ED Magedson – Founder
Priceline Beware -- Inflated "Star Ratings" and no help from Customer Service Norwalk Connecticut
I've used Priceline for discounted hotel reservations many times over the past several years with good results. Unfortunately, my most recent experience with them has left me doubting I'll ever use them again. It's always a bit of a gamble when you NYOP since you have only the star level and locations guarenteed. When the star level is not reliable, there isn't much reason to use their service. I learned several hard lessons this weekend when I "won" a 3 star hotel.
1st is that the star rating is based on the hotel, NOT on your room. Hotels save their better quality rooms for guests who pay more. That means even if your room hasn't been updated since George Washington slept there, or it's a room in the dungeon, or it's in the wing that doesn't have heat, plumbing or housekeeping, if the hotel is a 5 star hotel, Priceline doesn't care.
2nd is that Priceline isn't interested in hearing about a borderline hotel. If it has a high rating on other sites, or it once had amenities that qualify as a particular star level, they don't want to hear about the current condition of the hotel.
3rd their customer service department has no idea how to provide service. The representitives don't have the authority to do anything but respond with a very defensive posture and scripted platitudes I sent an email complaint, got a response that made no sense, wrote a reply, got a response that said to call, phoned and talked to someone who spoke english as a second language and recited training manuals at me. "I understand how you feel"... Really??? I'm not at all convinced you understood what I said... I did get an address to write to the "Executive Service Team" -but I'm over it.
I bid on and won a 3 star hotel. Based on Priceline's own, published star rating criteria, this hotel was, at best a 2.5 star hotel. Additionally, I was given an unusually tiny room that didn't the amenities normally provided in this hotel's standard rooms. Also the hotel no longer provided some of the services that once qualified it as a 3 star facility. PRICELINE DIDN'T CARE
It is fraudulent to contract with bidders for a star level if it doesn't apply to the room as well as the hotel. Still, I wouldn't be posting here if I'd been able to talk to an intellegent, responsive customer service representitive who could, at least assure me that they would consider re-evaluating the hotel. (PRICELINE - ADD THIS TO YOUR TRAINING MANUEL: "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We cannot refund your $ due to ... some random BS... but we appreciate the effort you've made to let us know about a potential problem. We will consider your feedback when re-evaluating this hotel...blah, blah,blah...")
I realize my poor experience with Priceline and their Customer Service Department was not an isolated episode. I have much less to complain about than others who have posted here. But it will be a LONG time before I even consider using Priceline again. I urge others to make note of this information and consider whether the discounted price is worth the risks.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/30/2014 06:03 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/priceline/norwalk-connecticut/priceline-beware-inflated-star-ratings-and-no-help-from-customer-service-norwalk-con-1119706. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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