Booking.com B.V - booking.com scam

Posted on Sunday, June 13th, 2010 at 1:04pm CDT by 3d5559a3

Product: booking.com

Company: Booking.com B.V

Location: Weteringschans 28 1017 SG Amsterdam-Netherlands
Amsterdam, Am, 1017SG, NL

URL: http://www.booking.com/

Category: Other

On June 2, 2010 I have made a hotel reservation from booking.com on behalf of a friend of mine who was planning to visit Prague and stay in My Hotel Apollon from June 25 to July 6, 2010.

This reservation was necessary for her visa application before coming to Prague, and the reason that I chose Booking.com was its flexibility in the cancellation process in advance in case the visa in question can not be obtained on time, which can happen quite often in the Czech Embassy in Istanbul.

As you can see from the link: http://www.booking.com/hotel/cz/apollon-prague.html?aid=304142 and the screenshots that I attached, the Hotel Conditions section for My Hotel Apollon clearly states that no fee will be charged on the credit card until the 24 hours prior to the booking start date. Based on this information, I logically assumed that Booking.com would prove a trustworthy site which could be relied upon not to abuse the sensitive credit card information provided. Unfortunately, this proved to be far from the case.

On review, the "small print" of the booking on the second page was understandably missed given the clear assurances to the contrary on the first page of booking. Without noting the small text in the

Conditions column below, I therefore continued with giving my friend's personal data and credit card information, assuming that the transaction would be kept on hold until one day prior to the booking date.

Unlike stated on the website, I was informed by my friend that the equivalent of 423 Euros in Turkish Lira currency was in fact credited from her account by this hotel. On review of the reservation details on Booking.com, I noticed in a separate page that, in blatant contradiction to the flexibility so generously offered on the first page, that cancellation was in this case not a possible option after all and the reservation would be charged anyway.

I am very frustrated by the inconsistency between the information given on this site and the hotel's policy. Now my friend is having problems with getting the visa, and probably she will not be able to come to Prague on the stated dates. This is not only the abusive use of my friend's personal details, but also a big amount of lost money which has been illegitimately drawn from her credit card just because that booking.com didn't show My Hotel Apollon's cancellation policy in a clear and consistent way on their site. I am attaching some proof images, just have a look to avoid falling into this scam. I have contacted both the company and the hotel, asking for a refund to compensate their negligence, but booking.com refused to pay my friend back what they have already taken claiming that this is the policy of the hotel and not that of Booking.com. I am going to share this unfortunate experience with everyone I know until they correct their mistake on their site and refund what they have taken from my friend's credit card.


11 Comments

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c632a1a7, 2010-10-24, 12:59PM CDT

I agree 100%. Avoid booking.com and beware of the hotels that do business with them / through them. I just wish I had read it before getting ripped off. The only thing I will add is that the hotel (Hotel Zeil in Frankfurt) says it is booking.com's policy and booking.com says it is the hotel. Our credit card was charged immediately, in contradiction to the statements on booking.com and when we called to change the reservation we were told it is completely unchangeable and non-refundable. That is so absurd and utterly below the standard of the hospitality industry.

2fe79637, 2010-11-08, 09:19AM CST

Thank you for posting this, I was about to make a reservation through that website and ran into this article on my way to their website. I do not know how things work in European banks but I worked in an American bank as a CSR and I can tell you that you can file a claim in your bank against these people and they can help you get your money back.

When you go to a bank in which you have a credit card with or even call a credit card company you tell them that those charges were made fraudulently and against your knowledge and that you are now wanting to start a criminal inquiry against the website and the HOTEL for false advertisement and fraud. Your bank should have a department in charge of these type of claims, and they will also begin their own inquiry on the matter and they usually are able to get your money back within 90 days at the latest. I used to do this for my bank on a daily basis so I know it is possible and it usually works, but again you must inquire at your bank if this might be a possibility. Best of Luck and thanks so much for this article!

9818776a, 2010-11-08, 02:32PM CST

just used the site, no problems. reservation ok and customer support were great

60b35dad, 2010-12-11, 09:42AM CST

I have been using booking.com for more than 10 years and have made countless reservations and (free) cancellations, always checking the cancellation policy carefully before making the booking. Recently I was incorrectly charged by Hotel Saini in Stresa, Italy for a reservation that was cancelled in time. I tried to convince the hotel to refund the money but was continually put off on various excuses. Only after contacting booking.com by email, the matter was handled relatively quickly and after about a month more than 91% of the amount was refunded directly to my bank account. I am now tryimg to obtain the remaining 19 Euro, but I feel that the treatment by booking.com was quick, courteous and professional.

d8829dd0, 2011-01-19, 08:37PM CST

After a full day of work and a 3 hour drive, I arrive in Atlanta, GA at 11:00 p.m. last night only to find the reservation I made through "booking.com" (over 24 hours prior) was not valid! Not only was it not valid, but THEY HAD NO ROOMS! Imagine my frustration when I'm in need of a room I thought I had securely reserved and not only is the reservation not in place, but there are NO ROOMS! Thank God I had a vehicle to get me to the next hotel and hadn't been dropped off by cab!

How is it that this could happen? Perhaps it's the Better Business Bureau I should be contacting!

This was one hell of a lesson learned about trusting such a website. It is also another "horrid" customer service story for my training courses!

The hotel receptionist explained that this happens frequently!

6bcda562, 2011-02-18, 03:06PM CST

i have used booking.com for 6 years +. have cancelled at least 4 bookings with no problems.

it is you that is at fault for not reading the booking info. i suspect you booked rooms at a special cheap rate that stipulates your card will be billed immediately & no cancellation possible.

e199b39f, 2011-02-23, 08:54PM CST

I have to agree, DO NOT USE "Booking.com"

that they are very unreliable. I was ripped off on a trip to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. Although Booking.com said they would sort it out in a few days after a month of waiting I gave up. My only satisfaction now is to warn others NOT to use this company.

de917eab, 2011-03-17, 04:47PM CDT

If everyone reads the Hotel's cancellation policy on the page of any given hotel on booking.com you can't go wrong. All hoteliers have differing cancellation policies, so you have to check the hotel you are considering booking.

Booking.com is a world wide used hotel reservation booking resource and very popular I think. People who book just need to read the Hotel's specific policies and procedures, if happy with them book, if not, look for another which suits your requirements more.

de917eab, 2011-03-17, 04:48PM CDT

If everyone reads the Hotel's cancellation policy on the page of any given hotel on booking.com you can't go wrong. All hoteliers have differing cancellation policies, so you have to check the hotel you are considering booking.

Booking.com is a world wide used hotel reservation booking resource and very popular I think. People who book just need to read the Hotel's specific policies and procedures, if happy with them book, if not, look for another which suits your requirements more.

67d6a570, 2011-07-22, 12:54PM CDT

I have generally not had any problems with booking.com but recently had the same issue with them re; Hotel Furstenhof in Dusseldorf where full payment was taken 3 weeks before my stay, despite the site saying 'no deposit will be taken'.

Here is booking.com's reply to my complaint 'We have contacted the hotel in regards to your concern of full payment already taken from your account. After speaking with the receptionist they have apologized and stated it may be possible another employee charged you not knowing the policy and confirmed payment has been taken therefore you will not be charged again"

I will be taking the booking.com email with me to the hotel. I feel that maybe some of the hotels booking.com deal with decide not to adhere to the policy but are happy to take the extra business. It is best to contact booking.com first so that if they get enough complaints about a hotel they can disassociate themselves with them.

Srishti P., 2014-01-07, 02:24PM CST

I also booked "Premiere Inn Dubai" hotel from there website & due to some reason I cancelled that booking. They sent me an email that hotel is ready to refund my full money without any deduction & it will take 14-15 days. After 15 days when I contacted them they refused me that hotel has denied to pay my money back. My booking date was also passed & I was not even able to use those services. This is a fake website to cheat customers.

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