warning - booking hotels on agoda.com
Replies: 21 - Last Post: Mar 1, 2013 4:31 AM Last Post By: itsjustmeee
Apr 19, 2012 12:42 AM
warning - booking hotels on agoda.comi posted this on the thai forum because this applies to both thailand and malaysia:
i have used agoda.com to book hotels in thailand + malaysia for about 4 years now. i have usually gotten some good discounts. so i was surprised when i had 2 bad experiences.
in march i booked a room with agoda.com in hat yai at the cathay guest house. list rate = 300 baht, agoda rate 174 baht. sounded good, so, i booked it. with their fees, i paid approx. 200 b. i was really surprised when i checked in that the walk-in rack rate on the wall was 160 baht!!! they said they never had a 300 baht room!! (btw, walk-in rate is now 200 b as of april 9th)
i also booked a room on langkawi island in malaysia. agoda was the only website that had lots of listings. i booked 4 nights at the Rumours guest house. list rate 136 RM, agoda rate 64 rm. with their fees, i paid about 75 rm. but when i got there and checked in, the manager said the walk-in rate for low season (high season is nov-feb, and this was april) was 60 RM!!! high season rate is 80 RM. i was pretty pissed at this point. i checked 2 other hotels that agoda listed, and all their discount rates were higher than the walk-in rate.
my advice is that if you are in thailand, you should call the hotel to find out the walk-in rate BEFORE booking. calling is cheap if you have a cell phone or use TOT's special service - dial 1 2 3 4 + number (1.5 b/min). in any event, dont book more than 1 night with them.
Apr 19, 2012 1:31 AM
1Agoda or similiar sites are never cheap for the lower end of the market accommodation.
I've found that with Cameron Highlands, you can get cheaper rates by walk in .
Apr 19, 2012 1:57 AM
Apr 19, 2012 4:31 AM
3I've found many mid-upper range hotels guarantee through their web-sites to match/beat prices advertised for their rooms on any other web-sites. When hunting for any grade of accommodation I usually check with Wotif, TripAdvisor and/or Lonely Planet for reviews before Googling the establishment's own web-site for their advertised rates.
Apr 19, 2012 6:55 PM
4From what I know if you list your accommodation on Agoda you are not meant to offer a lower price anywhere else... now obviously this applies to online bookings, but maybe not to walk in rates?
Your experience sounds strange to me though, as when a hotel or guesthouse lists with Agoda, they are the ones that state their price of their rooms. Then, reason Agoda can often offer the cheapest rates is that they are given a commission, say 20%. Agoda just cuts off some of their commission and say take only 15%... so their rates are lower.
If this is the case, the the places you went to have given Agoda a higher rate. Could you find rates for any of these places anywhere else on-line and compare them?
My point... possibly it is the hotels that are doing this and not agoda?
Apr 21, 2012 7:39 PM
5i know someone who runs a hotel booking website in thailand, and yes, it is the hotel that is supposed to supply the list rate. but i asked both the cathay and rumours did they give agoda these inflated rates. the managers at both places said that they did NOT. (unfortunately, i posted this on a diff website, but left out the NOT, so it looks like the mgrs did, but they didnt. when i tried to correct it, the moderator had locked the thread and i couldnt correct it. so it goes).
so, i do wonder where these inflated list rates came from. as i started with, i've gotten some good deals with agoda - esp. on the hotels near swampy airport. in october, i was at one, and checked their walk-in rate. and agoda got it right.
but not these 2 examples. and also the 2 other places i checked on cenang beach in langkawi. so, i have no idea where these rates came from. and i will be much more cautious about using agoda from now on.
oddly, the other hotel websites (asiarooms, asiahotels, hostelbookers, etc...) have almost no listings for cenang/tengah beaches in langkawi.
Apr 22, 2012 11:35 PM
6came across this recently here in Siem Reap. Went for a walk to see what was out there and found a really nice place... walk-in price 25 USD for a great room (though classed as basic by the hotel).
Returned to my laptop, searched Agoda in hope i might get a few dollars off the walk-in price....... well 1 dollar isn't much, but what I was amazed at was Agoda had the basic room initially listed as 65 dollars, with a last minute sale taking it down to 24 USD......
At no time has this room been 65 USD, in fact there are no rooms at this hotels at that price, not even the mahoosively posh formal suite!!!!
So are Agoda selling a 25 dollar room (for 24 dolars) to unsuspecting web clients who think they are getting a great deal by saving 41 USD???
Personally I think it sucks if Agoda can do this, and get away with it.
As previously mentioned, I now probably spend too much time cross referring between different websites....
oh well... still having a fantastic time travelling.
Safe travels and good luck with getting that best deal! :-)
Apr 23, 2012 2:18 PM
Actually not so - I have found Booking.com is cheaper than agoda. The price you see for agoda is not the price you pay because taxes are not included, whereas with Booking.com. the price you see is the price you pay.
And I too do not like agoda, I'm having a fight with them at the moment - my hair has grown two inches while I'm waiting for a reply.
Apr 23, 2012 7:46 PM
8My good friend owns a guest house. So, I think I can answer your doubts. When you make any booking with Agoda, you would see a 'normal price' slashed down to a 'special price'. This is a marketing gimmick from Agoda as the hotel never provide the 'normal price' to Agoda. Agoda do this to give you an impression that you are getting a good deal.
When you proceed with your booking, Agoda would then add the so called 'tax' to get the 'real price'. Again, this is a marketing gimmick from Agoda as most of the guest houses do not charge you for such 'tax'.
As a guest house owner, my friend needs to ensure that the price given to Agoda (the 'real price') is not higher than the prices published in the other websites - be it their own website or other booking website. They can always quote a lower price with a walk-in customer. In Malaysia, you can expect to get some discount if you just show up and bargain with the front desk. However, you run the risk that a particular guest house may be fully booked.
Apr 24, 2012 12:51 AM
9Glad you posted this, Agoda is running the same scam in Vietnam. We paid $40 over the actual cost of the room. Hope more will read and get Agoda to change their practice of ripping people off.
May 14, 2012 4:43 PM
10I just booked on www.booking.com to sanxenxo with a very reasonable price and (174€ 3 nights) and then it apears me Agoda with 102€ for 5 nights! I looked and I overlooked. I though it very strange.
Then I saw the one of the Topest Hotel in Sanxenxo (Carlos Silgar and Augusta resort) - in booking they were at 550€ more or less for 3 nights...in Agoda they were 125 € for 5 nights!!!
Then I cliked Home on Agoda...125€ per night!
And you put you want 5 night and the total price (the lowest!!!)- 125€! Until you pay off course!
I told my boyfriend - I don't trust this! And I stay in my Booking.com reservation! I use Booking.com for 5 years and I always get the best prices and hotels!
Then I checked on Google and there it was this topic about Agoda!
They are not a serious company who respectts theis costumers....it's alot abou schemes...the website is very incomplete (compared to booking) and booking is top ratied all over the world and gives you the total cost and no fees at all (only on promotions).
Agoda now says that they don't have fees but sincerely I'm a lawyer and what I saw is bad faith total disrespect with theis costumers and doentology!
If I can I will never use Agoda in my life!
And I will warn my friends about the asian over the world scheme! Scham!
What a Shame!
Thank you so much for helping me to open my eyes in time!
May 14, 2012 7:11 PM
A solicitor would not have posted that.
In post #7, I said I didn't like Agoda. I take that back. I can say with all truthfulness that they were very decent. I had made a booking, by mistake I clicked on the one that had in small writing 'No cancellation'.
An hour later I realised the hotel didn't have a lift - as I have arthritis in both knees, I wouldn't have been able to manage stairs. I contacted Agoda, they asked me to provide a medical letter attesting to this, which I did, to which they replied they would send my request to the hotel with medical letter and ask for a cancellation.
Some weeks later not having received communication I again contacted Agoda. They emailed me saying the hotel refused to cancel the booking but because I had provided a doctor's letter, they themselves cancelled it and repaid the money back to my credit card.
I thought this was pretty decent of them.
Jul 21, 2012 2:20 PM
12another scam Agoda do is this: you search for a hotel using them they quote a price ( which includes their lowest price guarantee!) at the bottom of the page it clearly states " includes all taxes & charges" BUT... when you come to pay ( after entering your card details!) it then tells you taxes & charges are NOT included & will be added!
DO NOT USE THEM!
Aug 10, 2012 3:31 PM
13Circuit Hotel in Phnom Penh is the same story.
Agoda says regular price is $33 and that its' price is 16 + tax/fee = $19.
Price on the counter of the reception at the hotel is $18.
Sep 7, 2012 6:38 PM
14I used Agoda recently for the first time. Booked a room near Bangkok's airport and the walk-in price was 850 baht which the said was "special" price only for me. But Agoda's price was 595 baht and that is what was charged to my cc.
Also, it clearly stated the amount per night times the number of nights. Plus, it gives a total charge on their website before you book. The confirmation also came through withing 30 minutes.
As a bonus, the hotel gave me a much nicer "superior" room instead of the regular room I booked. At least my experience with them was good.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$57.24 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$53.06 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$57.21 per night