Written on: 22/08/2013
Had some good experiences with Booking.com -- booked a few hotels through this past year and nothing unexpected happened. They were simple bookings... I made no special requests and had no changes or corrections online via Booking.com or directly with the hotel. All went well.
However, my most recent experience has left me disappointed enough that I will only book directly through the hotels from now on, or if I try a third party site, it absolutely won't be via Booking.com.
I had a confirmed reservation for a King-Bed room. I needed the hotel to know we would require a rollaway bed be put in the room (usually for an additional small daily fee). I submitted this request for a rollaway bed via the Booking.com site. What happened instead was that it appeared that Booking.com changed our reservation from a King-Bed room to a King-Bed room With Sofa Bed -- at least according to the email they sent us. That is an entirely different type of room and is significantly more costly. I did not ask for this room upgrade. By requesting a King-Bed With Sofa Bed, they lost us our original low price on the King-Bed room and we now had a new higher priced quote for an upgraded room. We decided to just live with it and take the upgraded room... but when we checked in at the hotel a few days later, it was only to discover that Booking.com never actually upgraded our room to a King-Bed With Sofa Bed. They just requested an upgrade, leaving us only guaranteed with our original King-Bed room. That would have been totally fine... but in doing this, Booking.com somehow managed to permanently mess up our original confirmed low price. I'm still trying to figure out how Booking.com managed to lose our $796 for 4-nights King-Bed room (confirmed reservation) and replace it with a $1076 for 4-nights King-Bed room.
The hotel couldn't/wouldn't do anything on their end since the reservation was generated through booking.com and the hotel just takes what's ultimately fed to them from these third party sites. This one experience has taught me the hard way that booking through a third party site is way more "iffy" than I had understood.
Short story version: had Booking.com request a rollaway bed for us; instead they resubmitted and reconfirmed our exact same reservation but for $300 more. Argh. Never again.