I had booked a 2N hotel stay with hotels.com in Hyderabad, India. The booking assured me that ‘No re-confirmation is necessary’.
However, as I was travelling a long way from base, with small children, I called up the hotel on Dec 27 to confirm – 7 days after the booking. The hotel said that they had not received ANY booking for me, or even a mail requesting a reservation. They also said they were already over-booked for the dates.
I called hotels.com India call center, which confirmed the same, and said the best recourse for me was to request a refund, to be processed in around 10 business days.
The following puts hotels.com in a very unfavourable light in view of their failures at several, fundamental things of their trade:
- In 7 elapsed days, not only was there no attempt at booking for what they had already fully charged, there was neither an effort to follow-through on the promise of ‘No re-confirmation is necessary’ - there was no intimation to me that they could not fulfill the booking - If hotels.com is not able to fulfill such bookings online, it should state so explicitly, and not pretend otherwise. It can at best take booking requests, and fulfill and charge them offline. It is at the moment misrepresenting facts and abusing the faith of consumers. - The call center did not create a trace of this serious failure, and made this look like a normal cancellation. I could still see 2 rooms available on the website for the same hotel – a day after I found about the overbooked hotel. - The call center made no effort at resolving my problem. I have had experiences with other Indian travel portals who have intimated me of their failure, offered refunds, upgrades or alternatives. None was forthcoming from hotels.com. - Are 10 business days needed to reverse the amount charged to me instantaneously? It has still not been reversed, which after-all was due to deficiency of service from hotels.com