Ontarian blinded by hotel reservation fees warns others how to avoid same problem
TORONTO – When searching the internet for a hotel, you might think you are dealing directly with the hotel when it could be a third-party reservation website.
These websites will allow you to book a room, but they can also charge you a hefty fee of up to hundreds of dollars.
âI was totally shocked and couldn’t even believe this had happened,â said Stephanie Blank of Oakville.
Blank, who is caring for his parents, has planned a three-day getaway to Port Dover, Ontario. last month.
When she left the Best Western Little River Inn, she saw an additional fee of $ 187 charged by a third-party website.
âI care full time for two parents, one with cancer and the other with dementia. My full-time job has looked after them for eight years now, âBlank said.
Blank said when she left the hotel, she was billed for three nights at $ 403, with a HotelValues.com reservation fee of $ 187 bringing the total to $ 590.
Blank said she thought that by booking her room online, she was dealing directly with the hotel, but she was not.
âI didn’t realize that after it wasn’t the Best Western I was dealing with, it was a third-party website, but it was created to look like the Best Western,â said Blank.
Blank said that when speaking to the HotelValues.com website, she said she couldn’t reach anyone.
âI tried talking to someone, but no one was coming on the phone. All I got were answering machines,â Blank said.
CTV News Toronto emailed HotelValues.com, but the email bounced. When we called a hotline number, we were hung up twice.
There are some negative reviews on the online website and others who have also complained that they are dealing directly with a hotel and not with a third party.
Blank said she had learned a lesson and warned others “to be very careful when booking online that you are dealing directly with the hotel and not with a third party.”
When searching for a hotel, don’t click the first link that appears, deal only with reputable websites that don’t charge extra, and consider calling the hotel directly.
âYou don’t want to be in a situation like me when you’re completely caught off guard and overcharged for your hotel stay,â Blank said.
A study in the United States found that one in four American travelers said they had been deceived by third-party websites.
Not only may you have to pay more fees, but you may also not be able to cancel a room if you change your plans.