I don’t travel very much. In fact, I probably only fly or stay in a hotel once a year. As a self-proclaimed travel novice, I’d never heard of non-refundable hotel reservations – until now. Let me just say, I’m pissed off about the whole situation. Here’s my story:
I’ve been wanting to travel up north and check out a couple of cities for a while now. This weekend seemed like the perfect time, or at least it did 10 days ago when I booked my hotel online. I booked using the hotel’s website and selected a room based on our needs. There were only a couple of options available, so I clicked on one of them. Based on my previous knowledge, booking a hotel in advance is usually more like confirming a hotel reservation; you pay when you check in or cancel 24 hours ahead of time.
Well, things have changed.
Apparently, the fine print somewhere near the “reserve now” button said the room was non-refundable. This meant if I booked for two nights I was going to pay for both nights regardless if I showed up or not. Whoa, that means this company could make loads of money off one room if people booked and then didn’t show. The company could re-rent the room to another person basically getting double the rate for one night. This sounds like a scam to me.
As the week passed, I checked the weather and to my dismay, rain was eminent. I really didn’t want to run around the city in pouring rain, so I called to cancel my reservations. Oops, sorry. You have to pay whether you show or not. Didn’t you read the 8-point fine print? What?!
I was not happy about this at all.
In the end, the company allowed me to reschedule my visit for another date since I still want to take the trip. I’m thankful they let me do this but will probably never book with them again. Had they not accommodated my needs, I think I’d be calling my credit card and reversing the charges then filing a consumer complaint (which I still might do).
My so-called Holiday was tarnished by some crummy, scammy fine-print. In the future, I’ll be more aware of the fine print and actually read all the details before clicking the submit button. I’m thankful that I had budgeted for this trip ahead of time. Had this happened to a person who couldn’t afford to take the trip at the last minute, they’d be in a financial bind having to pay either way. It’s always good to know there are ways to alleviate the financial stress by planning ahead, having an emergency fund, or in desperate situations applying for online payday loans, of course this should be a last resort. I try to be prepared for unexpected expenses by padding my bank account.
Has this ever happened to you?