Thanks for Cancelling!

image Beware booking online: This is what confronted me when I tried to book with Skoosh, an online travel booking company. My reservation didn’t look like it had taken, so I went elsewhere, only to find I’d received a confirmation email. When I went to cancel, I found the above: the amount paid equaling the cancellation fee. Hmmm.

I’m checking with the company involved to see what’s going on. In the meantime, be careful when you book with them.

Update: I’ve just spoken to Skoosh and they say the hotel requires three days’ notice for a cancellation, hence the charge. As the room was booked (apparently: no notification page appeared) and canceled within five minutes of each other, this appears somewhat rich.

This is where these aggregation sites get a bit tricky; terms and conditions of each hotel vary wildly so there’s not an awful lot they can do. But while it seems to have been a glitch that caused my transaction to go through without my knowing it, when there’s no change of cancellation we need to be sure something like this doesn’t happen.

So, a warning to users: make sure if you are booking via an aggregator you know exactly what you’re committing yourself to, and check your email inbox to see whether a booking may have happened without it being clear from the website.

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19. November 2007 by jeremy
Categories: Travel | Tags: , , | 5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. I think they should eat it, not you.

    They just made sure that I’ll never try them.

  2. Agreed…sounds tricky and just added Skoosh to my black list.

  3. In their defence and to their credit, Skoosh moved pretty quickly to get the hotel to remove the charge, and point to their terms and conditions which say that users need to be aware that each hotel may have their own terms. They also suggest that there was a browser error my end — asking whether I may have hit the back button before the transaction completed.

    I don’t think I did; and in any case, there should be a clear process that would lead to a ‘confirm’ page after entering all my details, along with a better indication that the transaction had gone though.

    On top of that, given that skoosh is not so much an aggregator (directing customers to the hotel’s website to complete the book) as an actual retail outlet itself (handling the booking on behalf of the hotel) then it should impose standard practice to cover all rooms it accepts booking and payment for.

    Lastly, as a general whinge, I think it’s unacceptable that any outlet will take a booking less than three days before but impose a blanket ‘no cancellation three days or less before stay’ rule. It’s stupid, and undermines the rights of the consumer, I would suspect.

    Skoosh responded well to my complaint, offered a phone number and had a human pick up the phone. Good stuff. But if such services want to act as a clearing house for bookings, they need to protect the consumer by setting their own standards and terms across all bookings.

    Don’t write off skoosh, but i’m hoping they’ll respond to this post and comments in a positive spirit. They clearly have good intentions, so let’s hope they do.

  4. In late February 2008, my wife and I decided
    to take a driving trip through the Southwest. We decided to do all the booking on our own rather than take a tour.

    We booked on line reservations for Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Sedona and Las Vegas, When we went on line; we found a company called Skoosh.com that claimed they could provide bookings for us. They advertised that they will beat most prices offered either on line or direct so we didn’t question the price they quote ($252.00 / night).

    When we arrived at the Grand Canyon Maswick Lodge, the desk clerks claimed we had no booking under our name. They search for twenty minutes and found nothing. I suggested they look for variation on our last name and 10 minutes later they came back to tell us that we did have a booking with a really screwed up last name. They then asked us why we were charged $252.00 / night when the highest rate ever charged in season was $163.00 + tax. They couldn’t fathom that anyone would charge that much money. Clearly they implied that we were ripped off.

    Subsequent discussions with the Reservations resulted in a lot of apologies but no financial remuneration. I even offered to meet them halfway but they refused.

    I am in the process of taking the matter up through various agencies both State and Federal
    to get some relief in this situation.

    BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN YOU BOOK WITH THESE FOLKS AND MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE THEY ARE NOT OVERCAHRGING YOU. XANADU, THE PRIMARY BOOKING COMAPNY FOR THE NATIONAL PARKS WILL NOT UPLIFT THE PRICES CHARGED BY THE PARKS.

    P.S. They are based in London but you would never know it. They apparently book through an organization in NY

  5. My name is Reuben and I work for skoosh.com.

    We have tried to talk to Mr Kirschner however he was not willing to understand the situation.

    We pay the hotel for the room at a price they set, he agreed to the price when booking. In fact he checked the prices on kayak before arriving at our site and I can only assume that we had the cheapest price.

    I feel it is also worth pointing out that Mr. Kirschner had booked other hotels through us, one at 50% less than the hotels own walk in rate. While we never guarantee that we are the cheapest we often are and I would always recommending checking kayak.com if you are booking on price alone.