I'm in Tokyo and I was looking for a place to stay near the office a few days ago. Got on priceline and found a nice looking place, quoted at 100 euros (147 USD) a night not including taxes and fees.
I booked it, but was not charged by priceline since it was not a "name your own price" booking. Boy was I surprised when I got to the hotel and they not only didn't have my booking or any record of me, but that there was 100 USD per night price difference.
Not being able to speak Japanese, and knowing nothing about Tokyo, I couldn't just walk out and find another place. Hotel's customer service was very nice and apologetic, but since they didn't have my "confirmed" reservation and put me into a room, they charged me their regular rate.
They called priceline on my behalf and PL essentially said "too bad, we can't do anything" "we faxed you the document" to the hotel. Hotel never recieved a fax, had never heard of PL. Sales department confirms they have no agreement with PL and that PL shouldn't even be advertising their rooms and rates. They also mentioned that their rates were NEVER this low and had no idea how PL got this kind of estimate.
They went as far as to email PL and got a response saying "sorry our prices are just estimates, you can charge as much as you want." Very interesting given that it's a confirmed reservation...
I got in touch with PL and essentially got the "sorry the hotel can charge you whatever they want since we just estimate the price. Sorry too bad." Upon going back to my reciept, all I see is "subtotal", "room cost per night" "number of rooms" etc. But that "taxes and fees may apply."
"Taxes and fees" these are always a bit suspicious and I knew that. But my hotel isn't charging "Fees" while taxes are minimal. My main beef is that its not the taxes and fees that are being distorted, its the base hotel rate in which there is over 100 dollar difference per night.
While I don't have too many PL names, I've got the entire front desk of the hotel who will vouch for me as well as my recipts, bth from PL and from the hotel. I'm thinking of going to the Better Business Bureau, calling my attorney or disputing the charge on my credit card. Never using them again.
Monetary Loss: $220.