Hotels-rates.com uses deceptive business practices to book rooms then refuses to cancel them requested.
I booked a room thinking I was dealing with best western the customer service person booked the room but before ending the call he identity his business name. I told him right then I wanted to cancel.he said he could not cancel it that I agreed to the terms I explained I agree before he identity himself. He said that I had nochoice that iI had to call customer service. I called customer service they refused saying the same thing that I agreed to the terms and they would charge my card they said I had no options that was their policy. I did use the booking under pressure of loosing 240.00$ I believe they should have canceled when I asked so I could call best western on my own.
Change in their polices and an apology.
Business' Initial Response
I disagree that we used any deceptive business practices. We display our phone number on our own website only. The domain name of the website is Hotels-Rates.com. This name appears in the address bar, in the header of every page, in the copyright information in the footer, in our About Us, etc. That in no way implies that we are **** ******** The fact that we list hotels from all chains should also be a clear indication that we are not the Best Western chain website.
The fact that Mr. ***** didn't pay attention to the website he was on and was confused is not proof of dishonesty on our part. I would encourage him to go back to the page he found our phone number on and really look at it. There is nothing on the page to indicate that we are anything other than a booking agency. Everything on our site shows clearly that we book for many different hotel chains.
In addition to this, the fact that he didn't want to book with a third party does not change the fact that he listened to and agreed to the cancel policy before our agent placed the reservation. By making the reservation for him, our company is immediately liable to pay for the stay - whether he uses it or not. In all instances, if the hotel agrees not to charge us, we do not charge our customers. In his case, the hotel was unwilling to release us from the cancel policy - so we were unable to release him from the cancel policy that he agreed to when he made the reservation. There is nothing dishonest about the process.
I also do not agree that he used the stay only because of the pressure of the $240. The $240 was the rate that he agreed to pay at the hotel in which he wanted to stay. We did not force or coerce him to do anything. He called the phone number on our page and our agent assisted him with reserving a room at the hotel he desired.
I am sorry that he was confused and feels that we were being dishonest - however, that was simply not the case. Had he booked a rate with a more lenient cancel policy we would have been happy to cancel for him. Unfortunately, the rate he chose had a strict cancel policy and simply didn't allow for a refund at that point.
Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The tone has changed but not the issue. Whoever is responding, I can only hope that it is **** ****** the President of the of the company I have this dispute with, Because it should be someone who has the power to make the necessary changes that would make it so that the public is no longer being duped. They also keep falling back on their cancel policy as a defense, they don't seem to understand that the policies are the problem not to mention their ads that lead you to believe that they are someone who they are not, in this case **** ******** They do not identify themselves until after you agree to they so called cancel policy by that time its too late, according to them to cancel. any reasonable person would not see a problem with being able to cancel there and then and if it is, for internet programming inc. then they should get out of the travel and hospitality business all together. And by saying that I am not being intentionally dishonest is laughable sense all the deception is being perpetrated by Internet Programming Inc. or was that, Hotels-Rates.com or was that, Internet Hotel Reservations or was that The Reservation Desk. Yes its confusing and because its being done on the internet does not mean they have the right to deceive hard working people and get away with it. This has obviously just begun and this company is not willing to accept responsibility for its actions.
Business' Final Response
I'm very sorry that Mr. ***** is still under the impression that we were dishonest and misrepresented ourselves to him. I also did not intend to be rude in my response, however I do feel very strongly that his accusations are unfair and untrue. It is difficult to disagree strongly in a manner that doesn't feel confrontational to the other party.
I have personally reviewed the sales call with Mr. ***** and I disagree that he was mislead intentionally by our agent. Our agent made it clear during the call that he could book anywhere and Mr. ***** simply stated that he wanted to stay in a Best Western.
After the hotel was chosen, Mr. ***** then agreed to the terms and policies, and received the confirmation number. Had he, at the point he was asked if he agreed to the terms and policies, refused - he would have had no reservation and the cancel policy and our status as a travel agency would have been irrelevant.
However, he did not do so. He agreed to the terms and policies and our agent made the reservation. After the reservation was made, we were immediately contracted with the hotel to pay for the stay regardless of whether or not he used the reservation. The cancel policies are relative to the distance from the check in date and have nothing whatsover to do with the length of time the reservation has existed. This point was made very clear to him during the agent's recap. Because Mr. ***** was booking for the day of arrival, his reservation was immediately non-refundable.
After the reservation was made, Mr. ***** claimed he never wanted to stay in Santa Barbara, and that he only agreed to the terms and policies because he assumed we were the **** ******* direct. The sales agent advised him to refer back to the cancellation policy, and apologized for the confusion. Mr. ***** then requested to cancel the reservation, and the agent suggested he contact the customer service line.
Our sales agents are not able to cancel reservations because that function is part of a completely different computer system. Cancellations are only made through customer service. This is not a dishonest practice as you will notice that in most businesses, the sales department is separate from the customer service department.
I do believe that Mr. ***** is not being intentionally dishonest. He seems to be very sincere in his complaint. However, the facts are simply not as he recalls them. We identified ourselves as he suggested we should, we provided him with his request for a room, and he was able to stay in the room.
We have already processed a courtesy credit to him in the amount of $20 on 5/13/2013. I am able to extend him an additional courtesy credit of $40 as an acknowledgement of his misunderstanding, but this is the maximum that we are able to process as he did actually use the room and we have had to pay the hotel.