1800usahotels.com - 1800usahotels.com & lodging.com - I was drawn in by a HIGH price, combined with their 110% Low Price Guarantee, which should have worked to my advantage. In retrospect, I should have known it was too good to be true. I booked 6 nights at the Comfort Inn S

Posted on Wednesday, August 25th, 2004 at 12:00am CDT by 1eb2463c

Product: lodging.com

Company: 1800usahotels.com

Category: Travel, Vacations

San Jose for $136.99, after finding a competitive price of $59.50 at hotels.com for the same room. Based upon their 110% LPG, I should get a rate of $51.75 +10% tax, but don't be so fast to jump to the same conclusion (the only legal one) that I had. Only after I placed the reservation did I see a very clear message that my credit card had already been charged $938.22 and that it would cost me at least $25 even if I tried to cancel online immediately, over four weeks before the reservation even started. If I didn't like that, and I tried to reason with them, by canceling on the phone, that would cost me $35 instead. By now, I'm sure you see all of the red flags that popped up in front of me, but it was already too late and that was just the beginning. Of course, I went back and looked for warnings about the credit card being charged immediately and the cancellation fee. It was there, buried in the small print that many of us overlook, no where near the button I had clicked to place the reservation. I had made the mistake of thinking I was dealing with a reputable and professional merchant. It will soon become very clear that was far from true! I submitted my LPG claim, expecting an adjustment of 110% of the difference between 136.99 and 59.50. I was already leery of the stern warnings that the decision of 1800hotels.com was final and could not be appealed. Nevertheless, I figured 110% of 77.49 is 85.24 and when you deduct that from 136.99, my rate will be down to 51.75 +10% tax, right? Wrong!!! That's how much they took off the total, but they didn't make ANY adjustment of the over 14% tax I was already billed on the charge of $821.94 (even though the hotel tax in San Jose is only 10%). So now, they are keeping "taxes" of $116.28, which should be only $31.50 (10% of $310.50) and they are trying to charge me $426.78 vs $392.70, which is the price at hotels.com that they were supposed to beat with their 110% Low Price Guarantee.

And if I don't like it, they will charge me $25 to cancel online, or $35 to cancel by phone. Needless to say, my phone call was a waste of time and I am now disputing the cancellation charge with

Discover. If they are not stopped, they can make a business out of capturing people with their come-on and unscrupulously diverting over-collected taxes into their own pockets.

Even when the consumer gets wise, they try to make a business out of cancellation fees. I am also taking this to the Attorneys General of California, where the hotel is located (and the tax is being defrauded), Florida, where lodging.com is located and Nevada, where the owner of 1800usahotels.com is located. I warned them of this on the phone and all they said was "You agreed to it!". Vegas Entertainment Group, INC

Lori Rosenberg (COMPLAINTS.COM_FORM_MAIL_68025#)

+1.7022818772

Fax: +1.7022818772

3135 S. Industrial Rd.

Suite 210

Las Vegas, NV 89109

US Please get the word out or this could happen to your friends. Obviously,

I won't be back! lodging.com item hotels.com

136.99 room 59.50

6 nights 6

821.94 total 357.00

116.28 tax 35.70

14.15% tax rate 10%

938.22 w/tax+fees 392.70

511.44 refund

426.78 final price 392.70 The acknowledgment of my online cancellation came from: InterNetwork Publishing Corporation

5455 North Federal Hwy Suite O

Boca Raton, FL 33487 561-989-9330 fax: 561-989-9331

Domain Name: LODGING.COM

David L D


1 Comment

dacb7e4c, 2010-07-11, 05:47AM CDT

I would also advise against using them. Only AFTER I paid, and received a confirmation email, did it become clear, in big letters on the 2nd page of the CONFIRMATION email, that if I cancel, I will be responsible for 20% of the cost, no matter how far in advance I book.

I have booked hotels all over the world, I have used Expedia, Orbitz, and a number of other discount agencies, and this has never been the policy.

I was told there was nothing to be done and I should not have put a tick in the tiny box that says "I have read, understood and confirm acceptance of the Terms and Conditions.

Everything was printed in big, easy letters, except for that tiny box that says I agree with Terms and Conditions, the one I put a tick next to (of course, I shouldn't have). I would have had to click on the underlined 3 words "Terms and Conditions" to find out more - whereas 1800HOTELS could have made the cancellation policy nice and big too, as so many companies do.

When I went back to see what would have happened if I'd clicked on "Terms and Conditions", there were SEVEN pages of small print, with the cancellation fee in among it all on page THREE. I thought I should print it all out for evidence... and it came out in such faint print that it is barely decipherable! (There is nothing wrong with my printer because the page number and the "Terms: 1800HOTELS.com" at the top are very clear in normal color.)

Wasn't deliberately fine print in mortgages one of the factors that got this country into the current mess? Why isn't the critically important and most unusual cancellation policy spelled out clearly BEFORE customers pay?

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