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Non-refundable rooms on Booking.com

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Oakland, California
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Non-refundable rooms on Booking.com

OK, first I will say that the mistake was mine. I was making reservations for a trip to the UK this summer through Booking.com, and I accidentally pushed the button for a non-refundable room rate at Pullman Hotel St. Pancras. I didn't realize it until a week later, when I had to change my visit to London to the beginning of the trip rather than the end. I called Booking.com, told them my error and asked if they could negotiate a move to earlier in July (there are rooms available—I checked) and of course I expected to pay an upcharge. No dice. It is hard for me to understand why the hotel's policy is so punitive, as the difference between non-refundable and refundable is not that great. I also contacted the hotel directly, and they wouldn't budge. Leaves a bad taste, to say the least.

Dallas, Texas
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1. Re: Non-refundable rooms on Booking.com

Their policy is not punitive. You screwed up, live and learn. Cowboy up.

Nottingham, United...
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2. Re: Non-refundable rooms on Booking.com

It is an unfortunate mistake that you will just have to live with I am afraid.

London, United...
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3. Re: Non-refundable rooms on Booking.com

wasn't there a similar thread a while back where someone ranted that they wanted a refund on a non-refundable booking and it turned out that in America, despite the term you still can get a refund on such bookings or did I dream that???

Ultimately the OP made a mistake and needs to suck it up. Hopefully they've learned to read and double check everything at checkout before hitting 'buy'.

Oakland, California
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4. Re: Non-refundable rooms on Booking.com

I just want to be clear that I am not asking for a refund. I completely understand that they can't give refunds on non-refundable rooms. What I asked was that they consider moving my reservation to an earlier time, with an upcharge. They won't. That's it.

Kent, UK
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5. Re: Non-refundable rooms on Booking.com

They won't because you booked a non-changeable rate. The rules are pretty clear. The fault lies with you, not them. Maybe next time you'll be more careful when you book, and double check everything before committing.

Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: Non-refundable rooms on Booking.com

>> I just want to be clear that I am not asking for a refund. <<

Then what are you looking for? Tea and sympathy? An appearance on Watchdog? Some excuse for when the wife finds out?

How about some advice .... Take responsibility for your actions. Read the T+C's and understand what you're booking BEFORE hitting the "Book Now" button.

Essex
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7. Re: Non-refundable rooms on Booking.com

Non refundable

It said that, right?

Williamsburg...
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8. Re: Non-refundable rooms on Booking.com

You've done what you can do by asking both booking.com and the Pullman Hotel at St. Pancras if your dates could be changed, and by making clear that you're not looking for a refund, but rather a change in dates, and that you'd be willing to pay additional charges beyond what your non-refundable reservation cost. They both said no, so that's your answer. It would have been nice for them to agree, as a goodwill gesture, but they won't. I guess that's a lesson that you won't soon forget. Can't offer you tea, but I can offer you sympathy.

Chicago, IL
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9. Re: Non-refundable rooms on Booking.com

Wow, tough crowd! I hope none of you work in customer service. If the OP was looking for a refund, I would agree with all of you. But changing the nights and offering to pay the difference in rate? Where is the harm to the hotel?

I booked a non refundable room on booking.com once too, I accidentally double booked one night at two different hotels. I called booking.com and they said sorry we can't help you which I understood, they are simply a third party booking agency. So I contacted the hotel directly by email (Station House Hotel in Letterkenny, Northern Ireland), explained that I had made a mistake and I would greatly appreciate it if they could move my reservation by a day. They moved the date until the next night, no extra charge, no fuss. No harm to them, wonderful for me.

I would perhaps try to contact the hotel again, sometimes getting a different person can get you a different answer. Offer to pay for the difference in rate, if there is one, perhaps this time you will get someone who is a little more understanding that sometimes, even with the best intentions, we all make mistakes.

While I understand the non changeable, non cancellable nature of prepaid rates and I would have taken my lumps if they hadn't allowed me to change it, looking at it from a customer service standpoint, why not earn some goodwill if it doesn't cost you anything?

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Non-refundable rooms on Booking.com

>> looking at it from a customer service standpoint, <<

It's got nothing to do with customer service. It's got everything to do with revenue management and running a viable business.

A hotel can offer a cheap, non-refundable, non-changeable rate knowing that it had guaranteed revenue for that night. It can top up that revenue by offering fully flexible, or semi-flexible rates at higher prices, knowing that some of those will cancel and others move. If it allowed all non-changeable bookings to be changed, it could very well end up with a full hotel one week (no additional revenue can be made) and an empty hotel another week (no revenue at all). That's not viable and so the hotel would have to either (a) close, or (b) put its prices up for everyone, including those who are fully prepared to accept that non-refundable and non-changeable means ... wait for it ... non-refundable and non-changeable.

Customer service is serving the customer professionally, not bending over when they want something they didn't pay for.

PS - In your case LoveChicago you spotted the mistake very early and contacted the hotel. In this OP's case he did nothing for a week, and then only called to change when he wanted to change the booking. Big difference.

Edited: 07 April 2013, 03:52