Hotel booking site cancels thousands of vacation reservations
Travel scams are horrible experiences to have, but travel scams that happen on vacation seem to make the worst of it.
Apparently, thousands of people have just had their Christmas and New Year’s Eve hotel reservations canceled by HotelQuickly, a booking platform listed on TripAdvisor.
HotelQuickly recently informed customers that their hotel reservations had been canceled due to an “unforeseen issue”. The booking platform claimed it was “working very hard to find a manageable solution”.
HotelQuickly has offered cashback vouchers for use on its website, but some people are reporting that the vouchers, which are links, are broken and therefore unusable. It’s been a week and travelers haven’t heard from HotelQuickly, prompting many to call the booking site a scam.
Teacher Debbie Hamilton was among many whose holiday plans were canceled by HotelQuickly. She had booked a hotel stay at two luxury resorts over the New Year holidays through the site after spying on it on TripAdvisor.
“I’ve booked a hotel in August and another in September – one in Chang Mai and one in Phuket,” Hamilton told Daily Mail Australia.
Then on December 9, she learned that her hotels had been canceled.
“I called both hotels, and they both said the reservation was made but canceled on December 6,” she said. “They said they hadn’t received any money from them and hadn’t heard from them.”
Hamilton added: “I frantically re-booked straight away but had to pay an extra $400 [as well as the original price] everything is ready for the reservation, because it was the rush hour.
HotelQuickly quickly sent Hamilton a $1,200 voucher to use on their site, but when she clicked on the link, she realized it was broken.
After contacting her bank to reverse her payment to HotelQuickly, Hamilton feels a little down.
“I was in tears all that Sunday,” she said. “My husband said to me when I moved in, ‘I haven’t seen you in tears in years – I didn’t know what to do.'”
“I felt like someone had come in and robbed me. I felt very vulnerable and was freaking out that the bank wouldn’t come to the party.
Hamilton’s story isn’t the worst, though.
Daily Mail Australia has reported that a man had his hotel reservation canceled just an hour before boarding his plane. Gill Fernando’s review of the site on Facebook explained that he had booked his hotel in August, paid in full, and arrived at his hotel in December to find it had been cancelled.
Although the site remains online, many hotels do not appear when you search for different dates.
Hamilton and others are reluctant to book travel online now, especially with TripAdvisor advertising HotelQuickly on their site.
“My husband and I travel regularly, and I always book accommodation through Trip Advisor, but I don’t know if I can trust them anymore,” she said.
“I have a travel agent friend who always says ‘you should come see me’ – at first you think [booking online] is cheaper, but now I think it’s not worth the stress.
TripAdvisor suspended HotelQuickly from its website after learning of the incident last week.
A TripAdvisor spokesperson said, “We are very concerned to learn of the difficulties that some HotelQuickly customers are having with their reservations.”
“Whenever we become aware that an accommodation provider or online travel agency is no longer able to honor reservations or offer adequate customer support, we are prepared to take prompt action to remove their prices from our site.”