As big online travel agencies like Expedia and Trivago marketed what were the lowest prices for hotel room’s available, hotel properties slowly lost more and more of their direct bookings.
And some of the OTA’s, as they are called, were even padding their margins to the customer, taking more and presumably not doing what the hotel industry wanted, to pick up a revenue for unsold rooms without having to discount them directly.
So the industry, while still liking the business these OTA giants brought decided they needed to get at least some, if not all of that business back.
So they came up with the concept of Best Rate Guaranteed. It sounds like a good idea, but as recent articles have point out, the rates are not quite as advertised.
Site shoppers have seen prices on the OTA’s that were higher than some of the big hotel chains advertised price, but with the best price guarantee booked directly with the property.
The problem is in the fine print, and the major chain hotels seem to have followed one another, or done even better by making the fine print as small as ever.
So as clients claim for their lower rate, the hotel clerk cites the small print policy and refuses to give the rate.
It ranges from the exact, exact match to a rigid and almost impossible time limit, to making you prove reams of information to prove your claim, to delays that make you forget you even made a claim.
It is a blight on the hotel industry which should be stopped but won’t. So the only solution suggested by others is new tech options which immediately identify real savings.
These may be on the way but in the meantime it is buyer beware.
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