Why I’ll never use Hotels.com again

So my alma mater offers hotel discounts through Hotels.com. I’ve never bothered to take advantage, but when the last alumni newsletter arrived reminding me of this, I figured I’d see what I could find.

Turns out I found a great deal for a hotel in Atlanta, which my mum and I need for a night next March. Sweet. Done and done. Booked it, got the confirmation, and worked on the rest of my trip. The hotels we wanted for Savannah and St. Augustine didn’t have a good deal on Hotels.com so I booked through their home sites.


Now at least I know two of our hotels are actually booked.

I didn’t think to double check that our Atlanta hotel was booked. I received a confirmation, so why would I double check?


When the credit card bill came in, I had no idea what “TSP xxxxxxxxxx” was. Hey, Google, help me out here. Turns out TSP is for Travelscape, so this was the charge for my Atlanta hotel. Cool, at least I know what it is. But wait…there’s a consumer complaint forum filled with complaints about TSP and Hotels.com (it’s subsidiary or associate or whatever), citing dodgy behaviour of all sorts, including fraudulent charges and failure to refund these charges.


So I email the reservations team at our Atlanta hotel, and, too impatient to wait for a response, called them as well. After speaking to two people at the hotel, it was confirmed that I did not have a reservation. An email from the reservations manager stating the same thing arrived the next day.

Not okay. We arrive late at night…like 11pm by the time we’ll get to the hotel. Imagine I hadn’t figured this out; we would’ve shown up and not had a room. Seriously, not okay.

Two calls to Hotels.com customer service yielded more than half an hour on hold while they tried to fix the problem, one ridiculous excuse that forced me to call back today (apparently calling after 5pm on a Friday doesn’t get you answers, especially with a customer service agent named Princess).

Finally, apparently, we have a room booked. I still don’t trust them, so I’m going to get back in touch with the hotel’s reservation agent to confirm, triple check, and get it written in stone.

Moral of the story?

Hotels.com cannot be trusted. I’ll never book with them again.

Second moral?

Just because your university gives you alumni perks, doesn’t mean they’re any good. Apparently giving them thousands of dollars to further develop my brain doesn’t really matter. Friends from undergrad? Don’t use the discount. It’s honestly not worth it.

Have you had a bad experience with Hotels.com? Or a good one? I’m interested to know whether this kind of thing happens more often than it should.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Katharine says:

    just had a bad experience with Hotels.com. Although I didn’t lose much money compare to your situation, it’s enough to make me think negative of them.

    Basically, saw they have a 10% discount on a room, non-refundable, on a place called “Hotel Twentyseven”. I first went to the hotel’s official website, it’s 133 Euro versus Hotels.com’s 117 Euro. So I went ahead and booked it on Hotels.com.

    It was stupid of me that I didn’t think twice about the math and double check the bills. After my card is charged, I realized that there’s a freaking 58 euro for Tax and Fee. I went back to Hotel Twentyseven’s website, and saw that the tax and everything is already included in the rate. So even the room’s listing price is cheaper at Hotels.com, I ended up paying more with their expensive tax and fees :(

    I’ll think twice before using them again.

  2. Brutal! Your experience shows that sometimes things really are too good to be true! I ended up being okay in the end – I spoke to the team at the hotel itself and they helped me get it sorted. Also, Hotels.com’s Twitter person was helpful too. Even though it all worked out in the end, I’m still not going to use Hotels.com again – not worth the hassle!

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