..ang blog ni Yeyen.

My mother and I are scheduled to attend the Silver Linings Convention in Davao City next week.  This is a homecoming of breast cancer victims and survivors to be held at Grand Regal Hotel.  Because of this, I called Grand Regal Hotel to make a reservation for two rooms.  Unfortunately, the reservations agent told me there weren’t any more rooms available for the days I booked, understandably, because a lot of attendees to the convention would be staying there.  So, I tried to look for other nearby hotels, until I chanced on surfing the net for any online bookings.  When I searched Grand Regal Hotel, the ads of Agoda.com  came out and seeing that they had two rooms of my choice available [which they claim as a promo price], I proceeded to book but halfway through, I became conscious of the fact that there might be problems to it, so I decided to just book one room.  While booking, I already made prepaid payments via my credit card.  Immediately thereafter, I received an email from Agoda, sending me my hotel voucher, and telling me it was confirmed.  Happy that it went well, I proceeded to search again for other online booking agents and HotelsOne.com appeared after Agoda.  As with Agoda, HotelsOne also boasts of two vacant rooms for the same price.  Feeling lucky, I proceeded to book one room using another credit card.  The same with Agoda, I also received an instant email from HotelsOne, advising me of my confirmed booking.  I thought I could already rest easy.

However, being the worrier that I am, I called Grand Regal Hotel two days after, to ask if my two bookings were indeed confirmed.  To my dismay, the reservation agent told me there has been no advise from neither Agoda nor HotelsOne of any sort.  The said agent advised me to follow up again, as it may just be delayed.  I let another two days pass, and then made a follow up, only to be told the same answer.

Getting alarmed, I called the customer service of Agoda.com, the nearest of which is Singapore [there was also Hong Kong, but I doubt I can understand the accent of the customer service agent, lol].  I did not wait long on the line, and a customer service agent promptly took my call.  Relaying to her what happened, she put me on hold, saying she will personally call Grand Regal Hotel and check.  Eight minutes after, she got back and informed me that the hotel has not checked their emails yet, which explains why the booking wasn’t taken.  She further said the reservations officer who can access the email, was not around, and that she will just email me once it is confirmed.  This somehow put me at ease.

Another two days went by until I received an email from Agoda, notifying me that my booking is already confirmed by the hotel.  To be sure, I then called the hotel and indeed, my reservation under Agoda was already confirmed.  Thinking of my other booking from HotelsOne, I asked if it was already okay as well.  I was told that it was only Agoda for one room, although they also received an email from Expedia.com, about a room reservation on my name, and not HotelsOne. I was further told that the hotel only has a contract with Agoda and Blue Horizons; and not with Expedia nor HotelsOne and therefore, they could not honor any booking under them for they don’t know where to collect the payment.

Getting stressed, I called the customer service of HotelsOne all the way to the USA.  Like what Agoda did, the agent put me on hold and saying he will contact the hotel first and put me on hold.  Nine minutes after, he told me my booking was confirmed and even gave me a confirmation number.  I was happy to hear it and immediately called the hotel, asking for the person whom the HotelsOne agent talked too.  Eric, the guy who spoke to the agent, told me it was indeed confirmed, but since I’m so meticulous, I asked him if that reservation was under HotelsOne.  To my horror, he said, no, it’s under Agoda.  I got irritated with him, asking him how he could confirm it when it was HotelsOne who was calling.  He said he didn’t know about the double reservation and thought it was just one.  So, I asked to speak to the reservations officer, who told me the same thing.  She suggested I just make another reservation to secure my stay, especially that it was really no use to insist on the Expedia or HotelsOne reservation because they wouldn’t honor it as they have no contract with either of them.  I asked them how their hotel was listed on their sites, and she said it’s like a scam since the hotel has no existing agreement with the said companies.  She even told me there were several cases the same as mine.

I was looking at the cancellation policy of HotelsOne tonight and luckily I was able to see that there was a condition there that if I make a cancellation after 12AM of September 7, which was only a few hours away, I could not claim any refund at all.  I hurriedly canceled my booking and was conflicted on whether to call HotelsOne again and ask for the refund policy, or just leave it be and just wait, because I really don’t want to incur any more long distance calls.  Just to give them the benefit of a doubt and also for my peace of mind, I ended calling again.  I waited several minutes, though not so long, and the agent told me I could get my refund within thirty days from today.

This has been a learning experience for me.  Since I have never been scammed in my internet purchases, I guess I was just too trusting.  It’s not bad to use the internet for its convenience, but next time, I will make sure to ask the hotel first if they honor bookings for the said companies.  At all costs, I don’t think I’ll be making online bookings anytime soon.  It’s just so much a hassle with all the calls I had to make.

Now, let me see if I indeed get a refund within one month.

Oh, and before I forget, don’t believe those lowest rates claimed by the booking agents.  The price I paid via Agoda and HotelsOne is the regular rate on the hotel — well, I didn’t really care because I was mainly just concerned to get a room, and not because it was cheaper.

update:  in fairness to hotelsone, i got my refund within one month after I made the booking.it was credited back to my credit card.

Comments on: "My online hotel bookings experience" (4)

  1. Adebayo Onanuga said:

    Beware of HotelsOne.com. They are set up to fleece you

    I just went through the experience narrated here, with HotelsOne.com.

    I live in Lagos,Nigeria and was scheduled to arrive, along with my daughter, in the Nigerian capital of Abuja on 11 July. Our journey would last two days and we needed to book for hotel accommodation.

    I checked Protea Asokoro in Abuja, but the website announced that there were no rooms available during my period of stay. Just as I was about to leave the site and check other hotels, came HotelsOne, announcing to me there were free rooms at another Protea in Abuja, the one at Negro Crescent, Maitama.

    Anxious about the prospects of having to be scouting for accommodation in Abuja on arrival, I promptly filled the hotel’s purported booking form and pronto my reservation was approved and HotelsOne removed $1,413.84 from my Visa account, being the cost of two rooms, for two nights.

    HotelsOne.com assigned me an ‘itinerary number 91383907.’ In the confirmatory e-mail sent to me, they also gave me and my daughter numbers: 19896023204 and 19896023204-1.

    The first falsehood that I found on arrival at the hotel was that contrary to HotelsOne claim that I had gotten a discount, I found that the charged rate is Protea Maitama standard rate.

    More shocking was that HotelsOne.com had not sent any notification to the Protea hotel, ahead of our arrival.

    For two hours, Protea kept searching their email, kept making calls to verify the booking.

    My third shock was when the Protea front office staff declared that HotelOne was not known to them and could not have acted as their agent.

    As the day wore on, it became crystal clear that HotelsOne is a fraud, set up to scam people like me, fond of using the net to book for everything, from train tickets to airline tickets and hotel accommodation.

    Eventually, I had to pay for the accommodation afresh.

    Thereafter, I decided to ask HotelsOne for a full refund, afterall I never breached any contract.

    That was where another story began, that clearly showed that gangsters are behind this site.

    A gang that speedily credited their accounts in split seconds with my money, now talks of a 30-day return policy, along with a 50 per cent deduction of the money I paid.

    They can tell that to the marines of America and wherever they operate from.

    I have decided to relate this experience to warn other people, who may be hoodwinked by Hotelsone.com.

    They are not real, they are conmen, worse than the tribe of fraudsters in my country that the Western world likes to write about.

    Adebayo Onanuga

    aonanuga1957@yahoo.com; aonanuga1956@gmail.com

  2. Not only did they not reserve my room, they charged my credit card, and refused to refund claiming “the room is only guaranteed by 12:00 A.M.”

  3. Roberta Hicks said:

    I booked at Hotelsone a non-refundable rate. A few days before my trip I called the hotel directly and was told that the hotel I booked was sold and under new ownership and a new name. They told me that they did not have any of the old reservations and I would have to re-book with them. They honored the price. Since my trip was 4 days away, I re-booked with them. I then called Hotelsone and explained the situation. I explained it to clerk 1 who put me on hold for a long time, She then transferred me to Clerk two and had to explained my story again. She needed to confirm my story by calling the hotel . After another long wait, she agreed to refund me. BUT I would have to hold again.
    After a longer wait, a man came on to handle the cancelation. I had to explain by story a 3rd time. Had to confirm my story again with the hotel. He was VERY difficult to understand.
    I finally got them to process the refund –which can take up to 30 days. ****I will never book with a 3rd party ever again***
    This process took 1 1/2 hours… I am thankand caught first before flying.

  4. I wouldn’t actually appreciate how I finished upwards below, even so believed the following release had been excellent. I’m not sure which team you can be having said that undoubtedly you are going to the well known digg if you are not really previously. Regards!

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