So you canceled your hotel reservation — prove it!

When Michele Buescher reserved a room at the Super 8 property in Frankfort, Ind., through Priceline, she knew she had a limited time to cancel her stay.

But she phoned the hotel with plenty of time to spare, she says. Five full days, to be exact.

“I have a copy of the receipt which confirms this policy,” she says.

Ah, but does she have a cancellation number?

Yes, she does. But it’s not enough.

Last week we noticed that our room had not been refunded, so we called the motel. At first we were told we needed to have canceled in seven days.

Then when we had proof of cancellation policy, we were told he didn’t understand, he couldn’t do anything, ask Priceline.

Each time we talked with same rude worker, who we think is the manager. He is very difficult to understand and work with. He would not tell us his name.

He kept asking why we canceled. He was very uncooperative and unprofessional. I have tried calling at various times of the day, hoping to talk with someone different so I could get a name or email of the manager or owner, but he has answered every time I have called.

OK, so to reiterate: Buescher canceled well in advance of her stay, she received a cancellation number from Super 8, and the hotel still refuses to process the refund?

I asked Priceline to have a look at its records. Here’s what a representative told me:

The hotel is adamant that there was no cancellation and will not issue a refund.

The stay was for June 29 to July 1. The customer could have contacted us as late as June 28 for a full refund.

Unfortunately, we did not hear from the customer until July 17, by which time it was too late for us — or any other booking agent for that matter — to assist.

If you didn’t book directly with the hotel, you should always make your cancellation through the booking agency.

In other words, it doesn’t matter that Buescher phoned Super 8 and received a verbal confirmation and a confirmation number. She needed to call Priceline to make the cancellation.

Seriously?

I asked Super 8 corporate to review her refund request. It investigated the cancellation and offered Buescher a full refund. But the money came from Wyndham corporate, which owns the Super 8 brand, not from the hotel.

(By the way, I think corporate Wyndham did a commendable job of handling this refund. It helped this customer when no one else would, and I’m grateful for its cooperation)

But I’m troubled by this case, which very nearly didn’t go her way. Super 8, like many other budget hotels, seems to dole out franchises like Halloween candy, but often exercises minimal control over its hotels.

So it’s pretty easy for an owner to go “rogue” and refuse to honor an agreement, even when there’s proof of a phone call, a written confirmation agreement, and even cell phone records to verify a cancellation was made.

If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s that you need to notify the agency through which you booked a hotel room. Maybe the threat of having this Super 8 franchise blacklisted by Priceline would have been more incentive to issue a refund.

Then again, maybe not.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at chris@elliott.org. Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • Michelle C

    I’m just sitting on the edge of my seat wondering how the three people who voted no are rationalizing their choice… but then again there is always a ……………… oh never mind.

  • http://flyicarusfly.com/ Fly, Icarus, Fly

    Why didn’t she cancel with Priceline to begin with? Or disputed the charge with her credit card? Sigh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CarverFarrow Carver Clark Farrow

    Why wouldn’t she call the hotel? Especially after getting a cancellation number, a reasonable person would believe that this was a done deal. A credit card dispute would have been premature.

  • http://flyicarusfly.com/ Fly, Icarus, Fly

    Carver, where do you think she got the cancellation number? (I’ll help you out — from the hotel.) She made the reservation thru Priceline. She should’ve made the cancellation thru Priceline.

    And the credit card dispute being premature? How does it work in your world? Merchant – Consumer Advocate – Credit card? As a consumer, I’d be trying to fix my own problems before I ask for help.

  • JenniferFinger

    Once she cancelled and got a confirmation number, that should have been the end of it. She wasn’t going to use the room, and she gave plenty of notice, so she should have gotten the refund, regardless of whether Wyndham or Priceline had to provide it.

  • $16635417

    Why Priceline? This was not an opaque booking and there is no indication it is a prepaid booking. She made the reservation through Priceline, but cancelled with the hotel. Priceline was not in the loop in the cancellation until after the fact.

  • absherlock

    You cancel with the business to whom you made payment (in this case, probably Priceline). They took your money, you should get it back from them.

  • $16635417

    I gotta agree with you in principle, but not practice. She had plenty of time to make the cancellation through the same channel she booked it. Even though she was right, she could have probably saved some aggravation.

  • emanon256

    While I do think she should have gotten the refund, I wonder how Priceline would know to refund her. From what I have been told, sites like Priceline simply send of a list of names via fax and send a bulk payment. So if the hotel cancels one of these reservations, it may be canceled in their system, but since the payment isn’t directly associated it with it, how do they track it down to refund it? And of course if they do track it down, the hotel refunds priceline, not the OP and then priceline has their own policies in place, though they should refund the OP since they got refunded.

    I know this because I got burned by Expedia once. I canceled a hotel I booked on Expedia, and even made sure the hotel processed the refund (They explained how hard that was), and then Expedia refused to refund me. This was 10 years ago, before I knew about Chris, and it was a painful lesson.

    I do agree with the statement that since she booked through priceline, she should have canceled through priceline. I wish that was more clear, but I am sure it is somewhere in priceline’s terms and conditions. But I still vote for the refund, as the hotel was made aware the room was no longer needed.

  • $16635417

    There’s no indication this was a prepaid or opaque booking. The story simply says she made a reservation through Priceline, not prepaid for the room through them.

    I do agree that making the cancellation through Priceline would have probably saved aggravation.

  • $16635417

    Priceline has an opaque option, a prepaid option and a standard, traditional reservation option where you pay the hotel at check in. There’s no indication she prepaid, so it’s likely she simply made a standard reservation through Priceline, meaning they didn’t have her money in the first place.

  • emanon256

    She says she had not received a refund, so that makes it sound as if it was prepaid, but that is an assumption on my part.

  • absherlock

    She says she wasn’t refunded the amount which means she paid it at some point. If she never checked in because she cancelled, who else would she have paid but Priceline?

  • TonyA_says

    I agree with your assumption.
    If she booked under Priceline’s PAY-WHEN-YOU-STAY option, then her credit card should NOT have been billed until the time of her stay. That said, what was there to refund?
    Therefore, I also suspect this was a PAY-IN-ADVANCE booking. If so, then this becomes a third-party hotel booking. The guest PAYS Priceline and not the hotel. So if they want their money back, they need to cancel with Priceline.

  • TonyA_says

    People need to learn that HOW you book a hotel room matters.
    There are 2 general booking models other than DIRECT with the hotel property:
    (AGENCY) – you book through an agent of the hotel (meaning you are dealing with the hotel). You usually PAY THE HOTEL [AT CHECKOUT]. You can cancel with the agent or the hotel since they are looking at the same connected systems.
    (MERCHANT) – you book a room from a hotel merchant (Priceline, Expedia, or a wholesaler) who have discounted net rate rooms allocated with the hotel properties. You are dealing with the merchant and not with the hotel. You usually will PREPAY the merchant. The hotel will only bill you for ancillaries. You must cancel with the MERCHANT since your money or contract is with the merchant. As far as the hotel is concerned you are a third-party guest – someone else (the merchant) paid for your stay. Just because you cancel with the hotel (and get a confirmation number) does not mean the merchant will also cancel your contract with them. REPEAT you are dealing with the merchant and not the hotel.

  • Lindabator

    But her mistake was not in cancelling with Priceline – you ALWAYS cancel with the source you booked with. Why use a 3rd party for booking, and not for the cancellation???

  • emanon256

    I would like to combine both answers. I agree that she needed to cancel through priceline. But I still think she should get a refund as her room was refundable and she did cancel it and got a confirmation.

    I think its the hotel that dropped the ball by telling her it was canceled, and then telling her after after it was too late that she needed to call priceline to cancel. If they could tell her she had to cancel through priceline after it was too late, why couldn’t they tell her she had to cancel through priceline when she first called to cancel, then there never would have been a problem.

    Yes the OP does have some blame here too, but I also think the hotel does. Perhaps I am begin to lenient today.

  • Lindabator

    Because when you book thru a 3rd party, you NEED to cancel thru them.. If she wanted to deal directly with the hotel, that’s how she should have booked it. Terms & conditions are different when using 3rd party providers (remember the airline ticket debackle?). The hotel can promise anything it likes, and a cancellation does not mean a refund. It still needs to go back to the booking agent (Priceline) to cancel and refund thru their system.

  • Lindabator

    TRUE! If you don’t go back to the source you BOOKED with, this is always the result. Nice of Wyndham to refund her, but she screwed up by deciding to bypass Priceline in the first place. Just foolish!

  • TonyA_says

    This is a PITA for hotels. When third party bookings are cancelled by the guests (and not by the merchant) with the hotel, why does the hotel have an obligation to make sure merchant refunds the guest, or tell the guest what to do to get a refund? The hotel’s job is just to provide a room to the guest. The business end is done by the merchant.

  • Michael__K

    Edit: You can disregard my search results below; I can’t reproduce them so it may have been a mistake. I re-searched repeatedly and each of those resulted in the same cancellation policies that TonyA reports.

    ——

    When I search the Super 8 in Frankfort, IN on Priceline today, the PAY-IN-ADVANCE option has a 24-hour cancellation and the PAY-WHEN-YOU-STAY option has a 7-day cancellation.

    Since the story reports a 7-day cancellation, my assumption is she chose PAY-WHEN-YOU-STAY (and complaining about the lack of a “refund” rather an erroneous charge was probably just the OP being inarticulate).

  • emanon256

    I agree its a PITA for them. But I would think when she called initially, they should have said that she needs to call priceline if she wants to cancel, rather that going through the motions of canceling the room. That would have made it easier for everyone involved including the hotel.

  • disqus_A6K3VBf8Zn

    I encountered a similar situation but the hotel clerk would not send me a cancellation confirmation. He said my having the cancellation ID # was enough; Sure enough I was billed for the open room. This was possibly also an Eight motel.
    I believe the billed charge included a “no-show fee.” Greed is good for a few.

  • $16635417

    The hotel charged her a one night cancellation penalty.

  • $16635417

    I agree, the charge was probably the hotel’s one night cancellation penalty.

  • TonyA_says

    I did the same thing early this morning (before I posted anything). I also saved my research. So here is the dump:
    (Note: I “booked” one night 31AUG.

    Priceline: Pay In Advanced – Flexible Cancellation [$69.99]
    Priceline will not charge you a change or cancel fee, however this hotel has the following cancellation policy: For the room type you’ve selected, you can cancel your reservation for a full refund up until noon on Thursday, August 30th (local hotel time). If you decide to cancel your reservation anytime between noon on Thursday, August 30th and noon on Friday, August 31st (local hotel time), the hotel requires payment for the first night’s stay. You will be charged for the first night’s stay including taxes and fees. Any remaining amount will be refunded to you. Refunds or cancellations are not available after noon local hotel time on your day of arrival (Friday, August 31st).

    Priceline: Pay When You Stay – Special COnditions [$69.99]
    Priceline will not charge you a change or cancel fee, however this hotel has the following cancellation policy: Good news! This reservation qualifies for free cancellation up until 11:59 PM local hotel time on Tuesday, August 28, 2012. If cancelled or modified up to 2 days before date of arrival, no fee will be charged. If cancelled or modified later or in case of no-show, 100 percent of the first night will be charged. Any cancellation and/or change fees described here are charged directly by the hotel.

    Super-8: Best Available Rate [from $69.99] Policy

    Rate Description: Best Available Rate Is Available To All Travelers And Allows You To Change Or Cancel Your Reservation.

    Cancellation Policy: If you need to cancel, you must do so by 04:00 PM 08/30/2012 or your credit card will be charged for one night’s stay.

  • john4868

    I’d didn’t vote because I thought the answers were loaded and neither reflected my opinion.
    Seems to me she did most things correctly but I have one observation. If you make a booking through a third party, you need to cancel through the same booking source or waive the ability for the booking source to help you (basically what Priceline is saying in their note back). By going around them, you negate their ability to track the cancellation.
    In this case, I really can’t hold Priceline accountable since she went around them. It’s nice that Wyndham refunded her money.

  • TonyA_says

    Chris Elliott – one simple question, WHO billed her credit card – Priceline or the hotel?

  • TonyA_says

    I see only 2 days prior cancellation on Priceline POSTPAY rates. See pic (Note room is for 01NOV.)

  • TonyA_says

    I am not sure I read that in the article. Maybe I need more coffee?

  • TonyA_says

    That would be NICE, but the hotel is under no obligation to do that. From the hotel’s perspective, the customer is Priceline (or the merchant).

  • Rosered7033

    Not in the article but gleaned from post by Tony A.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    I’m fairly certain she was billed by Priceline, but I will ask her. This was not a name-your-own-price reservation.

  • $16635417

    I should have ended the sentence with a question mark instead of a period. That was how I interpreted it.

  • TonyA_says

    FYI, Priceline sells 3 ways (types):
    (1) OPAQUE
    (2) Net Rate (TravelWeb inventory) usually prepaid. This is NOT opaque.
    (3) Postpay at Checkout (Booking.com agency). This is definitely not opaque.

    These different types is enough to confuse most Elliottt blog readers.
    Unless you know the inner-workings of hotel distribution or an insider, welcome to the maddening crowd.:-)

  • TonyA_says

    I wish Elliott would simply give us more details :-)

  • $16635417

    Thanks…I believe that would be a game changer in my eyes.

  • TonyA_says

    So there you go. This was sold under the MERCHANT model. She must process her cancellation from PRICELINE since this is a 3rd party booking as far as the hotel is concerned.

    Chris please read my post on the 3 booking types of Priceline – (1) Opaque, (2) Discounted Net Rate (Merchant Model), (3) Booking.Com agency booking – Postpay, you pay hotel at checkout.

  • Michael__K

    I just re-tried for a bunch of different dates including yours and I’m consistently seeing what you saw (1+ day cancellation for prepaid and 2+ days cancellation for Pay When You Stay).

    So I probably mis-read or mis-clicked somewhere the first time. Apologies.

  • $16635417

    I probably wont be following this until later today/tonight. If it was a prepaid reservation, local hotel should not have accepted the cancellation and referred her to Priceline. Extra customer service points to Wyndham for refunding anyway…points deducted from local hotel for not informing the guest of the right process…no points given or deducted from Priceline since they were out of the loop until long after and probably paid the hotel in the interim. Lesson? When possible, cancel with the party you booked.

  • SoBeSparky

    You cancel with the party you made a contract with. Period. No refund.

  • TonyA_says

    Michelle, you have an excellent post. I don’t understand why there are 3 people who oppose your comment.

    From a MORAL or ETHICAL viewpoint, the OP should be been able to cancel her hotel booking without any problem. However the travel industry has morphed into one giant monster “gotcha” ball.

    Take hotel room distribution as an example. Not too long ago (before these opaque and online-wholesalers entered the picture), one simply used a travel agent or booked directly with the hotel. The costs were the same. No one gamed the system. There was only one exception – hotels gave PackageTour or FIT operators a different rate that they could BUNDLE as part of a tour cost.

    Then the gaming began. These Tour/FIT (net rates) were sold to the general public ONLINE without the tour. This became known as the MERCHANT model. The problem is the customer does not know the difference between the best available PUBLISHED rate and these MERCHANT NET rates (with markup). In the former, you are dealing directly with the hotel. In the latter you are dealing with the MERCHANT.

    Unfortunately, the merchants do not spell it out that clearly.

  • TonyA_says

    Emanon, the very large MERCHANTS (expedia, priceline, etc.) usually pay the hotel with a one-time use Mastercard.

  • emanon256

    Yeah, I think I am being too lenient. I haven’t actually voted yet. I wanted to vote Yes, but am now leaning towards No.

  • emanon256

    I could not agree more! You completely summed up my thoughts too!

  • TonyA_says

    So she could have cancelled even later. The date of cancellation is NOT the issue, then. The issue is HOW she cancelled. She did not understand she was dealing with a MERCHANT of the hotel room and not the hotel directly. That said, she should have cancelled with the MERCHANT.

    I am totally disgusted on how this MERCHANT system works. It never fails to screw the customer.

  • IGoEverywhere

    This is the no-brainer of the century. They have no reservation with the hotel. Priceline has the reservation in the client’s name and they are the only ones that can cancel it. Why did they book with Priceline to begin with? It was probably cheaper as Priceline has the contract with Super 8. NO REFUND FOR YOU!
    2) Motel 8 traditionally had foreign managers; I can’t think of a single stay or customer that could dispute this. Talking to them is like talking to Dell – you get nowhere fast with an agent calling themselves Peggy. You get what you pay for! So look for a cheap hotel through an internet booking, what did you get? A cheap loss of payment.
    3) What was the price at Motel 8? There would have probably been a 4pm cancellation time on the day of arrival.
    Strike 3

  • IGoEverywhere

    You are dealing with Motel 6 here. Minimum wage jobs have no idea that they can not cancel the booking.

  • IGoEverywhere

    I see another 4pm cancellation time limit….It is all based on the cost of the room that you are willing to pay.

  • TonyA_says

    I think you and mikegun may be missing a small point. Most hotels really hate these NET MERCHANT RATES since they are at least 25-35% off the best available rate. The only reason hotels take them is because after 9/11 room occupancy rates tumbled. The whole deal just got stuck since then.

    When a hotel barely makes money on these very cheap NET rates to MERCHANTS, often than not, the GUESTS take the heat. They are given the worst rooms and lousy service.

    I am not making excuses for Super 8, but do they need to baby Priceline customers? They processed the room CANCELLATION. But Priceline needs to process the REFUND. The hotel is NOT HOLDING the customer’s money. The parent company (of the franchise) went above and beyond.

    People need to understand that the HOTEL RESERVATION system will process a cancellation (nothing but a status change). The hotel simply does NOT BILL THE MERCHANT. But that does not signal an ACCOUNTING or PAYMENT transaction automatically OF THE MERCHANT.

    I am not aware of an EDI transaction which essentially states “YOUR customer cancelled a reservation in MY hotel so you should offer YOUR customer a refund”.

  • TonyA_says

    That’s the SOP of the hotel itself if one books directly with them.
    Priceline has its own cancellation policy (worse).

  • TonyA_says

    Can they refuse to cancel if the NAMED GUEST is requesting it?

  • Darryl Wilson

    The hotel SHOULD have honoured the refund request because it was the hotel’s fault for not advising the guest that she must cancel through Priceline. The hotel should never have cancelled the reservation. Furthermore, it would be impossible for the hotel to refund the guest’s full amount because firstly, the hotel never took payment from the guest. They collected from Priceline and Priceline collected from the guest. Secondly, what the hotel gets from Priceline is less than what the guest paid. However, it should be noted that Wyndham Corporate will enforce the rules with their franchisees and fine them if they fail to comply. If you can never get a satisfactory resolution from the property, always phone the brand customer care department. Technically, the guest did make an error but it’s a reasonable mistake and the hotel should have known better.

  • absherlock

    How did they get her credit card info if she never checked in?

  • emanon256

    Probably not. I guess I am expecting too much of the hotel.

  • wiseword

    One problem I see is that the owner/manager was not — how shall I put it delicately? — fluent in the English language. He was a refugee from an Indian call center.

  • emanon256

    I think you are right, I am expecting too much of the hotel. I don’t know of a way they would notify Priceline either, nor should they have to. But I think it would have been the right thing to do had they simply mentioned to her that she should call Priceline. I do think it was going above and beyond for the parent company to refund her, and I commend them for that.

    I really don’t like this whole merchant process for the reasons you mentioned. I recall another time, back before I learned not to use these sites, I was staying at a hotel in Memphis and was put in a horrible room that was half under construction, had a door in the lobby, and while it had a bed, was missing some other amenities such as a working TV. I asked to be moved and was told by the front desk staff, “Not for the price you paid.” They really don’t like that they give these guests worse rooms and lousy service, but I understand why that that is the case.

  • $16635417

    When you book a hotel through a travel agency, the credit card info is transmitted to the hotel as a guarantee.

  • bodega3

    I agree that the hotel screwed up. They were not impowered to do what they did based on the method of the reservation.
    I am not sure why Chris ‘seriously’ didn’t understand this.

  • TonyA_says

    We need a black box warning (i.e. Surgeon General).
    WARNING: YOU ARE BUYING THIS HOTEL ROOM STAY FROM A MERCHANT OF THE HOTEL. ALL BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS MUST BE DONE THROUGH THE MERCHANT. THE HOTEL HAS NO OBLIGATION OTHER THAN TO PROVIDE YOU THE ROOM AND ITS AMENITIES. DO NOT CALL THE HOTEL. CALL THE MERCHANT.

  • $16635417

    Well…someone apparently needs to baby PL customers. Why would you not contact the party that has your money?

  • TonyA_says

    If the hotel did not charge Priceline, then Priceline should give the customer her money back. Priceline should not make (or be entitled) a windfall profit over “poor communication” if they did not pay the hotel for the room.

  • Joe Farrell

    The first and only problem is booking a room at a Super 8, Motel 6 or ANY of the hotels on that end of the spectrum . . . if you don’t get bed bugs you are going to get a crummy lumpy bed, cheap thin towels and overall generally an experience which will compare to your dorm room at college, along with many of the same characters in the adjoining rooms

  • ExplorationTravMag

    I’m starting to believe the average, casual traveler is becoming lazy and complacent.

    This is an example of a traveler not doing their due diligence to make sure all was well in her credit card world. She seems to have made the reservation through Priceline, pre-paid through Priceline and didn’t involve Priceline in the cancellation.

    As a matter of “doing the right thing”, yes, I feel she should have gotten a refund. As a matter of “ignorance shouldn’t be a defense”, no, she shouldn’t have gotten a refund and that would have taught her to do it right the next time.

  • Joe_D_Messina

    I agree she should have canceled through Priceline, but once she got a cancellation number from the hotel I think the game changed. They let her cancel, thus they shouldn’t be able to penalize her. Their mistake.

  • http://flyicarusfly.com/ Fly, Icarus, Fly

    Yep. Agree. Once she had the confirmation number, I don’t think the outcome was really in doubt. It was just who behind-the-scenes was responsible for issuing the refund or who mistakenly charged her in the first place. I think she could’ve saved herself some grief, but all’s well…

  • Adam_The_Man

    Total Scam!!!

  • flutiefan

    and clearly you have no idea how to read. it’s Super 8.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CarverFarrow Carver Clark Farrow

    I agree. Cancelling through priceline would probably have saved her some hassle. My problem is that if she was required to cancel through priceline the hotel should have said so. Consider that no one is saying that priceline is contesting the cancellation, demanding to keep fees, etc. Its no different than booking through a TA, then calling the hotel directly to cancel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CarverFarrow Carver Clark Farrow

    So what exactly are you disagreeing with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CarverFarrow Carver Clark Farrow

    Let me see if I understand your point. The hotel, i.e. the principal, provides a cancellation number, the gold standard in the travel world that a reservation has been cancelled. But then it turns around and says “psych”, fooled you, the cancellation number was really an April’s fools joke, you still owe us the money.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CarverFarrow Carver Clark Farrow

    I stayed in one in the early 2000s. My college dorm room was much nicer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CarverFarrow Carver Clark Farrow

    I can answer your question. Some people have very legalistic world views.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CarverFarrow Carver Clark Farrow

    Frequent travelers understand this, but it’s not reasonable to require this level of industry knowledge from a casual travelers. Booking a simple domestic hotel room should not require a six week training class.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CarverFarrow Carver Clark Farrow

    Foolish perhaps but someone still owes her a refund.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CarverFarrow Carver Clark Farrow

    Was that last sentence really necessary?

  • TonyA_says

    Agree. I do have trouble (ethically and morally) with what is going on today with regards to Hotel Distribution. There is lack of complete disclosure to SIMPLE people.

  • TonyA_says

    Where in Memphis? If it’s near the airport, you are lucky to be alive :-)

  • TonyA_says

    I don’t think there should be a gotcha in hotel bookings. The problem is people are so used to thinking that the “A” in OTA means AGENTs – meaning they are acting as AGENTS of the HOTEL (which is the principal). The problem is the OTAs for some types of hotel bookings are no longer just agents – they have become MERCHANTS. The FTC should really come down hard on this. Either you are an AGENT or a MERCHANT but not both.
    Confusion leads to lousy consumer protection.

  • absherlock

    That the credit card info was processed by Priceline, the hotel or a third party makes no difference – she gave the info to Priceline. Had she gone to them first, they wouldn’t have passed the info on to the hotel.

  • $16635417

    Not disagreeing with you there. That’s the crux of the problem. When at all possible, cancel who you book with.

  • Joe Farrell

    step 1 – cancellation number in hand

    step 2 – sit at computer – we know she has a computer since she used priceline

    step 3 – go to the credit company website

    step 4 – log in and go to the transaction that is in dispute- does it right click? If not write down the transaction number

    step 5 – go to ‘dispute a transaction’

    step 6 – enter: “I canceled this reservation within the cancellation period and was charged anyway. Here is the cancellation number. The hotel refuses to refund my money. I dispute this transaction.”

    End of problem – no need to involve Chris Elliott or anyone else. Wyndham would save some money and the bad guy here – hotel X – gets to pay.

    ALL of you can do this in the future – wether it involves airplanes, pork bellies or rental cars. Its that simple. Oh, wait, you did not use a credit card? You bad. Don’t do that again.

  • emanon256

    We actually ended up at a Marriott, but it was under construction at the time and they made it clear that we paid to little. It was when we will looking for an apartment. We had used Priceline name your own price.
    When my Mom came to visit she used Hot Wire and got a great hotel, The Peabody. The only problem was they told her her rate was too low, and they charged her more when she checked in. They said it was a mistake rate and they had to charge the difference or she would have to leave. A call to Hot Wire did absolutely nothing to help. She sucked it up and paid as we already had 4 cousins staying with us in our 1 bedroom apartment.
    Got to love Memphis. Actually, I really do miss it there. Long walks down the Mississippi every day. Warm winters. Northwest Airlines :)

  • bodega3

    Yet more online bookers screw up, then write Chris for help and we scratch our heads wondering if they ever read the terms and conditions BEFORE paying.

  • bodega3

    No necessarily. She screwed up in how she went about cancelling. I believe that the hotel also screwed up and should have directed her back to Priceline, but the bottom line is she should have known where to call for the cancellation. It was in the terms and conditions of her booking. Do online shoppers/buyers read?

  • TonyA_says

    Hey I didn’t know you spent some time there. I worked for FedEx (in MEM) for almost a decade in the 80s. Community there mostly FDX, Northworst and Holiday Inn folks. It was during those years where I saw airports I never dreamed of going (to). Peabody is nice. Did you see the ducks marching? The walks you are talking about must be near Mud Island or the upscale condos near there. Otherwise, you are looking for a mugging. Most of the FDX MIS folks now are at COS. They could not get enough techies to live in MEM. Only thing I miss about MEM is the food – *real* BBQ and Fried Catfish with Hush Puppies. Sometimes I miss flying NONREV, ID90 or jump seat. But I’m really tired of the airport scene and want to stay put in one place for a long time. Wow, I didn’t know your liked Elvis :-)

  • emanon256

    Yep, we lived in the cheap apartments just passed the really fancy houses on Mud Island. My wife did her internship with the police department and the VA hospital. She saw some of the scariest parts of Memphis. I can still hardly believe some of the stories she told me. My favorite place was The BBQ Shop on Poplar. I’m pretty sure that was the actual name. We did get to see the ducks. Also the resturaunt in the Peabody used to have really good lunch specials. That was a fun town.

  • Michael__K


    Do online shoppers/buyers read?

    The “Important Information” section on Priceline’s confirmation page includes a “Cancel Policy” sub-section. There is no mention whatsoever there of HOW to cancel.

    If you click on the overall Priceline.com terms, and scroll through most of the 36 pages (including stuff that mostly has nothing to do with non-opaque hotel reservations), it does suggest that you “should” call Priceline, but even then not in a clear unequivocal fashion:

    Late Arrival and Failure to Check-in on First Night: While you should call Priceline if you wish to cancel a cancellable reservation in advance of your stay, if you are going to be delayed on your date of check in or find that you cannot check in to your hotel on the date you requested, you should contact the hotel to let them know. If you fail to check in to your hotel on the day of your reservation and do not alert the hotel, the remaining portion of your reservation may be canceled and you may not be entitled to a refund, depending on the terms and conditions of the applicable hotel.

    Cancellations and Changes to Your Reservation: Hotel cancellation policies vary. Certain reservations are non-cancellable and non-changeable. Others require you to pay a penalty if you cancel. Still others are fully refundable. Check the hotel cancellation policy when you book. If changes to your pre-paid reservation are allowed, any changes to a pre-paid reservation are only permitted as a cancellation and booking of a new reservation.

    http://www.priceline.com/privacypolicy/terms_en.html#section23

  • TonyA_says

    Easy solution, do NOT use PRICELINE if you ever think you will cancel.

  • wiseword

    Yes.

  • IGoEverywhere

    Sorry, same chain, same problems.

  • IGoEverywhere

    did you try a GDS system like Galileo, Sabre, etc. They have totally different rates and rules, all the same as mentioned, plus 5 different fully refundable rates. It’s how much, how the reservation is booked, and where it is Booked. I also looked at my CCRA and Results booking modules with 24 hour cancellation and no deposit just guarantee rates. Tbound gave me a pre-pay 24 hour cancellation.

  • TonyA_says

    Be careful. GDS is now including MERCHANT / NET rates. So this is the same BS (or garbage) just sold through a GDS.

  • plodder gui

    Priceline and Super 8. You go cheap you get cheap. Why do you mediate these?

  • flutiefan

    apology not accepted. for how rude and condescending you are about airline agents, calling us stupid and uneducated over various posts, you don’t get to make this kind of simple mistake without taking the heat.

  • Vic B.

    When booking a room through a 3rd
    Party like Priceline, Expedia, hotels.com etc.. only the information about WHO
    the guest is, WHAT dates they are staying,

    .are given to the hotel.. Personal Contact information about the guest is NOT transmitted
    to the hotel like phone number, address, email, AND the Credit Card.

    The Credit Card given to the hotel belongs to the 3rd Party Co. (ONE TIME
    charge card)

    Say the guest books a $100 room from Priceline
    Guest Pays $100 + taxes
    Priceline takes their commission say 30% ($30.00)
    Hotel only gets $70.00 + taxes from Priceline. ON A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CARD
    FROM THE GUEST PERSONAL CARD THAT BOOKED THE ROOM FROM PRICELINE.