I have been a long time advocate for Hotels.com. Even if I could find a lower price on Agoda or Booking.com or the hotel directly, I chose Hotels.com because they can always pricematch and I get to keep building onto my stamp card.
Why is Hotels.com a good place to book all your hotels?
- The prices are competitive
- Has a stamp card. Stay 10 nights and the 11th one is free
- Offers coupons at times for you to get a rebate back
- Use CardBear.com to buy discounted Hotels.com gift cards which gives you yet another 5-10% off
- Relatively easy to browse
- AND FINALLY, if you find a lower price elsewhere, they’ll match it! so what’s there to lose right?
Why doesn’t Hotels.com price guarantee not work?
Do not book a room last minute for price matching
Do not book a room that’s non-refundable or a last minute booking hoping you will get a price match. The customer service reps will play games and will deny you for any bogus reason and you’ll have no choice. I’ve personally booked a hotel last minute for a Disneyland trip and wasn’t surprised to be denied stating they couldn’t find the price I was talking about. I quickly took another screenshot of the price, but they pushed back again saying they couldn’t find the price. By the 3rd time, the day was already finished and there was no way to see the price at that point. Hotels.com wins.
Do not book a room that is non-refundable for price matching
Hotels.com will not price match if the reservation is non refundable even if the price match is approved before booking.
Hotels.com will deny price guarantee a few times just to make you go away
Here is a live example of a price guarantee that is being denied. I plan to just cancel this reservation through them.
So I can either book this room for $39/night or go through Hotels.com for $48/night
Let me just make sure the following are the exact same
- Type of room
- Refund Policy
- Type of bed
- make sure everything is the same
Hotels.com Reservation looks like the following
Now let’s look at the reservation cost through Booking.com
Booking.com is offering the same exact date, room, bed, cancellation policy, but price is $19.04 cheaper
Now, I filed the price guarantee claim form on Hotels.com. Here is their response
The submission requires the following to be in the attached screenshot
- Property Name
- Travel Date
- Room Type
Response #1 from Hotels.com
Thank you for contacting Hotels.com regarding your price guarantee request. Rest assured that we did our best to assist you in this matter.
The price match benefit only applies when the alternative quote is found on a bookable travel site. Because the lower price you found is from a travel search engine site and doesn't confirm that you're able to book it, I'm unable to process your request.
If you're able to click through the travel supplier site, we can review your request again. You can reply to this email with the following
Weblink to the alternative quote
Screenshot of the alternative quote
You can find more information in the Terms and Conditions on our site: https://www.hotels.com.
Hotels.com Customer Support Team
We responded with a direct link to Booking.com and with a clear screenshot and here is their response #2
Thanks for contacting Hotels.com.
The price match benefit only applies when the alternative quote is identical to your booking. Because there's a difference in bed type, I'm unable to process your request. I'm confident that Hotels.com offers you the best value for this trip.
You can find more information in the Terms and Conditions on our site: https://www.hotels.com/customer_care/terms_conditions.html.
Hotels.com Customer Support Team
What were they talking about? The bed type was 2 Twin Beds for both!
I’ve sent the same screenshots but clearly stating the bed type / room type / dates / cancellation policy are all exactly the same on both.
Response #3 – they approved it
Lessons about Hotels.com Price Guarantee
- Keep pushing back. If you indeed have the right pricematch and some time, they will approve it. In our example, it took 2 pushbacks. Exactly the same data.
- Do not book with Hotels.com non-refundable or last minute trips if you intend on price matching, they will push back until you can’t do anything about it
- Book a refundable room and just cancel it if Hotels.com gives you trouble about the price matching