Hotel in Turkey I booked gave me somewhat of a backhand threat?

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Jan 10, 2020
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I booked a "no cancellation" hotel in Istanbul Turkey and the reservation is for March 17-22. A day after booking, Priceline gave the hotel in Istanbul all my credit card information and the hotel tried to charge me for the booking. Transaction was denied and flagged as fraudulent by Chase the first time. Chase emailed me saying transaction was blocked and that I would need to try the transaction again since it was denied. So I booked the hotel again after telling chase that it was me who tried to reserve the hotel. I got kind of suspicious in the meanwhile did a little research on the hotel (blame me all you want for not doing this earlier), only to find out that they might be renting this to people on an hourly basis for God knows what. I called Priceline withing 48 hours of the initial booking to see if they can cancel the reservation, to which they said priceline used booking.com (apparently these two are sister companies, which I had no idea about) to reserve this hotel but Priceline will contact the hotel in Istanbul to see if they will agree on the cacellation. The hotel said no, they won't cancel a booking made less than 48 hours prior, which tells how desperate they are for money and how much of a shady business they are running. So anyways, I knew given how shady they have been up until this point, they will try to charge me for the first denied transaction as well. So I called chase to bar this merchant from any future transactions. Which led to another frustration because CR said they can only bar the merchant after all pending transactions from the merchant has been cleared/processed. Which did not make any sense to me but I had no other option other than agreeing with the rude representative. The hotel (Istanbul Based Merchant) charged me again today for the hotel and upon contacting them, they said I need to pay for both bookings because its a no refund policy on booking.com. The first booking order that was denied was for [March 17-19 (1bed); March 19-22(2bed)] since I had a friend who would join me from March 19-22. They charged me for the March 17-19 reservation which was again flagged by Chase but they still processed it. I blocked my credit card right then and spoke to another CR who said they are able to block the merchant from running my credit car for the indefinite future. So I was charged for March 17-19 extra and upon emailing the hotel through priceline, they said they reserve the right to withdraw money from my account because "I gave my credit card voluntarily without them holding a gun at me" and that "I would still need to pay for the March 19-22 reservation as soon as I arrive". Depending on how you see it, this can potentially lead to a pretty dangerous situation for me in a foreign country with almost no one to go to for help. One of the hotel's reviewer said they had to call police on them because they won't allow them room even after they paid. Please feel free to blame me for impulse buying a hotel for a trip I have been looking for, I am blaming myself every minute, but do let me know what are my options and how do I go about this whole problem? Can a merchant legally re-run a denied transaction without my consent? What are the chances that I will win if I dispute the transaction with Chase? I mean, I honestly would feel my life is in danger staying at that hotel and given the way they have been treating me so far. In a perfect scenario I would like to cancel all my bookings with this hotel.
 
Jan 10, 2020
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You booked a nonrefundable rate. I assume you chose that rate vs. refundable. If the terms were it’s nonrefundable you don’t get the choice of canceling within a certain amount of time.
I agree, but there is a real safety issue if I stay at that hotel, and I was not aware of this before I booked and they might not even let me check in if I don't pay for the remaining double booking fees, which is basically an extortion.
 

weihlac

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As Neil has noted, regardless of any other issues, a non-refundable rate is non-refundable the minute you book it. There is no 24 or 48 cancellation period. The booking platform does not matter. If you booked two rooms, you have two rooms.
 
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but do let me know what are my options and how do I go about this whole problem?
You can ask Priceline and/or the hotel for an exception to their policy that would allow you to cancel both reservations. If neither agrees to cancel then you would rightfully owe the money for both reservations you made.

Can a merchant legally re-run a denied transaction without my consent?
No, but in your case the bookings you made were your consent so in effect they did have consent to charge you meaning his angle is largely irrelevant and will not lead to your desired resolution.

What are the chances that I will win if I dispute the transaction with Chase?
Not good. Disputes exist to fix billing errors. You admit to making both reservations so you are not being billed in error. Even if you win a dispute, all that does is reverse the payment, it does not make the debt to Priceline go away and they can still pursue you for the amount owed.

In a perfect scenario I would like to cancel all my bookings with this hotel.
As mentioned, that would have to come as a goodwill policy exception. Booking a "no cancellation" room means just that unfortunately.
 

Neil Maley

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I agree, but there is a real safety issue if I stay at that hotel, and I was not aware of this before I booked and they might not even let me check in if I don't pay for the remaining double booking fees, which is basically an extortion.
Unfortunately, the time to do research is before you reserve a nonrefundable rate.

Did you speak to Chase when they flagged the original transaction and tell them it wasn’t fraud? You actually did two separate bookings for different dates, correct?
 
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Sep 19, 2015
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Yes a merchant can legally rerun a transaction. You gave them consent to charge the account by booking it in the first place.

saying the place is desperate because they will not allow change on a non refundable reservation — the big brands do the same — Marriott etc. It is because non refundable means just that.

You will likely not win a dispute.

Are you just focusing on bad reviews are there any good ones?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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I agree, but there is a real safety issue if I stay at that hotel, and I was not aware of this before I booked and they might not even let me check in if I don't pay for the remaining double booking fees, which is basically an extortion.
Why is it extortion to demand payment for something you committed to buying on a non refundable booking?

You say you were not aware but admit to looking after paying — was this an opaque booking ie name not given?
 
May 7, 2019
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I hope you are able to obtain relief — whether from Priceline, Booking.com or the hotel. But there’s a valuable lesson here for the rest of us:

Never make a nonrefundable booking unless you have great confidence in the property you are booking. Cancellation options are generally always available for a premium that is well worth paying to avoid circumstances such as those faced by our OP.

if the booking is being made within the 48- or 72-hour cancellation period, it’s best to be 100 percent certain that you are going to want to stay at the property before making the booking.
 
Nov 22, 2019
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If I understand well, you booked an hotel in Istanbul the same way you would have booked one in Los Angeles, transaction got declined, so you made a new booking, and then you got the new transaction and the declined one which is coming back. It happened to me before so I guess it is normal, when I buy expensive items and it gets flagged, I ended up with two orders and need to cancel one with the merchant or the credit card. It is very frustrating.

For the other one, if you just changed your mind, it is unfortuantely impossible, and even a very bad idea to ask Chase to block the transaction. If the hotel was in Los Angeles, it would be the same: non refundable is non refundable. It is not a fraudulent transaction.

In term of safety, one bad review from one customer doesn't mean anything, even if the review is true. Don't argue more with the hotel and ask to pay only one transaction or ask to Booking/Priceline. Also regarding "might be renting to hourly customers", it is better not to mention it to them, it happens a lot in USA as well in all type of hotels... at least in California.
 
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Unfortunately, the time to do research is before you reserve a nonrefundable rate.

Did you speak to Chase when they flagged the original transaction and tell them it wasn’t fraud? You actually did two separate bookings for different dates, correct?
I spoke to chase and had the halt lifted so the merchant is accepted for future transactions. I did the exact same booking, for the exact same date, in good faith I explained the hotel what had happened, and they just don't want to work it our with me, the hotel is just greedy.
 
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Jan 10, 2020
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Yes a merchant can legally rerun a transaction. You gave them consent to charge the account by booking it in the first place.

saying the place is desperate because they will not allow change on a non refundable reservation — the big brands do the same — Marriott etc. It is because non refundable means just that.

You will likely not win a dispute.

Are you just focusing on bad reviews are there any good ones?
But I only gave permission to run my card once, which was declined, and shouldn't they ask for my permission again before charging me twice? Non-refundable is just a catch, the booking is over two months away, quite ridiculous in my opinion to make a customer suffer like this.
 
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Jan 10, 2020
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Why is it extortion to demand payment for something you committed to buying on a non refundable booking?

You say you were not aware but admit to looking after paying — was this an opaque booking ie name not given?
Well, the hotel knows very well that I will be traveling alone and I explained them as politely as one can the entire situation, they just refused to back down from their unfair practices. It is extortion when they have hinted that they may hold a gun at me and take money when I arrive for the booking I have already paid for.
 
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Jan 10, 2020
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I hope you are able to obtain relief — whether from Priceline, Booking.com or the hotel. But there’s a valuable lesson here for the rest of us:

Never make a nonrefundable booking unless you have great confidence in the property you are booking. Cancellation options are generally always available for a premium that is well worth paying to avoid circumstances such as those faced by our OP.

if the booking is being made within the 48- or 72-hour cancellation period, it’s best to be 100 percent certain that you are going to want to stay at the property before making the booking.
I know, I agree with you that I was stupid to only see the pictures and reviews on Priceline and not verify the condition of the hotel from Google Reviews. As I said, you guys have every right to blame me for it. Last time I stayed in Istanbul, I had the best hotel and the owner was probably the kindest hotel owner I have ever come across, never thought I would have such issues.
 
Jan 10, 2020
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If I understand well, you booked an hotel in Istanbul the same way you would have booked one in Los Angeles, transaction got declined, so you made a new booking, and then you got the new transaction and the declined one which is coming back. It happened to me before so I guess it is normal, when I buy expensive items and it gets flagged, I ended up with two orders and need to cancel one with the merchant or the credit card. It is very frustrating.

For the other one, if you just changed your mind, it is unfortuantely impossible, and even a very bad idea to ask Chase to block the transaction. If the hotel was in Los Angeles, it would be the same: non refundable is non refundable. It is not a fraudulent transaction.

In term of safety, one bad review from one customer doesn't mean anything, even if the review is true. Don't argue more with the hotel and ask to pay only one transaction or ask to Booking/Priceline. Also regarding "might be renting to hourly customers", it is better not to mention it to them, it happens a lot in USA as well in all type of hotels... at least in California.
If I understand well, you booked an hotel in Istanbul the same way you would have booked one in Los Angeles, transaction got declined, so you made a new booking, and then you got the new transaction and the declined one which is coming back. It happened to me before so I guess it is normal, when I buy expensive items and it gets flagged, I ended up with two orders and need to cancel one with the merchant or the credit card. It is very frustrating.

For the other one, if you just changed your mind, it is unfortuantely impossible, and even a very bad idea to ask Chase to block the transaction. If the hotel was in Los Angeles, it would be the same: non refundable is non refundable. It is not a fraudulent transaction.

In term of safety, one bad review from one customer doesn't mean anything, even if the review is true. Don't argue more with the hotel and ask to pay only one transaction or ask to Booking/Priceline. Also regarding "might be renting to hourly customers", it is better not to mention it to them, it happens a lot in USA as well in all type of hotels... at least in California.
I can bare living in that hotel for 5 days but I am not willing to pay twice for that hotel. Actually on priceline, the hotel has a 7 our of 10 rating, but it was my mistake to not check google, where 35% of the reviews are one star compared to 20% 5 star. The reviews on google are practically horror stories. Los Angeles is very different from Istanbul, its a big cultural taboo in Turkey to rent a hotel for an hour, so I am assuming a hotel is pretty xxxxxx up if they practice such things.

Note: Edited by a moderator to remove foul language
 
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Neil Maley

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If you spoke to them and they lifted the first declination you shouldn’t have needed to rebook. By giving them the ok, you approved the booking.

But I am totally confused- it appears you had two different reservations- you say they canceled the March 17-19 booking for the room with one bed. But you also state you had a 2 bed room for then19-22:

The first booking order that was denied was for [March 17-19 (1bed); March 19-22(2bed)] since I had a friend who would join me from March 19-22. They charged me for the March 17-19 reservation which was again flagged by Chase but they still processed it.

I am confused on what you did. Did you book two separate dates on the same reservation?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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I am thoroughly confused. Are there two separate bookings one starting on the 17th for one person and then another was made for the 19th for two people?

The booking for the 17th eventually was charged to credit card but the 19h did not?

Where is the paying twice for the hotel
 
Jan 10, 2020
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If you spoke to them and they lifted the first declination you shouldn’t have needed to rebook. By giving them the ok, you approved the booking.

But I am totally confused- it appears you had two different reservations- you say they canceled the March 17-19 booking for the room with one bed. But you also state you had a 2 bed room for then19-22:

The first booking order that was denied was for [March 17-19 (1bed); March 19-22(2bed)] since I had a friend who would join me from March 19-22. They charged me for the March 17-19 reservation which was again flagged by Chase but they still processed it.

I am confused on what you did. Did you book two separate dates on the same reservation?
The hotel ran my card at 2AM my local time which is when it was denied. I told Chase electronically that it was me so the card doesn't get declined again when I book and I was foolish enough to make another reservation right away because the email I had received from Chase said that if money wasn't taken out, I need to run the card again (which I implied as "make another reservation").

Its on my original post, my first booking was "March 17-19(single bed) + March 19-22 (double bed)" because March 19 is when my friend is supposed to come and join me. But the second time I made the reservation, it was for 1 bed only from March 17-22 because there is a possibility my friend might not come. First they charged me for the second reservation of March 17-22. Then, once it was approved, they again charged me for my first reservation of March 17-19, which was flagged by Chase but approved, that is when I blocked the merchant from charging me again. The dates were same, the hotels were same, the number of beds in the room were only different for March 19-22 booking.
 
Jan 10, 2020
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I am thoroughly confused. Are there two separate bookings one starting on the 17th for one person and then another was made for the 19th for two people?

The booking for the 17th eventually was charged to credit card but the 19h did not?

Where is the paying twice for the hotel
Its on my original post, my first booking was "March 17-19(single bed) + March 19-22 (double bed)" because March 19 is when my friend is supposed to come and join me. But the second time I made the reservation, it was for 1 bed only from March 17-22 because there is a possibility my friend might not come. First they charged me for the second reservation of March 17-22. Then, once it was approved, they again charged me for my first reservation of March 17-19, which was flagged by Chase but approved, that is when I blocked the merchant from charging me again. The dates were same, the hotels were same, the number of beds in the room were only different for March 19-22 booking.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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So you had two separate reservations in one booking- one for one bed March 17-19 and a second for March 19-22? I don’t recall ever seeing one reservation that had two separate dates and room types on it.

But why would you choose a nonrefundable rate at all if you weren’t sure your friend would be joining you? It seems there is more to this story than meets the eye. What is the name of the hotel?


Your error was booking the second room after you approved the first transaction.