SEATTLE- When you book a hotel on a travel Web site, you expect to pay the agreed upon price. But what happens when the hotel raises the price after the deal's done?
That's exactly what happened to two Seattle residents.
Kris Olson used Orbitz to book a hotel room for two nights during Octoberfest at Leavenworth's Hotel Edelweiss. The price - $264.
"I figured that would be a pretty good deal so I booked it and got a confirmation and thought everything was great," said Kris.
Soon after, Kris called the hotel. He says an employee told him the price on Orbitz was wrong, that the new cost was $566 and, without his permission, the hotel ran Kris' credit card.
"There's no way I want to stay with you guys at all. I'd rather sleep in a car before I stay in your property," said Kris.
Brittany Wilson had a similar problem. She booked a room at the Hotel Edelweiss via Expedia.com. Her cost for two nights - $168.
She, too, called to check her reservation and was told the room wasn't available.
"I asked him what he was going to do and if you are saying there's no room and he said, 'If you still want the room, it will be additional $100 per night.' I said, 'Wait a minute. You said the room doesn't exist and now you say it does for 100 dollars more per night?'" said Brittany.
Brittany says her credit card was not charged, but she and Kris were upset enough to give me a call.
I stopped by the Seattle office of Sunspots Inns, Resorts and Rentals - the folks who run Hotel Edelweiss. When employees saw our cameras, they sent a young man out to talk to me.
Employee: "I'm not sure I'm the appropriate person, but I can go ask somebody if they want to talk to you," he said.
Jesse: "I want to see if you can get someone to talk to us about this. You got a couple customers who have some issues."
Guess what? No one would appear on camera to talk about Kris and Brittany's problems. But we did start getting faxes from the company, and lots of them. Almost all of the information they gave us was by fax.
Here's why this communication issue is so ridiculous. Sunspot's office is just about 10 blocks from the KING-TV building. I may as well just send them smoke signals.
In Brittany's case, a fax from Sunspot says there was a technical error and they have no record of her. As for Kris, the company's fax says his offer was rejected because the room was already reserved and did not match their rate card.
After speaking with Orbitz, they stepped up and offered to cover Kris' stay at the original rate.
Jesse: "You wanted the money. You didn't want to stay there."< /p>
Kris: "You couldn't pay me to stay there. I just want my money back and never have to deal with them ever again."
Jesse: "I got your money back."
Kris: "And that's why it sounds good."
As for Expedia, after we brought this to their attention. They dropped Hotel Edelweiss for failing to honor its commitment to customers. Both Expedia and Orbitz investigate complaints like this and promise to take action.
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