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HotelSlash Pre-Launch Offer

HotelSlash Pre-Launch Offer

Old Mar 2, 2023, 4:07 pm
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by AutoSlash

Note that unlike other sites, we show the total cost up-front including all taxes and fees. No need to have to navigate to the checkout page to see the final price. If there is a resort fee or local taxes due, we show that as well.
I just made a reservation on HotelSlash at a S.F. hotel that routinely adds a $34 nightly resort/facility amenity fee. Some suppliers (i.e. Travelzoo) waive the fee. HotelSlash offered me five options for my dates, a mixture of refundables, non-refundables, prepaids, pay at the hotel, and four of the five options specified the additional daily fee, and one did not. I reserved the one option that did not include the amenity fee on any of the description and check-out pages (hoping that it was from a wholesaler that waives the fee), but lo and behold, the confirmation (visible only after the credit card payment was submitted) specifies the additional fee. I immediately cancelled the reservation. The site may eventually iron out such bugs, but be aware that assertions like the above ("we show the total cost up-front") are aspirational, not current reality. Forewarned is forearmed.
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Old Mar 2, 2023, 4:38 pm
  #47  
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Originally Posted by jbalmuth
I just made a reservation on HotelSlash at a S.F. hotel that routinely adds a $34 nightly resort/facility amenity fee. Some suppliers (i.e. Travelzoo) waive the fee. HotelSlash offered me five options for my dates, a mixture of refundables, non-refundables, prepaids, pay at the hotel, and four of the five options specified the additional daily fee, and one did not. I reserved the one option that did not include the amenity fee on any of the description and check-out pages (hoping that it was from a wholesaler that waives the fee), but lo and behold, the confirmation (visible only after the credit card payment was submitted) specifies the additional fee. I immediately cancelled the reservation. The site may eventually iron out such bugs, but be aware that assertions like the above ("we show the total cost up-front") are aspirational, not current reality. Forewarned is forearmed.
Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like one of our suppliers was not disclosing the resort fee to us early enough in the process. We'll get that addressed.
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Old Mar 2, 2023, 8:41 pm
  #48  
 
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Tried to reach out on facebook but got a useless auto reply. How do I submit feedback about an inaccurate listing? A hotel that lists free parking on it's website (and from my experience with previous stays) doesn't show up when I filter by free parking.
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Old Mar 2, 2023, 9:49 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by StevenSeagalFan
Tried to reach out on facebook but got a useless auto reply. How do I submit feedback about an inaccurate listing? A hotel that lists free parking on it's website (and from my experience with previous stays) doesn't show up when I filter by free parking.
Responded
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Old Mar 3, 2023, 3:37 pm
  #50  
 
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I really appreciate the candour in this thread. I'll add my 2cents "from the sidelines". As background: I'm in tech and do a ton of work with strategy/UX/customer discovery. Thus my feedback comes a bit from that angle. It's also a bit negative-ish / harsh, but take it as someone that is trying to help and someone that might be wrong not knowing the market as well as you do.

Your Customer
I struggle a bit to understand who your customer is... is it someone that will a few bookings a year? It is certainly a price conscious customer and one that isn't really travel-geek (i.e. doesn't care about points, loyalty programs etc). I really struggle — as other people pointed out above — to see this customer type paying a membership fee. First, because they're price conscious so they'll be less prone to spend money on something without the assurance they'll make it back. Second, because they'd need to know about you (huge marketing effort to compete with OTAs?) and trust you enough to pay for that membership. Third, because they need to make enough bookings to justify the membership?

Maybe some ideas here... can you allow people to see prices but not book until they get the membership? If so, maybe you could create a model where the membership is absorbed into the savings. I can see before paying I'd save $50, membership is $30 so you do a nice UX work on showing you're still saving $20 and get a year of membership where you can continue to have savings with this membership that was basically "free" — does this make sense?

Find Lower Price

The "let me see if I can find a lower price for you" is a nice feature (and one I'd pay for I think?) but I don't see your customer paying for it, in the sense that if they're price conscious most of their bookings would be non-refundable?

Show Value ?

Is there a way you can more easily show value? I get a list of 50+ hotels — which ones am I really saving money on? Can you highlight this, somehow comparing with the hotels or other OTA price? Otherwise I need to manually check each and see if that's money-saving or not. Or if you know certain wholesalers or certain properties are likely to get lower prices highlight that. You basically need to show me the value during the search — just look at what any OTA does — otherwise I'm lost. Again, your typical customer won't geek out on comparing prices. They want to see a big arrow pointing to a good deal, maybe do a search to confirm it is a good deal and book.

Tech & Design

As mentioned by others the experience is clunky, slow and IMHO (and don't take this wrong) the design doesn't give me trusty vibes or make the navigation/filtering etc easy. I think a bit of work needs to go into the tech/design to really make it more appealing, more trustworthy and above all better show the value prop upfront (both before signup (what you do, some example savings etc, as well as during search (which are good deals, easier filtering, map view etc)). Can give specific examples on UI/UX improvements if helpful.

Another Idea

A Chrome Extension might be a good distribution channel. Let's say it works with main OTAs. If you are on any of these OTAs trying to book Hotel X from 01 Apr to 05 of Apr, it runs a search in the background and shows a warning/popover saying "You'll save XX if you book with us this same hotel on the same dates". Similar to how you have this feature with coupon inject/cashback sites.
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Old Mar 4, 2023, 7:41 am
  #51  
 
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Smart observations/suggestions Ricardo. That's what I keep struggling with, who this is for and what the value proposition is. I think the suggestion of a savings comparison or tagging is a good one. A lot of times these % or $$ off comparisons are BS but at least it gives people a starting point. Especially since the site mixes up retail and reseller rates without distinguishing them, there needs to be some way to gauge what is on offer. Or maybe the bigger question is why even offer retail rates? Why would anyone pay money to subscribe to your new service and then choose to book an identical rate over the property directly or even say Hotels.com or Booking,com, losing all the value and benefits of those other channels? Even if it were free why would anyone do that? So first off, are you primarily a reseller of wholesale rates and if so why list anything else? And if so and you expect people to pay a premium and choose your site over others then your rates better be markedly better than all the others already in the game (but since you are probably reselling from the same wholesalers I don't see how they could be.) If price is the only thing that matters and I can book for free from a low end reseller site already, and it will take me multiple bookings to add up to $100 just to break even for the year, why on earth would I end up booking with you?

Not to be a cynic but I always wonder when I hear of a new startup, how much market analysis was really done, how clear is the target customer, and how clear are you on your identity? It's a super competitive international space so I think unless you can clearly describe the "who" and "why" the result is predictable. If you can't clearly answer the tough and seminal questions like the ones above then you don't yet have a potentially successful product.
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Old Mar 5, 2023, 6:15 am
  #52  
 
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I signed up and ran a few searches in my regular markets. The rates for a few of my favourite properties were significantly lower than I've seen before. Will probably give it a shot for a future trip and see how it goes!
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Old Mar 9, 2023, 12:38 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Palal
Signed up using the link, but the confirmation email never came through. Checked the spam folder too.
AutoSlash , not sure if you still send confirmation e-mails, but I also never got one. That said, I did create an account, did two requests, and I got both quotes e-mailed to me within minutes.
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Old Mar 9, 2023, 4:43 pm
  #54  
 
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Awesome. Love the site
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Old Mar 9, 2023, 4:45 pm
  #55  
 
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Agreed. I've used Autoslash a dozen times in the last several months. Top notch
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 12:43 pm
  #56  
 
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Can you elaborate on the requirement for country of residence? The site says "Not all hotel rates are available worldwide. HotelSlash wants to avoid showing you rates that you will be unable to reserve." However, I've never seen any reference to this on any other booking sites and I've never seen someone get turned away by a hotel due to their nationality. (I know that China only allows some hotels to have foreign guests at all, but this is rather a special case.)

When is this relevant? In countries where you don't need a passport to check in, the hotel will never even know where you reside.
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 1:15 pm
  #57  
 
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Hotel Slash savings??

I love Autoslash and it has really helped me find rental car savings. I've been in the Beta with the Hotel program with so little (no) luck that I quit trying. Maybe that was a Beta issue, so will try again for some upcoming cash reservations. Something like this would be really helpful, especially as hotel rates seem to have soared in the last year or som. Thank you
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Old Mar 14, 2023, 1:50 pm
  #58  
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Another satisfied and regular Autoslash user here. Just signed up and will given HotelSlash a try. Thanks.
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Old Mar 15, 2023, 6:40 am
  #59  
 
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Cheers for clearly being transparent!
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Old Mar 15, 2023, 1:40 pm
  #60  
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The sign-up page linked in the first post asks for an email address and country of residence as a first step. What other information does the site require before issuing an account? What other information does the site request but not require before issuing an account?
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