Booking.com Price Check Update
Recently I wrote a post about the great feature that Booking.com has introduced called Price Check which ensures that you pay the lowest fee for your booking. Essentially it enables you to submit a price comparison from another website if the offer is identical in nature but cheaper in price. Booking.com will review this and reduce the price of their listing to match that of what you have submitted.
I did however pick up some issues when submitting the price check which I want to highlight for anyone making bookings to make sure you have the best chance of being compensated for finding cheaper accommodation.
To start with, I think it is important to recap the qualification criteria as listed on the Website. As with any product, terms and conditions do apply and before submitting a claim, you need to check a few things:
- The other offer must be for the same property and accommodation type.
- The other offer must be for the same check-in and check-out dates.
- The other offer must have the same cancellation policy and conditions.
When these 3 basic conditions are met then you are free to submit the claim. These are logical checks to make as it’s important to compare the exact same products otherwise the cost comparison will no longer be valid.
Take special note of the breakfast note on the cheaper booking that you found as some sites deliberately leave this as an optional extra to make the booking appear less expensive that competitor sites.
For obvious reasons, Booking.com will not refund everyone that has found a cheaper option as can be seen under the qualifying criteria section. However, in addition to having to meet the qualifying criteria, there is also a list of disqualification criteria namely:
- If the other offer is on a website that does not reveal the property of accommodation type until after the booking.
- If the other offer is part of a loyalty promotion or deal.
- If you current reservation is Booking.basic or if you are comparing with Booking.basic.
These 3 are really important so try to make sure that non of these are applicable otherwise the claim will not qualify.
I recently booked accommodation in Koh Samui for 2 nights and I knew already before I booking that the price was cheaper on Agoda but I wanted to test the system in real time and there was a 20€ difference in the total cost so I thought this would be a good case study to write about.
So I completed the booking on Booking.com and the immediately clicked on the price checker tab which is located on the right hand side. This is a screen grab of how it looks:
I submitted all the details that were request and I received a confirmation email stating that my claim would be processed in the next few days. I thought to my self that it would be a good idea to take a screen grab of the Agoda website price as this would assist with submitting some of details. This was not a suggestion or recommendations from Booking.com but I was glad that I did this as you will see later on.
When submitting a claim, you have to submit the copied URL from the page where you found the booking cheaper. I had done this but I received a response from the Booking.com consultant stating that they were unable to find the offer based on the URL that I submitted and I was to submit a screen shot of the offer. It was a good thing that it had occurred to me to make a screenshot otherwise there would have been no proof that the offer was cheaper than Booking.com.
While I was very proud of myself for making a screen shot of the offer, I made one mistake which disqualified my application and that was I made the screen shot of the daily rate and not the final total.
So from this screen grab you can see that the offer was for €65 which was reduced from 101€. This is however only the cost for for a single evening and not he entire price for the 2 day stay. So even though I met all the criteria as stipulated on the website, I was unable to advance my claim any further based on that the price check was incomplete.
So while I could have canceled and re-booked using the new price, I was unable to recapture this cheaper listing as the whole process took a few days to finalize at which time the price on Agoda was the same as Booking.com and it was not possible to make new screenshots to satisfy the consultant that the prices was in fact cheaper.
So while Booking.com has provided this great tool to ensure that you do not suffer paying the premium for a product that you have found cheaper elsewhere, its not all so easy to navigate. My recommendation is to take screenshots of everything and save them on your drive. In theory, you should not require this as the link that you submit to them should be sufficient but as you can see from my case study, the link did not do this and even after submitting a screen shot, it was rejected.
I hope this article provided some useful tips from someone who paid the school-fees for it so you don’t have to.