Saturday, July 22, 2017

online booking fiasco

With one wrong click of a mouse, Por Por loses $171.

See, she meant to book a hotel room in Hong Kong in November. She went through the hotel booking portal Agoda. Somehow, she clicked the wrong date, sometime in July.

The day she was to have stayed in the hotel went and passed. She discovered later that she was charged the full $171 for one night’s stay. She sends the family a Whatsapp: "I made a terrible mistake on my hotel booking".

Why did she make the mistake? She really cannot recall. Didn't she get any reminder e-mails? She's not sure, perhaps she didn't check or it didn't come into her Inbox for some reason. 

Can she get a full refund? No, says the hotel and Agoda.

Can she get a partial refund? No, says the hotel and Agoda.

And the hotel apparently wasn’t very nice either because Por Por, who never gets angry over anything, said, “I don’t mind the money. But I just don’t like the way I was treated.”

Agoda at least gives her a US$20 voucher. To use in her next booking.

It doesn’t quite take the sting out of things. Por Por resigns herself to making some noise online (Trip Advisor posting etc) and leaves it at that.

I’m not sure if there is any other recourse, especially if her booking was non-refundable. While it's completely unfair for her to lose $171 like that, there's also the issue of hotels and how they cannot possibly be acceding to every request to cancel last-minute or refund.

Anyway, it’s the kind of mistake a careless person like me could very easily make. The problem with everything being at our fingertips these days is that all the middlemen who could check before aren’t there.


Lysithea said...

Perhaps if she paid via credit card, she might want to call the bank to stop the transaction or to investigate the transaction if there's no confirmation email from the hotel or agoda. Can argue if there's no confirmation email.

Anonymous said...

Love reading your blog. IMHO, I think your mom is awesome. She does not mind losing the cash cos its sort of her fault (but agree, would never have happened in the good old days with travel agents). Some people who don't turn up, use the wrong date ruse. These people know its non cancellable so they wait till the date is over to say they made a mistake. Totally not meaning your mom of cos. She was rightfully upset about bad treatment but she did not blame anyone for the wrong dates. This I feel shows she has such wonderful values which are not found much these days cos people always argue on technicalities. Hope you don't mind my honest thoughts-so hard to find honest people of honor these days (or maybe I hang w the wrong crowd). LOL Sha