Have you booked a hotel? Why you need to verify your reservation

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Juanita Stevenson and her husband have booked a hotel in Chicago through Hotels.com to celebrate their anniversary. But when they got to the hotel, an employee told Stevenson there were no reservations on file.

“I said, ‘You don’t have a reservation for me? Here is a reservation from Hotels.com,” Stevenson said.

However, the clerk told him that although the popular third-party booking site had sent a confirmation, he had not provided booking information to the hotel itself. Therefore, the hotel had no record that Stevenson and her husband had prepaid more than $400.

“I’m like, ‘What are we supposed to do now? “Said Stevenson. “And she said, ‘Well, we don’t have your reservation.'”

Luckily the hotel still had a room for their anniversary trip. But then came the second shock.

“She said to me, ‘We’re going to give you this room, but you’re going to have to pay for it,'” Stevenson said.

She reluctantly paid a second time, now with two $400 charges to her credit card.

What happened?

Similar complaints have already been filed with many third-party travel sites – travelers make a reservation and prepay on a credit card. But when they arrive, there is no record of the reservation.

The nonprofit consumer group Elliot Advocacy says it happens more often than most people realize. The group says hotel reservation systems sometimes fail to sync with third-party booking sites.

“What must a consumer do to be treated fairly? said Stevenson.

How to protect yourself

To avoid a similar situation, Elliot Advocacy advises that if anyone using third-party hotel sites should:

Always have a printout or screenshot of the reservation.

Check the dates to make sure they are correct.

Above all, call the hotel directly the day before your arrival to confirm your stay.

Expedia, the parent company of Hotels.com, refunded Stevenson’s second payment after being contacted by reporters.

As always, don’t waste your money.

About Michael B. Billingsley

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