Confirmation Confusion, No Room, Who is Responsible

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Sep 20, 2015
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#1
I have questions about booking lodging through online travel agencies on TripAdvisor:

Twice on a recent vacation I had the same problem twice and would like to both understand and prevent a future repetition. I checked hotel rankings on TripAdvisor and then for convenience, booked online using their links. The 1st time, I didn't receive a confirmation. I called the hotel and they told me they'd received the reservation and then called back to say it had been cancelled by "Priceline." I hadn't booked on Priceline.

The 2nd time, I did receive an email confirmation, after using Booking.com through TripAdvisor website for a La Quinta. (I had resolved to never book through TripAdvisor website again, but I was in a remote location, wifi very sluggish, it was Friday, and La Quinta was not answering my direct phone call.) At 9 PM on evening of reservation, La Quinta called to say they were sorry they'd overbooked. Did I want to pay extra $ for a different room? They also referred to Priceline, even though I hadn't used Priceline to my knowledge.

I tried lodging a complaint through TripAdvisor, Booking.com and quickly found that customer service was not accessible.

Basically, I hope someone can help me understand more about the online travel agencies, their relationship to the hotels they book, who is responsible/accountable for these kinds of issues, and why did the hotels identify Priceline even if I hadn't used Priceline? Thank you, EJ Helferd
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#2
I answered your question on your other thread.
It appears that when you go through TripAdvisor, it doles out reservations to other OTA's. When you book through an OTA you are usually booking a lower rate than the hotels. WHen a hotel is oversold, the first reservations that are canceled are the ones that have paid the lowest price - which is usually through an OTA. That's how they work.
Use those sites as a guideline and then book directly through the hotel website you are considering. You can be pretty sure you won't have your res. canceled if you are overbooked. I saw this with my own eyes in Mexico at a resort that was oversold. The ones who were walked to other hotels were all booked through online agencies.
Or book through a travel agent who have the ability to go directly to the hotel and get your room for you.
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
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#4
Tripadvisor's link probably brought you into Priceline, where you booked your reservation. Really, just don't book anything through a third party website. Go to the hotel's own website or call their own 800-number. They will almost always match whatever rate you are seeing on an OTA anyway.
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
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#5
I just started to make a random reservation through Tripadvisor at a La Quinta in California. It is NOT Tripadvisor that the reservation goes through - the reservation page says "Getaroom will charge your card." Getaroom is an aggregator just like Priceline, only worse, apparently. I think you didn't read carefully but it's very confusing.
 
B

bodega3

Guest
#6
You know, there are just too many places to find hotel rooms and it is confusing. Sadly, DIY'ers aren't finding out what they booked until after they give a credit card. Tripadvisor, Kayak are search engines and they direct you to another company for the reservation.
 
Likes: AMA
Jan 8, 2015
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#7
The second booking I think was covered by the other thread. The first one though I think Priceline owes you an explanation. I'm also assuming your card was not charged for the first booking. (wondering if it is possible that the charge card used has an issue, or that the bank had maybe flagged the card?)

We have Priceline contacts in our contacts link. I would inquire with their customer service via email to see what what happened in your specific case.

I use trip advisor only for reviews. I then try to go through the hotel site directly or call them after that. In some cases I may book with travelocity or another third party site directly as I KNOW who I am going through. It seems with Tripadvisor you are at the mercy of whomever they link you to.
 
Likes: jsn55
Aug 28, 2015
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#8
Because you may have used Priceline. Tripadvisor is a search engine but now seems to have partnered with Getaroom for bookings. When tripadvisor provides a list of prices, one of those is "tripadvisor"/Getaroom. The rest are the usual mix of Expedia, Priceline, etc. if you selected the best rate then it may have been Priceline and you then booked through them. As the others said, for future, after price comparing, go directly to the hotel website and book there. If its price is higher- not always an apples and apples comparison as sometimes there is breakfast, free wifi, etc- then call the hotel and ask them to honor the lower price you think you found.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#9
There was just an article in one of our travel agent magazines about lookalike websites and the fact that hotels are getting up in arms about these. They are having problems with people arriving with no reservations and many other problems.

You really have to be careful before you book an airline ticket or hotel room to make sure you are booking through a legitimate website, not a look alike site or a site such as Trip Advisor that doles out bookings to other agencies.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 1, 2015
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KSNA
#10
You really have to be careful before you book an airline ticket or hotel room to make sure you are booking through a legitimate website, not a look alike site or a site such as Trip Advisor that doles out bookings to other agencies.
Many browser programs such as Google Chrome, Firefox, etc. have security settings that will warn when one website (xxx.com) redirects to another website (yyy.com). Security software such as Kaspersky Security, McAfee, Norton, etc. also do that.

It's a good way to be alerted to situations like this. Nowadays, separate security software is mandatory to prevent openly malicious events such as "pfishing" that inconspicuously divert to unintended websites.
 
Likes: George M
#12
The only safe and sure way to book is to use Kayak and TripAdvisor to search for what's available and then go to the real hotel's site for the actual booking.

I'm a Hilton kind of guy so I gravitate toward their brands. Maybe you're a Marriott person. Look at their panoply of offerings. Try IHG if you have a branded credit card. Etc., etc.

I speak from (bad) experience: save the national brands' websites in your browser's "favorites" and use those links, and only those links, for your final bookings.

Do not, under any circumstances, book a room from a site that you're not familiar with. Check the URL in your browser before you hit the "Purchase" button and be mindful of the security settings that @kenish has referenced.

Be careful out there.
 
Likes: jsn55

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#13
My colleagues are so wise! I occasionally book through one of the major OTAs when the hotel does not take direct bookings, particularly the country places in Europe. No idea why, but I absolutely hate calling!
I think the easiest and most successful habit to develop is to LOOK at the URL. If it's not the hotel or the OTA you want, just get outta there. This has served me well.