I’ve been planning to take my eldest son to the Jelly Bean factory for quite some time and finally I got the chance. I booked a room with hotels.com well in advance since I would be taking my son during the beginning of a big holiday. When I was ready to book, I chose a room and hotel carefully since I was taking my 5 years old son and my elderly mother. I book the room on August 12th, 2014. There was absolutely nothing stating that I was booking a smoking room. On August 26th, Hotels.com send me a confirmation on my email. It said: “Thanks for using Hotels.com, your booking is confirmed! You don’t need to call to reconfirm. Here are the details of your booking along with information about the hotel, local weather, and attractions near your destination. You can easily access your booking online anytime. Happy traveling, Hotels.com® Hotels.com Confirmation Number: XXXXXXXXX” I clicked on the link indicating about the details, and this is what I got: “Location: Fairfield, CA, US Dates: 08/30/14 to 08/31/14 Room Details: 2 adults, 1 child Hotels.com Confirmation Number: XXXXXXXX” Then very low in a corner, there was another link: “review your reservation” After reviewing information I showed above, which was contained in two pages, I didn’t think it was necessary to click on third link, to direct me to a third page in order to review the room Hotels.com had assigned to me. What a big mistake. When I arrived at the hotel, I learned we were assigned to a smoking room, and how could I possibly spend a night in such a room with a 5 years old child and an aging mother? I tried to argue with the front desk lady, but she said she couldn’t do anything since they were solid booked. She said she couldn’t return my money back and refused to call the manager who was on dinner break. I called hotels.com, and found out that I had to wait four hours and half to speak to a live agent. Yes, 4.5 hours. I asked the lady for a better number to call and finally got a 40 minutes waiting period. What happened to the 24/7 promise of a live agent? I think this is only when you are trying to book. After you give your credit card number, you will talk only to a machine. Unless you are a very persistent person. When I finally spoke to some one, the conversation turned out to be very frustrating. The answer was that they could do nothing. Hotels.com said clearly on the third page that it was a smoking room. I argued that there was nothing saying it was a smoking room during my reservation process, and that they should make it clear on the first or second pages of the confirmation email. But that meant nothing. What was valid for them was the page I should have read (the third one). Apparently, the reservation process is different from the “assignment” process. And it is the latter that holds on. When I told the agent that their practices were deceiving and unethical, he threat to disconnect the line. Then, nearly 3 hours after our conversation, Hotels.com send me yet another confirmation. But this time it stated clearly on the very front email page that I had a smoking room. Couldn’t have they done it on the first email? That would have saved us from so much chagrin. Needless to say, I left the hotel and drove back home, with a crying boy and a frustrated and tired mother. I lost $140 for the hotel booking, $70 for gasoline and gained many tears of a very disappointed son. Hotels.com may have gained $140 from me right now. But they will never do so again. Where they legally right? Maybe so, not sure. Where they ethically right? I don’t think so. Their practices are deceptive and shady to say the least. In this case, I was only 2 hours away from home, so I just turned my car and drove back home. But I only imagine what would have happened had we travelled across the country. Bottom line, Hotels.com will treat you with shady and deceptive practices. Be careful if you decide to go through this road. There are much better options out there.
This complaint and/or review was posted on HolySmoke.org on 10:09 am, June 25, 2018 (CST) and is a permanent record located at: https://www.holysmoke.org/scam/hotels-com-review-9/.
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