommodations in the US to my knowledge. I proceeded to enter the number of people staying in the apartment (family of 4) and booked a family apartment which had 3 beds--plenty of space for my family. It stated that extra charges may apply for additional guests but didn't disclose what they were. When you enter the number of people in the search, you would think it calculates the extra fees---don't be fooled. I got charged $735 extra for 2 additional children. That is outrageous, as the room accommodates 6 as stated in the description and I didn't have any additional guests from what I requested in the reservation. So, I decided that once I got the confirmation e-mail, that I wasn't ok with this and wanted to cancel. Mind you, this was within 24 hours of making the reservation and for a reservation 5 months in advance. Well, they charged me a 50% cancellation fee. That included 50% of the extra person charge. So, I had to pay $1113 for a room that I am not staying in that was cancelled almost immediately.

So, I proceeded to fight this with Expedia. They kept going back to the hotel to ask for a refund and they wouldn't budge. I spoke to many customer service agents and no luck in getting back my $1113. Needless to say, I am very aggravated. I contacted my credit card to dispute the charges and am still waiting for resolution.

Overall, be very careful about cancellation policies. They are often unclear and extra charges that aren't outlined upfront can be added. Be especially careful when travelling to other countries as their cancellation policies are very different!
If anyone has any advice on how I can fight these charges further, I would love input. In the meantime, I will never use Expedia and their affiliates to book my reservations!
 
Sep 19, 2015
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I just looked at some serviced apartment bookings on Expedia. Several I looked at had rates that can be changed — option 2 vs option 1 which is non refundable. Unfortunately it is unlikely that one will win a credit card dispute if one chose the non refundable and Expedia is pretty clear — at least on the mobile site. And the cost difference for the one I looked at was 10 percent higher for a more flexible rate.

There is no legislation that mandates 24 hour cancellation for hotels.

I will not book a prepaid non refundable rate any more after losing money on a rental prepaid room.

Many of these places give a “base” rate for x amount of people and then charge extra. Extra people means extra maid service and utility use I would surmise.

Was this a small business or part of a larger chain?
 

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Apr 25, 2018
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I just looked at some serviced apartment bookings on Expedia. Several I looked at had rates that can be changed — option 2 vs option 1 which is non refundable. Unfortunately it is unlikely that one will win a credit card dispute if one chose the non refundable and Expedia is pretty clear — at least on the mobile site. And the cost difference for the one I looked at was 10 percent higher for a more flexible rate.

There is no legislation that mandates 24 hour cancellation for hotels.

I will not book a prepaid non refundable rate any more after losing money on a rental prepaid room.

Many of these places give a “base” rate for x amount of people and then charge extra. Extra people means extra maid service and utility use I would surmise.

Was this a small business or part of a larger chain?
This was a small business and a newer client of Expedia. The minute I pressed reserve I realized I had made a mistake. Then when I got the confirmation, it added the extra charge for two of my kids.
 
Apr 25, 2018
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I agree with Christina- unless you have Travel
Insurance that will cover a reason you need to cancel- never book nonrefundable rates.
I would not have! Because I was still shopping around and comparing places. I never would have if i realized. I never heard of a cancellation policy that is 50% refund until 7 days before and no refund when it is within 24 hours. This reservation was for 5 months ahead. The landlord is trying to make some quick money for nothing!
 
Sep 19, 2015
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I would not have! Because I was still shopping around and comparing places. I never would have if i realized. I never heard of a cancellation policy that is 50% refund until 7 days before and no refund when it is within 24 hours. This reservation was for 5 months ahead. The landlord is trying to make some quick money for nothing!
Unfortunately different accommodations have different cancellation policies -- sometimes the same hotel will have a better cancellation policy if one books direct.

I found another listing that has the 50 percent cancellation policy -- all one has to do is click the blue cancellation policy and the policy is listed -- this one does not claim to be refundable at all. This is what will be problematic with a chargeback.

I lost money on a prepaid -- thankfully only $90 -- I was absolutely sure I was going to go on the trip -- so I also learned the hard way. I check every cancellation policy. A few years ago I made a reservation for a hotel in London, at the refundable rate -- then a friend told me that the nearest underground station would be closed for refurbishment during my stay -- so I cancelled and booked a different one.

And yes I think the 50 percent cancellation fee is very steep and would never book in such a place.
 

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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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I would not have! Because I was still shopping around and comparing places. I never would have if i realized. I never heard of a cancellation policy that is 50% refund until 7 days before and no refund when it is within 24 hours. This reservation was for 5 months ahead. The landlord is trying to make some quick money for nothing!
This is such a shame. An online booking service is just that ... they represent travel providers and take orders. There is no customer service and their website representations are rather slap-dash. They know that people rarely read the fine print, even more rarely ask questions ... they generate a huge amount of revenue from customers who need to cancel a res.

Unfortunately, you were "just shopping" and apparently were going to book some properties so you could later decide which one to keep. Unless you know every detail of the cancellation policies, this is a most dangerous and expensive process.

I had an issue with Expedia (last time I ever used an OBS) several years ago about ref/non-ref properties. I proved to them that what I booked was refundable but it took 6 or 8 months for them to "give in". Expedia insisted that I call them, and I refused. It was an online transaction, why would I waste hours of my time explaining the situation to call center agents and waiting for their "supervisors"? Expedia finally cancelled the res and gave me a credit, didn't even have the courtesy to notify me. These are not the kind of people you want to do business with. They have learned that through clever marketing, travellers think the internet is their friend ... nothing could be further from the truth.

On the surface, it seems that you are stuck paying the fee because you agreed to their policies without knowing what they were. I think you have a small chance to receive a credit for maybe half the amount. The apt/hotel does not have your money, Expedia does and they can refund you if they're so inclined. I would write an email following our procedures and be prepared to persist for months. We find that freely admitting that you made a mistake and "artfully begging" for an exception to be quite successful. Good lock, and please let us know the outcome.