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Booked a flexible rate and charged months in advance?

Booked a flexible rate and charged months in advance?

Old Mar 5, 20, 5:05 am
  #1  
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Question Booked a flexible rate and charged months in advance?

I've never stayed at Accor properties previously so I'm unsure if this is normal practice and from reading the booking confirmations and T&Cs, it doesn't appear to be normal. I've booked a couple of flexible rate stays for a few months time, there was no mention of a pre-charge at any point, I've double checked my confirmations and I can cancel at any time with no charge, there's no deposit etc. basically zero charge until day of arrival.

Today I checked my card statement and I've got two charges that look like 20% of the bill plus a further charge of £5 all relating to Accor, I'm now most likely going to cancel the stays all together as I don't wish to stay with a hotel that charges 5 months in advance without prior warning or authorisation considering what my booking confirmation says, I'll be charged if I'm a no show after the cut off for cancellation without fee but not 5 months in advance, I'd have booked the cheaper non-refundable rate if I wanted that.

Is this normal practice with Accor?
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Old Mar 5, 20, 5:35 am
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Originally Posted by HeyUpDuck View Post
Is this normal practice with Accor?
No. As long as you give a credit card number during the booking process, payment is normally made at the hotel when you check out.

Which hotel was this?
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Old Mar 5, 20, 5:43 am
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Definitely not normal practise. Nothing should be charged to your credit card that isn't declared in the terms of the booking. And when you say "relating to Accor", do you mean that Accor charged you, or the local hotel did? I've only ever been charged by the individual hotel, not HQ.
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Old Mar 5, 20, 5:46 am
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
No. As long as you give a credit card number during the booking process, payment is normally made at the hotel when you check out.

Which hotel was this?
I thought it wasn't, it's for the Mercure Nice so I shall call up and ask what they're up to!

Totally bizarre.
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Old Mar 5, 20, 6:29 am
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Double-check the section under "Deposit." An increasing number of properties are charging a deposit equal to at least one night's stay, even on refundable rates. They simply refund if one cancels. The requirement is in a separate section from the cancellation and rate (if it exists in your case).
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Old Mar 5, 20, 3:22 pm
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This is not standard for Accor. This is not unheard of in France though, and most French hotels are Accor. Giving them a credit card number in advance is asking for trouble, unfortunately. I tend to use one that I need to manually authorize any charge to (even if done by a HORECA facility using the remote mode they are allowed to use).

And yes, some rates may have a "deposit" requirement buried deep in the T&Cs. Charging one 5 months in advance is entirely inappropriate though. Perhaps it's a way said Nicean hotel gets around the inability to turn off non-prepaid rates for hot periods (FWIK, they need to provide a flexible, cancellable base rate at all times to everyone).
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Old Mar 9, 20, 3:17 am
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After talking to Accor and the hotel, it was established it was a pre-authorisation charge for incidentals that shouldn't have been charged, I got a refund and changed the card on the booking to my Bunq Travel card which has zero euros on it. Today I awoke to an email saying that they tried to charge a pre-authorisation for the rate of the first night (not incidentals as the first one was) as part of their procedures but was declined (makes sense as my Bunq Travel card has no money on it yet), again this isn't in the T&Cs nor on the booking confirmation that they do this for flexible rates.

I've promptly cancelled my stay and lodged an official complaint, they can't be charging me when in the T&Cs and booking confirmation they don't say they do this nor did I give authorisation for them to do so, this has left a very sour taste in my mouth for Accor/Mercure related stays, it's a shame as it's a good price but why they feel the need to charge on a flexible booking where no pre-payment is required 5 months in advance is beyond me.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 6:47 am
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There's a big difference between a pre-authorization and an actual charge. Did they actually process a charge? A pre-auth shouldn't actually be charging you anything, and is just verifying the card is good and holding funds (which would still be a problem on a prepaid card). I've never actually checked to see if I get pre-auth requests on my card when I make a booking; it might be typical, but I've never noticed. However, incidentals should not have a pre-auth until you've actually checked in.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 7:23 am
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On a fully flexible booking the Mercure in Lisbon charged me the full rate up front recently telling me when I queried it that it was their policy. I told them to refund it and wait until I was at the property, they refused, I cancelled and then they did refund. I booked elsewhere.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 5:13 pm
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Originally Posted by HeyUpDuck View Post
I've never stayed at Accor properties previously so I'm unsure if this is normal practice and from reading the booking confirmations and T&Cs, it doesn't appear to be normal. I've booked a couple of flexible rate stays for a few months time, there was no mention of a pre-charge at any point, I've double checked my confirmations and I can cancel at any time with no charge, there's no deposit etc. basically zero charge until day of arrival.

Today I checked my card statement and I've got two charges that look like 20% of the bill plus a further charge of £5 all relating to Accor, I'm now most likely going to cancel the stays all together as I don't wish to stay with a hotel that charges 5 months in advance without prior warning or authorisation considering what my booking confirmation says, I'll be charged if I'm a no show after the cut off for cancellation without fee but not 5 months in advance, I'd have booked the cheaper non-refundable rate if I wanted that.

Is this normal practice with Accor?
Originally Posted by HeyUpDuck View Post
After talking to Accor and the hotel, it was established it was a pre-authorisation charge for incidentals that shouldn't have been charged, I got a refund and changed the card on the booking to my Bunq Travel card which has zero euros on it. Today I awoke to an email saying that they tried to charge a pre-authorisation for the rate of the first night (not incidentals as the first one was) as part of their procedures but was declined (makes sense as my Bunq Travel card has no money on it yet), again this isn't in the T&Cs nor on the booking confirmation that they do this for flexible rates.

I've promptly cancelled my stay and lodged an official complaint, they can't be charging me when in the T&Cs and booking confirmation they don't say they do this nor did I give authorisation for them to do so, this has left a very sour taste in my mouth for Accor/Mercure related stays, it's a shame as it's a good price but why they feel the need to charge on a flexible booking where no pre-payment is required 5 months in advance is beyond me.
Why are you not sharing the name of the hotel here ? So we can avoid it
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Old Mar 10, 20, 4:34 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
Why are you not sharing the name of the hotel here ? So we can avoid it
You missed quoting the post which named the hotel AKA Mecure Nice (unless there’s is more than one)???.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 5:00 am
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Originally Posted by markis10 View Post
You missed quoting the post which named the hotel AKA Mecure Nice (unless there’s is more than one)???.
It had to be a French Accor hotel, n'est-ce pas? Known for their customer friendly policies
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Old Mar 11, 20, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by CanadaDH View Post
There's a big difference between a pre-authorization and an actual charge. Did they actually process a charge? A pre-auth shouldn't actually be charging you anything, and is just verifying the card is good and holding funds (which would still be a problem on a prepaid card). I've never actually checked to see if I get pre-auth requests on my card when I make a booking; it might be typical, but I've never noticed. However, incidentals should not have a pre-auth until you've actually checked in.
It was an actual charge, it was also more than the amount they quoted they were pre-authorising for plus a random £5, it actually showed up as three transactions, by far the most confusing and most infuriating experience as the hotel kept quoting random T&Cs that I didn't have at time of booking or on the booking confirmation, they then couldn't even pinpoint the exact wording in English or French, I suspect they were just BSing and rather than make the situation better, they just made it worse.

I've since cancelled and booked elsewhere though, I've stay in Marriotts, IHGs and Hiltons all over Europe/Dubai and I've never had this happen to me, especially not 5 months out and I'll never stay with them in Nice, I've actually got another Accor Mercure hotel booked for two weeks time in Paris and there is no charge nor pre-authorisation displayed yet so no doubt I'll turn up and there won't be a room waiting for me
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Old Mar 11, 20, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by markis10 View Post
You missed quoting the post which named the hotel AKA Mecure Nice (unless there’s is more than one)???.
At least three that I am aware of, perhaps more on the outskirts / around the airport.
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