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Issue with a booked (wrong) rate - help needed

Issue with a booked (wrong) rate - help needed

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Old Nov 8, 18, 12:42 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Programs: Hyatt
Posts: 24
Issue with a booked (wrong) rate - help needed

Hello everyone!

I need some help with a situation.
Hotel involved: COUNTRY INN & SUITES BY RADISSON, VERO BEACH-I-95, FL

In April, 2018 I made a few bookings at this property (all of them for stays during 2019).
Since it was flexible bookings, I booked a few because I was not sure in April how my family was scheduled during that period in 2019. The price was really low so I decided I could investigate what date would fit the best for us at a later point.

(I wanted to bring my parents, sister and her kids on a trip to Florida and found this really good rate.)

Room type: 1 King Bed-Non-Smoking-Sofabed-Studio Suite-King Bed
Price: 15$ per night / room. (We booked 3 rooms)

Remember, this was booked in April 2018.
Since the price was really good I did wait a few months before I made other plans because if it was a mistake price I wanted to make sure the hotel was given some time to get back to me and tell me so.

After not hearing from the hotel for 4 to 5 months, in September I decided to book some other hotels for this trip. Non-refundable ones because of better price.
I thought If the hotel does not contact me within 5 months, surely it must be a done deal. From my experience after booking mistake rates the hotel usually reach out within 2 weeks and that is absolutely fine for me. I can even wait 1 month. That is acceptable from my p.o.v.

So my bookings were between March to - May. (different dates)
11 nights = 165$ x 3 rooms = 495$ for all three rooms for 11 nights.
Sure, this is a steal and a great price but I have seen Hyatt honoring way lower/better deals than this and since I did not hear a single word within 5 months I expected it was all green.

But October, 24 this year (about 6 months after booking) a guy emailed me about this rate, saying it's a mistake and they cant honor the three bookings.
I told him first of all that I only need one booking and you may cancel the other ones since I had no arrangement around these.
But I also told him that it's not acceptable to just cancel the bookings six months after booking.

We sent a few emails back and forward between each other and I started calculating how much I would need in compensation to break-even from this hassle.
Since I already booked hotels I would need a compensation of about 130-150.000 Radisson Points. (I said 140.000 to him in the email).

Here is the first email I got:

"My name is Ryan and I am contacting you from the Customer Care department at Radisson Hotel Group regarding reservations you made at our Country Inn & Suites by Radisson in Vero Beach, Florida for stays Mar through May 2019.
Unfortunately, we experienced a technical issue with our rates for this hotel and the rate of $15.00 per night you booked online was populated incorrectly. If you would like to keep your reservations, we are happy to help get you re-booked at a new rate per night (rates are subject to change)."


One of the emails I sent them:

Hello!
I have now checked more into this matter and as I mentioned previously.
I would have agreed to cancel this date also if you would have contacted me within a reasonable timeframe. Let's say within a month or so.
Now 6 months have passed and we have already booked other hotels for this stay.
The absolute best I can do in this matter, without losing to much money is to agree that you cancel this booking if I get compensated with 140.000 Radisson Rewards points which is equal to what we have spent on other hotels during this planned stay.
I will await your reply in this matter and wish you a pleasant day.
Regards, Andaz with family.


Today, November 8 - 2018 they simply just changed the booking for all three rooms to 1.777$ per room.
1.777+1.777+1.777 = 5.331$
My initial price was 495$ so they raised the price with around 1000% and offers me 28.000 points in compensation.

I told them I would not accept this since it would result in giant loss for me.
I would need 130-150.000 points.

My questions for experts are:
1. Are they allowed to cancel a confirmed booking after half a year? Without a proper compensation?
2. What are my rights? Do I have any at all? (I live in Europe, not America).
3. Any other help or advice you can give to me?

Sorry if my vocabulary is not the best. I'm not a native english speaker but hopefully you understand my situation.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 12:34 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Between VIE and BTS
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1. I'm afraid their T&Cs allow that.
2. As this is the US, you're not likely to be protected in any way. Even the EU law is somewhat vague on hotels (compared to air travel or trains) but back at home you would at least be protected by basic consumer protection and false advertising laws that may be applicable here under some circumstances. But since this is the US company selling you service in the US, it's completely outside EU and member states' jurisdiction.
3. Have you tried reaching to Radisson Rewards customer services, rather than hotel directly? If not, try to escalate it and explain the situation.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 4:02 am
  #3  
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Programs: Hyatt
Posts: 24
Originally Posted by the810 View Post
1. I'm afraid their T&Cs allow that.
2. As this is the US, you're not likely to be protected in any way. Even the EU law is somewhat vague on hotels (compared to air travel or trains) but back at home you would at least be protected by basic consumer protection and false advertising laws that may be applicable here under some circumstances. But since this is the US company selling you service in the US, it's completely outside EU and member states' jurisdiction.
3. Have you tried reaching to Radisson Rewards customer services, rather than hotel directly? If not, try to escalate it and explain the situation.
Thank you for responding.
Sorry for not being clear. [email protected] is the one that I am currently talking with over email, not with the hotel itself. I'll see what their response will be today and update.
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Old Nov 9, 18, 6:02 am
  #4  
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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The worst way to communicate about an issue such as this is by email and the worst subset of this is with generic customer service.

When a problem such as this arises, one needs to establish a human connection with someone in authority at the property.

"Mistake" fares and rates are far from clear in both the US and the EU, so not worth arguing about that here as any legal solution will not affect what you need to do now.

I would call the property during regular US business hours today, e.g. right now or wait until Monday. Ask to speak with a manager and explain the problem. It is highly unlikely that you get the room for $15, but entirely possible that the Manager agrees to a reasonable rate that you are willing and ought to expect to pay for the room, even if that rate is not now available. The key here is that it took the property 6 months and you have booked other non-refundable rates in the meantime.

I don't think that it is reasonable to have presumed that the $15 would stick and the fact is that had you called in before locking in other expenses, you would have received a quick answer. If indeed the rate was for real, you would know and if it was a mistake you would know and could act accordingly. But, any property would sooner or later catch the $15 and, if a mistake, deal with it.

For what it is worth, the US rule for air tickets (guidance not a formal rule at this point) from DOT (which has no authority over hotels), is that a mistake fare may be cancelled, but the air carrier must reimburse any fixed costs incurred by the passenger in reliance. Thus, in your case, the property would have the option of either leaving the rate at $15 or covering the non-refundable costs (when you provide evidence of cancellation). But, this is air fare and you are dealing with a hotel.
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