Not a question, but wanted to provide my experience of using Olotel given there have been several comments regarding them on this forum...
Looking through TripAdvisor I was curious in a company called Olotel that, on occasion, offered very attractive pricing in comparison to other companies. Having done some on-line research I noted there seemed to be some good and some not so good feedback on the company.
With a trip to Moscow looming I thought it would be a good time to test out Olotel as I saw they had a particularly good deal with a hotel I wanted to stay at. Normally I would be reticent in trying out an unknown company with my hotel stay as being let down is a pretty bad start to a holiday. However, in Moscow I knew, at least, I had fall back options.
Having checked the prices on the site I noticed a few inconsistencies. First, having seen a price quoted on TripAdvisor the price disappeared the following day when I was ready to make the booking. I went to the Olotel site directly and used their rather 'hit or miss' search engine. This took more perseverance than the normal punter might spend. I was pretty sure with rooms still available at a discount via the hotels own site, there would be rooms being cleared through wholesale. So I kept trying and eventually the hotel popped up with the room and price I knew was available.
I sent a request to Olotel asking how long it would be following my purchase on-line before the hotel knew my name and could help with other items. I noted Olotel promise a 48hr response time. I made the request on a Friday and the response arrived early on Monday. This is forgiveable although the site does claim customer service is working at the weekends. A further request made on Saturday was also responded to on Monday although the 'automated' response seems a little sticky as I received a standard 'we received your email...' email confirming it would be dealt with shortly.
Regardless. I made the booking on Friday. Almost immediately after payment confirmation I received two emails from Olotel confirming booking and the Hotel Voucher which is required to be handed to reception on arrival. On Sunday evening I sent an email to the hotel directly asking if they could confirm my booking and made a couple of requests about the room. On the Monday morning I was relieved to receive a confirmation from the hotel that they were aware of my booking and confirmed my requests.
In the mean time. Olotel responded on the Monday with an email confirming the booking had been made and that they would send a confirmation email with a booking reference as soon as they received it.
After a gentle reminder Olotel responded with the hotel reference number. One minor complaint up to this point would be the semi-automated 'we'll be in touch in 24hrs' emails which seem to come at an indeterminate point after sending the enquiry and the responses tend to be a little outside the time frame they promise. But all in all they seem to be ok.
So... then I flew to Moscow. I arrived and placed the 'voucher' on the desk in front of the smiling and fluent English speaking receptionist as the site requests you do. The voucher was glanced at, but largely ignored and we went through the usual check in process. My name was in the system, the room was booked, the payment made and everybody was happy! Not only that... but it was a lovely room as well.
All in all, they do what they say they do. They need to spend some money on their website and on the customer support, but this trip went without a hitch and I would certainly book with them again.