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.

~~Click here to Read More About Booking.Com Price Matcher~~

Qualification Criteria

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:

  1. The other offer must be for the same property and accommodation type.
  2. The other offer must be for the same check-in and check-out dates.
  3. 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.

Disqualification Criteria

No Entry

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:

  1. If the other offer is on a website that does not reveal the property of accommodation type until after the booking.
  2. If the other offer is part of a loyalty promotion or deal.
  3. 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.

Case Study

CaseStudy

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.

Wrap-up

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.

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12 Responses

  1. affiliate_ghost says:

    Hello Richard :),

    this is a wonderful update from your previous review on the price matcher. Kudos on trying a real life example and sharing your results with us. this helps, i would make sure to keep documentations and make screen shots like you have advised. do keep up the good work

  2. RuthM says:

    I used booking dot com just the other day to book a hotel for myself and my husband for our second wedding anniversary. I never saw this function on the website, otherwise I would have used it for sure. I feel like there is a lot you could get wrong in doing this. Do you think they are trying to trip you up, so that you can’t PROVE if you have found a cheaper price elsewhere? Nevertheless, I would always go there as a first port of call for any booking that I do.  I think they website itself is fantastic. 

    • Richard says:

      While i do not think they are trying to trip us up, I do think there are some subtleties that might prevent a large number of people effectively claiming. I do not think it is underhanded but then again, I lost out on a technicality that I am showing the readers how to effectively deal with it.

      Best to you and you husband on your 2nd anniversary and to many more.

  3. James says:

    Richard, thanks for the interesting post about price check. I think these types of offers often give us the assurance that we could not find a cheaper holiday elsewhere but as your case study perfectly illustrates when you actually try to take up the offer you fall foul of one term or another. You make a good point about saving a screen grab of a competitor’s price. I will remember to do that.

    • Richard says:

      Hi Jeams,

      Thanks for the feedback and I am glad that it offered some useful information.

      Rich

  4. Zayn Hiew says:

    Hi Richard,

    I have read both your Booking dot com Price Check articles and never know that they have this price matcher option although l have once booked my hotel accommodation with them. I have learned a lot from your case study and in case l make any accommodation booking with them in the future, l would take all the necessary screenshot if l find another cheaper rate elsewhere to prove my claim if needed.

    Thank you and l have bookmarked this post for reference.

    • Richard says:

      Hi Zayn,

      In the end its all about what you can prove so making screen shots of as much as you can will only help in the long run. I am glad you found the article useful and all the best to you on your travels.

      Rich

  5. Hollie Rose says:

    Price Check update is a nice feature, it’s basically the same as price match and this is something I often do before purchasing things.

    Shame for you that you couldn’t get your stay cheaper, however, I doubt there are too many people who do manage. When a company offers a price match and the like there are often too many conditions to meet! Better luck next time!

    • Richard says:

      Hi Hollie,

      I do think that the system is legit but I do think that there are a lot of hoops to jump through and thats why I encourage people to take as many screen shots as possible as in the end, its not what you know but what you can prove.

      Rich

  6. Mahin Al Banna says:

    Hey Richard,

    Firstly I will like to thank you for writing this informative and helpful article. I had heard about booking.com before but the concept was never so clear than it is now. I am thinking about to go on a trip with my family on my next vacation. The most important part of a journey is to have comfortable accommodation system. But after reading your article I have learned a lot of things. And I think it’s easier to find best hotels at cheaper rate with it. Moreover I liked it’s other facilities. I will keep your valuable tips in mind while traveling.

    Again thanks a lot for this helpful article.

    • Richard says:

      Thanks for leaving a comment and I am glad to have assisted you with how this product works.

      Rich

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