Needed to stay in Downtown Miami for two nights, but most hotels were booked and the only hotel in the area was the Spring Hill Suites which was available for $169 - not horrible but in a bad location. Spring Hill Suites is listed as an example of a 2.5 star hotel in Price Line's brief explanation of how they classify the hotels. I wanted to stay in a hotel better than this one, so I went with $197 for 3 star hotel, knowing that the Spring Hill Suites was the next class down and thinking I was safe there.
Of course, Price line came back and gave me the one hotel I did not want, the Spring Hill Suites for the $197 price - $30 more per night than what I would pay at the one hotel I did not want to stay in. I believe that by listing Spring Hill Suites as an example of a 2.5 star hotel, it is unfair to then give this hotel to someone that had a minimum star level of 3 in their request. I immediately called Price Line to let them know that I was mislead and did not want to book this hotel which is below the class of hotel I agreed to purchase. The customer service agent said that the list of hotels by star class is only a guideline and that Spring Hill Suites in the 2.5 Star class did not mean that all Spring Hill Suites are considered 2.5 Stars by Priceline. I believe this is intentionally misleading. She said all purchases are final and I would be charged the full $450 even if I did not use the hotel room at all. I asked if I could cancel and pay some penalty smaller than the full cost of the room for two nights and she said I could not (employee #560294). So I am out the $450 and Price Line can sell the room again if they want.
I believe that by listing the hotel brands as examples and then not following this - is intentionally misleading in order to sell lower end brands at higher end prices. In this example, I was charged more than the market rate (only $30 per night) but I also was given the one hotel I did not want.
The company does not care at all and you will be charged full price for whatever hotel they give you and you will have no recourse - so Beware of Priceline and if for some reason you feel like trying your luck - be fully aware the hotels listed under star levels are there to mislead you.