espeelma

Priceline Hotel: Beware: Priceline has put new Hyatt Place in wrong zone

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I bid on a PRICELINE EXPRESS Deal for the Empire State Building Area.  I was assigned the Hyatt Place NYC/Times Sq., which is a new hotel taking reservations for the first time in mid-November, 2019.  It is located at 350 West 39th St (between 8th and 9th Ave.) and is approximately 1/2 mile west of the westernmost boundary of the Empire State Building Area, which is 6th Ave.  The new Hyatt Place Times Square property is located within the boundaries of the Priceline Times Square Area. Priceline has apparently confused this new hotel with the Hyatt Place Midtown South, an existing property for many years, which is in the Empire State Building Area.

 

See here for a Google map of the two hotels.  https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Hyatt+Place+New+York+City%2FTimes+Square,+West+39th+Street,+New+York,+NY/Hyatt+Place+New+York%2FMidtown+-South,+West+36th+Street,+New+York,+NY/@40.7533502,-73.991814,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x89c259bdebb2f933:0x2b4f6817aad063c8!2m2!1d-73.9937032!2d40.755967!1m5!1m1!1s0x89c259a98033b3ab:0x5f191fc9b27d4ace!2m2!1d-73.985832!2d40.7504303!3e2

 

I have gotten nothing but stonewalling from Priceline Customer Service about this obvious Priceline error.  Finally got an address that I could use to mail my documentation of this error, and I have sent that off via certified US mail,  so we'll see if they will make this situation right.  

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Sorry to hear you're having an issue, and i'm surprised you're having such a tough time, as things like this are usually resolved fairly quickly once you can get somebody on the line that understands the issue (it's this second part that can be difficult).  I think this could easily be resolved without the need to send a certified letter... in the future feel free to post here first as we have a pretty good understanding of how to navigate these type of issues.

 

Through a little research it's clear that they have inadvertently plotted this hotel at the same exact location at the Hyatt Place New York Midtown South, which is indeed in the Empire Stat Building zone.  If you click this previous link and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page you can see the location for the Hyatt Place Midtown South is at the same exact location that they have placed the HYATT PLACE TIMES SQURE... this is usually enough to get them to stop reading from the script and reach out to a manager (or you can ask to speak to one).  As well, at the 2nd link it is clear that they have placed the hotel on 36th St, even though the address above indicates that the Hyatt Place Times Square is on 39th St (further evidence that the location they are looking at is not correct).

 

You can wait for a responce from your certified letter, but if you can get this escalated to the 'next level' of PRICELINE customer service, i'm sure it will be resolved very quickly using the technique above of:

1) they have put the hotel at the same location as another Hyatt Place property

2) the address of the hotel is on 39th St and their plot is clearly not 39th St

3) if they use another source to look at the address of the hotel (google, Hyatt website, etc) they will see it's in the Times Square zone

 

Of course i'm in agreement that you shouldn't need to do any of this, and the hotel should be zoned correctly to begin with, but it looks like an honest mistake that hopefully will be fixed shortly.

 

Please remember to return to BetterBidding and use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases... or thru our sister site MAPSandHOTELS.com for your regular rate purchases.

 

Let us know how you ultimately make out.

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Yes, this does seem like a Priceline error that should have been recognized and addressed by Priceline customer service.  When I first called, I explained all of the above and was told that Priceline records showed that the hotel I got was in the zone I requested.  It was escalated to a supervisor.  The reps kept offering to send me a copy of the "contract" which showed that my Express Deal could not be canceled. Ultimately the "supervisor" hung up on  me. I then did two on-line chats with customer service.  I kept transcripts of both.  In the first chat I said "There are two Hyatt Places in Manhattan.  The Hyatt place Midtown South is in the Empire State Bldg. zone.   The Hyatt Place Times Square is at 350 West 39th St which is .7 miles away from the boundary of the Empire State Bldg. zone."  Ultimately I ran out of time and had to leave the chat.  My final statement asked them how I could "resume resolution of this issue."  I did not receive a response.

 

In the second chat, I repeated the information that the Times Square hotel is .7 miles away from the Empire State Bldg. zone and that "the Hyatt Place New York Times Square is not in the Empire State Bldg. zone.  The Hyatt Place Midtown South is in the Empire State Bldg. zone.".  I was told that "based on our records" you are in the designated area.  This is a discounted reservation and it confines us from cancelling or changing. "  I responded that "Your records showing the Hyatt Place Time Square in the Empire State Bldg. zone simply are wrong.  Someone needs to actually check the address against the zone map.  I have pdf.s of the addresses and I would be happy to provide them to you.  If you do not have the authority to check this, please refer this chat to someone who can."  "  "Dan" responded that "You will still be provided the same resolution, since this has already been escalated to higher department.  This reseviation is non cancellable."  I responded.  "This issue needs to be escalated to a still higher level."  "Dan" responded "This was escalated already.  *** Please call us at 800-774-2354 and ask for[a] supervisor, however thy will still provide you the same information."  

 

I then did call that number and did speak to a supervisor.  The supervisor again stated that Priceline records showed that the assigned hotel was in the correct zone.  I told the supervisor that this was the whole problem--the Priceline records were simply wrong as to what zone the assigned hotel was in. Finally, this supervisor gave me an address I could use to actually send hard copies of the maps of the two hotels to Priceline.  

 

It was only then that I sent the certified letter.  

 

 

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Only thing that might have helped is if showing them their listing for BOTH hotels on a map and how they are plotted at the same location, as well as how the Times Square hotel is plotted on the map at 36th St when the address above clearly indicates that the hotel is on 39th St.  However, it's entirely possible (likely?) that the service rep on the phone didn't have the authority to do anything other than escalate to a supervisor.  I once had a 'complex' customer service issue and although i was told "supervisor will tell you the same thing" i persisted, explained my case to a supervisor, who then had to pass my case along to somebody higher up and they would get back to me... they have back to me via email asking me to call, at which point the issue was resolved; hopefully will be same for you.

 

I would give it a week or two, and then if not resolved get your credit card company involved.  While i'm an advocate for saving the credit card company at a LAST RESORT (too many people use this as a first line of defense... always try to resolve amicably first directly with the merchant) this may be an instance where it is needed (if not resolved within 2 weeks) as i think they will quickly/easily understand the issue and help in rectifying the situation.

 

Good luck and keep us updated.

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Thanks for the validation on this whole issue.  I will keep you updated. .Since this trip is not until Christmas week I have some time.   I never would have booked this early except it was a very attractive offer--maybe because the new hotel on 39th is not open yet and there are no reviews for it..  

 

I should add that this was one of the Express Deal offers that tells you in advance that you will get one of four plotted properties on the map.  One of them was at the 36th St. address of the Hyatt Place Midtown South, and the deal offer said I would get a King room with a sofabed.  The other three (probable) hotels did not have that room option.  Accordingly, I was expecting the Hyatt Place Midtown.  Luckily I didn't wait until closer to the time of the trip to verify the name and address of the Hyatt Place I was assigned.

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3 hours ago, espeelma said:

this was one of the Express Deal offers that tells you in advance that you will get one of four plotted properties on the map

Or a better way is to search using our BiddingHelper.com tool... in the PRICELINE EXPRESS or HOTWIRE EASY VIEW tabs hover your mouse (or tap if on a mobile device) over the 'FIND MATCH in HOTEL LIST' and our systems will automatically indicate the best match.  This new feature works for both PRICELINE EXPRESS and HOTWIRE.

 

One more thing i forgot to mention above is that once you do hear back from PRICELINE, i am assuming they will offer you a full refund, but you may also be offered a discount (about 20%) if you agree to keep the existing reservation... so just something to think about ahead of time, 'how much of a discount would you need to agree to keep the existing reservation?' (you may need to be in the Empire State Building zone and therefore the answer is that no discount is enough to have you stay a few blocks from where you intended... but if budget is a factor, and staying at a new property is appealing to you, it may be something to consider.

 

Keep us updated.

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Thanks for the helpful info as to what to possibly expect from them.  But, as you know,  the blocks  going East and West on the New York grid  are long ones!  Especially in late December! 😉  And one of the reasons I committed to a non-cancelable Express Deal was that the identified hotels were relatively close to the 33rd St. PATH Station.  We have family in the West Village and taking the PATH from Christopher Street as opposed to MTA saves us quite a stretch of walking on that end.  

 

I will try to get back in the habit of always linking to Priceline through the BetterBidding link as well as using your helpful tools and the discount codes.

 

Will let you know if/when I hear from Priceline.

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Please see the text of the email response I got this morning from Priceline "executive offices" in Connecticut., which follows.  They still refuse to acknowledge their error or to offer me any relief.  I have responded by email and included the information you suggested earlier about bringing to their attention the fact that they have plotted two different Hyatt Places at the same location.  

 

"I am writing to you today regarding your reservation at the Hyatt Place
New York City/Times Square, under Trip Number xxxxxx. Please know
that we have received your letter in our Executive Offices, and I
understand that you are concerned about the location of your confirmed
hotel.

"We provide hotel chain examples for illustration of what you may expect
when choosing a star level. The examples are listed as guidance of
hotels in the area and are subject to change, depending on the current
inventory of our hotel partners.

"In reviewing your records, I see that you have indeed selected the
Empire State Building Area during the booking process, and we confirmed
that the said property is within the shaded area of the map displayed
before the booking was completed. Moreover, I confirmed that the Empire
State Building is 0.9 miles/1.5 KM away from the property, based on the
information available on the hotel's website as well.

"Since this reservation is restricted, I tried to reach out to the hotel
to ask for a cancellation exception on your behalf; however, due to the
policy associated with the rate, no approval was obtained. Our
apologies, but your booking remains non-refundable.

"Thank you for your time.

"Sincerely,

"[Name omitted}
"Executive Offices"

 

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Grrrr.... frustrating, i'm sure.

 

If you're willing to give it another attempt, i would suggest calling the hotel, explain the situation to them (as well as confirm that PL has plotted their hotel in the wrong zone), and ask if they will contact PL to approve cancellation of the reservation. (just make sure to confirm that the hotel is going to refund Priceline and that in turn Priceline will refund you... you don't want a situation where the hotel cancels the reservation without a refund)

 

Let us know how you make out.

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Try Our Newest Tool: Reveal Hotels

Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

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Actually, I'm considering invoking arbitration.  I am legally entitled to the benefit of my bargain, which is the value of a hotel for Dec. 22-26 in the Empire State Building Area that has a king bed and a sofabed and is a hotel at one of the the four locations mapped on their Express Deal offer page. They owe me more than cancellation and a refund.  In addition, arbitration provides the possibility of a $5000 minimum recovery if an arbitrator should award me more than the last written settlement offer provided by Priceline, plus costs and attorney's fees.   See Priceline's Terms and Conditions, Part I-A-2-g.

 

Please note that, as of today, (10/31/2019 at 2:12 pm), Priceline's  web site still [incorrectly] describes the Hyatt Place Manhattan/Times Square, as being in the Empire State Building Area.  In other words, their web site still misleads potential customers as to its location.

 

I did call the Hyatt Place/Times Square phone number that is on my reservation, but it simply transfers to the Hyatt corporate reservation people.    The Hyatt rep. at the Hyatt system-wide reservation desk tried to call the Hyatt Place Times Square hotel directly, but found that their on-site phone number is not yet operational, either within the Hyatt phone system or using the regular telephone number.  So it's a little difficult to understand how exactly the corporate official who emailed me this morning that he had  "tried to reach out to the hotel to ask for a cancellation exception on [my] behalf" did so, and was unsuccessful in getting a cancellation.  And note:  I have never suggested that mere cancellation and refund would be a satisfactory resolution of this dispute.

 

The corporate reservation rep also told me that Hyatt hotel managers don't have authority to deal directly with Priceline, so that neither the HP Midtown South manager or the new HP Times Square manager would be able to reach out to Priceline and get Priceline to fix its error going forward.  (Is that your understanding as well?) 

 

The corporate Hyatt reservationist did confirm that I have a reservation at the Hyatt Place Times Square for the four nights at issue.

 

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