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Hotel rooms at 0.01 U$D: Mistake or elaborate scam?

Hotel rooms at 0.01 U$D: Mistake or elaborate scam?

Old Feb 23, 07, 9:46 pm
  #1  
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Hotel rooms at 0.01 U$D: Mistake or elaborate scam?

Do you believe EXPEDIA’s claims that they made a mistake advertising at 0.01 U$D/night? Think again. In my opinion (this is just an opinion, I would like yours) it seems to be a very elaborate bait and switch scam.

These are my arguments:

1) EXPEDIA had done that “mistake” several times

- Hilton Osaka and Hilton Tokio

- Ritz hotel

- Scotland? (there is thread her ein FT)

It is difficult to believe that this is a repetitive mistake: EXPEDIA’s people are smart enough to do not repeat the same mistake.

What EXPEDIA won with this “mistake”:
Probably a lot of money from reservations from people that did take the bait.

What EXPEDIA lose:

NOTHING.
1) People that make reservation (at this moment EXPEDIA has already charged his/her credit card) and don’t take the bait will have hard time having his/her money back. These are the word from a customer that made reservations at the Hilton (according the article in USA today)
"Now, my problem is it'll cost me $200 per ticket to receive a refund; in other words, I'm out a $1000 even if I don't travel...or I'm out almost an additional $3000 for hotel if I do
travel,"

2) Reputation? EXPEDIA’s reputation is already horrible. (THis is a search for "EXPEDIA complaints" in Google) They don’t care about bad publicity. People will soon forget and there always new customers. Take as example the HILTON affair in 2005: The people that made reservations at the Ritz in 2006 probably didn’t know about that. Or were greedy (and easy prey for scammers).

In addition, EXPEDIA is difficult to sue: when you make a reservation you agree to the “governing law”. If you want to sue them you have to do it in in King County, Washington (read their terms and conditions: http://www.expedia.com/daily/service/legal.asp)

It will be very interesting to know

1) How many people took the bait (meaning how much money expedia collected)
2) How many people lost money (with previous mistakes from EXPEDIA).
3) How many people are having trouble getting their refund (and probably loose some money (that EXPEDIA will keep)

If it was a “mistake” as EXPEDIA claims, why people have to fight to get their refund?
Why EXPEDIA didn't follow the guide against Bait advertising from the FTC. I'm sure they are familiar.

Just an opinion

Last edited by doe3001; Feb 23, 07 at 10:17 pm Reason: Add additional information
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Old Mar 10, 19, 7:01 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by doe3001 View Post
2) Reputation? EXPEDIA’s reputation is already horrible. (THis is a search for "EXPEDIA complaints" in Google) They don’t care about bad publicity. People will soon forget and there always new customers. Take as example the HILTON affair in 2005: The people that made reservations at the Ritz in 2006 probably didn’t know about that. Or were greedy (and easy prey for scammers).
I'm not trying to defend Expedia or any other Online Travel Agency. But, if you if you take some time to actually read the complaints you find online, you'll see that many of them are actually complaints about the hotel/airline/cruise line and not Expedia. Or, the traveler didn't take the time to read the policies. A summary of a few examples:

  • Upon arrival, we decided the hotel booked wasn't good enough but Expedia refused to refund our money.
  • I purchased travel insurance through Expedia but couldn't get my money back without a doctor's note when my husband got sick.
  • The hotel gave me a handicap accessible room.
  • A Canadian booked on the US Expedia website and complained she or he was charged in US dollars.
  • The shared-ride shuttle service dropped the travelers off at the wrong Hilton.
  • Car rented in a foreign country and the rental company insisted on proof of insurance.
  • The airline charged a baggage fee.
Of course, none of that answers your question of whether Expedia knowingly scams their customers through an elaborate mistake rate scheme. My gut says no, simply because the labor costs associated with dealing with the scheme would likely cost more than the money they might receive.

I'd apply Occam's Razor. Rather than a criminal fraud scheme, it's something like poorly designed software. In certain circumstances, the software that Expedia uses to enter or verify information defaults to $0.01.
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Last edited by writerguyfl; Mar 10, 19 at 7:02 pm Reason: Fixed formatting because the "new" software used here is flawed, too.
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Old Mar 11, 19, 12:43 am
  #3  
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Closing thread as topic is 12 years old.

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