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Old 6th May 2008, 14:35   #1
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Default Travel & Booking Websites : Experiences, Queries etc.

Hello,

Anyone has experience booking stay through Travelguru (or through similiar sites)? Any advantages of going through these, rather than booking directly?

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Old 6th May 2008, 14:52   #2
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Well I usually book my tickets and hotels through Yatra.com or makemytrip.com. I compare the deals given by most of the other websites like cleartrip, travelguru etc before I decide.

So far my experience has been pretty good with both yatra and makemytrip. They usually have pretty good deals which are not available if one books straight from the airline.

Even the hotel and holiday deals that are given by these sites are pretty good. I had planned a 3 day trip to Agra and Bharatpur in December through Yatra.com from flight to hotel bookings and the experience was really good.
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Old 6th May 2008, 15:01   #3
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I've used makemytrip.com many a times.
Advantages:
1) Gives a good picture of hotels and resorts at the destination. Helps in a good selection.

2) I usually note down the qoute'd price at the site and then google and call up the hotel/resort directly. Compare the two prices and choose the better of the two. Twice I've found the makemytrip price to be a little less than the direct price.

3) ofcourse, sometimes the sites gives better offers.

Disadvantages:
All such sites take couple of hours before your booking is confirmed. One such time my colleague booked and started his journey the next day. He didn't call up the resort/Hotel to check if his booking was confirmed. And needless to say, he found out 'No room available'. The manager then told him that all such sites have a qouta alloted to them and many a times a clash of booking happens. And then one booking is cancelled.
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Old 6th May 2008, 15:20   #4
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Thumbs down Getting a refund is a nightmare!

As long as your trip is confirmed and you don't make any changes, all travel sites are user friendly and very caring.

But once you decide to cancel/ pospone your trip, getting a refund from them can be a horrible experience. I have come across so many instances where people do not get refunds for months!
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Old 6th May 2008, 15:29   #5
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booking stay direct makes a difference because you will always be able to get the best direct rate from whichever hotel, without the commission that they need to pay travelguru or anyone else
while booking international hotels through gtahotels.com for example, you end up paying 15% commission to the site/portal - indirectly. the commission is included in the charges that you see - the hotel actually makes less than the rate confirmed to you via the site because they have to pay the site for the service.
thus, if you can find the hotel numbers/ email, it is worth talking to a sales manager/ reservations person and negotiating the best rate.
however, if you dont want to make the effort and go through the inconvenience, it is still worth booking through some of these sites because the nett rates you pay, are very well worth it in most cases. plus the added convenience of paying via credit card on the net itself, thus guaranteeing your reservation.
its a trade off really between the above - you could decide depending on what is more important for you.

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Originally Posted by nirmalts View Post
Hello,

Anyone has experience booking stay through Travelguru (or through similiar sites)? Any advantages of going through these, rather than booking directly?

Nirmal
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Old 6th May 2008, 15:56   #6
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Shankar,

This is not true. The internet sites get special price from the hotels/airlines for bulk booking. This discount is passed on to the customers who book on these sites and will be less than the price you get when you book with the hotel directly.
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Old 6th May 2008, 16:01   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
booking stay direct makes a difference because you will always be able to get the best direct rate from whichever hotel, without the commission that they need to pay travelguru or anyone else
This is not the case.I had made hotel bookings through travelguru at Hotel Aditya park in Hyderabad(Ameerpet).The fares that I got through travelguru was almost 1.5k less than what I was quoted directly by the hotel.When I told them that I have a lesser fare from travelguru,the guy on the phone told me to make the booking thru travelguru itself.Even I was puzzled and couldnt understand how this could happen.
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Old 6th May 2008, 18:37   #8
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Default Bad experience with Make my trip

I had a very bad experience with makemytrip.com (MMT). My sister-in-law's friend and mom were coming for her marriage from USA in June 2007. They were landing in Delhi so requested me to book a room for them. Since I do not know anything about Delhi, I called MMT and booked a room for Rs. 3500 using my credit card and also booked sight-seeing trips to Agra and jaipur. Seems the room did not have a proper lock itself and water was leaking from the floor above. So when they had to go back I booked a room for Rs. 5900 hoping to make them comfortable. MMT debited the money but when the couple went to the hotel booking details has not reached them and so they booked a room by themselves. At Agra and Jaipur I had booked at the Taj and came to know it was much cheaper if booked directly. They left India on July 11th but I sent them the expenses incurred on 9th itself so they will reimburse me. to my shock, they informed that Delhi room was booked by them for 5200 and the hotels at Jaipur and Agra was much cheaper than what I mentioned (they must have thought I was trying to make a fast buck)

The worst was yet to come. I called MMT on 14th july to inform them about the debit of 5900 but the hotel charging again. MMT promised to look into the issue and come back to me. After 10 days of follow-up, one vineet singh calls me on 24th at around 5 pm and says 14000 rupees has wrongly been credited into my account and so need my approval for debiting it back. I refused to give any approval and asked him not to touch my card. Since I was very busy that day called ICICI (my card co) to block my card so MMT will not touch it. To my horror MMT had already debited the 14000 rupees from my card. I called up Vineet character and threatened to go to the police since this is a criminal offence and also to authorities in ICICI. He tried to pacify me but I went ahead and called ICICI and gave them the complaint and faxed the details.

To cut a long story short, I received the 5900 after 5 months and the 14000 issue is still being disputed. MMT says icici is at fault and ICICI says MMT is at fault. I refused to make any payment to ICICI and asked them to solve it themselves. I still get mails from ICICI asking me to pay the amount due but nobody (read Goondas) has called and asked for it so far.

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Old 6th May 2008, 20:56   #9
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Have read horror stories about MMT online, I shall best avoid it, am satisfied with airline tickets booked via yatra.com.
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Old 7th May 2008, 14:27   #10
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I have found travelguru and flightraja (name change to Via some time back) good sites. Yatra and cleartrip also seem to be O.K. But keep away from ezeego. With big sounding advertisements in the news papers this site has the worst helpdesk available. If occasion arises for refunds, you may have to run from pillar to post to get the credit from this site.
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Old 7th May 2008, 14:34   #11
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I had an issue with yatra while booking for a trip to goa. After not getting space the hotel of my choice told them not to book it and booked another hotel.These guys still went ahead and booked it, deducting the money from the card.
After a few calls and lots of statement faxes the issue finally got resolved and the money was reverted.

But overall I have booked with these guys about 7-8 times and apart from the above mentioned episode (which also got resolved) I have had a decent experience with them.

Last edited by sammyboy : 7th May 2008 at 14:35. Reason: addition
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Old 7th January 2013, 18:51   #12
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Thumbs down My bad experience with TravelGuru.com

I am writing about my horrible experience with www.travelguru.com.

I stay in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Me (& my wife) and my friend (& his wife) planned to visit Coorg, Karnataka to spend New Year. After reading lot of reviews about the hotels, we finalized Capitol Village Stay near Madikeri in Coorg for our stay.

I had booked 2 rooms in Capitol Village Stay, Coorg, Karnatka using Travelguru website on 21-12-2012 for my stay from 29-12-2012 to 01-01-2013. I received an instant confirmation with booking ID TGU0000883660. I was waiting for a quiet New Year with my family and friends which turned out to be a nightmare.

We started for Coorg by car on 28-12-2012 from Hyderabad. On 29-12-2012, just two hours away from my hotel, Travelguru calls me to inform me that the hotel booked by me is not available. I told them it was too late and I am very near to Coorg. They did not budge and confirmed that they cannot get me rooms in the hotel. This happens after 12 hours of driving and I was really tired. I protest that they cannot cancel the booking in the last minute. They inform me that they had tried to reach me on 28-12-2012 as well. As I was driving, I could not answer their call. Does calling up customer just one day before the check in date absolves them of their responsibility?

I was not happy with this. They gave me mobile number of Capitol Village manager. They wanted me to talk to him to arrange for an alternative arrangement. It was their responsibility to arrange this. However, I accepted this making it very clear that if I do not like the accommodation, they need to make alternative arrangements. They promised to look into this. I called up the hotel manager and he informed that he had never confirmed this booking. In fact, Travelguru had confirmed this booking to me without checking with the hotel. The hotel had a wedding on these dates and had been booked full long time ago. I really did not expect this from TravelGuru. The manager gave me another phone number to contact for accommodation. The other person when contacted gave me another number to speak to. The last person gave me the directions of the property which was about 15 km from Madikeri. This could not have gone any worse. But there was more to it!!!

The property was very bad compared to Capitol Village. They did not even have a kitchen. It was just a house in middle of nowhere. I called up Travelguru and made it clear to them that I am not going to stay here. They informed me that I have no other option but to stay here. This was audacious on their part. I had to drive back to Hyderabad after they gave me no choice but to cancel the booking.

TravelGuru has not yet refunded the booking amount. They had confirmed the cancellation and refund to me in a mail on 29-12-2012. It has been more than a week and my follow up revealed that they did not process the refund till 04-01-2013.

My New Year plans were spoiled and I had to spend good money on fuel and hotel stay to reach Coorg.

I wanted to share this experience with you so that TravelGuru.com can be avoided or at least used with caution.

Also, I need your advice to take this forward legally. What are my options? Is it worth pursuing further? Should I just take the refund and be happy?

Last edited by windsurfer : 7th January 2013 at 19:10.
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Old 7th January 2013, 19:43   #13
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Default Re: My bad experience with TravelGuru.com

During peak travel periods in such smallish individual (not part of a chain) places, it is better that you confirm directly with the hotel as soon as you make the booking through an OTA (online travel agency) or better still book directly with the hotel itself. I am not against online bookings, but stick to larger and well established chains for doing so. If you look at Redbus for instance, the maximum number of complaints about dishonored bookings are those made on smaller operators compared to larger players.

Last edited by TKMCE : 7th January 2013 at 19:44.
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Old 7th January 2013, 19:51   #14
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Default Re: My bad experience with TravelGuru.com

I will only comment on your last line. It is a very very good case for taking forward legally. To begin with just file a case in Distt. Consumer Forum. I am sure you have all the details and documents to prove the case. In this particular case, I believe, you can claim a much bigger reimbursement as your New Year Plans (a major event) were screwed up by these guys. Coupled with the agony you went through in driving all the way from Hyderabad to Coorg and then back, you have a very tight case IMHO.

As for TravelGuru, I guess unprofessional, fly by night portals like these that have mushroomed over the last few years are doomed to fail sooner than later. As for myself, I generally desist from these guys and like to make my own plans and then follow up on each of them directly. Then again, thats not everyone's cup of tea.

Least you can do is to spread the word. Search for reviews on TravelGuru and then on all such places go and spread the word. Provide a linkbank here as well.
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Old 7th January 2013, 20:09   #15
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Default Re: My bad experience with TravelGuru.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
During peak travel periods in such smallish individual (not part of a chain) places, it is better that you confirm directly with the hotel as soon as you make the booking through an OTA (online travel agency) or better still book directly with the hotel itself. I am not against online bookings, but stick to larger and well established chains for doing so. If you look at Redbus for instance, the maximum number of complaints about dishonored bookings are those made on smaller operators compared to larger players.
I have been using online travel portals for about 7 years now and NEVER a confirmed booking was dishonored. However, this is my first booking with TravelGuru.com and i have learnt a good lesson.
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