I booked an express deal for a 2.5 star hotel in Galveston for $83. The hotel that was given the contract also charges $20 per night for parking. A fee that no other hotel in the competitive set charges.
Priceline claims that they do not know which hotel will receive my contract so the fees are not technically hidden, they are unknown. However, Priceline does not disclose the amount or likelihood that a customer may realize such fees. As such, I potentially could have stayed in a nicer 3+ star hotel for $103 per night, but got a lesser hotel unknowingly at the same price.
Customer service was significantly lacking in that all they did was read the script that other charges may be incurred. There is nothing that can be done.
Priceline has to 1) help customers understand these fees prior to purchase and 2) limit hotels from arbitrarily charging priceline customers these fees. Otherwise, the value offering for priceline customers will continue to diminish.
Monetary Loss: $40.