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  • FIRST POST
    • petgri
    • By petgri 17th May 18, 5:30 PM
    • 10Posts
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    petgri
    0 WOW
    Booking.com Currency Charges
    • #1
    • 17th May 18, 5:30 PM
    0 WOW
    Booking.com Currency Charges 17th May 18 at 5:30 PM
    I wonder what anyone thinks of my issue with Booking.com concerning the advertising of holidays in a currency other than which it will be charged. In our case a third currency is involved but I would imagine my argument holds good whether 2 or 3 currencies are involved.

    We recently booked some Non Cancel rooms in Iceland for a 60th birthday next year and were a little surprised they wanted to charge straight away, 9 months in advance, but that isnt our complaint. The holiday booked for 10pax, was advertised at 2,872 Euros but was to be charged in ISK (Icelandic Krone). When I saw my Halifax credit card (normally pretty good on foreign transactions), I realised that I had been charged at around 1.105 Euro to a £ when I had been expecting, at that time around 1.14+, a difference of about 3%.

    I queried this with Booking.com who went back to the Property Owner who produced a Bank rate showing the exchange rate they would have obtained had they been changing the money from ISK to Euros with the Icelandic bank.

    My point is had they advertised the holiday at an indicative rate, say half way between Buy and Sell price, rather than pretending they actually exchanged the 35,800 ISK into Euros, the rate advertised would be 2,963 Euros, 91 Euros more than the 2872 I had seen (about 3%).

    Now I think Booking.com should either

    1> advertise the actual chargeable rate in Icelandic Krone (AS WELL AS EUROS), so we can work out what we will be paying.

    2> If a separate currency is to be used, Booking.com should undertake the conversion using a typical mid-rate, rather than it being the responsibility of the Hotel and incentivising them to get it wrong

    As it is the Property has an incentive to use a really silly rate, so that in the second currency (here Euros), it looks cheaper. They then charge what they were going to charge in ISK, but we dont know what that is.

    I have raised this with Booking.com who offered us 25 Euros for all the calls and messing about but that isnt really my point as they havent addressed my complaint beyond saying - we do not have any control over the exchange rate!-.

    This is true, however I am suggesting that they SHOULD have that control. Either that or show the advertised rate (in whatever currency they choose to operate) AND the currency in which it is to be charged.

    My concern put quite simply is that if you have no control of the Exchange Rate and advertise holidays in a currency other the currency in which it will be charged, then you are guilty of FALSE ADVERTISING and MISSELLING. Even more, they are incentivising the Property Owner to cheat the system by advertising at low prices but charging at a higher price.

    Do people agree with me or am I just being daft??
    Last edited by petgri; 17-05-2018 at 5:35 PM. Reason: spello
Page 1
    • dj1471
    • By dj1471 17th May 18, 10:00 PM
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    dj1471
    • #2
    • 17th May 18, 10:00 PM
    • #2
    • 17th May 18, 10:00 PM
    They should have told you before booking how much you were to be charged and in which currency.

    What's the name of the hotel?
    • petgri
    • By petgri 18th May 18, 7:59 AM
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    petgri
    • #3
    • 18th May 18, 7:59 AM
    Thanks for reply
    • #3
    • 18th May 18, 7:59 AM
    It is Room With A View, In Reykjavik, they advertise in Euros, but tell you the amount will be charged in Iceland Krone. Cheers, PetGri
    • richardw
    • By richardw 18th May 18, 10:05 AM
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    richardw
    • #4
    • 18th May 18, 10:05 AM
    • #4
    • 18th May 18, 10:05 AM
    You are not stating some important points.

    If you try to book direct via their website you are directed to booking.com.
    So it appears there is some sort of sales agreement, which may be exclusive.

    If you try to select ISK as the currency on the right hand side, it is not listed.

    If you select GBP as the currency it books you in EUR.

    So the default currency is EUR and this is also booking.coms as they are based in Holland.
    It is all about booking.com making things easy for them to charge and collect their commission as a percentage in Euros.
    Last edited by richardw; 18-05-2018 at 10:09 AM.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
    • heatherw_01
    • By heatherw_01 18th May 18, 10:08 AM
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    heatherw_01
    • #5
    • 18th May 18, 10:08 AM
    • #5
    • 18th May 18, 10:08 AM
    Booking.com tells you the currency you will be charged which is almost always the hotels currency
    I'm the Board Guide on Quick Grabbit, Freebies, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning and the UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    • richardw
    • By richardw 18th May 18, 10:21 AM
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    richardw
    • #6
    • 18th May 18, 10:21 AM
    • #6
    • 18th May 18, 10:21 AM
    Booking.com tells you the currency you will be charged which is almost always the hotels currency
    Originally posted by heatherw_01
    In this instance it is not and booking.com force the transaction in Euros , see post #4
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
    • heatherw_01
    • By heatherw_01 18th May 18, 10:24 AM
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    heatherw_01
    • #7
    • 18th May 18, 10:24 AM
    • #7
    • 18th May 18, 10:24 AM
    In this instance it is not and booking.com force the transaction in Euros , see post #4
    Originally posted by richardw
    hmm that's very strange then as yes its usually paid for in the hotel currency.

    Yes their booking.com says
    Although all rates are quoted in EUR, please note that charges will be made in ISK according to the exchange rate on the day that the charge is made.
    Very odd
    Last edited by heatherw_01; 18-05-2018 at 10:27 AM.
    I'm the Board Guide on Quick Grabbit, Freebies, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning and the UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    • richardw
    • By richardw 18th May 18, 10:28 AM
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    richardw
    • #8
    • 18th May 18, 10:28 AM
    • #8
    • 18th May 18, 10:28 AM
    Try and book in ISK https://www.booking.com/hotel/is/room-with-a-view-reykjavik.html?aid=330843;lang=en
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
    • heatherw_01
    • By heatherw_01 18th May 18, 10:32 AM
    • 5,175 Posts
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    heatherw_01
    • #9
    • 18th May 18, 10:32 AM
    • #9
    • 18th May 18, 10:32 AM
    FYI the rate displayed is not the currency taken anyway so even if you could select ISK, which you can't, it wouldn't mean that is what you would be charged as it is usually the hotel currency not what is displayed on booking.com

    But it does clearly state they would bill in ISK which they haven't done.
    It is the hotel that usually takes the money not booking.com, so they are the ones at fault here as far as I can tell.
    I'm the Board Guide on Quick Grabbit, Freebies, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning and the UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    • richardw
    • By richardw 18th May 18, 10:41 AM
    • 18,766 Posts
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    richardw
    Who is formulating the displayed price in Euros then?
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
    • petgri
    • By petgri 18th May 18, 11:12 AM
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    petgri
    Hello there and thank you for your input.


    My point is that although Booking.com advertise in Euros, by saying they are going to charge in ISK, you have to pay an exchange rate, then of course as we ultimately have to pay in £ sterling, we are paying two exchange rates. I don't know if it is the hotel or Booking.com that convert into ISK, but booking.com say they don't have anything to do with exchange rates. If it is the Hotel, and they have free choice on how to convert, then they can use a silly rate (like changing at an airport!) which makes the price look cheaper in Euros.


    I think overall the holiday cost about 3% more than we were expecting, which as we were booing for 5 couples was about 90 Euros.





    The net result
    • dj1471
    • By dj1471 18th May 18, 5:00 PM
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    dj1471
    It's the hotel running the scam:
    The fixed price is € 132.05. You’ll pay Room With A View Apartment Hotel in local currency (ISK) at the exchange rate on the day of payment. The displayed amount (in GBP) is indicative and based on today’s exchange rate.
    If they haven't used the real exchange rate I would chargeback the transaction as unauthorised - as the cardholder you must explicitly authorise the amount and currency.
    • petgri
    • By petgri 18th May 18, 6:27 PM
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    petgri
    Thanks DJ
    Who made that 132 Euro comment you copied in? I can't see that anywhere. I would be interested to know what they mean by indicative.


    To my mind the conversion frrom Euro to ISK ought to be indicative, then when I pay in £ sterling I expect to pay a reasonably fee at a decent exchange rate.


    I dont think the hotel used an extortionate exchange ratel they use an icelandic bank, which I guess is like me using Barclays which I would never do if I could avoid it. I find credit cards/ Halifax Clarity give a better rate.


    I dont think I will be able to query this for real but I do just feel somewhat ripped off - to the tune of about 90 Euros. And I still think they should quote the firm price in the Currency in which it will be charged, either that or show both prices.



    They say they will convert to ISK on the day of charging, but I still dont know whether the fixed charge is in Euros or ISK and I am still having to pay two exchange rates which does !!!! me off somewhat.



    Heh ho, I am grateful for everyone's comments and input.
    • dj1471
    • By dj1471 18th May 18, 7:18 PM
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    dj1471
    The Euro price is in small print on the personal details page once you've selected a room on booking.com.



    There is no reason for the hotel to be doing what they're doing other than to rip people off. If the price is fixed in Euros then they should bill in Euros.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 18th May 18, 10:18 PM
    • 13,336 Posts
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    zagfles
    This is very common in countries with a minor currency. The rate you're contracted for is in a major currency (eg EUR, USD), but when you come to pay, you pay in the local currency.

    It's a PITA and causes confusion having to think in 3 currencies. Though IME the rates they use is usually reasonable. Not the rip-off mentioned here it seems.
    • budgetflyer
    • By budgetflyer 20th May 18, 8:54 AM
    • 5,730 Posts
    • 3,686 Thanks
    budgetflyer
    It is annoying, however to put it into a bit of perspective, 5 Euro per person is about 3 sips of a beer once you actually get to Iceland
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