PARIS

They promised us Paris, but $18,000 later …


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Even if the vacation club she bought didn’t work out, and even if the “free” trip to Hawaii never materialized, Tali Buchman figured she’d always have Paris.
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Sacré Coeur! This isn’t the hotel I booked


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When it comes to Hotwire, you know the drill: You book an unnamed hotel in a vaguely-defined neighborhood in exchange for a steep discount.
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Hotels.com left me in Paris sans hotel


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Iohan/Shutterstock
Iohan/Shutterstock
When Judi McManigal arrives at her hotel in Paris, she discovers she doesn’t have a reservation. Her online travel agency won’t help her. Is she stuck with the bill?

Question: We made a reservation recently on Hotels.com for a hotel in Paris. When we arrived, the hotel informed us that they had canceled the reservation due to an issue with the credit card transaction. Apparently, not all U.S. credit cards are accepted in Europe, which we also learned when we tried to buy train tickets from a machine with the same credit card.

Our hotel told us that they had notified Hotels.com of the credit card issue and cancellation before our arrival. They even showed me a printout of the email. However, Hotels.com never notified us of the credit card problem, nor the cancellation. The hotel had only one night available, so we had to find another hotel at the last minute for the three remaining nights.

We called the Hotels.com number in France, and the agent stated that they had the cancellation in their system. But after speaking with several representatives, Hotels.com refused to put us in another hotel at the same rate.
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A perfect Paris vacation foiled by a flagging flap — what can I do?


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It was supposed to be a special trip for Alana Pitts and her father to celebrate his birthday in Paris. They’d made reservations at the Hilton Arc De Triomphe hotel in Paris back in June, using his HHonors points, and selected a special room on the executive floor with two queen-size beds.
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Murphy’s unfortunate stay in an AirBNB apartment


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You know Murphy’s Law — “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”? Well, Eric Schwartzman had one of those experiences when he rented an apartment from AirBNB recently.

Before I get into his story, I should mention that Schwartzman is a fellow journalist who was referred to me by another colleague. I help a lot of journalists off the record, but it rarely gets to this level.

And what level is this? Schwartzman is unhappy with the way AirBNB handled a difficult stay in Paris with his family, and is disappointed by the reaction from the company’s management when he questioned its policies.
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Paris for 10 euros a night — uh, make that 100 euros


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Question: I recently booked a hotel in Paris through Travelocity for 10 euros a night. Great rate, huh? Afterward, I booked airline tickets separately.

Not long after that, in the course of e-mail conversations with the hotel, they told me this was a mistake and that they could not honor the rate. Instead, they offered to increase my rate to 100 euros a night.

I then contacted Travelocity via phone, told them the problem and they called back and left me a voice mail saying it was a mistake and to go ahead and travel and then when I got back to contact the consumer relations department for a refund. I still have the voice mail. I contacted the hotel via e-mail and I said I would accept the new rate.

Now Travelocity has offered me a $50 voucher for my trouble. A few days later, they upped it to $250. This is pretty much worthless to me as I usually travel using miles and book my hotels using points. Can you help? — Patrick Kerr, St Louis

Answer: You’re right, that’s a great rate for a hotel room. Unbelievably good. And if Travelocity hadn’t left a voice mail promising to refund 90 euros a night, your case wouldn’t stand much of a chance.
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