There is most likely no legal recourse for me in this case, however, it is just plain wrong. While searching for our summer vacation lodging in the Key Largo, Florida area, I came upon a place that suited our needs; a cottage with a kitchen to cook our fish. I found this place on several sites, but I was using Trip Advisor. I don't go on vacation very often, we can't really afford to so I am sort of new at this. The Trip Advisor site searches with other vacation websites and the one that I have an issue with is Booking.com. It was the only site that had this particular place available.
On Thursday evening, there was one cottage out of 20 available, however, I was hesitant and waited until Friday when there were zero. After speaking to my husband, I went back on looking for an appropriate place and there was one - and I booked it. I guess I a bit thick as I misread the cancellation policy which stated the following: 'If cancelled or modified up to 30 dayas before date of arrival, 15% of the total price will be charged.
If cancelled or modified later or in case of a no show, 50% of the total price will be charged'. I mis read this as making a change or a cancellation 30 days prior. BTW, date of booking is Jan 26, date of vacation is July 18, six months away. After looking some more and having more discussions with my family, we chose another place booked directly through the owner, also on Trip Advisor. I went in this evening, Sunday, Jan 27 and cancelled and I was charged 179.15 for cancelling. I had no choice to accept as otherwise I would be charged in full. I called the site, they said it was the hotels choice not theirs. They put me on hold to try to reach them which after about a 2 minute hold they said they could not.
She spoke to her supervisor and he said too bad basically. As a test, I again searched for the same place, same lodging choice, same dates, not available. According to Trip Advisor, the location was being booked by people from everywhere. So, my question is why the need to steal my money if you have the room booked? No Harm, No Foul in my estimation. The morale of my story - do not book through Booking.com and do not book the Atlantic Bay Resort in Key Largo. They are both thieves....and I'm just angry at myself really.