Online Travel Booking and Bidding Agencies - Help! How can I cancel a Priceline hotel booking
Aug 13, 06, 9:56 pm
I recently won a hotel bid with priceline and won my stay at the El San Juan Hotel and Casino in PR and found out that the hotel was going under major renovations. Once I found out the name of the hotel, I went to tripadvisor.com to see their reviews. It was horrible and every single posting said the rooms were so disgusting!! I called priceline's customer service and a rep actually told me to call the hotel and get a cancellation # from them and the name of the person Customer Service Rep. I followed their advice and called the hotel. The Hotel Cust. Rep told me that priceline is the one that needs to cancel the reservation. So now I've been given the run around. I didn't call back priceline after that since maybe I can find some tips on cancelling this booking.
This is the first time I actually tried priceline, and it is turning out to be a headache. Does anyone have suggestions? I'm aware that there is a no cancellation/refund policy, considering that there is ongoing construction at the hotel is there any way I can get out of this?
Aug 13, 06, 11:14 pm
I'm aware that there is a no cancellation/refund policy, considering that there is ongoing construction at the hotel is there any way I can get out of this?
However, if you are truly a first-time user, then compile all the "bad" information into some easy-to-recite, clear and concise bullet points and re-contact PL. If they are renovating, is the pool closed? Are the amenities reduced? Restaurants limited? Beach access blocked? No room service? Don't be hysterical with them on the phone. Citing bad reviews on tripadvisor isn't going to get you anywhere. But if the hotel states on their website that certain "expected" amenities are unavailable, then you may have a shot.
Even then, you will perhaps be given the chance to have a one-time cancellation for a $25 fee.
If you don't get anywhere when you call, wait awhile and call again. Different agents will handle issues differently. Gather facts and cite them. A bad review is not a fact.
If they refuse, chill out and enjoy your trip. A few years ago, tripadvisor was very reliable. Now it often becomes a place for irrational customer diatribes.
Aug 14, 06, 12:54 pm
I live down here these days and I can confirm that the hotel is undergoing major construction at this time. I jog by there every morning and I'm amazed that they actually let people stay there. They start hammering away around 7:30 or 8, so make sure you get to bed early...
I'm curious what Priceline rates this hotel as... Did you win it as a 3* hotel? God forbid they claim it's a 4* or Resort. Then you'd definitely have something to complain about :(
Either way... I hope you enjoy your stay down here. It's been hot and humid, but there's a nice breeze througout the day, and the evenings are wonderful for walking around.
Aug 14, 06, 12:59 pm
I can also say that I've found TripAdvisor a pretty unreliable source -- esp. with regard to petty, overblown complaints.
I can also say that everyone goes into a Priceline deal knowing there are no refunds once the booking is made -- or they should. Generally, you CAN'T cancel a Priceline booking -- that's the whole point.
That said, if you can demonstrate to PL that the property was misrepresented, and that promised amenities are not available, you might have a shot. I wouldn't be optimistic though.
Aug 14, 06, 4:52 pm
I bid almost 100% of my domestic hotel stays on Priceline. The only refunds I have gotten were for acts of God, ie hurricanes last year in Florida & New Orleans.
I've tried disputing the quality of a hotel once and a hotel that was clearly outside the geographic boundaries on their own website. Was like arguing with a brick wall both times, yet I keep coming back as the saving for me still justifies the abysmal customer service.
Aug 15, 06, 7:19 am
Priceline is serious about the "No Refund" policy. Given the warnings on the site when you bid, this should be no surprise. Don't bid if you're not willing to accept whatever you get. That generally means doing research *ahead* of time (on betterbidding.com and biddingfortravel.com) to see what bids are being accepted and where. I think the only option you have in this case, as has been pointed out above, is to show that the hotel is virtually unlivable because of the construction. Good luck, let us know what happens.
Aug 15, 06, 9:21 am
Hey, Rosi... I just ran by again this morning and I probably overreacted yesterday... Although the facade needs a lot of work, the place doesn't look THAT bad after all. I'm still not sure I'd give it 3***, but you'll probably be alright. The BIG drawback is the construction site right next door. They were hammering away at 7am this morning... Something you may not enjoy waking up to.
Aug 15, 06, 11:28 am
[QUOTE=RosiNYC] I called priceline's customer service and a rep actually told me to call the hotel and get a cancellation # from them and the name of the person Customer Service Rep. I followed their advice and called the hotel. The Hotel Cust. Rep told me that priceline is the one that needs to cancel the reservation.
Hotels are not permitted by their contract with PL to cancel PL bookings. Even in the case of an emergency where an exception might be made the request must come through PL - which makes perfect sense when you consider that you paid PL, not the hotel. The hotel wouldn't even know what amount you paid PL - only the net amount they are authorized to charge on the PL cc.
Aug 16, 06, 12:06 am
Tell PL that you called the hotel twice. They told you to call PL. Have PL (while on the line) make a conference call to the hotel and to cancel the ressie. I assume that you got names, etc of whom you contacted at the hotel.