Because of their misrepresentation of their rooms I will never use Agoda again

Agoda misrepresents its rooms far too often in my experience, and my recent booking of the former Best Western Hotel in Kyoto Japan is the final straw.  This is what happened.  And why I will never use Agoda again.

never use Agoda
This is the top half of the trial booking page.  Agoda intentionally tries to mislead its customers in the hopes of extracting more money out of them.  Which is why I never use Agoda anymore.
I will never use Agoda again
2nd half of the booking page.  It’s as clear as mud.  That’s only one reason I’ll never  use Agoda again.

I booked a standard double room for this Kyoto Hotel for six days starting on February 18, 2014 fully believing I’d be paying $593.08 for two persons.  This is for my Thai girlfriend and myself.  And that we’d have a double bed. But I have a good friend in Japan who we will be seeing.  When I forwarded my agoda.com booking confirmation to him, he emailed me back.  And asked me politely, “Are you sure of this reservation?” He had highlighted “Number of adults–1.” Then he remarked, 1 person? Shouldn’t it be for 2 persons?”

So I looked at my confirmation from agoda to double check and it turned out he was right. The wheels started turning. “I am going to have one nasty surprise when I finally get to this hotel with my girlfriend only to find out that she cannot stay in the room with me. The wheels continued to turn….”Certainly the hotel will allow her to occupy that double bed with me.  The only question is how much additional money will I pay?

My investigation now turned to checking out the hotel’s web site which was now under the new name Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto

Notice that one pays 17,000 yen if only one person occupies the standard double room but if two people occupy the same room it costs 20,000 yen. No breakfast is included nor any other extra amenities that I can determine.  So the hotel is charging 3000 more yen for the exact same product or service with no additional costs. By now I’m totally pissed off.  I’m about to never use Agoda again.

So I tried calling customer service at agoda.com. My plan was to accuse agoda of misrepresenting this room.  Then hiding the fact that I will get a nasty surprise once I get to Kyoto.  And have to cough up additional money so that my girlfriend can stay with me. It’s a United Kingdom phone number, and I call it on Skype only to be informed by an answering machine that the systems are undergoing repair. I resort to sending a complaint online to Agoda customer service.

I then place another long distance call direct to the hotel in Kyoto but by this time I’ve made a second booking through booking.com planning to cancel the agoda booking later on. The desk clerk in Kyoto tells me her hotel has me down for both reservations. So I ask her, “what happens when I turn up at reception with my Thai girlfriend and you have me down for a maximum occupancy for one person (I already know the answer)?

“Well, we will have to charge you 2,000 extra yen per day for your girlfriend”, she tells me. Although I can do the math on my own I ask her what the entire six nights will run me in American dollars. She tells me $118.00. I then ask her who gets this windfall at my expense, the hotel or agoda.com? She tells me the hotel gets the extra money.

A few hours later I get an email from customer service at agoda.com verifying that they’ve called the hotel in Kyoto and that the hotel will charge me an additional $118 upon my arrival with my girlfriend.

Okay…I’ve made the second booking with booking.com because I feel the cheaper rooms that are left are going to go pretty fast and because I don’t want to give agoda.com one more dollar because I felt that the agoda.com web site had indicated to me while I was making my reservation that I was getting a room for two people, not one. In other words, by this time I was nearly certain that Agoda.com was playing tricky dicky with me.

But I had to be fair. Perhaps I had made a mistake while making my booking with agoda. So I went through a dummy booking to see what really happens while reserving a double room for two people. First off, I could not click a check box for two persons  And from all indications I could see that the maximum occupancy for this double room was for 2 persons, not one.  Perhaps I was still missing something here.

So I asked two good friends  to see what would happen if they underwent this same reservation process. One of them reported back to me that until he got to the point of putting in his credit card and other personal information that he was reserving a standard double room for two people.  Not one. There wasn’t a single hint that he was reserving a room just for himself.  Bottom line is Agoda is playing tricky dicky.  Which is typical of Agoda.  Because in my opinion Agoda tries on purpose to mislead its users.  So I plan to never use Agoda again.

Well that did it. I had been completely fair and tried and found Agoda.com guilty of deceptive and dishonest business practices, and that’s exactly what my friend reported back to me. So to cover my butt before posting my findings in this blog I did two screen captures while once more going through a dummy booking on my own.

Note that this booking is clearly for a maximum occupancy for two persons indicated by the little symbol in the second image for two figures, not one. Needless to say I didn’t go through the final stages of this dummy booking which would have meant charging my credit card.

So today I checked my credit card’s activity online, and yes…agoda.com has already charged me the full $593.08. I’m sure Visa will credit my card next month.  But I still wanted to be absolutely sure.   So I once again called the hotel in Kyoto after canceling my reservation on the agoda web site. According to the hotel the agoda.com reservation had already been canceled.

As for my booking.com reservation…I made it clear to reception that I”m keeping it. It is at a higher price than the original price quoted to me at agoda. But when one goes to the booking.com web site the default and pricing defaults for an occupancy for two persons. My confirmation email from booking.com verified this is for an occupancy for two guests. What I can gather is that booking.com already knows there is an additional charge for the second guest and that it has already absorbed this additional charge it is quoting for this room. However it most certainly appears that it is significantly higher priced than Agoda.

My friend tells me that he will never use agoda after helping me check this situation out.

You might also be interested in seeing my video.  “This Koh Chang Kacha video” proves that online travel agencies aren’t telling the truth about the resorts they represent.

 

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