We need to take a break at a beach in South East Asia. It has been a long time since we travelled. My wife is pregnant and this is the last time we can travel as two and this is the time before travelling gets too risky for the baby. What better than Bali? Not far from Singapore , affordable short flight and luxurious hotels for my pregnant wife sound perfect. The flight reservation is done in a jiffy, but the booking of the hotel was not easy. Hotel supply is gigantic. There are offerings ranging from bamboo bungalow with shared bathroom at $ 20 U.S. a night to a royal villa with marble floors at $ 3000 overnight
I first,like often for a long weekend, booked online through Agoda. I wanted to limit my reservation to one night and chose the date accordingly on the site. But, by mistake , I ended up booking five nights ! Too late. I looked through Agoda’s cancellation policies and it claims that they refund reservations for free. Without losing a minute, I cancelled my reservation. I got an email telling me that I will be refundd within 10 days with a fee if applicable. Well, so far so good, but I still needed to book a room at least for our first night. I wrote to the customer service via a contact form. There `s no ” chat ” system integrated available like many other online business in 2012. I wonder if it is possible to make a reservation for one night and deduct the money from my upcoming refund.
Room Type: Superior
Cancellation Policy : This booking is Non-Refundable and cannot be amended or modified. Failure to arrive at your hotel will be treated as a No-Show and no refund will be given (Hotel policy). We regret to inform that your booking has been cancelled with no refund. Kindly advise if you wish to rebook to one night instead, we then will check with the hotel whether they can rebook or not. Please advise the correct check in date as well.
Phebe Customer Support Specialist
I called the customer service and I started to get irritated with the phone operator. The phone hung up twice.Finaly, I connectd with a more friendly receptionist who told me that this was the hotel’s policy to not refund and not Agoda’s. I said, “There is no way that I put USD 500 in the trash for 5 minutes of virtual reservation. They can take a fee or penalty for cancellation, but not charge me five nights worth of hotel stay. In the worst case, I would take my reservation that I have paid for anyway.” The operator told me he would call the hotel to see what arrangement could be done. After 10 minutes, he came back on the phone telling me that there was no response and that they will call me back in less than 2 days to confirm the status of the refund. 3 days went by with no news. I called back the customer service saying that no one followed up on my case. “ Nothing could be done,” she said, “ it’s the hotel policy.” I was angry, I needed to be stupid to believe that the hotel did not answer its phone. A hotel operates 7 days, 24 hours per day. I told them over the phone, “The money is collected by you on your site. Don’t tell me that the money was already in the hotel’s hands after 5 minutes of booking. It’s extortion to ask 500 USD for 5 minutes of virtual booking. I can easily stop my payment with visa on account of fraud. I give you 24 hours to fix this problem. If I cannot get my money back, I will at least enjoy my reservation that I have already paid.” 24 hours later, I was sent an email to confirm my reservation full recovery without any changes. I had to fight very hard not to lose 500 USD just because I made a mistake and tried to rectify it within 5 mnutes.
I am not prepared to say Agoda is totally dishonest. I have no hard evidence, but something doesn’t quite add on. Agoda does not respect their cancellation policy and does not protect their clients. I do not advise people to book a room for several days on their website. If you do look at the policies of the hotel and confirm with them because you could play fire ping-pong with the customer service before get some results.
Well we have to maintain our smiles as we’re going to Bali ; one of the most prosperous regions of Indonesia. Largely based on an agricultural economy only about thirty years ago now Bali is one of the resort destinations most visited in the world. Over 80% of its economy is taking advantage of the tourism industry. But Bali has suffered from side effects of terrorist bombings in 2002, 2005, and recently the arrest of suspected terrorist ready to carry out an attack in a trendy nightclub in Bali.
Forget all that and we will have fun in the sun of Bali, I would have even a small movie with my Flip HD mini camera from Google ..
This post is also available in: French