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HotelSlash "Early Access"

HotelSlash "Early Access"

Old Aug 25, 21, 2:39 pm
  #16  
Company Representative - Autoslash
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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
I presume booking through you means we don't get our status perks at a hotel chain?
If the reservation is prepaid, then the answer is likely no. You can certainly give the desk agent your loyalty number at check-in and there's a good chance you'll earn points on the stay but that cannot be guaranteed. The team at HotelSlash has an excellent track record of getting credit even on prepaid stays, and even if the check-in agent declines to add your loyalty member number, you can always ask to have it added during your stay or when checking out. Ask early and often.

If the reservation is non-prepaid, meaning the hotel charges you directly, then the answer is likely yes, although keep in mind that the majority of our inventory is prepaid currently.
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Old Aug 25, 21, 2:46 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by pmarrsouth View Post
I am not the original person who asked the question but my response to this (to expand on what OP followed up with) would be that I do not want my email address for that hotel booking in your hands, also there is a lot of other personal information on these booking confirmations including addresses, full names, loyalty numbers etc. If your site/db gets compromised, whoever gained access to it would have a lot of info on people. As most people unfortunately use the same email address and password for everything, the hacker now has a person's hilton number (for example), the email address associated to it and also the password used to sign up on HotelSlash, which probably matches their hilton honors and email password too. Hopefully you can see where I am going with this
Well, we really don't want or need your personal information any more than you don't want to provide it, but we need some way of contacting you if we find a better deal on your tracked reservation.

If you want to set up a throwaway email address and/or use a fake name just for our service, feel free. You can edit the email address on the forwarded confirmation email to anything you like. Likewise, you can remove or mask your loyalty number (assuming it's in the forwarded email) as we don't need it.

Also note that in order to be able to offer below-market (closed user group) rates, we need to send a quote via email. If you want to sign up as [email protected] and forward that to [email protected] we have absolutely no issue with that. Technology offers lots of solutions.

At some point though if you book with us, we're going to need your actual information in order to pay for and reserve the room. It's no different than booking a hotel room on any other website at the end of the day.

Lastly, note that passwords are not stored directly in our database--they are hashed--which means that even in the unlikely event of someone getting access to our data, they would have no way of accessing any password information

Last edited by AutoSlash; Aug 25, 21 at 2:58 pm
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Old Aug 25, 21, 2:48 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by abcx View Post
I signed up but not sure if the FTEARLY code applied. I think somehow I might have already had an account? Had to do forgot password. Can you make sure the code got applied? Been an Autoslash user from the very beginning, so I'm excited about this.
Anyone who signs up during this period is automatically grandfathered into the forever free plan meaning we'll never ask you to pay a membership fee for the standard service.
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Old Aug 25, 21, 2:52 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by coleslaw View Post
The sign up process is a bit clunky... it's not really clear that you're actually signing up (vs. just requesting a quote) and when you do sign up it's not clear if the FT code actually got applied. When I clicked "sign in" I was expecting to see a "don't have an account yet? click here to sign up" type of button.
Thanks for the feedback. These are fair points. The team discussed this on a call today and we all agreed the process could be made more clear. We'll be working on some changes to improve the messaging and the workflow.
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Old Aug 25, 21, 3:00 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by sgan317 View Post
Are these prices typically inclusive of all fees & destination charges? I don't see them called out specifically on the rate.
Yes, this is from our FAQ:

For our customer's convenience, and to avoid surprises during booking process as well as hotel checkout, we include all possible taxes and fees that can be included. However, there are certain taxes and/or fees like local city taxes or resort fees (aka property, destination, or facility fees) that we may not be able to include at the time of booking and might therefore be payable at the hotel. These are the types of fees that you would pay regardless of which website you booked with, including directly with the hotel. Note that we will clearly display any additional fees payable at the hotel in the booking conditions during the checkout process wherever possible for maximum transparency.
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Old Aug 25, 21, 3:09 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by kevflyer View Post
Got it! Yeah. Hopefully not too difficult for people to remove the sensitive info. I know HTML tables don't play well sometimes.
Curious if you have a team of people doing data entry from the confirmation emails or you're using ML/NLP to parse as much as possible? As a developer myself I'm interested in knowing how you deal handle those data inputs.
There are tools out there that can parse at least some of the information from the confirmation emails, but we've found that it's such specialized work, and there is so much inconsistency in the data, that it's extremely challenging to automate the entire process. We have an experienced team reviewing each confirmation email for maximum data integrity.

We hope to automate more of the process as we grow, but to be honest, our goal is to offer the best possible pricing up-front so folks book with us from the get-go which requires little to no manual labor. As such, we're trying to be very aggressive on the pricing front, and if you request a quote and compare it against the usual sites you book at, we think you'll find this to be the case.

This is essentially what has happened over the past 10+ years on the car side with AutoSlash. Folks used to shop around and submit their reservations for tracking with us, but over time, they realized that 99% of the time we'd have the lowest rate anyway, so it was easier to just request a quote and book with us from the start since they were unlikely to do better elsewhere. We still track rental reservations made on any site, but the majority of our car bookings come from folks who request a quote from us.
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Old Aug 25, 21, 3:14 pm
  #22  
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Originally Posted by jmsnyc View Post
Can we register for the site if we do not have a hotel to track at the moment? I only see a way to search or sign in, as opposed to sign up
As mentioned in another comment, it could be more clear, and we'll be working on that, but you don't need to track a reservation in order to create an account. Just request a quote on any hotel for any dates by clicking here (even if it's just a test) and you'll be signed up automatically.

Hope this helps. Any further questions, feel free to ask.
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Old Aug 25, 21, 3:43 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by AutoSlash View Post
You can edit the email address on the forwarded confirmation email to anything you like.
Issue with this is that the original email data is still in the source on a forwarded email ("Show Original" on gmail). Mainly I am just '+1ing' what the OP said about allowing us to enter in hotel prices manually rather than forwarding an email But I do understand your concerns as to why you do not want to set this up - maybe have it like an "advanced users" section like UA etc have?

Originally Posted by AutoSlash View Post
Also note that in order to be able to offer below-market (closed user group) rates, we need to send a quote via email. If you want to sign up as [email protected] and forward that to [email protected] we have absolutely no issue with that. Technology offers lots of solutions.
Yup, I understand you will have 1 email address to contact me, this is absolutely needed with how you operate. I just don't want you have multiple emails of mine, where its harder to track down where spam came from or who has been compromised

Originally Posted by AutoSlash View Post
At some point though if you book with us, we're going to need your actual information in order to pay for and reserve the room.
On this point, when I looked at a quote that you sent me, I had 2 options for country under "Billing": USA & Canada. Neither of those countries are what I put in for where I am a resident of and neither of them were the country in which the hotel is in! Now I can put in whatever billing address I want, as AMEX really do not care from their end regarding such mismatches, but I did find it odd to only have these 2 options (and it might stop others from booking with you guys)

Originally Posted by AutoSlash View Post
Lastly, note that passwords are not stored directly in our database--they are hashed--which means that even in the unlikely event of someone getting access to our data, they would have no way of accessing any password information
Hashed, or hashed and salted? Huge difference and just hashing is not too secure as it can be reversed engineered

---

As an aside, I am not trying to slate you here, definitely trying to help. I have used Autoslash a lot (albeit never booked through it, as my Hertz rates were always better). I do prefer to book directly with hotels that I have status in (even if it costs me a bit more, as its generally worth it), but I would run the numbers anyway on your site to see what is on offer
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Old Aug 26, 21, 9:22 am
  #24  
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Originally Posted by pmarrsouth View Post
On this point, when I looked at a quote that you sent me, I had 2 options for country under "Billing": USA & Canada. Neither of those countries are what I put in for where I am a resident of and neither of them were the country in which the hotel is in! Now I can put in whatever billing address I want, as AMEX really do not care from their end regarding such mismatches, but I did find it odd to only have these 2 options (and it might stop others from booking with you guys)
We're accepting payment in USD primarily for customers in the US and Canada at the moment. That's one of the reasons it's still "early access". We plan to support multiple currencies and billing countries in the future. We opted to go out sooner rather than later to gather feedback from folks.

Originally Posted by pmarrsouth View Post
Hashed, or hashed and salted? Huge difference and just hashing is not too secure as it can be reversed engineered.
From our lead developer -- "There is a random salt for every user so no dictionary attack would work against us."

Originally Posted by pmarrsouth View Post
As an aside, I am not trying to slate you here, definitely trying to help. I have used Autoslash a lot (albeit never booked through it, as my Hertz rates were always better). I do prefer to book directly with hotels that I have status in (even if it costs me a bit more, as its generally worth it), but I would run the numbers anyway on your site to see what is on offer
We appreciate the feedback. For the folks that live and die by their elite benefits, we're probably not the first choice. Then again, the vast majority of our customers do not have elite status and/or would prefer to save money, we hope to be their first (and last) stop for booking at a discount.
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Old Aug 26, 21, 9:27 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by aquanine View Post
Feedback: I like that the cancellation policy is very upfront, and that it identifies when rates must be prepaid. The autofill takes awhile. The rate was good - about the same as a Priceline "limited time offer" but HotelSlash was free cancellation while Priceline was not. It would be nice to know if I needed to use a card with no foreign transaction fees or not for this foreign hotel. My first card got rejected for some reason, so I had to use a second card. As far as I can tell, there is no way to sign up without going through the request flow which was a bit confusing because I wanted to apply the FTEARLY access code. And when signing up through the FTEARLY access code I saw the message thanking me for being a Flyertalker, but since I wanted a 2 bed, I edited preferences to be for multiple beds, but when that returned to the request quote screen I saw the message thanking me for being a Flyertalker had disappeared and that FTEARLY had disappeared from the web url. Hopefully the code remains applied to my account, since I don't believe there is a way to check.
Anyone who requests a quote on a hotel during this period is automatically signed up and will be on the "forever free" plan, so no membership fee will even be charged in the future.
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Old Aug 26, 21, 10:07 am
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by AutoSlash View Post
There are tools out there that can parse at least some of the information from the confirmation emails, but we've found that it's such specialized work, and there is so much inconsistency in the data, that it's extremely challenging to automate the entire process. We have an experienced team reviewing each confirmation email for maximum data integrity.
I found an issue. I forwarded a confirmation email which clearly displayed the pricing in CAD, but it was entered into the system as USD. Today I got an email notification telling me there's a lower rate, I clicked on it and while the rate is lower, it's in USD. When converted to CAD, it's actually more expensive.
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Old Aug 26, 21, 10:35 am
  #27  
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Originally Posted by kevflyer View Post
I found an issue. I forwarded a confirmation email which clearly displayed the pricing in CAD, but it was entered into the system as USD. Today I got an email notification telling me there's a lower rate, I clicked on it and while the rate is lower, it's in USD. When converted to CAD, it's actually more expensive.
Thanks for letting us know. It was simple human error here. I've corrected the issue. We'll be in touch again if we find a lower rate.
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Old Aug 26, 21, 10:47 am
  #28  
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I hope that in time we are allowed to enter types of rooms we want. For example, I just sent in a request for a hotel in Kauai. I already have booked an ocean front cottage and that is what I want. Inevitably, I will see a cheaper rate than I have booked because of the premium required for ocean front.
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Old Aug 26, 21, 12:35 pm
  #29  
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
I hope that in time we are allowed to enter types of rooms we want. For example, I just sent in a request for a hotel in Kauai. I already have booked an ocean front cottage and that is what I want. Inevitably, I will see a cheaper rate than I have booked because of the premium required for ocean front.
Thanks for the feedback. We return all room types that are available for a particular property. It's a bit challenging to be able to filter room types ahead of time because we query multiple suppliers and we don't know exactly what will be returned. Some suppliers might refer to a room as "Sea View" while another might call it "Ocean View" while yet another may call it "Oceanfront".

This is a significant challenge in the hotel industry and there are numerous 3rd party vendors that have popped up to try to solve this problem. In fact, you can see on page 2 of this PDF the exact issue I described above. We have some mapping tools in place on our end, but even the best solutions are not 100% reliable.

All of that said, there is always room for improvement, and our team will discuss ways we can potentially help folks more easily find what they are looking for. Maybe the ability to filter the returned rooms based on a text string like "ocean" or "sea" or "cottage" might be helpful here? We'll put our heads together and see what we can come up with.
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Old Aug 26, 21, 3:04 pm
  #30  
 
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I am off to Cancun next week. Our hotel is sold out for the Saturday, but I figured I would put it into your system to see what the results would be. About 30 minutes after I entered it, I got an email and it confirmed it was sold out. Do you keep on running this query in the background in case availability opens up? IMO you should, and then once found send a follow up email with a link to the offer. Or in the original email maybe have a confirmation “button” (link) asking if the user wants to keep checking the request to see if space opens up?
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