@huima For booking my travel to Finland and the UK in November, I’ve been testing out a local travel agent, and comparing to online alternatives, i.e. direct on the Internet, and online sites e.g. Expedia.  There are some fees for booking with an agent, and I now see 24-hour telephone support for Internet providers.  I see the value of third party booking of flights with 24 hour support, having been delayed for an extra 8 days in Europe with the 2010 volcanic ash cloud incident.

Original post as Hotels.com – now looking for alternatives | October 19, 2012 | Huima at http://huima.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/hotels-com-now-looking-for-alternatives/.

I have used hotels.com frequently and they used to provide excellent service.

As few years ago we had a serious medical emergency they came through and were able to cancel our hotels and reimburse us in full, as I called them from the hospital and explained the situation which caused us to miss the whole vacation. Based on their standard rules they could have kept atleast part of the fee. That was cool and I applauded them, and told people a lot how I had got good service.

But now I am looking for alternatives to use. Reason for ditching Hotels.com is the way Hotels.com has behaved in handling a reclamation and how many times I have had to chase up to them to get any feedback on issue. It is clearly something where their processes fail miserably.

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I made the first contact to Hotels.com on 26th of July — already during the trip via their get in contact page. As I did not hear anything back, I contacted them again by phone on September 12 th and learned that the email was in a limbo — and was not processed. With apologies it was transferred to the right queque and was said that the issue should be resolved in 28 days. On October 1st I got request for additional information in broken finnish and replied immediately. Then additional silence and no replies to my emails and requests for confirmation that they have received the data, until I contacted them again and got the apologetic email without any additional information.

I feel that I have not been that unreasonable in giving Hotels.com time to resolve the issue and have been proactive in contacting them again and again for progress on the issue, where as I have got little or no information back from them. All the people I have spoken with have been very helpful, but their hands are unfortunately tied – and visibility to the process has been zero.