Hotels.com and other travel sites have great websites that make finding a hotel to stay very easy. Having used it extensively I still use it to FIND hotels but I will NEVER use it to book another hotel stay. Here’s why:
1. You have very little recourse if something goes wrong. In our case, we has a few situations where we showed up at a hotel and did not stay because it was unacceptable. We tried to work with the hotel and tried to work it out with Hotels.com but they would not refund our money paid. So just dispute the charge, right? Wrong. Even paying with our Platinum American Express card we could not recover our money. This happened a few times to us.
2. The reviews and ratings are inaccurate. Generally, in my opinion, the ratings are too high.
3. If you have a bad experience it is almost impossible to post a negative review. I tried 7 times to post a negative review only to get an automated email each time stating that the review violated their policies. Which policy it violates is never given to you so it is up to you to figure it out. Also, there is no way to pull up your rejected review so you have to do it over again. One of the things they get you on is that you cannot have any websites in your review which includes hotels.com. So if your review has hotels.com in it, it will get rejected. I finally got it to go through by stripping the review of everything but the very basics which would not allow it to be rejected. Most people would have given, up I think.
So what do I do? I use the sites like hotels.com to search for a hotel I like and then I contact the hotel directly. If there is a problem, you are much more likely to be able to get help from your CC company is a dispute against the hotel versus trying to launch a dispute against one of the booking giants. Most hotels will honor the hotels.com pricing and if not there are plenty of others that will.