Written on: 01/06/2014 by rob20042004 (1 review written)
3 minutes ago
I recently had a problem booking a hotel through Travelrepublic.co.uk. In the age of booking hotels direct via the internet, this is becoming more and more used by unscrupulous hotels and booking sites.
I'd booked and paid for 3 rooms for 3 nights at The Senacki Hotel in Krakow two months in advance through Travelrepublic.co.uk. Five days before we were due to travel, Travel Republic advised us that 'due to an overbooking they were relocating us to the Kossak Hotel'. This is a sister hotel to the Senacki and is claimed to be a 4* and of a similar standard but it is not. Perhaps it was 20 years ago, now it's a tired and ugly 3* at best and located 10-15 minute walk away from the town centre and the hotel we had originally booked, consequently it's 15-20% cheaper then the Senacki Hotel.
Travelrepublic were of course very sorry and if we wanted to cancel we could have a full refund. But as we had also booked and paid for our return flights, airport taxis and Krakow tours this wasn't as easy as it sounds. We did check other hotel options but we couldn't find any that had 3 rooms on the dates we were traveling.
Travelrepublic completely abdicated any responsibility saying it wasn't their fault and there was nothing they could do. Neither they, nor the hotel, offered any price reduction or compensation. We were simply left with a 'take it or leave it' attitude.
I am a frequent traveller who has been using the internet for booking hotels around the world for years. This is the first time l have personally encountered this kind of problem, however I have noticed a number of fellow travellers reporting similar experiences on Tripadvisor.com.
It's a simple way for a hotel and/or a booking agency to allow over booking at a good hotel then days before travelling advise customers that 'due to an overbooking' they were being relocated to a cheaper hotel. Yes, of course, they could cancel and receive a full refund, but for all independent travellers they would have already bought and paid for their flights and would not have the option to cancel these without incurring quite a substantial penalty. Therefore, with only days before travelling, what options would you have other then to accept the change offered.
Beware fellow travellers!