frustrated_womanOn a recent family vacation roadtrip I booked a stay with hotels.com.  I was promised a certain rate and a $25 food voucher.  I received the confirmation and when I arrived at the hotel, after 9pm and with a hungry family, the front desk had never heard of the food voucher promotion.   I could not blame the front desk since I had made the reservation with hotels.com, not them.  I was annoyed. 

The next day I tried calling hotels.com 3 times to speak with a supervisor.  I was on hold so long I gave up.  I had given them my name and number and was pleasantly surprised when a supervisor called me back and promised to find out what happened.  I later spoke with the hotel and they had been contacted by hotels.com who claimed there was a voucher on the hotels.com site that they did not know about.  Still, no one offered a voucher. 

Fast forward 2 days later and 40 more minutes on hold.  The customer service rep offered me a $30 hotel voucher to use in the future (why would I want to book with them again?!) and when I asked for the corporate office number, she said she was not at liberty to disclose that — to check Google.  Her supervisor gave me the number.

Corporate Customer Relations is crediting my bill for the $25 and was extremely apologetic.  I am not thrilled that it will take 7-10 days for that credit to show up but it’s a start and the end of the endless hold times. She said that hotels.com will advocate for their customers if there is a negative experience to get a price adjustment.

This scenario is worth considering when you book with a hotel aggregator.  It’s all too easy for them and the hotel to pass the buck.  The hotel should have been aware of the voucher and hotels.com should have followed through to make this happen.  In addition, remember that, for hotels.com at least, their call centers are global and the power their reps have is very limited.  It’s always a good idea to get the corporate office number.  Even if you have to Google it.