Thoughts on this poor hotel booking practice?

When booking a room you can often book with no deposit and free cancellation, or pay up front to book with no cancellation fee. Even if you fully commit to pay up front with no cancellation, hotels STILL won't reserve you a specific room. This is obviously so they can switch rooms last minute as best suits, and late coming higher bidders can take your room from under you. This practice obviously suits the "no deposit free cancellation" model but it's unfair and unethical if you've paid upfront, only to be turfed out of your room "with a view" on the day before your arrival, and since you've already paid you are automatically bottom of the pile. Thoughts on this poor hotel booking practice?

{Signature removed by Forum Team - if you are not sure why we have removed your signature please contact the Forum Team}
«1

Comments

  • comeandgo
    comeandgo Posts: 5,744 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    I’ve never encountered this.  If I pay for a room that has certain characteristics then that is what I get at least.  Are you booking direct with hotels or through one of the agencies.
  • NSG666
    NSG666 Posts: 981 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I've never encountered this and wouldn't know how to find hotels or booking sites that do this.
    Sorry I can't think of anything profound, clever or witty to write here.
  • GS..
    GS.. Posts: 220 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Photogenic
    Well I always come across it and haven't booked a room for over two years, but I always pay up front. Next time you pay up front for a room just ask them for your room number, if you get one I'll pay for your room ok, you won't get a room number because they won't book your room even if you pay for it
    {Signature removed by Forum Team - if you are not sure why we have removed your signature please contact the Forum Team}
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,203 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Hotels don't normally reserve a specific room for you.
    If you book regularly with the same hotel or chain, you may find that you as you progress through their rewards system you get more perks, and some allow you to specify preferences, but don't normally guarantee and particular room. 

    And yes, of course they want to be flexible - not everyone will have the same view as to what is the 'best' room, but they may want to be able to accommodate access needs, place people who book more than one room in adjoining rooms, or if the hotel is not fully booked, group people in one part of the hotel to cut down on the work needed for housekeeping staff. 

    Being pleasant to deal with, and making a *polite* request on check in can also often get you what you want, if the room ./ type of room you want is available. 
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 19,106 Forumite
    First Anniversary I've been Money Tipped! First Post Name Dropper
    How do you know you have booked a room with a view. Unless you paid extras for a  'view'.
  • jimbo6977
    jimbo6977 Posts: 1,226 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    For 99% of bookings, hotels do not allocate a specific room until somewhere between 14 and 3 days prior to arrival. 

    This is the same all over the world. 

    Some accommodation providers allow customers to "book" a specific unit for an additional charge (I've seen this more with campsites and holiday villages than with hotels) but the T&Cs will still make the overall booking non-contingent on the provision of a specific unit (so if they can't provide the preferred unit, you get the additional fee back, but won't be refunded the whole booking). 

    Stuff happens in hotels and sometimes rooms go out of service at extremely short notice. 
  • GS.. said:
    When booking a room you can often book with no deposit and free cancellation, or pay up front to book with no cancellation fee. Even if you fully commit to pay up front with no cancellation, hotels STILL won't reserve you a specific room. This is obviously so they can switch rooms last minute as best suits, and late coming higher bidders can take your room from under you. This practice obviously suits the "no deposit free cancellation" model but it's unfair and unethical if you've paid upfront, only to be turfed out of your room "with a view" on the day before your arrival, and since you've already paid you are automatically bottom of the pile. Thoughts on this poor hotel booking practice?

    Perhaps consider that the hotel would not be likely to want to ask the previous occupant of your room to move  if they operated as you suggest is fair.
    Otherwise they would lose a ton of money because they would have to turn down guests who would not want to move mid stay
    I would suggest their position is excellent business practice

  • zagfles
    zagfles Posts: 20,323 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Chutzpah Haggler
    GS.. said:
    Well I always come across it and haven't booked a room for over two years, but I always pay up front. Next time you pay up front for a room just ask them for your room number, if you get one I'll pay for your room ok, you won't get a room number because they won't book your room even if you pay for it
    I've stayed in small hotels where they've given me a room number at the time of booking. Usually when I've rebooked when there ("I'll give you the same room"). Some still use old fashioned ways of booking like a diary.
    But obviously it's not efficient to guarantee a specific room, which is why hardly any hotels will. You pay for a type of room, and that IME is always honoured.

  • photome
    photome Posts: 16,362 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Bake Off Boss!
    GS.. said:
    Well I always come across it and haven't booked a room for over two years, but I always pay up front. Next time you pay up front for a room just ask them for your room number, if you get one I'll pay for your room ok, you won't get a room number because they won't book your room even if you pay for it
    I have recently stayed at a premier inn...we mentioned to the receptionist that we had spoken to a few times , how much we liked the room ( end of corridor)  , she said next time you come, call the hotel and ask for that room number and they would try and accomodatr
  • photome
    photome Posts: 16,362 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Bake Off Boss!
    GS.. said:
    Well I always come across it and haven't booked a room for over two years, but I always pay up front. Next time you pay up front for a room just ask them for your room number, if you get one I'll pay for your room ok, you won't get a room number because they won't book your room even if you pay for it
    It has already been asked but not answered I believe ..are you booking direct or through a 3rd party

    I emailed a hotel last week that we have previously stayed at and asked about a specific room , they said it wouldnt be a problem if I booked direct but they couldnt gtee it if I booked through a 3rd party
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343.2K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.1K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.7K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.3K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 608K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.1K Life & Family
  • 247.9K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards