Booking.com- Booked 2 different hotels due to website glitch

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Sep 12, 2019
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#1
I tried Booking a room (which we use for most of our vacation bookings) for 3 people at one hotel in Amsterdam on Aug 26, 2019. I entered all the information requested and hit send/book, it came back with a red square stating that the booking did not go through due to that room was no longer available and I needed to choose a different room, but the other rooms offered by this hotel would not accommodate 3 people. So I backed out of that page, waited a few minutes and checked my email and I had nothing from Booking.com. Since that one supposedly did not go through I searched and found another hotel, a little more expensive, and booked that one. I checked my email again and I had 2 emails, booking confirmations for both hotels. I called Booking.com and explained the issue and that representative stated he would send an email to the second hotel asking to cancel their booking, explaining about the double booking issue due to their website.
On Aug 27th I went to the Booking.com website and sent my own cancellation request through their website, hoping hearing from a customer would help. After not hearing a response that day I went to the second hotels website and sent another request. I received a response on Aug 28th, they stated Booking.com had never contacted them and I should request through booking.com and denied the cancellation request. I responded and asked for for them to reconsider. On Aug 30th they responded and stated that they finally heard from Booking.com that day and they stated the error lies with them.
I emailed Booking.com's customer service explaining that they did not contact the second hotel in a reasonable time and it was their website that caused this double booking, and it was not right or fair that I have to pay $450.46 for that hotel room. They offered 10% of the cancellation fee. I responded stating
10% of the cancellation fee is not acceptable and that I would never have booked the second hotel if your website had not come up with the page stating the room at the first hotel was no longer available. and that is not right or fair that I am being charged for Booking.com's website glitch. They responded and decided to increase the compensation amount to 25% , which is 112.62. I still do not believe that is fair. I would never have booked that second Hotel if it was not for their website glitch. I believe I should get a full refund.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#3
Specifics (yours)
  • On Aug 26, 2019 I used Booking.com to reserve hotel rooms for three (3) people
  • After pressing "Send" the site displayed a red square - room no longer available
  • I waited a few minutes and checked my email - nothing from booking.com
  • I then booked another hotel, checked my email again and I had 2 emails now
  • I called booking.com, explained the issue, and that representative stated he would email the second hotel requesting cancellation
  • On Aug 27th I sent my own cancellation request to Booking.com
  • I also sent another request via the second hotel's website
  • On Aug 28th, they stated booking.com had never contacted them and denied the cancellation request
  • I responded and asked for for them to reconsider
  • On Aug 30th they responded that they finally heard from Booking.com but that the error lies with them
  • I then emailed customer service at Booking.com and explained that since they did not contact the second hotel in a reasonable time I have to pay $450.46 for that hotel room
  • Booking.com has offered a 25% refund
A full refund is a reasonable next step, in my opinion. You can appeal this to Booking.com using the contacts on this site.


Please read this article before reaching out to them.

Writing suggestions
Do not use inflammatory language - be polite and professional
Do not start with the CEO - begin at the lowest level indicated in the list shown below
Present a brief summary (list) of your case and give each contact one (1) week to respond before escalating to the next level
 
Last edited:

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,661
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San Francisco
#4
This is awful, Larry, a story that we hear far too often. Online booking services are fine as long as everything works, if there's a glitch, the customer is usually out of luck. If the hotels were booked with a non-ref rate, they won't back down. The service will resist any refund. If the bookings were refundable, you have a chance. Follow VoR's guidance.
FOR OUR OTHER READERS When booking hotels, use the hotel's website and book directly. This is the kind of problem that can be solved with a quick phone call to the hotel. If you insist on using an online service and get an error message, don't wait a "few minutes", wait a WEEK before doing another booking. The online services operate on volume and have very little customer service. Their money is spent on slick websites and advertising. They take your booking and pass it on to the hotel, that's about it.
 
Likes: VoR61
Sep 19, 2015
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#5
One thing I have learned — a momentary website glitch does not mean the info did not go through.

I had a problem with an online donation to a charity — ended up donating twice — ok my mistake — as it was two charges to the same place and same amount credit card flagged it but I just accepted it.

For future reference one should check the profile page to see what active bookings one has — if the booking was made when signed in — and be a little patient in waiting for an email — or call the company.

Also when getting an error message take a screen shot — so to have proof.

When is the date of the stay?

At this point all you can do is write to the executives and politely request a refund.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
2,214
2,560
113
Maui Hawaii
#6
Specifics (yours)
  • On Aug 26, 2019 I used Booking.com to reserve hotel rooms for three (3) people
  • After pressing "Send" the site displayed a red square - room no longer available
  • I waited a few minutes and checked my email - nothing from booking.com
  • I then booked another hotel, checked my email again and I had 2 emails now
  • I called booking.com, explained the issue, and that representative stated he would email the second hotel requesting cancellation
  • On Aug 27th I sent my own cancellation request to Booking.com
  • I also sent another request via the second hotel's website
  • On Aug 28th, they stated booking.com had never contacted them and denied the cancellation request
  • I responded and asked for for them to reconsider
  • On Aug 30th they responded that they finally heard from Booking.com but that the error lies with them
  • I then emailed customer service at Booking.com and explained that since they did not contact the second hotel in a reasonable time I have to pay $450.46 for that hotel room
  • Booking.com has offered a 25% refund
A full refund is a reasonable next step, in my opinion. You can appeal this to Booking.com using the contacts on this site.


Please read this article before reaching out to them.

Writing suggestions
Do not use inflammatory language - be polite and professional
Do not start with the CEO - begin at the lowest level indicated in the list shown below
Present a brief summary (list) of your case and give each contact one (1) week to respond before escalating to the next level
Booking.com and BOOKIT.COM are two entirely different entities. The OP is dealing with BOOKING.COM.
https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/booking-com/
 
Likes: VoR61

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
2,214
2,560
113
Maui Hawaii
#7
One thing I have learned — a momentary website glitch does not mean the info did not go through.

I had a problem with an online donation to a charity — ended up donating twice — ok my mistake — as it was two charges to the same place and same amount credit card flagged it but I just accepted it.

For future reference one should check the profile page to see what active bookings one has — if the booking was made when signed in — and be a little patient in waiting for an email — or call the company.

Also when getting an error message take a screen shot — so to have proof.

When is the date of the stay?

At this point all you can do is write to the executives and politely request a refund.
Always check the website while signed in to your profile before proceeding with any additional bookings, esp if booking non-refundable rates.
 
May 1, 2018
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#8
For the curious bunch here, the technical problem experienced by the OP is known as the Two Generals' Problem. It is proven to be unsolvable. In short, you cannot trust a confirmation page (or a confirmation failure like the OP saw) because there is no way for the computers (yours and the booking site) to reach a consensus. What this means in practical terms is you need to take a screenshot of every confirmation page or wait for a confirmation email to come through.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
2,214
2,560
113
Maui Hawaii
#9
For the curious bunch here, the technical problem experienced by the OP is known as the Two Generals' Problem. It is proven to be unsolvable. In short, you cannot trust a confirmation page (or a confirmation failure like the OP saw) because there is no way for the computers (yours and the booking site) to reach a consensus. What this means in practical terms is you need to take a screenshot of every confirmation page or wait for a confirmation email to come through.
And go back to your profile on the website in question and see if there is a booking.
 
Likes: VoR61
Sep 12, 2019
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#15
I wrote the to the second person on the list of contacts and that person just forwarded it to the same person and they are still only offering the 25% refund. She also stated "Unfortunately, whoever receives your message for this issue will forward it to me since I am in charge of your case now". So it is useless to write any of the other on the list.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,717
18,384
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#16
Not necessarily. I would continue up the chain.
Just an FYI- not every case here results in an outcome the way the consumer wants but we always encourage you to write all the way up the chain.

Their argument is going to be that they did send you an email although it might not have been immediate. If you had booked a regular cancelable rate you would have been able to cancel one of these.

This is a reason that nonrefundable might not be a good idea for the little amount you save - and not just when there is a computer glitch. Too many people have to change their plans after booking and don’t understand nonrefundable is just that.

I hope this post makes people think twice about the pitfalls of nonrefundable rates.