Friday, September 09, 2011
Caveat Emptor - Priceline Edition
I'VE ALWAYS HAD GOOD LUCK with Priceline's Name Your Own Price deals (see below) but not this time In the picture above, the hotel room they surprised me with in Paris is to the left, the péripherique super-autoroute is to the right, behind the wall with barbed wire.
With Name Your Own Price, you choose a quality level (like 4 stars) and make an offer. You don't find out the name and address of the hotel that takes your bid (if any) until after Priceline has charged your credit card. Priceline described the area for this hotel as "Tour Eiffel - Montaparnasse - Porte de Versailles." My previous choice was "St. Germain - Montparnasse," and knowing where the Eiffel Tower and Montparnasse are I didn't look at their map, but this area as drawn by Priceline doesn't actually include Montparnasse, and the Eiffel Tower is 4 km away for the hotel they gave me, almost off their map.
On top of that, their Tour Eiffel - Montparnasse map includes a large swath of the péripherique, where there are obviously no hotels, and to the south a little notch that includes nothing but this hotel. Nothing else on the map is to the south of the highway. That makes it seem as though they drew the map just to promote this hotel.
On top of that, TripAdvisor reviews suggest that Priceline's bargain customers and some tour bus customers are put in moldy rooms on unrenovated floors in what is advertised as a 4 star hotel. Priceline won't do anything, so I've complained to the Connecticut Attorney General (the HQ's in Norwalk).
Use Booking.com, very useful and more reliable reviews than TripAdvisor, since you can only write a review if you actually booked the hotel through them.
Posted by: Matthew at Sep 10, 2011 4:49:46 AM