Scam in Agoda-land

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Fiches Mouser

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Dec 14, 2013
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The other day I was just casually checking some rates for a Sydney hotel on Agoda (with the aim of earning Velocity points).

Decided to leave it. Immediately, while browsing other sites, the almighty Google started serving me targeted ads for some Sydney hotels I had just been looking at. One of those was the Park Hyatt at the wonderfully low rate of $190/night! I was thrilled. This was a huge saving so I clicked through trying to book it.

Funnily enough, I couldn't price it back on Agoda at said wonderfully low rate. Confused, and starting to casually mutter some ACCC legislation to myself, I decided to send an email. I was in a bit of a playful mood.

Today, I got a response (bolding mine):

Dear mrsmart

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately the hotel is no longer available for that rate but since you mentioned that you're extremely flexible, here's a 15% future discount for you to use in one of your next booking with us. There are only few minimum requirements to follows, instruction in the box below.

How to use the 15% future discount: Make a new booking and pay for the whole amount that the booking requires. Return this email with the new booking ID asking us to apply the discount. We will do so and refund you whatever the discount makes off the amount spent in the new booking. This discount is for one time use only and must be used within a year from the date issued. Note: We have (1) prepaid hotels and (2) postpaid hotels. The discount applies to prepaid hotels only. You may not use it in postpaid hotels. To identify, if your selected hotel has this message, it is a postpaid hotel: Agoda will not charge your credit card for this booking. You will be charged by the hotel directly in the local currency.

Regards,
[Agent]
Agoda Customer Satisfaction Team

I followed up with this:

Hi [Agent],

Can you tell me the date that this was advertised for? I find it extremely hard to believe the Park Hyatt Sydney (which retails for around $900/night normally) would sell for that low.

If this price was not possible to honour, it’s a violation of consumer law. You cannot advertise a price that is not actually available.

If you can confirm the details of when this was available, it would be appreciated.

Thanks,
mrsmart

Within minutes I had a follow up:

Dear mrsmart

Thank you for your email. Park Hyatt Sydney is never available for that rate; it was in fact a tech error caused by system glitch.

Regards,
[Same Agent]
Agoda Customer Satisfaction Team

Am I being unreasonable? Mistakes happen all the time right? Perhaps. And initially, I did think it was a simple mistake.

But the instant follow up to my last email makes it seem like these kind of "tech errors caused by a system glitch" happen all the time.

Did someone say ACCC?
 
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flying_double

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Mar 17, 2013
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Mistakes can happen sometimes, but that doesn't make them scams. There's a recent thread in the QFF section about an advertised PE special to LHR, that isn't that special now it's been corrected. All businesses make them. If Agoda was consistently bait advertising $900 rooms for $190, then your gripe might be reasonable. But you've made an assumption, right or wrong, from the very brief email response that the errors "happen all the time". Assumptions don't carry much weight.

$900 rooms don't sell for $190, at least not Sydney Harbour hotel rooms. Yes you may be disappointed but ACCC involvement is OTT IMO, just enjoy the 15% discount they've extended to you for a stay there or somewhere else.
 

Fiches Mouser

Established Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2013
Posts
1,416
Mistakes can happen sometimes, but that doesn't make them scams. There's a recent thread in the QFF section about an advertised PE special to LHR, that isn't that special now it's been corrected. All businesses make them. If Agoda was consistently bait advertising $900 rooms for $190, then your gripe might be reasonable. But you've made an assumption, right or wrong, from the very brief email response that the errors "happen all the time". Assumptions don't carry much weight.

$900 rooms don't sell for $190, at least not Sydney Harbour hotel rooms. Yes you may be disappointed but ACCC involvement is OTT IMO, just enjoy the 15% discount they've extended to you for a stay there or somewhere else.
Not at all disappointed, and certainly not planning on taking it further. Just decided to pursue it with an email out of interest and for a laugh.

Figured the situation might interest other AFFers, on the chance that a trend is spotted.
 
D

Deleted member 29185

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Similar, but different. I received a Hilton Asia Pacific promo yesterday which advertised Sydney for AU$199 (or thereabouts....just going by memory). I clicked the link and it came up H-SYD starting from AU$350. Now given Hilton only have one Sydney property, I'm wondering how they can advertise Sydney for under $200 but the link takes you to a screen that says from $350???
 
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