Hotels, like rental cars and restaurants, allow you to make a reservation and cancel it within a reasonable period of time before arrival. This is simply a service they must provide to allow people a degree of assurance and flexibility. Companies like Priceline and Hotwire have found a way to profitably offer rooms that would have gone unrented otherwise for much less money, provided that your flexibility is taken away i.e. you reserve it you bought it. They are crystal clear about these terms at the time of purchase. Hotels.com, on the other hand is very deceptive and doesn’t offer a meaningful discount. They appear to be simply an online aggregator, giving you a choice of properties based on your search terms. They offer a paltry 10% discount but it is not something you couldn’t easily get elsewhere or by negotiating with the hotel directly. You book your room assuming all the normal flexibility is retained in terms of being able to cancel. But there is no flexibility. Just like Priceline, your card is charged immediately and you cannot cancel. The terms are there, and thus it is probably legal, but they clearly are trying to deceive as many people as possible. Their customer service is a shell game insisting, incorrectly, that you must speak with the hotel and that they have no power to help you. If you press, they become rude and abusive. Don’t ever use Hotels.com. Either book directly with the hotel or use Priceline/Hotwire if you want a good discount with no flexibility.
Internet United States of America