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Everything posted by betsybug

  1. Thanks to a tip from Theruare on this HOTWIRE NEW YORK CITY thread I got this great HW rate two days after he found it. I can't believe it was still there. The posted rate on hotel web site is $262. Thanks for making my trip to take a child to her college acting program affordable.
  2. I got this on a first bid and is the hotel I wanted for a nearby business appointment. Lowest rate was $114. Add this hotel to your list.
  3. Even though this post is old, I wanted to add new information for future readers. I had a 3* bid upgraded to a resort in San Antonio. I used this zone as a free re-bid because it's highest star level was 2*. I was burned and not happy and am contesting it with PL because the resort box was not checked on my bidding screen. But be warned of the risk. Avoid all resort zones as free re-bids even for lower star levels.
  4. Also, research to see what the Boutique hotel might be. You may decide that you would be happy with it and so would use that zone as a free re-bid. In New Orleans I would prefer almost any boutique hotel to the mega-tourist hotels. They tend to be closer to the Quarter and unique. But it's an individual choice.
  5. I used the San Antonio-West zone for a free-rebid for a 3* Downtown-Riverwalk bid. The West zone has no 3* or 4* but it does have two resorts that come up on Priceline - Hyatt Hill Country and Radisson Hill Country. My 3* bid was upgraded to a resort in the West zone. Because of the number of nights (4) and the number of rooms (2) this is going to cost me over $700. I was bidding for relatives who don't want to stay that far from Riverwalk. PL has denied a refund over the phone. I am going to protest with my credit card based on PL not disclosing the possibility of a resort upgrade on this bid. My grounds are: 1) PL Terms and Conditions do not warn of upgrades to resorts. It only says you can be awarded a higher star level. PL supervisor admits that resorts have no star level. 2) My 3* bidding screen did not show that I bid for a resort. The screen listed all the star levels. Only 3* and 4* were checked by Priceline or me. Fortunately, I printed that bid screen. There was a resort option shown on the bid screen when I unsuccessfully bid a 4* in that zone minutes earlier. The resort box was checked by PL on the 4* bid. This 4* bid, by the way, was higher than the $80 I bid later for the 3* - and yet it did not result in getting the Radisson Hill Country. I will keep you updated on the refund. For more details check this link to my bidding history that led to mt getting a resort on 3* bid. Radisson Hill Country
  6. Bidding mistakes don't deserve a refund. Unfair business practices do. The resort option can be selected by the customer when bidding the SA-West zone. It cannot be substituted by Priceline without warning. This is called in the legal world a "bait and switch". It's illegal to substitute without notice one quality of goods for another. PL warned about upgraded star levels. There is nothing said on its web site about fitting Resorts into the star level tiers. The bigger question is how why did PL award me a resort on a 3* bid when (1) it did not award it on a 4* bid minutes before in this zone when I bid a higher price than $80; and (2) the PL bidding screen did not check the resort box - only the 3* and 4* boxes? I think this was an error by PL - maybe an honest error - and not by me. Yes, I knew or should have known that a 4* could be upgraded to a resort. But not a 3* upgrade to a resort. PL never told me this could happen and I have never seen a reported resort upgrade from a 3* on this board or on TOBB. As for why I bid 4* anyway when my preferred zone was sold out - I have seen PL bids accepted (rarely) in sold out conditions. I bid 3* in my preferred zone - plus the re-bid zones - because I knew at least one 3* PL hotel was available in my preferred Riverwalk zone. I was hoping to get it or another comparable 3* hotel. $700 is too much for me to pay. I don't want my relatives to feel guilt tripped into staying 15 miles from the Riverwalk. I have to contest this with my credit card company. Unless PL can prove I agreed to accept a resort hotel, I have a good case.
  7. I have to answer any post that I am inferring from your name must be from a Texan. I am an ex-patriate living in Michigan near Thereuare. This won't solve your feeling of being ripped off and frustration with non-existant customer service, but I have read this tip on this board. Stay there and take pictures. Send those pictures to PL customer service address that is posted elsewhere on this board (it's TOP SECRET). Demand this hotel be re-rated. It is rare but PL has been known to downgrade hotels with enough customer complaints. There was a 4* hotel in Toronto downgraded to a 3* last year and a similar downgrading in NYC. Be sure to post your "winning" bid on this clunker in the New Jersey section with a WARNING label. This will help future bidders avoid bidding 3* in this zone. Although the 2.5* upgrade to this hotel is theoretically possible, in your post strongly recommend only bidding 2.5* in this zone to avoid this hotel. If there's a lot of 2.5* hotels in this zone it's unlikely to be "upgraded" to this one. And thanks for caring enough to try.
  8. In San Antonio PL upgraded my 3* bid to a resort in the SA-West zone. This was a bid for relatives who only want to be Downtown-Riverwalk. I used the San Antonio-West zone as a free re-bid. The total will cost me over $700 if I can't get a refund from PL or successfully challenge with my credit card. My relatives will not stay at this hotel and PL won't let me put any of my other Texas family in those rooms in their place. The relatives I was bidding for feel guilty but may stick me with this mistake and pay $400 more for a Residence Inn downtown. Yes - the last time I bid for them- but I cannot afford the financial hit. See these links for the bid history. Radisson Hill Country Riverwalk Sold Out My ground for refund/credit card challenge is that PL did not disclose that a resort was an upgrade for any star level bid - much less for a 3* bid. I had no idea a resort could be awarded without the resort option being selected. I have excellent evidence for the non-disclosure in my bidding pages - that I printed out - and PL Terms and Conditions. I checked my bidding history. On my 4* bid page the 4* and Resort boxes were checked. On my 3* bid the checked boxes were 3* and 4* - no resort option was even on the screen. I kept copies of all bidding screens. After this disasterous upgrade I checked the PL Terms and Conditions. This is the only one about upgrades that I found and the only one the PL telephone customer service agents could find: PL supervisor admitted to me that resorts have no "star level". She rationalized the upgrade this way: "We will upgrade you to a resort if it has amenities equal to the star rating you bid." Please help me. I know I have a solid case for a credit card write-off. But I prefer to get PL to refund this. So please answer these questions: (1) What is my most effective strategy and complaint target at PL to get the refund that I believe I am clearly entitled? (2) I have never requested a PL refund before - so what retaliation can I expect from PL if I get this refund?
  9. I am posting this bid so this board will add this hotel to the list. The lowest rate on hotel web site is $149. I was bidding for relatives who only want to be downtown. This zone was added as a free re-bid on a 4* hotel at a higher bid price than $80 and was not awarded. I immediately started a new bid of 3* with this zone added as a free re-bid. This resulted in this unwanted "upgrade". According to PL this means this resort has the equivalent amenities to a 3* hotel. If it's such a great resort then how come it wasn't considered equal to a 4*? I got 2 rooms for 4 nights for a total of $736. That's too high a cost to pay for a booking that PL did not warn I could receive. I will post my resort upgrade in the general section at the top of the board.
  10. Post this is a "win" and please help me get out of it. I was "upgraded" from a 3* to a Resort in a zone miles from Downtown San Antonio. My relatives do not want to stay there. I may be stuck with my bidding mistake and have to pay the $763. Resort San Antonio-West Radisson Hill Country $80 4/2-4/6 No. Rooms: 2 No. Nights: 4 Offer Price: $80 Subtotal: $640 Taxes/Fee: $123 Total: $763 I bid up to $100 for 4* in DT-Riverwalk without success. I opened a new bid at 3* for DT-Riverwalk. I showed four re-bid zones for 3* including SA-West that had no 3* or 4*. When I added SA-West - that I knew had a resort- I was upgraded to it. PL refuses to refund although it admits that it has no specific warning about a resort upgrade in its contract. It admits resorts do not have a star level. This is the only clause PL cites in its Terms and Conditions: Priceline.com will book your reservations in a property with an equal or higher star level than you requested. I think I have a chance with the credit card company to challenge this given the contract - and I printed all my bid screens. Any other ideas? And should I post the warning about resort upgrades on the general questions topic?
  11. Hotwire does look like a better option. I've identified the 4* at $95 as the St. Anthony Wyndham. I think the 3* at $59 is the Holiday Inn Market Square - rest. pool, laundry. That's a long walk to the center of the Riverwalk but I'm checking with my relatives. I'm going to bid the 3* Riverwalk on PL hoping to get the Crowne Plaza for less than the $111 rate for that hotel because any of the 3* in that zone on PL are good. I'll post the results here.
  12. Bidding for a relative and need two rooms - it's Michigan spring break but not spring break in Texas. The tickets are bought.but we can't get hotel rooms. Much to my surprise, all the PL 4* hotels for Downtown-Riverwalk on this board are SOLD OUT! All the known PL 3* hotels for this zone are SOLD OUT except for Crowne Plaza. The rate there is $111 for first two nights and $135 for next two nights pre-paid. The Crowne Plaza availability makes my bidding limit $115. The San Antonio CVB - and I - have no idea what has caused the hotel shortage. There are no conventions, events (Fiesta starts on April 15), or local spring breaks. We are baffled. Is it worth trying to bid with sold out rooms? And does anyone out there know why San Antonio is SOLD OUT for those dates?
  13. Yes. It's Alexandria-Pentagon. But it's real far south in Alexandria being only a block inside the Beltway. Thanks for the upgrade tip. Even if it's $20 more he's saved that in the much lower room rate and free parking. There was just nothing else for under $65 in all the closer zones.
  14. 2* Homestead Studio Suites (Arlington-Pentagon) This is a new hotel in a new zone for this board. It is an extended stay limited service hotel with a kitchen in south end of Alexandria just north of I-495. It's a mile from the Eisenhower Metro and 3 miles from Alexandria Old Town. Not a great location for DC trourists. I'm worried that the two studio rooms with 1 bed each won't fit my friend's family of 7. The rate on hotel web site was $123. It's all I could get for under $65 in all star ratings in all zones in DC and Northern Virginia for this peak vacation week.
  15. Travel Guy, thanks for the help. I went to Virginia and was surprised I could get no 3* or 2.5* for my limits. I started new bids for each VA zone - Arlington, Alexandria-Mt Vernon, Alexandria Pentagon - and new bids for each star level - 3*, 2.5*, and 2*. I used all the DC zones as free re-bids since I new I was underbidding those zones and would take a hotel there anyway. So I had numerous re-bids. I bid up to $70 for 3*. No luck I bid up to $65 for 2.5*. No luck I bid 2* with this strategy and got the Homestead Studio Suites in Alexandria-Pentagon for $40. Arlington $35 + Alexandria-Mt Vernon $40 + Alexandria- Pentagon $40 This was a very tough week. If I had not been willing to go to Virginia, as you suggested, and lower my star level a lot, I would not have succeeded. Thanks. I posted the hotel as a winning bid.
  16. Dates are April 3-6 - 3 nights. Thanks. Wouldn't the Alexandria and Arlington options be inconvenient for Metro use? What about Maryland suburbs? Are they generally cheaper than VA or DC? I'll check with my friend on the 4* $80 limit.
  17. I am bidding for a friend's family of 7 who needs two rooms in DC area for three nights the first week of April. No flexibility on that week. My limit is $70. I have bid 3* and 2.5* up to that limit with no success in the 4 DC zones plus Crystal City. The rates are very high, but availability is still good. Most hotels are about $250. The range of rates is $225 - $350. There are only two exceptions to the high rates. The Holiday Inn Central and Radisson Barcelo have prepaid non-cancellable rates of about $130. Only three hotels are sold out - Hilton Garden Inn, Hyatt Regency Convention Center, and Doubletree near GWU. I have two questions: (1) is my $70 limit too low? and (2) what other zones/star ratings can I bid within my limit but within use of Metro? This family does not require fancy, but cheap and convenient is a must.
  18. This is a new city in Ohio. PL calls is Marietta-Williamston. I got a deal on two rooms. The lowest web price was $71 for this hotel.
  19. Lowest rate was $80. I got two rooms for $38 each. I bid $35 for 2.5* for Cranberry Twp. Added Pitt-East and increased to $38. With 14% tax the PL fee was $8.
  20. I was hoping for a better 4* in this zone with bigger rooms because we have 3 for second night. Lowest rate on Travelocity was $99. It was lowest rate in this zone by $40 so I guess it was a foregone conclusion I would get this one. Started at $45 and with free re-bids of $5 got this one for $60. Oh well - it's always good to try a "new" hotel in Chicago and I love the neighborhood.
  21. As seen by my post under "help - NMA" below, I couldn't get anything on NMA or RNA for up to $110 for 4*. Bids up to $80 failed for a 3* in NMA. So I decided t bid for 2.5* in NMA and RNA because I liked all those hotels in these zones. I bid up to $90 with new bids plus free re-bids and the surprise happened. I was "upgraded" to this 3*. It was the only hotel I wanted to avoid which is why I had not bid 3* in RNA. The reports are that Club Quarters gives its tiny rooms to Priceline guests. Oh well. Live and learn. Don't add a zone to a bid for a lower star level unless you can be happy with all the hotels in that zone for higher star levels.
  22. A correction to my earlier post. The convention those dates downtown only total about 7000. About a third at Hyatt Regency, a third at McCormick, and a third at Holiday Inn (not a PL/HW hotel). So conventions don't explain the apparent high occupancy that I infer from these two facts. The rates are going higher this week - some 4* are 15-25% higher. The rooms are getting less desirable - some 3* only have smoking or double beds left. I have failed again. On 9/16 I was rejected at $80 for 3* NMA. I was rejected at $110 for 4* for NMA + RNA. The 4* bid was over 55% of the posted rates at some hotels - Sheraton, Westin, Wyndham, Doubletree ($179-$199). I am baffled. I've never had to pay this much on PL in Chicago when occupancy should be low and the rates aren't outrageously high. My back-up is the Westin O'Hare for $109 - where two of us have a seminar - but even they don't want to stay there. Everyone wants to be downtown for shopping and eats. So the bidding dilemma is this for my dates of Oct.22-24 (Fri-Sat). Option 1: Wait (and how long) to keep bidding for my 3*& 4* in NMA and 4* in RNA. Option 2: Try for a lower rate at the decent (and some well-reviewed) 2.5* in NMA and RNA - even though those rates are as high as some of the 4* in NMA. 2.5* NMA Seneca Hotel $128 Tremont $189 Residence Inn $179 2.5* River North Courtyard Chicago Downtown $199 Hilton Garden Inn $179 If I pick Option 2 - how high should I bid now - given the similar rates and low availability at the higher star levels? The posted winning bids for 2.5* in these zones for other dates range $40-$50 with an occasional $75-$80.
  23. My suggested bidding strategy didn't work. Today I bid up to $90 for a 4* in NMA and RNA. Rejected. Bid is about 45% of lowest posted rates. I've never had to go this high in Chicago with posted rates of $189-$225. I'm going to look at Hotwire, which should be an easy comparison to make with all the handy Hotwire listings on this site.
  24. I'm having problems getting hotels for about these same dates - Oct 22(Fri) to Oct. 24 (Sun) for NMA. I bid up to $80 without success on 9/9/04 and am bidding again tomorrow when my 72 hours is up. I can't figure out why you and I can't get these dates for $80. There are no sold out hotels and relatively low prices. I checked the convention schedule and there are a lot of conventions those dates with the total of the largest several at 38,000. But I don't see that as a factor since there are no sold out hotels. Are you willing to go to the next zone over, River North (RNA)? The two 4* hotels there get great reviews and are only a couple of blocks from Michigan Ave. They are the Westin River North and Renaissance. The Westin is on the river. I'm going to take Theruare's advice and check the rates for my two dates separately to see if that's the problem. Here is the bidding strategy I am going to use tomorrow when my 72 hours is up. Maybe it will help you if you're willing to raise your price to $90. NMA $70 Add Lincoln Park $75 Add Midway $80 Add Skokie $85 If that fails, start over with a new bid for River North. RNA $70 Add NMA $75 Add Lincoln Park $80 Add Midway $85 Add Skokie $90 I saw this work for another October weekend bidder who got the Renaissance for $90.
  25. In reviewing this board for an October trip to Chicago, I noticed a trend that I haven't seen before. Bidding early could be the best strategy in Chicago. I saw five winning bids for Chicago at the 4* Swissotel (North Michigan Ave) for $79-80 for October. All were won 4-5 months before October. One of them was a bid by our moderator. This is a great hotel - justifiably rated 4.5* on Hotwire. I am bidding 6 weeks before October. I bid up to $80 and can get no NMA 4* hotel - and none in River North either. This is despite excellent availability and low web site rates in the $200 range (low for Chicago weekend with conventions). The question comes up often - bid early or bid late? My hypothesis for Chicago is bid early. Do you agree?
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